Everyone needs to promote more, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you need to spend more.

Think about guerilla marketing. Guerilla marketing means thinking outside the traditional ways of marketing. It is a focused investment of time and effort with minimal financial cost. One typical term associated with guerilla marketing is “sweat equity.” It is about identifying what your team can do collectively to generate new business and hype about the salon and spa without spending cash resources. Planning social outings with the staff is one way to generate enthusiasm and a buzz. The beauty business is a social one. It is necessary to connect with people outside the treatment room or away from the manicure table. Going out with the staff to canvass popular night spots with the goal of meeting potential clients away from the salon or spa is a comfortable and fun way to guerilla market.

One salon I work closely with created “Free Bang Trim” cards for the stylists to carry at all times. (Nail techs might offer a free polish change or free hand and arm massage.) It creates an opening to approach potential clients in a non-threatening manner. There are many ways to approach potential new clients, but the greatest success this salon owner found was by complimenting someone’s hairstyle and offering a complimentary bang trim to get them into the chair and salon. Once in the chair, the stylist then had the opportunity to capture a new client for future services. Fifteen minutes of cleaning up bangs can turn into hours of future services.

Another successful guerilla marketing technique comes in the form of a “Get Out of Jail Free” card I created for a spa in Florida. You can create a business-sized card with the large print stating “Get Out of Jail Free.” (You might want to avoid using the actual likeness of the Monopoly game piece, shown above, due to copywrite issues.) It also said “If you missed your wife’s birthday, forgot to take out the trash, want to watch the game or play golf this weekend … call us at the spa, we can fix it.” Staff members were then able to approach men in a light-hearted way, offering spa solutions for guys who didn’t understand the way into a woman’s good graces is through spa services. The significant others who were on the receiving end of the “Get Out of Jail Free” cards loved their spa services and more important, told their friends — creating a great buzz in the neighborhood about the creative marketing technique.

Guerilla marketing means thinking outside the box. Brainstorm your own creative marketing ideas with coworkers.

— Bryan Durocher, Durocher Enterprises 

Coming Next Week: Creating a VIP Club Creates Cache and Cash