The Big Debate: Salon Marketing on a Budget

Published 29th Nov 2023 by Sian Jones

In this debate, two business owners contemplate whether you can effectively market your salon at a low cost.


Colin McAndrew, owner of Medusa

“Yes, doing your salon marketing on a budget can be effective as there are many low-cost and free tools that are readily available to help build your brand's awareness. Social media, digital marketing and newsletters are all accessible for free. The cost of hosting a website is relatively low and with the help of AI, which is also free, all that’s required is your input. But how much does your time cost? Thanks to platforms like YouTube we can all learn how to post reels, write a newsletter and even build a basic website but what’s the point if no one sees them?"

Want to know more about how you can use AI to boost your marketing? Click here.

"The point of working with a marketing specialist is their understanding of strategy, engagement and conversion. We live in a fast-paced world, and everyone wants results instantly. Medusa has been around for over two decades and during those years, with expert advice and guidance, we have finetuned our marketing strategy. We’ve had the luxury of time to figure out what works and what doesn’t which means that today we use a combined approach to marketing. We work with an agency that supports us with press and social but I handle all our marketing in-house.

"My advice to someone launching a salon today, looking for fast results would be to figure out the messaging and strategy behind your brand. Invest in branding and then feel your way through marketing. You might enjoy creating content, writing and designing newsletters and engaging with your audience online but it's important to make sure this is not at a cost to the business. Do you bring in more money driving people into the salon or behind the chair? Only your analytics can answer that.”


Rory Mason, owner of Rory Antonio Hair & Beauty Lab

“The ethos of “you have to spend money to make money” has been installed into my brain since the beginning of my career. At Rory Antonio Hair & Beauty Lab we are big believers in this, and it is reflected in our clientele. It comes down to everything – spending money on good quality products, the salon itself, and marketing the salon.

"If you want to make a profit long term then you need to invest from the beginning. If you can market yourself as a salon with top of the range products you will attract clients that are willing to spend money. The most important thing is that the salon reflects a five-star feel – that is what your clients are paying for.

"Something that’s been successful for us has been investing in salon events and fundraisers – it’s time and money but it also raises awareness of a fantastic cause that we support whilst also raising awareness of the salon. You can’t be an expert in everything - it’s important to invest in the expertise of others, whether that be working with a web developer to increase your SEO and online presence, or investing in social media and PR to help you reach a new audience be it locally, within the industry or nationwide.

"Don’t be afraid to put some spend behind advertising because it can be a great driver of business. We work with our local magazine on a regular basis and the feedback from clients has been great, they love seeing themselves or the salon team in the magazine. Ultimately, putting the effort in and spending that bit extra on marketing both online and offline makes people feel like they want to spend time and money at your salon.”

Read next: How To Use Party Hair Services To Your Advantage

Sian Jones

Sian Jones

Published 29th Nov 2023

Sian is Editor Modern Barber and Deputy Editor Hairdressers Journal International. She has over ten years’ experience writing for print publications covering Youth & Children, TV & Entertainment and Lifestyle. Sian graduated with a degree in journalism, and whilst studying was nominated for the Guardian Digital Journalist of the Year award in 2011.

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