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Let's talk shop. You’ve got the skills, the team, and a cozy spot where magic happens on fingertips. But your chairs are scarcely filled, like the Super Bowl stadium after Rihanna finished performing. And you only get a full day of clients on Saturdays.

If you're looking to see more of those booking slots filled, it's time to tap into the online world. We're here to spill the tea on how a solid strategy can keep your salon's schedule as full as your waiting area on a Saturday afternoon. 

1. Use Social Media Platforms

Now, let's chat about social media – the town square of the digital age where everyone hangs out. And for your salon, it's a goldmine for bookings if you play your cards right.

First things first, figure out where your clients love to scroll. Is it Instagram, with all its visual glory, or Facebook, with its community groups? Maybe it's TikTok, where you can showcase your work in motion. Wherever they are, that's where you need to be, showcasing your salon's work and culture.

Then, you need to create content that clicks. What's going to make your followers stop mid-scroll and maybe even dramatically gasp? Stunning before-and-after photos of nail transformations, quick videos of your latest nail art, or maybe behind-the-scene peeks of your salon life. This isn't just content; it's conversation starters that lead to bookings.

Lastly, if you have a little budget for ads, use it wisely. Don’t send out ads to every Hillary, Janet, and Gloria all living in different countries. Social media platforms offer powerful tools to target your ads based on location, interests, and more. It's like putting up a digital billboard right in the virtual paths of potential clients.

2. Implement an Online Booking System

There are plenty of online booking systems out there, but you need one that’s as reliable as it is user-friendly. Your clients shouldn't have to jump through hoops to book an appointment. So you need a booking system that integrates directly with your websites or social media profiles. 

You should also look out for systems with features like automatic appointment reminders, easy rescheduling and push notifications. Some clients are as fickle as a French tip after laundry day, so if you have a system to remind them of their appointments, you can reduce no-show rates. 

If you are adding a booking system for the first time, don’t expect your clients to get in there and figure it out. Make it a breeze for your clients by guiding them through the process. A quick tutorial video or a pinned tutorial reel on Instagram can score you more bookings. 

Once you're all set up, pay close attention to how your clients are using the system. Gather feedback and be ready to tweak things to make the process as smooth as their freshly buffed nails.

Read More: Our guide to the best booking systems for any business.

3. Optimize Your Website for User Experience

Your website is the virtual front desk of your nail salon, and we want every visitor to feel like they’ve just stepped into your chic space so keep it simple and stylish. Your website should reflect the elegance and style of your salon. A clean, easy-to-navigate site invites potential clients to explore and book an appointment without getting lost in a maze of pages.

Also, optimize for speed. Nothing sends a customer back to search results faster than a slow-loading page. No one is going to wait for your website to load when Google already gave them a list of “nail tech salons near me.” Ensure your website is quick to load, especially on mobile devices, because that's where most of your clients are likely to find you.

Now, for the main event: the booking process. It should be so easy that a client can book a mani-pedi during their morning coffee break. A visible, one-click booking button? Check. A smooth, hassle-free checkout process? Double-check.

4. Send ‘Thoughtful’ Emails 

Going to a nail salon is self-care. Period. As a nail tech artist/salon owner, you have to make your clients feel like you care about them, and I don’t mean by offering them a glass of wine that will be included in their invoice. 

When a client books an appointment online, they use an email address. You can use this list of emails to keep up with your clients in a thoughtful way without being spammy. For example, if it takes approximately four weeks for your customers to come back for a manicure, you can send out emails every four weeks to give them a heads-up on upcoming slots. 

Your emails should feel like a personal invitation from you to your client, not just another piece of spam. Give the clients a reason to open your emails. Maybe it’s a birthday discount, a reminder for their regular appointment, or a sneak peek at a new nail art design. Keep these emails light, friendly, and full of personality, just like your salon.

Bombarding inboxes is a no-no. Find a sweet spot in timing and how often you send emails. Too few, and clients forget you; too many, and they might unsubscribe. Regular, but not overwhelming, is the key.

5. Collaborate With The Community

Teaming up with the right partners can create a buzz that draws crowds. Consider partnering with local businesses that share your client base, like hair salons, boutiques, or spas. A cross-promotion can introduce your salon to new customers who are just a stone's throw away. Imagine a bridal shop referring brides-to-be to your salon for a special wedding package and vice-versa.

Social media micro-influencers with a robust, local following can also introduce your salon to a broader audience. Choose someone who resonates with your brand and can authentically showcase your services, and bring them over to your salon so they can film and share their experience with their followers.

Be part of community events, or even better, host them. Workshops on nail care, trend talks, or charity events can put your salon at the center of the community. Collaborate with other local businesses to sponsor these events for cross-promotion. For example, team up with a local wine seller for an ‘Evening of Elegance’ event, pairing fine wines with elegant nail art.

After establishing partnerships, remember to keep the momentum going. Regular check-ins and shared social media posts can keep both parties engaged in the partnership and the collaborative spirit alive.

Boost Bookings With a Simple App on Adalo

While all these strategies can significantly bump up your online bookings, there's a game-changer in town that can consolidate your efforts: building your very own app. And with platforms like Adalo offering drag-and-drop functionality, you don't need to be a tech guru to create something sleek, professional, and immensely functional.

Having your own app can streamline the booking process, allow you to push notifications about your latest offers or last-minute slots straight to clients' phones, and keep your salon at the forefront of their minds. 

The beauty of Adalo is that it simplifies everything we’ve talked about in this article— you can literally piece together the features you need like a puzzle. Whether it’s creating a beautiful site, notifying customers of partnership deals or even collecting emails for marketing, Adalo can take care of it all in a stylish, elegant interface. 

Start building an app for your nail salon for free here.

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