6 Salon Referral Ideas to Grow Your Business

Getting new clients is the number one thing on most stylists’ minds, and one of the best ways to get new clientele is through a formal referral program. Interested in creating a salon referral program for your salon? Look no further, this post will describe how to build a referral program and give you 6 salon referral ideas specifically curated for hairstylists.

How to build a referral program

Exceed expectations

The most important step in creating a salon referral program is to delight your existing clients and exceed their expectations. When your guests leave your salon feeling like a million bucks and holding their heads a little taller other people will notice and ask them who their stylist is. If they are happy with you and the service you provide they will sing your praises and naturally want to send people to you. 

Decide on your offers

The next step in creating a salon referral program is to decide what you want it to look like. For example, are you going to give each person that refers you a free product or a discount on their next service? Do they get something for each person they refer, or do they have to refer multiple people to get a perk?

Next, you need to decide what the person being referred will receive. For example, will they get a special discount for seeing you for the first time? Keep in mind, new clients may not need an incentive if someone that they know, like, and trust is referring them.

Spread the word

Once you know what your referral offers are, the next step is to start talking about your referral program. Work it into the natural conversation with your clients. You can ask them if they know anyone who is looking for a new stylist. Regardless of how they answer, let them know that you have a referral program and tell them about the perks you offer when they send people your way. If they already referred you clients before your program was launched, you can offer them the perk at their next visit. Tell them that they earned it by referring you in the past and let them know they can continue to earn perks by referring you to even more clients. 

Stay Organized

One of the most important parts of a referral program is keeping track of the data. First, you need to make sure you ask new clients how they heard about you. Next, you need to make sure you keep good records so you don’t forget to offer your referring clients their perks during their next service.

Give Thanks 

Finally, encourage the referring behavior by personally thanking the clients who refer you. You can call them or send them a personal note or text. If you have a client that refers a lot of people, don’t be afraid to go the extra mile and buy them a gift card for coffee or lunch and let them know how much the referrals mean to you. 

SalonBiz | 6 Salon Tips

Salon Referral Ideas

Once you have your salon referral program set up, try these specific salon referral ideas to get more referrals.

  1. Talk about your referral program

Your current clients are great referral partners but don’t be afraid to talk about your referral program with people that aren’t your clients (yet). For example, maybe someone is on a budget and wants to be your client, but can’t afford it. Referring people to you could be a way they could get your services at a discount or for free. 

  1. Get social

Another way to spread the word about your referral program is to get social. For example, you can publicly thank people who referred you by tagging them in social media posts and mentioning the free service they’ll receive next time they come in. In a fun way, this will let people know that you’re in demand, it will create social proof, and it will help create awareness that your clients can get freebies when they refer people to you. You’d be surprised what a little bit of FOMO can do.

  1. Create strategic partnerships

Hairstylists are in a great market because many businesses can be great referral partners for you. Start by networking with other beauty professionals and creating strategic partnerships with them. For example, you could partner with estheticians, permanent makeup artists, and nail salons that are local to you. They can refer their clients to you and you can refer your clients to them. Win-win!

  1. Create special promotions for your strategic partners

If your strategic partners have an email list you can agree to cross-promote each other’s services through flyers and/or an email campaign. For example, you can give 20% off hair services to all their clients, and they can give 20% off their services to all your clients. You’ll both get new business and your clients will appreciate the added value you provided in the form of the exclusive discount. 

  1. Leverage technology

Nowadays, many businesses have their own app that tracks purchases, referrals, and offers rewards and special promotions for loyal customers. Don’t worry, you don’t need to hire a professional programmer to develop an app for you. Instead, you can offer perks for people that refer by setting up a salon rewards program with SalonBiz. Learn more about setting up a beauty salon rewards program here.

  1. Offer gift cards

Offering gift cards is a great way to increase your cash flow, and get new clients into your business. You can run a special gift card promotion around various holidays. People may be hesitant to encourage their friends or family to try a new hairstylist, but you can make it easier by offering less permanent services like a scalp massage or a deep conditioning treatment to get people in your doors and start building your relationship with them.


Ready to take action on these salon referral ideas, but don’t know where to start? SalonBiz can help! With our customizable beauty salon reward program software, your guests can earn points for every referral, purchasing products and booking online to use on a future visit in the Pocket Salon app.

SalonBiz takes a modern approach to the ever-changing beauty industry, helping you save time and provide exceptional service. From integrated payment solutions to automated appointment reminders, SalonBiz can help you provide a seamless and stress-free experience for you and your clients so you can focus on what really matters.Ready to learn more about what SalonBiz has to offer? Send us a message or schedule a demo today!

SalonBiz | 6 Salon Tips



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