Referrals and strategic partnerships

By AHP Staff 

When you think of partnerships, what comes to mind? Is it intimidating or something you’ve always wanted to try but never found the courage to do? Or have you tried it and it wasn’t the outcome you thought it would be? Or you simply don’t have the time? Whatever obstacle you have faced, AHP is here to help with some examples on ways to potentially help increase your bottom dollar—and have fun while doing it.  

In the second installment of this six-part series, we explore some ideas on how to create partnerships and what you can do to help gain momentum to further your business.  

1.  Instead of giving your clients referral cards for $10 off, hand out $10 gift cards for your clients to give their friends. 

2. Volunteer your services at a local battered women’s shelter. 

3. Set up an agreement for cross-referrals with a personal trainer. 

4. Volunteer to do hair for a children’s dance recital. 

5. Do the local high school cheer team’s hair for home games. 

6. Find a way to support a local charity. 

7. Team up with a local realtor to get your information into their “Welcome to Your New Home” packets for houses they sell in your area. 

8. Leave your business card and a special offer or small gift certificate (along with the tip) when you pay for your meals at bars and restaurants. 

9. Do hair and makeup for a local drama club or high school theater performance. 

10. Take a basket with product samples, candy or baked goods, special offers, and service menus to a local school to be placed in the teachers’ lounge. 

11. Ask a local college if you can put $5 gift certificates in freshmen orientation packets. 

12. Go to a “Mommy and Me” group to hand out $10 gift certificates to all the moms. Even if you don’t have a child, you can show up, hand out the gifts, and leave. 

13. Offer a $10 gift certificate at elementary schools for “Daddy- Daughter” dances. 

14. Team up with other stylists with different specialties or other beauty professionals (estheticians, nail techs, massage therapists) and create a referral network. 

15. Ask a local boutique to place a card with a special offer for your salon in each bag, and in return, give all your clients a coupon to their boutique at checkout. 

16. Do the hair for a local fashion or talent show. Make sure they credit you in the program—and maybe they’ll even give you a shout-out at the event. 

17. Find some local coffee shops or restaurants that display local art, and offer some of your best portfolio pictures for display. Put them in nice frames and make sure you are referenced as the stylist under the portrait. 

18. Give VIP cards for complimentary services to influential people who will be a good source for referrals. 

19. Ask your clients how many referral cards they would like for their friends; they’ll think through who they might tell about you and psychologically make a commitment to handing out that many. 

20. Reach out to a popular beauty or lifestyle blog and ask if you can contribute as an expert. 

21. Offer your services or giveaways to a local radio station in exchange for an on-air interview or shout-out. 

22. Get involved with your local chamber of commerce and attend networking events. 

23. Be a guest speaker at a local college for a business, marketing, art, or entrepreneurial class. 


Bring these 23 tips for partnerships to life in the salon or barbershop as you see fit. Contacting businesses in surrounding areas can help not only bring in more traffic and increase your bottom dollar, but can also help with your personal brand recognition.  


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