You have probably pondered about this question many times: Should I offer a discount on my hair and makeup services? Especially when it’s quiet, and all your competitors seem to be discounting everything.

At those times, it can feel like offering a discount on your services is the only way to go. But is it, though? The short answer is: sometimes.

The marketing secret is in knowing when and how to give discounts. Use them wisely, and they can boost your freelance beauty business. But use them wrongly, and they can damage your brand and ruin your profits.

Want to avoid hair and makeup discount mistakes? Here’s what you need to know.


Consider the two different audiences

Like it or not, discounts certainly have a role in marketing new hair and makeup clients. If you want to persuade that new client to give you a try, instead of your competitors, sometimes only a discount will do the trick.

We’ll let you in on a little secret: a study led by Akshay Rao of the University of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Management suggests that clients perceive an additional 50% for free approach as being more valuable than a 33% off discount, when in fact both discounts are exactly the same offering!

When it comes to your current clients, our marketing advice is: don’t do it, unless you really have to. And if you really have to, give added value instead of a discount.

For instance, if you want to reward loyalty, offer a complimentary hair treatment with a colour service. Or if you want to increase your bookings during the quiet period after Christmas, offer an upgrade from a basic makeup service to a premium makeup service if they book their next appointment between January 2nd and February 28th.

But no matter who you target, always make sure your promotion is visible on your website, booking page, or social media page, and remember to set out detailed terms and conditions so you won’t get caught out. You do want to make it profitable, so you need to do your maths to work out exactly what monetary value you’re giving away.


The best discount types and how to use them

Now that we know the difference between discounts for new clients versus existing clients, let’s take a look at some of the different types of discounts and the best time to use them.


A free hair or makeup gift

We all love freebies! From a client’s perspective, a gift with each service enhances the value of that service. Try offering free products or additional treatments with every service, or offer a gift card for the next booking.


Seasonal discounts

Want to avoid looking desperate for business? Don’t just push out a discount, but make sure you have a reason for it. Big holidays like Christmas, New Year, and Valentine’s day are great for seasonal discounts, but it could also be a client’s birthday or a local event happening in your area.


Thank you offers

What better way of showing your existing clients your appreciation that by emailing or texting them an exclusive offer to thank them for their loyalty. A thank you message will make your client feel good and it’s perfect for filling up the gaps in your calendar.


Last-minute booking deals

Another great way to fill up the gaps is by offering reduced prices for last-minute bookings. Make sure these discounts can only be taken at the eleventh-hour, otherwise your clients might take it for granted.

Want to set up discount offers on your Stylemee booking page? Get in touch now, and we’ll fix it for you. Download the Stylemee Pro app on iTunes and Android, the one-stop destination for freelance beauty professionals.