10 Tips to Help You Grow Your Clientele
I’ve officially entered the Periscope world! I have been watching scopes for awhile, and I finally took the plunge.
Today, I came up with a list of 10 tips that I think can help you grow your clientele. I see this topic come up almost daily in some of the forums I’m in. But, this is not going to be about marketing, or ideas about promotions, which is what is usually given out as advice, this is about looking at YOU. It doesn’t matter if you own a salon, booth/chair rent, you are a freelance makeup artist, or an employee, this is pertains to YOU! I do have to warn you though, that I have been a cosmetologist for 21 years, so there are a lot of references to the beauty industry, but I think any industry may benefit.
I just jotted these down minutes before my scope, so I’m sure that I will have to add to it, but it’s a great start! So how did I come up with these? I looked back at my career, and those I’ve mentored, and analyzed why some were booked months out, and why others weren’t. It’s not always dependent on your experience, or technical skills. I really truly believe that you need to “check” yourself once in awhile. You’d be surprised at what a few adjustments can do. Please know that it was hard to decide on the order of them, because I believe they are all as equally important, so don’t pay attention to that!
- You Must Have Written Goals
It is extremely hard to grow if you don’t know what you want. This doesn’t only pertain to business goals, but also personal goals. Now that we are upon the end of another year, take some time to think about what you’d like to achieve in the next few months, but also think about your long term goals too. Don’t be afraid to really dig deep as this can be hard, and don’t short change yourself either. You can always adjust them later. Once you do this, write them down on paper. Something magical happens when you do this, and better yet…read them on a regular basis! It’s fun to look back at someday.
- What Makes You Different?
If you own a salon, what makes your salon different than the other salons in your area? As a stylist or other technician, why would a potential client want to come and see you? Do you offer unique services and products? What is your niche? When I mentor others, I really push them to think outside the box on this one. Let’s face it, this is a competitive industry, and if you’re not sure what makes you different, you need to find something. I think I may have another Periscope topic! 😉
Never stop learning! The beauty industry is so diverse, and you should capitalize on that. If you are new to the beauty world, the more you know, the busier you will be. As you become more seasoned, then you can pick your specialty. But even at this point, keep learning! Stay fresh, stay inspired, get your battery recharged. This doesn’t only pertain to technical aspects, but also get as much business education that you can. You can’t afford not to invest in yourself. If you have the privilege to work with experienced professionals, watch and learn from them, they are a huge asset! Don’t be afraid to ask them, even offer to assist, they will welcome it.
- Have Amazing Customer Service
I almost think that this should be #1! How are you making your clients feel? If you can master this, you will build a rock solid clientele. This is another topic that I could do an entire segment on. No matter how busy your day has been, no matter what crazy drama is going on in your life, you could be having the worst day in your life, you have to make your client feel like they are #1. Take a deep breath and provide an outstanding appointment for them. You have to listen to what they need from you, and you need to figure out how to provide it. You need to “wow” them, pamper them, and put them on a pedestal. You have to generally care about them, because they will feel it, and if they feel amazing every time they leave, they will be back.
- Be Professional
We are halfway there 🙂 Where do I start with this one… Dress for success. We are in the beauty industry, so have fun with this. Be groomed and have good hygiene. This summer on 2 different occasions, other professionals showed up to the events in sweats, slippers and it looked like they just got out of bed. I’m not exaggerating either! I didn’t know them prior, and they weren’t hired by me, but I was embarrassed! When in doubt wear black, which is an industry standard, brush your hair and put in a cute pony tail, and throw on some mascara and lip gloss. And don’t forget your smile! Alright, moving on.
Your client is a client. When they are in your chair, it should be all about THEM, not YOU! They are paying for a service and want to come and relax, not hear about all of your problems. I’m not saying that you can’t form a relationship, and sometimes you can become great friends with some, but try to keep things professional. I had clients for over 20 years that I formed amazing relationships with, but I kept things positive. No gossip either! We are therapists at times and a neutral party, a safe zone for them. What is reveled in your chair needs to stay between you and them. There needs to be trust. The seasoned stylists will get this.
Have good communication. You have to ask the right questions to find out what they want. Very important. Start each appointment with a consultation, no matter how long they have been your client. If they are ready for a change, be ready to make a change. Do not think that you know what they want! They are the only one that does, and if you don’t provide them with what they want, they will find someone that will.
And please keep your station, tools and kit clean and sanitary. Yes, this shouldn’t have to be addressed, but unfortunately it has to be brought up. Just keep it clean and tidy!
- Brand Yourself
You should be utilizing technology to brand yourself in a positive manner. Even if you are an employee, should be promoting yourself. People are initially buying you. Until they get to see your talent, you are selling yourself, like it or not. If you are using social media to help you with this, be professional! I’m not saying that you can’t post personal things, but keep it clean and fun. A great rule is: If you are hesitant about posting it, don’t. You get to decide what type of business and clients you’d like to attract!
- Be Available
If you are truly trying to build your clientele, you need to be available for clients. You have to be willing to work retail hours. Nights and weekends are going to be the busiest. You have to be willing to accommodate your clients. If you have large gaps in your schedule, stick around, you never know who may call at the last minute, walk ins can become long term clients.
- Have a Positive Attitude
A positive attitude is crucial! Is the glass half full or half empty? When you have a positive attitude, you will attract amazing positive clients. People like to be around those that bring them up. This again, ties into the way that you are making others feel. If you are negative, clients will feel it.
- Always, Always Network
You should always put yourself out there. Even if you are an employee. Make friends wherever you go. Be willing to help others out and they will help you too! If you are just starting building a clientele, hand out your business cards everywhere you go. Start conversations, let others know that you are open for business. Network through the clients you already have too. There are so many things you can do with branding and marketing.
- Charge What You Are Worth
I’m not a big fan of discounting your services to attract new clients. I always found that it would attract those that would only come to get the discount, and have no intention of coming back. When you charge what you are worth, you will attract those who value your talent. Please don’t undercut others in the industry.
I hope that some of these tips will help you grow your clientele. Just remember, as you build your business, you will have clients come and go. Be OK with it. Do not take it personal! I used to tell my clients that they should try other stylists too. Everyone does things different, and I have always believed that some people just “click” better with others. In fact, there were times that I would advise a client to see someone else because I knew that I couldn’t give them what they were looking for. Remember, it has to be about them, and ultimately they have to be happy. If they understand that you are alright with it, and that you won’t be upset with them, they won’t be afraid to come back to you if they feel the need to. If you are doing all of the above, you have done all that you can.
I’m excited about more Periscopes and blog posts. I guess that it’s time that I start to share what I have learned, so I can help as many as I can become successful in such an amazing and rewarding industry! Please comment if there is anything you think I should share with you all, I’d love to hear your ideas 🙂 Don’t forget to follow me on Periscope @LeighRaeder