You may or may not know my story, but I started my career right out of Beauty School. The only twist is, I went to Beauty School in Houston, TX, took my test one day and moved to the Washington, DC area the very next day! Of course, I had no friends or family to start with – and amazingly enough, there weren’t any clients lined up waiting for me to do their hair! LOL
So what did I do? What many Stylists do, I sat around, as Michael Cole used to say, ‘waiting for the Busy Bus to pull up’.
my real story begins as I started to figure out how to get and stay busy as a new Hair Stylist. I share my story (which is an excerpt from my Get More Clients, Make More Money, FAST! e-book) in hopes that it will help you, or someone you know, to find clients, gain confidence and keep your clients coming back and bringing their friends!
I Used to Sit Around Waiting for Clients…
Until I realized that no one knew I was waiting! Now how in the world would I let people know that I was a good stylist and that I wanted to do their hair? Well after a series of trials and errors, I discovered a few things that really worked!
First of all, let’s look at the phenomenon of building a clientele.
• Do you want more clients than you can stand? Whether that’s 5, 10, 20 a day?
• Do you have very little experience? Which can sometimes translates to – ‘your skills could be stronger?’, (keep your confidence, it’ll come; hang in there and keep learning!}
• Are your people skills still developing? Translated: “you’re kind of shy when it comes to talking to people”?
• Do you look around with envy at all of the “busy” stylists and wonder how did they get that way?!?
If you have more ‘yes’ than ‘no’ answers, you are normal for a new and developing stylist! It seems that how to build a clientele is one of the best-kept secrets in the Beauty Industry. And no one ever tells you! Well, one thing that I can tell you about the busy Hair Stylist, is that they probably didn’t start out that way!!! Surprised? Nine times out of ten, there wasn’t a line of people waiting for them as they pulled up to the salon that first day! It’s so easy to feel like you are the ‘only’ one who doesn’t have any clients. But, don’t get discouraged, there is hope!
After all, if EVERYONE else built a clientele, so can you!
If your mom, sisters and your Aunt Lula are your only clients, you’re a big step ahead of me when I started! I moved to a new city, with no friends or relatives – the day after I took my State Board Exam – in another state! And trust me, after a rocky start, within 2 years, I was booked solid and within three years I opened my first salon. So, if I can do it, so can you!
Now let me share one of the ideas that worked for me. Here is a three-step process for building a referral explosion:
Step 1: Create a ‘special offer’ and make it good for a ‘limited time only’. Also, print your offer in a way that says “you can trust me”. You don’t have to spend a fortune, but make it look professional.
Step 2: Talk to people (or not) – Hand your special to EVERYONE that you see (not that you know, but that you see!). Give them to your friends and/or relatives and ask them to hand them out to everyone that they know and see in their day to day activities. Of course, you’ll want to post your special offer on Social Media (use an even shorter expiration date). Pass out your flyers/cards – as quickly as possible. From the cards, you should expect to get several new clients. Now, what to do with the clients now that they are in your chair…
Step 3: Make a friend, WOW their socks off with your customer service, your attention to detail and, of course, their hairstyle!
Step 4: Ask for Referrals!
Of course, this is a pretty simplified version, but it really works! If you’re tired of sitting around waiting, why not give it a try? Get up and make room for your new clients to have a seat.
Miki Wright , three time Salon Today 200 honoree, is the founder of www.BeautySuperStars.com, which provides training and tools to help Beauty Professionals fill their chairs and work smarter to create a life and business they love. She is regarded as a Leader in the Beauty Industry; from her work as a highly respected Hair Designer and Platform Artist, Competitor, Educator, Mentor, and a Business Coach who gets results. At the top of the list of many honors and awards, she was the youngest recipient of the Bronner Bros. “Legend Award”. Wright was the owner of Fabulous Finishes Salon and Day Spa, one of the first African-American owned Salon and Day Spas in the country! Her Salon and Spa was featured in Essence and Washingtonian Magazines, the Washington Post and was selected by Salon Today Magazine as one of the “200 Fastest Growing Salons in the Country” – for three (3) consecutive years!!!
As a Market Trainer for Ulta Beauty, she led her Salon team and District to several National honors. She has consulted with Soft Sheen-Carson as an Educator and as their Salon Business Coach. Wright, who is also an Author, with more than 25 years’ experience is now committed to empowering Stylists and other Beauty Professionals to better serve their clients and create a life and business they love!
P.S. Need a ‘special offer’? Check out the Get More Clients, Make More Money, FAST! e-book that gives you a step by step guide to a specific promotion that’s guaranteed to get more clients in your chair right away!
P.S.S. If you find yourself struggling with building a steady clientele, the online training program that’s helping Stylists go from an income roller coaster (up one week and down the next) to having so many clients they have a waiting list, may be just the answer! Visit www.BeautySuperStars.com/90days for details.