“Why don’t I have any clients?”
This is a common question that we hear all the time from students and stylists.
“Did I bathe this morning?” Check.
“Did I brush my teeth?” Check.
“Did I do my hair and make-up?” Check.
So where are all the clients?
We want students to be able to gain a solid clientele not just in the salon but here at school. Capitol has been working on a class to better equip a student in making this a reality. To take it a step further, we introduce it to the freshman class so that they can begin implementing these techniques before they hit the clinic floor.
It makes sense to set them up to succeed at the prime moment. Day one on the clinic is the first step in a real life salon environment. We are a busy school with many clients. Enough for everyone to have a handful each.
Sure, we have our regular clients;
the ones who come whenever,
the ones who come to whomever,
the ones who won’t follow a student to the salon.
If a student does not have a client to work on, there are some manikin requirements to get done. But how awesome would it be for a student to be fully booked with clients the first day. Not just any client, but their own friends, family and acquaintances. People that said, “Yes, I trust you.” Or, “I’m intrigued to see what you will do to my hair.”
As I was thinking about the material we give to the students, some phrases from the past flooded my mind. I remember many former students who said that they left salons or quit the industry altogether because;
the salon was not busy
they salon didn’t provide them with any clients
they were in a bad location with no new traffic.
This made me want to say these misguided souls, “Since when is it the salon’s responsibility to provide a clientele for a stylist?” They want to hire you, they want to pay you. You have the license, the skill, knowledge, techniques and abilities. They want you to do your thing and make your mark in this industry. To display your passion, your art, your epic masterpiece, your magnum opus.
They want you to do all of this on your own clients.
Sure there is a name on the outside of the building that isn’t yours. (Unless you do own a salon.) But what happens in the chair should be treated like an independent business owner. The only way to have someone sitting in that chair is to go and get them yourself. The salon and owner should never have to feed you clients.
If you don’t have the skills necessary to convince people to visit your chair, you will have skinny kids. Or, you will end up keeping that job you had in hair school to pay your bills. No one wants to do that; you should be able to live off the income you create in the salon.
There are people out there just begging to have something done with their hair or their image. Remember the first month of beauty school? Armed with your four weeks of knowledge, you walked around judging everyone’s hair everywhere you went. In your mind you fixed all the haircuts. Using your imagination, you intensified the tones of the color you saw or you fixed the entire outgrowth wondering why they ever let it get that bad.
What if you talked to them?
What if you said, “I love your hair, and I have an idea in mind for you.” “If you’re interested.”
Here are some ideas to think about when engaging potential clients or the clients you already have:
- Everyone you meet is a potential client. Most people have hair.
- How you look will attract people or push them away.
- Your artistic self expression can make or break a potential relationship.
- If you want a particular client, look like them.
- Look for windows of opportunity to let people know what you do.
- Compliments go a long way
- Talk about why you do what you do. People love passion.
- Social media can work for you if you use it right
- Create a professional digital identity to showcase your work
- Facebook page
- Don’t think of it as a way to find clients but rather a place to direct them to see what you are capable of.
- Have the clients that love how you make them look. Show the world how fantastic you’ve made them look and feel on their own social media. Be sure they tag you!
- Word of mouth is the biggest form of advertisement.
- People will trust their friends advice or the advice of many people
- Get your name out there in a positive light.
In the end, it all boils down to sales. You have to believe in something so much that everyone around you believes it too.
What do you have to offer? What can you provide? What problem can you solve?
Remember, there will be some rejections, some people will say no. That’s okay, just remember, 100% of the people you don’t ask will never come.
It’s time to step out, no, it’s time to leap! So get out there and make it happen!
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