Get more of your ideal client behind the chair
I talked last week about the best free marketing ways to build your clientele. Filling your books is one story, filling your books with your ideal client is another…
When I first started working as a hairstylist on my own I was able to fill my books pretty quickly through offering a client experience, marketing correctly, and working my ass off. I was finally making money, but I wasn’t happy. I wasn’t drawing in what filled my soul: the big projects, the vivid colors, the edgy cuts. I was doing level 5-7 gray touch ups. over and over and over. And maybe that’s your goal and those are your ideal clients - awesome! (Stay put and relish in your successes.) But they weren’t mine. After a lot of thought I decided to take bigger leaps in order to attract more of the clients that excited me, and I want to share with YOU how I did that:
I got clear on who my ideal client is.
This is where you want to do a super exciting writing exercise. No really, it can be fun. Name your ideal client. Name their service. Name their location, age, and lifestyle. Where do they hang out? Whats their favorite food? What brands do they love? How much money do they make? This is how you get clear on who you’re marketing to. I even made a guide for you, so you don’t have to search google for another one. (Find that here.) The most important step to this whole process is getting clear on who they are.
I changed my atmosphere.
This was a big one, and a tough one to speak on. But I was honest when I made the switch, and i’ll be honest now. The salon I was at when I didn’t have my ideal clientele wasn’t a space that was attractive to those clients. The salon catered to a different generation, and their marketing mirrored that. I knew that in order to create an atmosphere that was welcoming to my ideal clients - I had to make the switch. Luckily, a good friend had just opened a beautiful salon a block away that was set up perfectly for the clientele I wanted to attract - so I jumped ship.
I offered up free hair.
I don’t recommend doing a ton of free hair, ever. What I do recommend is offering up a few “giveaways” in order to get more content that IS your ideal clientele. I put out feelers for clients who wanted blues, purples, balayages, and baby lights. I took them on my days off just so I could get pictures of their hair and market myself as someone who was good at those specific services. The beautiful part of it was that because these were projects I wanted to do, I wasn’t even bummed that they were free.
If you’re going to do this please don’t take just anyone. Make your offer clear, and only take people who are similar to the work you want to promote and bring in. When using the photos do not promote that you did these services for free. You want the hair to be attractive to your ideal client - not the cost.
I didn’t just post anything.
When I first started creating content as a hairstylist I would post whatever I did that day. Gray touchups, mediocre highlights, basic cuts. This is exactly how you attract more of what you do not want - even if the pictures are fantastic. You have to be picky about what your posting and ask yourself if your ideal client would double tap or save that image. Always go back to who your ideal client is, and post as if you’re sharing with them directly.
I changed my strategy
In the same manner as above, I changed my marketing across the board to fit the clients I wanted to attract. Outside of pictures I also created graphics for them specifically, used quotes I knew they would resonate with, and tried to connect with them on as many levels as possible. This isn’t just about the hair you’re doing - it’s also about who you are and your values. Do they align with your ideal client? Share them! All of the content you create should be made with your ideal client in mind.
My last (and probably most important) tip is this: you’re going to have to get comfortable pushing away some of your current clients in order to make room for your ideal client. When you change your atmosphere and marketing to suit the client you want to attract, you’re going to lose people. This is normal, and necessary. Don’t get nervous and revert back to how things were. Get comfortable being uncomfortable, and watch the magic happen.