Have you been dreaming of a successful and profitable career in the beauty industry as a lash or brow artist? If yes, then you’re in the right place! Glad Lash is here to help you every step of the way with this new series of articles designed to put you on the “path to prosperity”. Each of the stepping stones in your journey will be uncovered, with great tips and ideas for your salon success. In part one, I will discuss how to build a loyal client base.
It doesn’t matter whether you are new to the industry, or have mastered your craft over many years, if you are struggling to create a profit or looking to grow your business, this series of blog posts will help you move your business in the right direction.
Assuming you have chosen your perfect work environment, the most vital step in building your business is getting repeat business from loyal clients. To do that you are going to need referrals, and lots of them!
How Do I Get Referrals For My Salon Business?
Getting started is the most frustrating, yet rewarding, step in the process. You will want to create a steady stream of referrals to get you on your way. In order to do this you need to become your own campaign manager.
Getting referrals involves investing your time in:
networking with other salon professionals and potential clients.
Here are some easy ways to generate business quickly...
The Walking Billboard
You already have a valuable network to tap into, and you might not even realize it. Get the ball rolling with those that are closest to you, your friends and family. We all know at least one or two social butterflies, and these popular pals are a cherished resource in the beauty industry. They have many social circles, friends, and groups that they are active in.
Get them in lashes or brows, and let them be your "walking billboard". Offer them a full set of lashes or brows. Do the very best work you are capable of. Do not rush or skimp here, this is your work that they will be showcasing. You want your friends and family members to wear the very best representation of your skills and talent.
Treat them like a brand new, paying client. You must impress them with your professionalism. Conduct a complete client consultation so you know their expectations. It can feel a little weird with a close friend or family member – you may feel awkward and want to giggle, but don’t. Remain focused and professional.
You want them to experience your sincerity and passion for this service. This will assure them that you are serious about building your business and encourage them to value you as a professional, not just a friend or relative. It also gives you an opportunity to receive honest feedback from them on how you delivered information during their consultation. Use these opinions to adjust your verbiage and processes as needed.
Follow Up on Your Lashes and Brows
Make sure your friends or family members are following your aftercare instructions so your work is on point. While your walking billboard is promoting your new service, check in with them. Make sure they are keeping your work pretty and clean. Have them come back frequently to inspect your work. Make adjustments, freshen things up. You don’t want them to be showing off wonky work. Remember to also ask them about any comments or questions that were raised by potential clients.
Prep Your Model
Your model should be able to answer very basic questions about the service. Always make sure your friends and family members have plenty of your business cards to pass out to those who have an interest in eyelash extensions. Your card should include your contact information and website address.
Maintain an Active Online Presence
Having a website with your service menu and prices helps to get your work seen by potential clients. Many potential clients like to “shop around” by checking out your work on your website, Facebook, Instagram, and other social media. Post your best before-and-after looks on your website. Basic information about your service is very important on your website, and an FAQ page is a plus. Keep your photos fresh by updating them on a regular basis. Keep posting plenty of before-and-after photos of your work. You will be creating more interest, especially for those who have already been referred.
Minimal Cost - Maximum Potential
There is minimal cost involved with these simple steps that I have mentioned. And the income potential is significant! It literally costs your time. The product cost is practically nonexistent, so don’t feel this is a waste of time and resources. Word-of-mouth advertising will become one of the best tools in your kit.
Marketing Tip: The Dreaded Discount
This next step may rub some people the wrong way, but we have to have this discussion. Hear me out...
If you are new to a service, or have moved to a new location with no clientele, you may have to be a bit more drastic in your approach. We all know about the dreaded online discount coupon services, like Groupon and Living Social. Embrace this route. Sometimes these avenues can be a great jump-start on your path to building a successful salon.
I, personally, have used these companies to fill in holes in my schedule, hone a new service or skill, and to provide a dribble of dollars while I was expanding my client base. After I built up a bit of clientele, I suspended my campaigns. If things slowed down a little, then I would reactivate my campaigns. I only had to do this for a very short time before my newfound clients spread the word for me and referred their friends.
The Reward System
Let’s get our clients to do the talking for us. When your new clients leave you happy with their new look, they will be willing to promote you and your services. This is where the “dreaded discount” really works for you. I always reward my existing clients with a dollar amount towards a future appointment for every referral. You decide what works for you and set an amount you feel comfortable with.
Some professional lash artists offer a free fill for every full set, others offer $10-$20 off their next appointment. There is no concrete rule here. Do what works for you. Some clients will jump on the referral fee, while others see no value. You will always end up with a few who are your mainstay rock stars in this area. These rock stars will keep a steady stream of new clients looking for your amazing services.
Remember to thank these clients with a little “extra” every so often. They will feel appreciated for their efforts and keep referring new clients to you.
Today we have touched on two of the most high value ways to get a jump-start on building your business and client base.
The Walking Billboard
The Dreaded Discount
Of course there are many more, but these are tried and tested.
You will create valuable relationships with friends and family members, have a steady stream of referrals, and create a temporary campaign to reel in discount shoppers. There are multiple ways to entice potential new clients. Stay tuned for additional tips on how to do this, I'll be talking more about it in future posts.
How have you successfully generated those important, first few clients in your business? If you have any strategies that you would like to share with the community here, we would love to know about them. Feel free to leave a comment below or on Facebook, if you'd prefer.
Maryann has an accomplished, 30+ year background in the beauty industry. As a cosmetologist she opened her first salon in ’83. She has specialized as an educator since 2006. Maryann knows what it takes to create successful salon businesses and is here to share her experience with you.