Whether you’re building your business from scratch or looking to revitalize your shop, the goal is likely still the same–you’re looking to improve your clientele. It’s no secret that in our industry, clients make the world go ‘round. So, how can you be sure that you’re consistently building up a reliable client base, and further, how can you guarantee that you’ll keep them around?
This blog is here to dive into everything you need to know about your clientele. From building your books from the beginning to keeping clients on for the long haul, this guide has you covered. Keep reading to learn more about how you can kickstart, build, manage, and retain the clientele of your dreams!
How to Kickstart Your Clientele
If you’re starting from total scratch, your first goal is to build up your books and kickstart that list of client regulars you’re after. But how exactly do you make that happen? Here are a few go-to tips for building up your books from scratch if you’re new to the client game.
- Opt to Assist a Stylist or Book an Apprenticeship– If you don’t know how to build up your books from scratch, think about working with a seasoned cosmetologist first who can help you take your skills to the next level. You’ll get lots of practice, be able to network, and find some regulars who will love your style.
- Accept Walk-Ins–Even if this isn’t your ideal setup, there’s no shame in starting off this way to get a few regulars under your belt. If someone walks in and wants to tackle a service, take them on so they can get to know you and your skills.
- Start With Who You Already Know–There’s nothing wrong with offering your services to friends, family members, or colleagues. There’s no rule that says your books have to be filled with people you’ve never met before. This is a great way to get your regulars locked in and to ensure word of mouth is working in your favor, too.
- Referrals & Rewards Programs Do the Trick–If you want to get your client list going, offer a rewards program or referral discount to your current clients. They’ll be incentivized to share the word about your services, and you’ll get the opportunity to work with more clients.
- Get Your Social Media Marketing On–You have social media platforms, right? It’s time to use them. Get the word out about your services on social media marketing, offer social media-specific discounts, and make sure you’re employing a top-notch marketing strategy.
- Incentivize Current Clients to Leave Reviews–If you have even one client, ask them to leave you a review. The more positive social proof out there, the more likely you are to snag another customer.
These are just a few ideas, so if you’ve got others, don’t be afraid to put them into action ASAP!
Building Your Books: How to Build Up Your Client List
So, you’ve kickstarted that clientele list, but how do you build your book successfully? Making sure that you’re always expanding is a good thing (if you can support that expansion, of course). But making the choice to build your books and actually making that happen are two different things. How exactly can you take your list of clients and build it up? Here are a few tips to boost those books:
- Promote Yourself Whenever Possible–Always carry business cards, manage your social media marketing schedule, and be ready to give your elevator pitch at any time. One conversation with a stranger could turn into an appointment on the books. And that one appointment could turn them into a new regular who’s consistently on your calendar.
- Constantly Upgrade Your Client’s Experience–Walk yourself through the entire customer experience from start to finish. Try to elevate and enhance every aspect of the experience to improve it. From the moment a client enters your salon to the second they leave, what is their experience like? Further, how could you improve it?
- Perfect Your Referral System & Rewards Programs–You already started programs like these; now it’s time to perfect them. Analyze them and see what’s missing. Ask yourself–what’s working? What’s definitely not working? Tweak these systems so they can help your books grow.
- Partner with Local Businesses–Network, network, network. If you’re not partnered with other businesses in your area or industry, you’re missing an engaging opportunity.
- Upgrade Your Digital Marketing Strategy–We all work in a digital world now; if you’re not advertising online, that’s an enormous market you’re missing out on. Think about how you can incorporate content marketing, blogging, social media marketing, PPC ads, and more.
- Opt for Continuing Education– If you want to add clients to your repertoire, add services. The more services you can offer, the more diverse of an audience you can attract–AKA, the more clients you can provide for. Continuing education keeps your skills sharp and ensures that you’re always improving–and that’s key to building your books.
- Update Your List of Services–If you want to increase your books, think about increasing the services you offer. The more diverse services you offer, the more diverse of an audience you’ll be able to attract.
Pro Tip: Redefine Who You Think of as “New Clients”
Sometimes, building up your books with new clients is as simple as looking at who’s already sitting in your chair. Sounds funny, right? How can a client be a “new client” if they’re already on your list? To understand this, you’ll need to adjust your perspective.
A client becomes a new client when they start taking advantage of other services you’re offering. So, if you have a regular cut client or a regular manicure client who adds another service to their list, they’re a “new client” in that regard. Focus on building your books with current clients, too!
Retaining Clientele: Make it Easy on Yourself
Want to keep your clients coming back for more? Our best advice is to make it easy on them to rebook–and make it easy on yourself, too. Offer competitive incentives in the form of rewards programs and referral bonuses. Think about investing in scheduling software that makes rebooking easier for you and simpler for your clients. Come up with a system that all of your employees abide by to get appointments on the books before a customer’s current appointment ends.
Client retention is important for many reasons, but one of the most compelling is that it’s far cheaper to retain clients than it is to attract new ones. If you invest time, resources, and energy into retaining your regulars, you’ll be able to save money in the long run.
Keeping your books stacked with regulars who keep coming back for more isn’t just rewarding for you as a cosmetologist; it’s rewarding for your business financially.
Protecting Yourself & Your Clients: Cosmetology Liability Insurance
The best way to ensure your clientele is strong? Make sure they know they’re working with a professional. How can you get that message across? By investing in cosmetology liability insurance, you’re able to protect yourself, your employees, and even your clients in the event that something happens (accidentally or allegedly).
The reality is that accidents happen–clients can slip and fall, cosmetologists can make mistakes, and people can allege that bad things happened when they didn’t. These things are out of your control–but what is in your control is how you manage and mitigate that risk.
Beauty Insurance Plus can provide that reliable protection you seek (and then some). Explore our site, read our blog, and take a look at how we can change the way you build (and protect) your valuable clientele.