Early my career, I was a hustler. The only thing I was interested in was money. I was focused with getting as many clients as I could, in and out the door fast. I was unorganized, late all the times, canceling clients for the dumbest reasons. Sooner than later, my books dried up. I would see my clients in my colleagues chair. That was the gut punch I needed to get my ish together. I had to start over again. This time, I did it right. With only a few clients, I was able to maximize my profits and attract quality clients.
The best way to attract and keep clients is not just cute marketing, its VALUE inside of the cute marketing. I see so many new stylist show up with an attitude of “I have arrived. My chair awaits..” As if people whom have never heard of or see you will flood your chair and stay there. Many tricks can get people through the door, the key to keeping them there is the value you provide and the TRUST.
When you are focused on how many clients and money, you neglect the QUALITY of so many VALUABLE things which ultimately leads to them not coming back. Lets explore ways you might be running clients away:
- Jack of all trades: A common mistake I see with new stylists is they try to be everything to everyone. Can you do it all? Sure. Can you do all of those things well? Maybe. You want to be searchable and memorable. People look for specific things: wigs, natural makeup, faux locs… If you pick a niche’ and dominate it, people will trust that you know a lot about this particular style or service. You can build a reliable clientele that trusts you are a master of this particular technique. (This doesn’t mean you can’t do other things. It just means you focus your marketing and energy into doing a particular technique really well).
- Celebrity Stylist or Not: You may want to be a celebrity stylist. You will need to decide that as early as possible. Chasing celebrities will shake up your schedule, which would make you unreliable. Clients want to trust that you will be there for their appointment. Can you do both? Maybe. Save yourself the headache and don’t. Decide which you want and make a plan on how to do it. Download your free Business Plan here.
- Copy That: The writing in your captions, on your booking site and websites aren’t just a throwaway task or fodder. The characters you type in those text boxes mean the difference between a “keep scrolling “or a “stop and engage.” Even better a book or buy. Poor copywriting leads to big headaches later in the chair. Sales copywriting on booking sites and e-commerce sites need to be crystal clear: what is included in the service, how long is the service, what is it made with, etc.) This keeps down on confusion and assumptions. You don’t want customers and clients to assume anything. EVER. Be as clear as you can. Also, use a warm, inviting voice when you write your captions or descriptions. This will create a higher conversion rate.
- Poor Results: This one seems self explanatory but not quite. On the surface, your service or product should look great. But your job doesn’t stop with looks. How well does it perform? How long will it last? Whatever you are promoting, you need to deliver as best as you can. Don’t be a what I ordered and what I got. A main priority is what is happening with that service or product once it leaves your hands. Will this cut maintain it shape as it grows? Will this makeup last flawlessly during an outside wedding? Make guarantees to your clients, be honest and DELIVER. “This style will last ____ days.”
- Bad customer service- Honestly this one is the most important. It is cliche but true. People don’t remember what you did, they remember how you treated them. The best way to lose a customer is with bad customer service. The clock starts clicking as soon as the client or customer clicks book or buy. They are clocking all your tea. Did you confirm? No, they are knocking points off. And its downhill from there. When they walk in the door, the clock is ticking. How soon do you make contact? How many clients before them? Your job is not just the finished product. You are responsible for their overall experience; from the minute they book, til about a week after they get home. That all may seem scary but it’s really a blessing. That is where you can build a client for life. Focus on the quality of experience and make it one they brag about to everyone they encounter. Thats what keeps them coming back.
Check the following situation. Which one seems better?
You are a new stylist, in business for about 6 months. You’ve done all the marketing but bookings are still slow. What do you do?
a) Drop your prices really low. You collect 100 clients pretty fast that spend $50, but they never come back.
b) You reach out to your network of friends, family and neighbors. You gain 10 clients that love your work. These 10 clients love you and pre-book standing appointments for the next year. They will spend spend 75 twice a month over a total of year?
A is a result of making all the mistakes above totaling $500
B is what building trust looks like totaling 18,000
Now these numbers are low but this is just a model to highlight the VALUE in building TRUST rather than focusing on a money grab. With the trust of you client, you become a valuable part of their lives. Don’t take for granted the fact that they actually clicked, booked, bought, and actually got out of bed to sit with you. Seize each opportunity to give them the best of you for the time you will share.
“What ever you touch, you change. Whatever you change, changes you”