The Mane Objective | by Marco Pelusi
So, how is the business of beauty these days? Have things been picking up lately? It certainly has been an economically challenging time for several years now.
It's important to have a core group of clients who need your services and support your business through the best and the worst of times – clients who stick with you through thick and thin and treasure how you make them look and feel. We all want to attract more of this type of clientele.
The most direct route to attracting this kind of clientele is to follow three steps.
Learn to accentuate your uniqueness, or your specialty, as a hairdresser. In other words, think of what you have to offer. What services can you perform and what makes you distinctively stand out from other hairdressers or hair salons in your area? If you can't answer this question definitively right away, it's okay. Take a good, hard look at your work or your salon, and begin to figure out what the answer may be.
Start with an honest list of your strengths and weaknesses as a stylist or as a salon owner. Don't worry too much about the weaknesses. Focus on the strengths. Focus on what makes you exceptional.
Once you discover and brand your individuality, tout it. Tell everyone, starting with those loyal clients. Let them know what your specialty is and encourage them to share this information with their friends. Until you tell them, your loyal clients may not even fully realize what it is that sets you apart from the rest.
After identifying your forte, your next goal is to leave your thumbprint (or your brand), work or establishment. The idea is to give your clients a service they cannot possibly replicate anywhere else, or at least, anywhere else within your vicinity.
Once you have acknowledged your area of expertise, it may take time to have confidence in yourself as a "specialist." For me, it has always been about color. After working with chemists and manufacturers in their color labs for many years, it became a natural passion. For you, it may be that you outdo everyone else in the area with wedding updos, which is a highly specialized skill. So if it is weddings, brand it. Then, tell everyone… again, especially your loyal clients.
Advertise it, market it, put it on your business cards and do as many updos as you possibly can. This repetition of your newly branded identity will lead you to reach your best clientele – clients that will see you over and over again regardless of economic times. You will promote a reputation within your community that you are the best. That is the goal here. Doing and marketing what you are particularly talented at will lead to attracting the best kind of clients.
Additionally, to reach your best clients, it is important to offer the highest level of customer service possible, 24/7. This just simply goes without saying, and should automatically be a part of what your salon is all about, as well as your overall brand.
You will only get back what you give out. People like to be taken care of… and, it does not matter if you have to bend over backwards for your best clients. Treat all clients the same, with the same incredible respect, dignity, and care. The longer you are in the industry and the harder you work, the more discriminating you may be able to become about whom sits in your chair. You may start to become more selective once you feel you have really earned it.
There may be times when a client relationship is not really working out on any level. We all know that gut feeling when things are just not flowing well and you are just not synchronizing. It is possible you will occasionally need to say, "I might not be the right hairdresser for you." It is okay to say this. Not everyone is a perfect match for everyone else. Guess what? There is no real scarcity in this world. Someone new will come along. It is all part of your quest for the best clients. Those clients truly support you and want to travel along life's journey with you and your talents.
The big picture objective here is to truly attract particular clientele who will come to you for the rest of your career, regardless of what is happening in the economy, the country, or their personal life or finances – simply because you are so good at what you do and strongly branded about how you do it.
Your reputation will precede you; and your specialty will prove you. This direct route will help to create and build the very best clientele that always makes room for you in their budget, even in tough times. So, move from a Jack or Jane of all trades, and brand yourself for the best clientele ever.