One of the most common questions I get from small business owners in the beauty industry is: ‘what is the best way to get clients?’ I think the real question should be ‘how can I maximize my profit and make more money?’ We are, in fact, here to make a living – right?
So, when it comes to making the most money for your time I believe it is equally important to focus on how to retain your existing clientele as well as how to find new ones. It took me a while to find a good balance between the two avenues but when I did, it helped my business grow immensely!
Act As If…
When I first started as a mobile spray tanning technician, I assumed that the clients I got were one-timers. I assumed that I would never see them again (mainly, because I didn’t believe in myself) so I just did my thing, left, never followed up and made the mistake of doing less than I could have. I think that making a GREAT impression is so important and the key to much success. Don’t make the mistake of assuming (ass-u-me) you’ll never see them again or that they won’t refer their friends to you. Give your best customer service experience, always leave a few cards, make a great impression and don’t be afraid to ask for referrals! You won’t believe how many client’s I have had refer friends to me or who have taken the time to write Yelp reviews because I am so meticulous, talkative and provide a great experience for each client who walks through the door!
K.I.T with Your Clients!
Every single client that sees me has to fill out two forms: a client information sheet and a release form. The client information sheet gets their contact information and other important information such as skin type, skin/medical conditions, allergies, etc. Not only is the crucial information for you, as a beauty expert, to know about your client but this will
also help you market to your clients via e-mail. (IMPORTANT: on the client sheet, next to their e-mail, give them an opt-out/in option to add them to your newsletter! No one likes newsletters to magically show up without their authorization… be polite.)
Once you get the ‘OK’ to add them to your newsletter, you can use a service like MailChimp to keep in touch. Every week, I manually enter my new client’s name and e-mail into the system and MailChimp will automatically send them a customized e-mail I created. This e-mail includes a ‘Thank You’ message, an explanation about our referral program, an invite to visit our website and a link to our Yelp! page.
Every month (usually around holidays), I will send all the clients that have signed up a newsletter with tips, tricks, events, specials and whatever other information I want them to know! Each time I send out a newsletter I get a few client’s trickling in to take advantage of the offers I have advertised- works like a charm! (Newsletter Tip: Use the 80/20 rule. 80% content that will benefit your customers like tips, good content/information as 20% sales.)
Graphics on a Budget!
I am just going to out there and say it: I am a bit of a frugal human being- especially when I first started my business, Positively Tan. When it comes to things that I can go without,
I’d rather save my money and invest on bigger things for my business or travel. So, naturally, I went looking for the least expensive options for things like logo designs, flier designs and other ways to market. I stumbled across Fiverr, a website with an infinite amount of ways to buy marketing (and other) services for $5! Now, Fiverr has a bit of a catch to it… finding a good designer who will actually create what you want the first time is a little difficult. It is going to take a little patience and trial and error to find good quality work. I would suggest reading the reviews of your potential designer, seeing how busy he/she is (if they are good your design can take longer because of the wait list) and choose a designer that speaks your language (literally and figuratively). When you find a good designer, keep their contact information and continue to go to them if you are happy with the work you receive!
If you are more of a DIY person, Canva is my favorite website to create ads, banners and countless of other marketing materials for my business.
Mo’ Services, Mo’ Money
If you ask any of my students, you will know that I preach, preach, preach having more products or services that are closely related to your main service. I would say find something you really want to focus on (ex: spray tanning) and find other products and services that your current clients may be interested in (ex: teeth whitening). This will allow for you to upsell your existing clients as well as attract new clients that may not have come to you had you not added on the additional product/service. Once you get that client, you can educate them on the other services you offer (avoid being salesy) and hopefully upsell either now or in the future. It’s all about planting the seed! If you are unsure of what to offer, talk to your regulars about services you may be adding on and see what type of response you get!
Identify Your Ideal Client
I think this is the step a lot of business owners have a hard time figuring out but this should be one of the first brainstorming sessions you want to have when contemplating how to market yourself. Take a pen and paper out and write down some answers to the following questions… Who is your ideal client? What do they look like? Where do they hang out at? How old are they? Where do they work? Who do they associate with? Do they have kids ? What is their marital status? All of these questions should point you in the direction of where you need to be, who you need to talk to and how you need to promote yourself. Don’t waste your time in promoting to businesses, people and events that don’t serve your ideal client. Once you have a vision about who your client is you will be amazed at where you’ve been needing to put your energy and how quickly you can change all of that now that you are aware of where he/she is!
Even though we are in business to, of course, make money (among other things) it is important to keep the client in the forefront of your mind. Think about what problem your client has and how you can solve that problem. Position yourself as the expert in whatever it is you are doing to solve your client’s problem. That doesn’t mean be fake or lie, but truly caring about the outcome of the experience your client gets with YOU. If you don’t know something or if you feel like you can help your client in a better, more efficient or professional manner then take the steps to do that. Furthering your education, keeping up with the latest news in your industry and truly coming from a place of wanting to serve will separate you from others in your industry. With as many people as there are in the beauty industry,your customer service has to be on point! Get professional, do the best you can do and have fun!