Updated: Oct 31, 2022
About the author:
LeeAnn Miley is a salon owner based in Hastings, Nebraska, and the President and Executive Director of The Sovereign Stylist. Her personal experiences led her to advocate and educate stylists on proper worker classification. LeeAnn’s blogs are typically focused on tax compliance, worker classification, and general business practices. LeeAnn believes that laws and business are powerful entities when one has knowledge of them and has dedicated herself to spreading such knowledge to the industry she loves.
Entrepreneurship comes in a feast or famine cycle. One month you’ll have so much work you’ll struggle to keep up & the next you’ll be digging for pennies under the couch cushion. This happens to all business owners.
Just because this happens to everyone doesn’t mean you have to chose to play along with the game. With some thought and extra effort you can keep your client stream consistent.
First, it takes regular self-promoting. It can be challenging to think about your next post or promotion while focusing on that client in your chair. Once a week, block out time to schedule your social media posts for the week. I chose to do this on Sunday nights that way it is done for the week and I can concentrate my time & energy on the client in my chair. When you consistently promote yourself your confidence will grow & you can avoid the couch-scavenging stage.
Second, it is important to maintain good relationships with past clients. Did Karen slip through the cracks & forget to prebook? Send her a friendly reminder. It doesn’t have to sound desperate, but simply a friendly “I was thinking about you & was wondering how things are going.”
Go back in your books 6+ weeks and reach out to anyone who hasn’t booked their next appointment to touch base with them. You never know when they might be considering a new look or in need of a refresher. Keeping in touch keeps you top-of-mind when their friends & family are looking for a stylist.
LeeAnn Tip: It is important to collect new clients’ contact information. Make it part of your routine.
The third step in achieving client retention is making it easy to contact you. Don’t bury your booking link or contact info three pages deep on your website. Offer booking via social media outlets. ALWAYS give your clients your business card when wrapping up their appointment. Use one side of your business card as an appointment reminder, so when they pre-book not only do they have a reminder of their next appointment, they have your contact info.
It is important to strive for quality not quantity. The worth of your work is not in how much you churn out, but in the results you get for your clients. Do your best work, and the results will do the talking for you. Follow through on the expectations you and your client talked about in your consultation and explain the process as you go. People who do good work are hard to find and your reputation will grow giving your clients reason to stay with you.
Finally, generosity is not a short sighted act. There’s a fine line between giving away free hair, and giving enough away so that a potential client has a good idea of your knowledge and professionalism. Some entrepreneurs, especially newbies, can struggle with undercharging and giving away too much of their time, and that’s not what I’m talking about here.
Being generous with your knowledge through social media posts, free in-salon classes, and answering questions in public forums like FaceBook groups can reinforce your position as an expert. Once people realize they can trust your expertise, they’ll start hiring you to meet their needs & have no reason to leave.