Here are my 10 tips on How To Be A Successful Hairstylist. If you know me, you probably already know I'm not a licensed stylist. But I have spent over 20 years in the beauty industry as a salon sales consultant and I have observed the top things that most successful hairstylists do. These are in no particular order of importance, but some of them are more important than others.
This is probably one of the most important tips on how to be a successful hairstylist! No matter how long you have been in this business, continuing education is the key to honing your skills in cutting, coloring, smoothing, finishing, hair extensions, and other new technologies as they are developed. Fashion and styles are constantly evolving. Keeping up on the latest trends and products will help give you a competitive edge, providing your clients the best results possible.
Using the best products for your clients hair will give you a competitive edge right off. Hair color that is more vivid, shinier, and more conditioning will give your clients what they are looking for, and will keep them loyal to you. If the client can see and feel the difference, they almost always will pay a premium for quality.
If you are not open-minded about new ways of doing things, you may end up falling behind your competition. Just because its new does not always make it better, but you need to be aware of new opportunities. You don't know what you don't know! Some people say, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." Sometimes that may be true, but most of the time its not. Nothing stays the same, especially technology. Take the smart phone for instance. No one knew they needed a smartphone until it was invented and introduced to the market. Now people cannot do without them. Embrace change!
In my opinion, confidence is one trait that is lacking in many hairstylists. Confident hairstylists are usually the most successful and the highest paid. Lack of confidence is usually due to inadequate education and training, lack of experience, or due to natural shyness. This brings me back to Tip #1. The more you know and the more experience you gain, the more confidence you will have. Shyness can be overcome by doing the things that make you uncomfortable over and over again. Before long, it will come second nature to you.
Make sure you are on time with your clients and stay on schedule! Your clients expect you to be on time. Many hairstylists lose clients because they are constantly falling behind schedule. Be firm with those habitual clients that are always running late! Explain to them that they are paying for their appointment time. If the client misses it, they need to reschedule. Being efficient with your scheduling will also alleviate running behind.
By focusing on the skills you are really good at is one of my top tips on how to be a successful hairstylist. Yes, you should be able to do nearly everything, especially when you are first starting out. But once you learn what you are really good at doing, and most importantly what you love to do, you should focus on specializing in that one thing. The YOU become the expert in that skill! Experts get paid the big bucks. For instance, if you get to be an expert with hair color, you will get lots of referrals from your customers. And they will be willing to pay you top dollar for your work. Again, this is why continuing education is so important!
Don't be afraid to charge top dollar...as long as you are confident your work speaks for itself. And don't worry about what others around you charge. Cheap isn't always better. If you start pricing your work below others to get more customers, you are devaluing yourself! With a pricing war, everyone loses...including the customer. You won't put as much passion and heart into your work if the money isn't there. So don't do it. Never go less. If you feel like you have to offer a special, do a value added offer instead. Offer them an additional service or treatment, but never cut your price! Never, never, ever! Got it? Good.
Some people may not agree with me, but your appearance will have a dramatic effect on how much money you can charge. If you come to work with sloppy dress, such as flip flops and cut-off jeans, especially with your own hair in a mess, you most likely won't be getting top dollar! But if on the other hand, you are stylish and fashionable with a professional look, then clients will expect to pay YOU top dollar because they will more than likely want to look like you!
If you treat your profession as if you are going on stage to perform in front of an audience, you will get a standing ovation (in the form of a higher paycheck)! Looking professional also means keeping your station and/or salon looking good as well. Keep your station neat and clutter-free. Keep your work area clean and comfortable for your client. You can never over-due it in this area. Remember...its all in the details!
A session with your client should always begin with a proper consultation. No matter how long you have been doing a client, you should always ask pertinent questions to uncover any wants, needs, or desires. Knowing exactly what they want or need will help you better serve your client and prevent any unnecessary changes to their style. Knowing your customer better can also prevent delays to your schedule. Also, instead of spending your time with your client gossiping, you should be talking about their hair. Use this time to gently suggest the proper products they should be using so that they can duplicate the style at home. Getting them to use the right products on their hair will keep your work looking good for others to see! Don't be afraid to offer treatments and products that they will benefit from.
And as always, be sure you ask for the sale! Remember this: If your customers have no problem paying for a high-priced product or service, then you should not worry yourself because you wouldn't pay it. People value things differently and will spend money on things that may not make sense to you. Here is a good example. Have you ever gotten that crazed look from your client when you told them how much you paid for that fancy pair of shears you just bought? They cannot make sense of why a pair of scissors can cost hundreds of dollars, but to you they are an invaluable tool.
One of my mentors was discussing the One-third Rule. Have you ever heard of it? Me neither until then. The One-third Rule is this: One-third of your clients will absolutely love you, another third will be indifferent, and the other third won't like you so much. No matter how good you are, you will never be able to please everyone. Me included. I've let customers get to me because for whatever reason, they don't care for me or my company.
Its a simple fact, no matter how good you are to some people, you just will not be able to please them. But that's ok. Ever wonder why we have so many products that do the same thing? Or why we have so many hairstylists? People get bored! They want something different! You may lose some clients at some point and have no clue why they left you. So what! Focus on the third that loves you! Spend some time with the third that likes you, and who knows, they may get to love you. Here is a quote from a well-known local real estate guru that said it best:
"Some will. Some Won't. So What...Next!" Ron Legrande
Here is one of my top tips on how to be a successful hairstylist: NEVER STOP PROMOTING YOUR BUSINESS!!!! Did you get that? This is so important! I cannot stress this part enough. No matter how successful you get, you still need to keep promoting yourself. Imagine your business like a funnel. All of your customers that you gain go into the top of the funnel and gather there. But at the bottom, there is a small hole where some of your customers are leaking out. If you don't keep filling them up at the top, one day you will wake up and wonder where all your customers went!
This happens to the best of hairstylists. I would say most hairstylists do not know how to promote themselves. Some of the old tried and true methods still work to some degree, such as passing out business cards, flyers, and some local advertising. Today, we have social media to help promote our business. If you are not tech savvy, you'd better learn it fast or get someone else to do it for you!
In my opinion, the top social media platforms you should consider using to build your business are: FaceBook, Instagram, YouTube, and Pinterest. Don't try to do all of them at first. Pick one or two and do it until you are getting the desired results. My favorites are FaceBook and YouTube. Create your own YouTube channel for your business and post videos of your work. You don't need any fancy equipment except your smartphone and simple editing software. You should also upload pictures and videos of your work to a FaceBook Fan Page that you can create for free. You can even place ads on FaceBook to find clients. We will save that topic for a future article.
Hopefully I have given you lots of great, proven tips on how to be a successful hairstylist. You may already be one, if so, great! Give me a call if you want the best products! LOL The bottom line is, strive to be your best! Have confidence, look the part, treat your customers like gold, keep learning, and charge what your worth! Don't try to be everything to everybody. You will attract your best clients if you put these tips into action now!
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