Whether you grew up wanting to do hair — or it was something you discovered later in life — figuring out how to get clients as a hairstylist is always part of the journey.

If you’re ready to build your clientele, but aren’t quite sure where to start, we’re here to help! From referral programs to blogging, here are our tips for gaining more clients and building relationships that last. 

#1 Brand Yourself

One of the best places to start when you’re figuring out how to get clients as a hairstylist is by branding yourself. First, determine what makes you different. Do you have a knack for braids or an affinity for bold colors like turquoise and purple? Do you see your style as edgy or sophisticated? 

If you aren’t sure exactly what makes you stand out from the crowd, ask your friends, family, or current clients to list a few adjectives that describe both you and your work style. From there, you can work more easily toward goals like a website, social media presence, and business cards.

#2 Know Your Client

Similar to knowing yourself, if you’re curious about how to build clientele as an independent hair stylist — you have to know your client. Your client is your target audience. Similar to yoga studios that bring in clients who love intense hot yoga vs. slow flow, or restaurants that cater to casual dining vs. fine dining, hairstylists have a specific audience. 

Do you specialize in weaves, natural hair, color? Once you nail down the services you’re passionate about, you can narrow down your target client.

#3 Share Your Business Card

Your business card is an essential piece of your hair stylist marketing plan. Although handwritten pieces of paper with your info or swapping digital details can be efficient, they aren’t as concise and professional as handing a business card to a potential client. With business cards, necessary info like your phone number, website, and social media handles is accessible and stylish

Plus, if you’re planning on attending networking events — or even just a local happy hour — you can bring a stack along with you to spread the word about your services. 

#4 Run Creative Promotions

When you’re building your plan for how to build clientele as an independent hair stylist, creative promotions are a great way to get the word out. Facebook ads are a popular choice, as they appear on Facebook feeds and pique the interest of potential clients. You can target particular audiences with your Facebook ad — like people who live nearby — to help you drum up business. 

Email campaigns are another good option, as they’re an easy way to run holiday promotions or specials. Work on building your email list and keeping a simple spreadsheet of contacts to keep the work is easy and organized. 

#5 Incorporate a Referral Program

Rewarding existing clients with a referral program will encourage them to share your contact information — and the reasons why you’re so amazing — with family and friends. Sometimes called “word of mouth marketing” this is one of the most powerful plans for how to get clients as a hairstylist

After all, when you’re a hairdresser, clients want to get to know you on a personal level. They’ll come to your seat and share stories of their families and their lives. So, utilizing a hairdresser who is recommended by a trusted family member or friend is often their best bet. 

For each person a current client refers to you, offer a percentage off or a complimentary service (like a free haircut or shampoo). Establishing a referral program helps build customer loyalty among your current clients. They’ll feel valued and you’ll have landed a new client.

#6 Make a Website or Profile

If you don’t already have one, making a website is a fantastic way to build your client list. However, creating a website can be a bit daunting. But with StyleSeat, you can create a profile that gives potential customers a place to view your work, similar to your own website. Once you have a profile, you can put the link on your business card, send it out to your email contacts, and include the link with business flyers. 

Overall, putting yourself out there online is one of the best tools for how to get clients as a hairstylist.

#7 Become Social Media Savvy

If you’re wondering how to build clientele as an independent hair stylist — social media is your best friend. Similar to building your website and guest blogging, becoming savvy with social media is key to increasing your presence. 

If you haven’t used social media in the past, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed at first. Thankfully, many of the platforms like Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook, are easy to navigate. Once you get in the flow, you’ll be a pro in no time and you’ll be able to share with potential clients exactly what you can offer. 

A good place to start with social media is by crafting the perfect hairstylist Instagram bio or Facebook bio to serve as the face of your brand. From there, you can start snapping phone photos of clients’ hair and posting them along with a short, engaging caption. You can also work with influencers and content creators who can help to build your brand through their own social media following.

#8 Get Some Press

Did you do hair for a wedding and the bride sent some professional photos along for your portfolio? Perfect! With the photographer’s permission, you can reach out to some blogs and websites and drum up some press. Whether they’re going on a wedding website or a site specifically devoted to hair and styling, getting your work out there through press, web snippets, and print publications will help spread your name. 

You can also use press pieces to promote to your email subscribers and as a piece of content for social media. Getting press might seem tough at first, but once you start reaching out, you’ll realize there’s a whole world of websites and publications that need quality content.  

#9 Ask for Reviews

Online reviews are an easy and effective way to give your business a boost. When you’re figuring out how to build clientele as an independent hair stylist, sometimes the most beneficial place to start is with your current clients. Even if you only have one client in your client base — whether that’s your mom or your best friend — ask them to write a positive online review for you. When people are on the hunt for a new stylist, they’ll often turn toward search engines like Google to see some online reviews. 

Trust can build fast among new clients when they read a review that shares someone’s experience. Ask your first reviewers to be thorough with their post so that whoever is reading it, can see the value of hiring you as their new all-star stylist. 

#10 Follow-Up with Past Clients

Maybe a client came in once last year or a few times the year before. Following-up with past clients shows you care, which can go a long way when it comes to who they’ll book for their next hair appointment. A follow-up can be done on social media, via phone call or text, or with a handwritten letter. 

If you’re willing to go the extra mile with the handwritten letter, then do it! Nothing says you care about your past clients as much as taking the time to craft a letter and pop it in the mailbox. Part of how to get clients as a hairstylist is thinking outside of the box and working on client retention — especially when it comes to making your previous clients feel special. 

#11 Use StyleSeat

If you’re searching for creative paths for how to get clients as a hairstylist, try StyleSeat. StyleSeat is an online destination for beauty and grooming professionals and clients. With us, you can showcase your work, connect with new and existing clients, and build your business. 

We offer an easy way for your clients to discover your services, book their appointments online, and most importantly — get inspired by the hair artistry that you do.

Knowing exactly how to build clientele as an independent hairstylist is a crucial component of running your business. Luckily, by utilizing outlets like social media and putting yourself out there with online reviews and a website, you can build your list and form lasting relationships.

Ready to really grow your business? Try StyleSeat today.

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