Building Your Curly Clientele
by Ivan Zoot/The Clipper Guy on Monday, June 7, 2010
Ivan Zoot is the director of education and customer engagement for the Andis Company and the founder of Zoot! Hair professional hair care products. Ivan identifies, recruits, trains and manages Andis’ team of professional beauty industry educators. Ivan continues to be a featured presenter at industry shows and events, sharing his unique blend of information, education and enthusiasm for clipper cutting and the entire professional beauty industry. Ivan’s background includes experiences ranging from salon ownership to achieving 3 Guinness World Haircutting records.
So you are really digging the whole cutting curly thing…But you find yourself swimming in a sea of straight. Everywhere you look in your appointment book is long and smooth and straight. What is an aspiring curly hair cutter to do? It is time to build the base, to attract and grow a clientele of curlies. If you build it, they will come. Here are 5 great tips for building that curly client book.
1. Declare your intent
Words are powerful. Start spreading it. Declare your specialty. You have taken the classes. You have embraced the curl. Tell coworkers and the front desk staff that you are focusing on curly hair. Tell anyone who will listen.
When I made the decision to specialize in short, I actually turned down all new clients with hair past the shoulder. Once the word got out, the short hair began to march in my door.
2. Alert the media
Send out press releases. Use class completion, manufacturer certification, hair show attendance, etc. to create news about you and your curly exploits. Your local media will eat this stuff up.
3. Show off
Build a style book of the great work that you do. Have a large album in the reception area. Have a small brag book in your purse or backpack. Show everyone who cares and even show it to people who don’t. it is O.K. to be a bit of a pest . . . a pest who specializes in curly hair and is getting busy cutting it.
4. Stock up
Carry hair care product specifically marketed to the curly client. Have posters and images up that connect with this crowd. Make the statement that you are in the business of supporting this business and this business will support you.
5. Ask for them
It always comes back to referrals. This entire industry was founded on word of mouth. One happy client telling another head of hair and sending them on in to see you—that is the way it works best. Ask every client who sits in your chair to send their curly friends in. Put business cards in their hands and send them happily out into the world to build your business. It really works. It always has.
Once you have the chops, you can cut curly and work with curly hair, you can walk the walk, the next big step is all this talk the talk stuff. If you do the talking the clients will come walking in. I would love to hear some of your success stories. Please share in the comments section below.