The hair salon industry is alive and growing.

According to an IBISWorld study, it is a $44 billion per year market and only expected to increase.  While it is a good time to be a hair stylist, the competition is only increasing.  It is a market largely defined by networking and customer loyalty.  So how can you succeed?

We recently sat down with Tanya, an up and coming hair stylist and hair training coordinator, out of Howard Jones Salon, one of Orange County’s top hair salons.  Together, we crafted 5 tips to help you succeed as a hair stylist.

1. Network

Constant networking is the key to a successful business in the hair industry.  It a 24/7 job.  It is easy to hope that your normal crowd of friends will suffice in growing your business.  Surely my friends will refer me to their friends and I’ll just grow, right? Not quite.  It is important to constantly expand your circle of friends and associates.  Never disregard a new connection as simply random.  If even they don’t become a client, they may open doors to new customers and opportunities.

Additionally, create an online presence to expand your network even further.  Start by creating social media accounts to deliver content, pro tips, and testimonies of your work.  Create business cards with your social media handles to help people find you again.  Ask your customers to review you on Yelp or Google.  Network, network, network.

Pro-tip 1: Create a content plan for your social media.  Start by posting 2-3 times a week. 

Pro-tip 2: Use your every-day errands to expand your network.  Ask people about their day or comment on their amazing hair style.  Don’t sell but be social!

2. Learn Constantly

Working in the hair industry requires a diverse range of knowledge and skills.  Besides styling hair, you also become a marketer, sales person, consultant, photographer, and part-time counselor.  As you grow your personal brand, make it your goal to be the best; always be a student and continue to learn and hone your craft.  In doing so, you will become the trusted advisor for everything hair (and also open door to make retail sales).

Pro-tip 3: Follow top hair stylists on social media and subscribe to their blogs.  Meet with veteran hair stylists for feedback. Research new styles and product.  Practice taking pictures and find editing software that works for you.

3. Build Relationships Not Business

Nobody wants to be seen simply as a number or client.  Hair styling, more than other trades, requires a personal touch and trust.  Therefore, strive to build relationships not business.  Relationships are more likely to bring returned business; if a client just feels like a pay check, they will go somewhere else.

Some skills that include:

-Listening.  Listening to you your client and not making assumptions will make them feel valued.  Additionally, offering expert suggestions to address their concerns without selling your service or product will build your trust factor.

-Ask Questions. Learn how to ask open ended questions that focus on what the client actually wants.  Sometimes what they are saying does not match with their actual desire.

-Follow-up.  Always follow up in some way whether with a card, a text, a phone call, or even an e-mail.  Letting someone know that you think of them outside of business.

-Own Mistakes. If you make a mistake or the service isn’t exactly as hoped for, TAKE RESPONSIBILITY; having amazing customer service will more than likely bring them back and let you have another shot at their business.

-Value. Treat everyone you run into like they are the most important person. No matter what they look like or there job title.  Extremely influential people will often show up looking very un-influential.

Pro-tip 4: Take notes on conversations that you have with clients about important life events.  Asking about their family vacation four weeks after their last visit will help them feel known and heard.

4. Plan Ahead & Play the Long Game

It is often recommended to not compare the start of your journey with the middle or end of another’s journey.  This advice applies perfectly to this industry.  Be gracious with your beginning and focus on the end goal.  It normally takes about 1 to 1.5 years to build a clientele.  In the process, you likely either need a side hustle or substantial savings.  Additionally, it pays to use good tools and practice healthy posture; again, focus on the end goal.  Most stylists suffer from pain and have to retire early because of back and shoulder problems

Pro-Tip 5: Always think ahead.  Pre-book a client’s follow-on appointment after the end of each appointment.  (It’s a guaranteed pay check!)

5. Be Prepared to Hustle

For our fifth tip, we recommend that you be prepared to hustle.  Live outside of the box.  Think creatively about the target markets for your business.  Develop a healthy competition with your co-workers to push you past your pre-conceived limits.  Say yes to every opportunity even though it may not seem big or substantial: it may open doors to something bigger!  And finally, do what others won’t. Show up early…stay late.  You will reap a return that everyone wants but can’t get because they aren’t willing to put in the time and effort to obtain.

Thanks for stopping by; please leave a comment or rate our article.  For more ways to grow your business, check out other articles under our blog page.

We are recognized as a Top Digital Marketing Company on DesignRush