When I first started beauty school, I had this dream where I thought that every day would be coloring someone’s hair blue or purple. I’d be able to do whatever haircut I wanted, and my clients would just sit in my chair and let me be creative. My friends and I were kind of an alternative group, and I quickly became the person that did EVERYONE’S hair. Because of our “scene," I was doing a lot of cool razor cuts and fantasy colors. It felt like I was a celebrity stylist, and people came to me so they could wear my signature styles.
Reality hit shortly after I got my temp license. I began to take clients in the salon, but they were not the ones that I expected to be taking. I mostly did full highlights, gray coverage and long haircuts. It honestly made me a little depressed at first because these weren’t the creative art pieces I thought I’d be working on when I started taking clients. But, I learned to accept that this was just how it was going to be if I wanted to make any money.
I built a fairly large clientele after working a couple years, but the burnout of not doing what I loved started to set in. I was too early in my career to be feeling burnt out! So, I made a change. I started taking more time outside of work to do my friends’ hair for free. We did all sorts of fashion looks that I felt represented me and the style of hair I enjoyed doing. Whenever someone would compliment them, they made sure to drop my name and send me the referral. Gradually, I noticed my days were becoming more fun filled with hair that I liked doing and not just tedious retouches and full highlights. More recently, I’ve started to gain new clients from Instagram, and these are the BEST clients because they love the work I post and are usually very open to my creative direction for their hair.
The bottom line is, if you want to build your dream clientele, you need to attract those clients to you. If we don’t represent the work we want to do, then people won’t know what we offer or how truly artistic we can be. My best advice to is choose a select group of people and do their hair exactly the way you want to, and have them refer as many people as possible to you. Post work on your social media that represents what you love to do and are capable of, because that will also draw the same types of clients to you. You are in your dream career of doing hair, so it’s time to take control and build your dream clientele! Do what you love, and own what you do!