Here's my guide to gaining more clients, if your starting off at first it might feel deflating but don't give up, sometimes clients come in dribs and drabs.
A common question asked is how do you gain clients? and this is not just by newbies in the industry but also people who have experience in the industry, The days are gone where you can sit around and wait for a walk in, so how can we gain clients now? Remember to make sure your social media is set up ready for potential clients to view your business.
1. Word of Mouth
The most important and organic way to market your business is through your current clients or customers. If you give your client/customer a really great experience whether it be a relaxing manicure from your salon or an amazing cooked breakfast from your little tea room. If you go that extra mile for client's/customer's they notice and they appreciate it. They then go on to tell their friends on their experience, this could then have a knock on effect but this means more and more people are finding out that this one client had a great visit. The same goes for negative comments, as soon as a customer or client doesn't have a great experience this travels fast through word of mouth. That's why the important thing with having a business is always going that extra mile for EVERY client/customer. A friendly smile costs nothing, being polite costs nothing. If you know that customer/client is a regular, ask them a question about something they told you the last time you spoke e.g. 'How was your weekend trip away?' to a client you remembering them and remembering the conversation that you had last time you spoke means you value them.
2. Referral Scheme
If you don't feel like your current clients/customers spread the word for you, then give them an incentive! Giving your star clients an opportunity to spread the word of your businesses and services you offer helping you gain more star clients. What's a start client? A star client is a client who supports your business regularly, who are no trouble at all and invest in your business. For me this kind of client has a disposable money to spend within the salon, most of the times its stay at home mums and retired clients. If your star clients have an incentive to introduce their friends to your business, their friends could become star clients by having the same disposable money to spend on themselves and to treat themselves on a regular occasion without needed to worry if they can afford your services or if they have enough money to rebook their next service. My advice for the referral scheme is to not offer money off services instead add additional services. Don't cheapen yourself or the industry. For example, if your star client refers a friend, they both receive an upgraded on their nail service from a file and polish to a manicure. This wont take much longer time and it shouldn't have to cost much extra with products but its showing both your star client and your new client one of your luxurious treatments which they might want to upgrade to from time to time.
3. Build an active social media presence
Social media builds trust and expands your reach. In my experience, I’ve received many clients by sharing my design work on Instagram and Facebook. The key here is to also be a normal human being — not a salesperson. Sprinkle your business into your usual posts, sharing behind the scenes snippets whenever you can. I also believe people are so nosy! Your clients want to do business with real people and providing your life, coupled with your business, will grow a special kind of trust that will encourage them to work with you.
4. Paying for ADS
I have paid for adverts on both Facebook and Instagram. I can confirm it did help me reach more potential clients and my regular clients interacted with my posts. I don't advise spending much or leaving the advert on for a while, this can add up and be costly and always double check the options you have selected before confirming the advert. I know Facebook can be clever with wording, and you could get caught thinking your paying £3 for an advert when you've signed up to pay £3 per day for a month! I maybe paid for ADS in my first year of business but I wasn't clued up and I didn't market very well. Now with what I know about organic marketing and the beauty industry I wont pay for an AD again. I would say try all the free options to gain clients before starting to pay, and be very safe with your passwords and card details. Another reason for not paying for ADS again is because my business account on Facebook got hacked by some very clever people, they encrypted into one of my most recently paid adverts and changed the advert to advertise their own business. This never pinged up on my mobile device, I only realised when £700 was taken from my account from Facebook. I then did some digging and when logging into Facebook onto a computer device it was all there the advert they had changed from my business to then advertise there's. Unfortunately nobody was interested enough to help and it was a blame game, my bank didn't want to know and told me to contact PayPal. PayPal wasn't interested and wanted confirmation from Facebook. Facebook don't have a contact number or address. I must have tried for months to contact Facebook by reporting the situation yet nobody got in touch. Still to this day Facebook have never got back to me. Moral of the story just be very careful, change your passwords regularly and check your ADS and banking match.
5. Have your google/yahoo details up to date
If you have a business premises make sure your business is registered at the address for google maps. Make sure all your contact details are up to date so clients can get in touch. Potential clients normally type into google key words for what they are looking for, for example "beauty salon Tadcaster" "gel nails Tadcaster" Facials near me" you need to make sure you can be found. Sometimes this does mean speaking to google or yahoo to set up your account and tweak a few things to be visable.
This works particularly well if you have a lot of houses around your business area. You could put a small discount on the leaflets for first time visitors, don't make the mistake that I made early on in my business which was putting an offer out on a leaflet but not making it for first time clients, my regulars then used this discount which made my takings down for around a month. Not a good move! You will need to post a lot of leaflets which you may want to pay a company to distribute these as this can be timely. Also the cost of printing that amount of leaflets can add up.