I had a wonderful discussion with my dear friend and colleague, Liz Steffen who shared some of my favorite ways to get more clients on the books. Build through networking. Networking offers an affordable way to build clientele, improve confidence, increase client loyalty, and gain more referrals.
This could be scary for some of us in the beauty industry, but I encourage you to push through fears and get out there and meet people.
Liz Steffen is one of the keynote speakers at the Beauty Business Summit, which is happening in October 14, and 15, 2018. You won’t want to miss this one of a kind, pro-impact event!
Liz is the owner of Vanilla Sugar Face and Body in Peoria, IL. When she first opened – she had zero clients. She hadn’t worked at another salon or spa, nor had she done any skin care in the town she lived in. However, she built a thriving business using social media and networking in just a few short years.
In this article, we’ll cover some of the best tips on how to use networking and leverage your community presence to grow your business. In the next blog, we’ll show you how to use your website, reviews, and follow up to build trust and get more clients.
Networking – a Great Way To Gain Traction
Attend events, meet people, and engage with them. If you have a new business, networking is definitely one of the best ways to get to know new people and build brand awareness.
It allows you to meet not only potential clients but also those who can tell others about your business. When you have a lot of time and a tight budget, getting out into the community and meeting people is the most affordable way to spread the word about your new business.
Don’t be limited to formal networking events. When you attend a party or go to your kids’ school events, you can use the opportunities to meet new people. Don’t be shy!
When your business grows and you become busier, you can be more selective in the events you attend. By then, you’d also have a good idea of what events your ideal clients and partners attend and work best for your personality.
The key is to build trust and relationships with those you meet. When they feel excited about what you do, it’d be natural for them to tell others about your services.
In addition, people are more likely to visit your website, look up your business in local directories (e.g. Yelp), and check out your work after speaking with you in person. If you have good reviews posted on these sites, they’re more likely to book an appointment.
(We’ll talk more about website and review in the next article – stay tuned!)Gain new traction in your business through networking. Click To Tweet
Improve Confidence Through Networking
Networking gives you the opportunity to interact with a wide variety of people and imrove your confidence along the way.
You can practice communicating with others, such as sharing “what you do and how you do it” in a way that’s appealing to your potential clients and referrers.
When describing your business and services, take your audience and the context into account. For instance, talking to men about lash extensions is very different from talking about the same treatment with women.
You need to get good at speaking about your services to both sexes. Even though men may not become your clients, they may send their wives or daughters to your business, or purchase a gift card for friends and family members.
In addition, you have to be sensitive about how you interact with different personality types – e.g., when talking to an introvert, you may want to “pull back” a bit so the other person feels more comfortable. Liz realized that when she, an extrovert, is being too assertive, the other person may find that too “in your face” and become put off by her enthusiasm.
When you get good at communicating your services, you become confident in interacting with different people in a variety of environments, making it easier for you to build trust with clients and partners.Networking helps build your confidence and helps you interact with a variety of people Click To Tweet
Increase Client Loyalty and Get Referrals
The curiosity you apply to networking – asking questions and actively listening – can also help delight your clients and build loyalty.
Make sure you’re getting relevant and accurate information from your clients. It helps you serve them better and when they’re happy, they’ll tell their friends about your business.
Your client intake form gives you a great opportunity to gather such information. Besides their full names, home addresses, and phone numbers, you also want to ask for their permission to email them.
For example, you can include a checkbox that says, “Would you like to receive exclusive specials via our e-newsletter?” This way you can continue to build trust and relationships with them after their visit.
Although you have to get permission to email them, you don’t need permission to send marketing materials in the mail. That means even if they circle “no” for email newsletters, you can still send them “keep in touch” or promotional materials in the mail.
You can also ask for some additional information to help tailor your communications. For instance:
- Ask who referred them to your business and send the referrer a thank you note or gift.
- Find out what other topics or services they’re interested in so you can tag and send them relevant information and offers.
- Ask about their occupation so you can tag them and segment your list. E.g., you can send all the nurses a special offer during “nurse appreciation week.”
- Note down their birthday so you can send out a card with a special offer. In fact, it’s such as effective strategy that Liz is now printing birthday cards by the thousands!
Networking – What Can You Give?
The best asset you can bring to a networking event or opportunity is your attitude.
Don’t make it about you or what you’re getting out of the interaction. Instead, focus on what you can give to the other person. When you have that giver’s spirit, you’re going to gain so much more in return.
In addition, go the extra mile for your clients and make them feel special. Use the information they provide on the intake form and observe details (e.g., if they’re wearing a wedding ring) to help you identify the best way to delight them.
Often times, it’s the small gestures that set you apart from everyone else. Things as simple as sending a thank you card in the mail after a client’s first appointment will help you stay top of mind and become the client’s go-to service provider. Send additional notes through out the year to show gratitude and appreciation – just because.The best asset you can bring to a networking event or opportunity is your attitude. Click To Tweet
Want more great tips like this? We’ll let you know when the next installment is out. Simply join our email list and you’ll also get instant access to the “How to Build an Awesome Email List” , a FREE mini master class.