When students finish a permanent makeup course, they are eager to find clients. No matter how ambitious the student is, it could sometimes turn into a daunting task. Or what will happen is after the new artist has ran out of friends and family members as clients, they hit a wall.
Having a great service that you know most people need isn’t good enough. Customers won’t just ‘find you’. You have to go out and find them.
Customer acquisition is an ongoing focus for this industry. You should never sit back and wait for clients to come to you. The following strategies could help you whether you are a new artist or need a few new ideas to grab the attention of new potential clients.
- OFFER VALUE AND EDUCATION We found that when we offer potential clients something valuable and educational rather than trying to “sell” them anything, they are more inclined to engage with us. This way, they can learn about us without us asking for anything in return. This is a great way to start a relationship which will ultimately result in new business.
- CRAFT A BUSINESS PERSONALITY Craft a unique personality for your business. Reputation is so much more than how your product or service differs from competitors. By taking time to carefully manage your business reputation through developing quality content, demonstrating your expertise and interacting with your followers on social media, you can attract new prospects and build credible relationships as an industry leader.
- LOOK FOR AMBASSADORS When giving away free work, make it worth it! Find people with large followings and/or a lot of friends. They should have connections with others that you actually want to work on. Put your work on the face of a barista at Starbucks, the cute front desk girl at the gym, the sales person at a local boutique, etc… These people will sing your praises and in return, you’ll never not have clients calling.
- GO WHERE YOUR CLIENTS ARE When the clients don’t come to you, you go to them! If the methods of spreading your brand aren’t working then start asking around if anyone could be interested in what you offer. Give them the proper explanation and why it could benefit them. For example, if your ideal client is in their early 20’s and cares about the way she looks, where would you find her? Maybe at a coffee shop by a trendy college or shopping in a popular area? Go there and strike up a conversation. You never know where it will lead.
- BE CLEAR ON THE PROBLEMS YOU SOLVE Consumers have an infinite amount of choices today. You can try and buy the attention of strangers, which can feel like selling sand in a desert, or you can earn it. We do this by being crystal-clear on the problems we solve and for whom. We then show up consistently, sharing ideas generously and freely to build trust, which eventually will give you a platform for an exchange of value (a sale). (Refer back to your ‘XYZ Statement’ from “Set Up Shop” if you need help with this.)
- GENUINELY CONNECT WITH NEW PEOPLE DAILY Genuinely connect with and meet new people daily. If you go to the gym daily, start with smiling at someone, then give them a compliment. Before you know it, you’ll be saying hi to each other daily. From there, you can expand the conversation and eventually offer your services. But you should genuinely want to get to know a new person.
- ASK FOR REFERRALS FROM HAPPY CLIENTS I always like to ask for referrals and references from existing and happy clients. No one will be a better megaphone for your business than those who already know and love your business.
- TRY A TWO-FOR-ONE MODEL Try a two-for-one model for a short period of time and see if the extra “one” does not take up a lot of bandwidth. For example, if you bring a friend, each person can pay half of the treatment price. Friends will think this is fun to do together, they’re both receiving a discount, and now you have two mouths talking about you and not just one.
- LEVERAGE WORD OF MOUTH Customer acquisition is always a challenge for any business. However, thinking about how to be the very best in your industry will set you apart and spread the word of your success. Word-of-mouth is the most effective way to acquire new clients.
- JOIN COMMUNITY FACEBOOK GROUPS Community Facebook groups are a great way to understand your nearby communities. You can pitch your services or find specific users asking for recommendations of a business, and if it fits tell them you’re the owner. We’ve found great success by getting involved with the community in these groups. I do prefer to educate and not sell on these groups. Provide insight when you can.