Are you PRADA, GUCCI, or LANDS END, or one of my favorites Yamimoto?
Defining your own personal brand is essential in attracting the kind of clientele you would like to bring to your chair, and the clients that will pay for your services, regardless of whether or not you own a salon.
Start tearing out pictures from magazines and begin an online folder or a hard copy folder with images of what you are attracted to. I wouldn’t limit your scope to fashion or hair, because if you are just beginning, this is the time to widen your pool to choose from. You can always narrow the focus later.
In my experience, the minute I post in my blog, or create the visuals for my website, or print something. The nature of artists, is that we are divergent, our interests, focus and taste change all the time, ideas continue to develop and simmer. Don’t get stuck on this, don’t make yourself wrong or feel bad. I know how it goes, you wished you were like some of your non hairdresser friends who stay in one job forever, or they have one interest that they pursue with diligence.
I’ve fallen in that trap many a time. My husband was right there to remind me, divergence isn’t a bad thing. It’s actually a good thing.
The process of defining who you are and what your style is will continue to change over time. My hope for you is that it never change. The process is informed by where you live, location of salon, the type of work you do, the clients you have, the type of clients you want, even the people you surround yourself with. You need to start somewhere, right where you are as a matter of fact.
A necessary part of branding yourself is taking a look at what you are wearing. Now I know this gets into dangerous territory, but it needs to be explored. I’m not saying you have to wear designer clothes, or anything like that. What I’m asking you to do is to look and see where you can grow. I’ve had several friends who could put together a fabulous outfit with second hand finds, and vintage this and that, and look fabulous.
[tweetthis]How you put yourself together is directly related to your clientele growing or not. REBECCA BEARDSLEY[/tweetthis]
We are in a service industry! Check the list below to see where you stand, and where you can stand to improve.
* Hair – Stylish, clean, and modern. Do you need a new haircut?
* Nails – Clean, filed
* Breath – Clean and flossed. I keep peppermint or ginger spray in the salon or my pocket.
* Teeth – Flossed and brushed. I keep a toothbrush for after eating.
* Cleavage – I’m just not a fan of revealing.
* Shoes – Clean, polished, heels repaired. Nothing like a great shoe repair to make your shoes last forever. As mine would say, polish once a month, not slathered, just enough to buff.
* Makeup – Check in to see if it is too much. Nothing like a pretty, fresh face. You don’t need a blanket of makeup to look good.
I’ve had friends tell me they have worked for male owners who have instructed them to look sexy?! What does that mean? We are not in the sex industry, and we are certainly not in the 50’s or 60’s. However, we are in many ways a sexist, male dominated industry that needs evolving. It is up to women to not put up with this, I don’t care who the owner is. Be firm in who you are and know you do not have to dress “sexy” to be successful, and to make good money in this business.
In fact, you elevate yourself, those around, the craft, the industry and the salon when you up your game in this arena. Dress sharp! Again, go through magazines, pull colors from the season that you would like to play with. If you are so inclined, hire a personal shopper, or have a stylish friend go with you. My client Anne Sagendorph offers Skype calls with clients and will play off skin tone and help you combine outfits. Check her out at Dress For Your Future.
However you do it, there is an opportunity here. Once you get grounded in your look. You can start looking at who is your perfect avatar. This is your ideal client. How old are they? What are they wearing? Where are they from? What do they do? What handbag does she carry? What watch does he wear? How often do they come in to the salon? Where do they hang out? What do they do to work out? What is their favorite restaurant?
All the answers to these question help us determine our strategies for taking care of them, and thinking ahead at what products best suit them, what style magazines to have on the table in the waiting area of the salon, what color tecniques, what teas to provide, and ultimately will help me serve them better.
The minute we begin to give great notice to the details of our brand, the more successful you will be.