Who is your ideal client?

By Liz Kline  

Most hair professionals, whether entrepreneurs, stylists working for employers, or someone providing a specialty service, have what they consider an ideal client. But getting to the point of having the clientele of your dreams may not always start out that way. So how do we get there? Who are we targeting and how?  

Those just starting out in the industry may not understand or have the desire for “the ideal client,” wanting to jump in and do it all, getting their feet wet, and learning all that they can. However, when the day comes that you realize your strengths may not be waxing, cutting, formal styles, or any other service that isn’t your favorite, you may start to consider who you really want sitting in your chair.  

Identify who is not your target audience.

Do you find yourself taking appointments for services you do not enjoy or may not be the best at? Are you looking to change your service menu to make yourself happier and your day more enjoyable? Is this change because your timing on these services is impeccable and you can make more money from them? Or, is it because you are a compete rockstar at that service and know you will be successful? Identify what your goal is for changing your clientele so you have a clear reasoning behind it.  

Narrow down who you think your ideal client is.

Think about the services you love to provide. Let’s use short cuts and fades as an example: They may be services you love to do and they’re all you can see yourself doing. But the clientele you currently have may be mostly requesting chemical services and styling. Start to think about how you can change that. Could it be the location you are in? Are you in an establishment that targets longer hair and styles? This may spark the idea to move to a location with a larger demographic for shorter cuts. Start researching different shops or geographic locations where your clientele might better suit your interests and skills. 

If changing locations is not an option, then maybe your messaging needs an overhaul.

Are you advertising short cuts and fades, or do you have a menu list and pictures of all services for anyone and anything? Start posting on socials and your website who your ideal client is, such as before and after photos, time-lapse videos, or pictures of you performing cutting-edge trends using the services that target the particular market you’re seeking. Get yourself involved in different groups with the audience you want and start marketing yourself as someone who can perform these services.  

Assess and streamline your client workflow.

A client workflow is the process of selling and delivering your personalized services to clients from beginning to end. This gives you a bird’s eye view of what you want to do, how you will do it, and how you will accomplish it. For example—you start out knowing you want to perform a specific service, which you advertise and market. That targeted client base comes in for that service. You provide the client with an experience before, during, and after the transformation. You sell that client on the service you provided, the products you used, and ultimately build that relationship. You rebook them for a future appointment, ask them for referrals, offer them a discount program, or whatever your strategy may be to entice them to spread the good word about your services. A few days later, you may follow up and ask how they felt the service went and how the products you sold them are working. Every step of this process is your client workflow. If any step in this process is not working, it’s time to reassess and see where you need improvement.  

Whichever path you choose in the hair and beauty industry, you are an entrepreneur at heart—meaning, you have the freedom to build the clientele of your choice, fill your books, and make the most out of your workday. You control those aspects of your career. We as hair professionals have a passion for this industry and love what we do; so why not make the most of it? If finding the ideal client base is your goal, then get out there, hustle, rinse, and repeat!  

Like articles like this or want to learn more about something else? Let us know!   

For more useful tools to help advance your career and knowledge, join AHP. We have education at your fingertips with our free online schedulingAHP Indie Stylist Magazine, Marketing Toolkits, and more!

Not a member? Join today and get access to all of the benefits we offer to support you and your career as a barber or cosmetologist.  

Please note: We have recently updated our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. Learn more...