“What’s the fastest way to build my column?”

That’s often the question, the end game, the purpose, the reason or result of why we do what we do… Here are my top 5 tips.

1. Master the techniques

Cutting and colouring hair is a skill, and like all skills, with the right level of determination, dedication, discipline and humility you can master the skills that you need to succeed over time.

We live in a world where there is plenty of technical and creative education available and much of it is freely available on youtube. Alternatively, work with people who are better than you, and learn from them, and practice until you master the skills.

Ultimately, no matter how well you score in the rest of this list your success at building your clientele will live and die by your ability to cut and colour hair and to get the referrals and repeat business because you do a good job. So step 1 ‘mastering technique’ is essential.

2. Build relationships

I don’t care how good you think you are, but believe me, your clients can get their haircut elsewhere by someone else. So what keeps those clients coming back month after month, and hopefully year after year, is the relationship that exist between the client and the hairdresser.

All too often when I visit a salon as a client I am treated as a ‘commodity’. In other words, there is no attempt made to build a relationship with me.

The most simple way to start that process of building relationships is to introduce yourself by name and use the clients name in normal conversation. Don’t overdo it, but remember, I can get the haircut elsewhere, but I can only get the relationship with you, with you.

So don’t underestimate step 2 the importance of building relationships.

3. Deliver a great experience consistently

Hand in hand with the great haircut and the relationship is ‘the experience’ that the client has. From the greeting to the refreshments, the music, the magazines, the conversations [or lack of] you must be able to deliver a consistent experience that is system dependent to match the experience that is in-line with your brand values.

Do not underestimate the importance of step 3, ‘delivering a great experience’.

4. Use technology as a tool

The biggest change in the way we build a full column of loyal clients has been in how we use technology. Digital marketing and all it encompasses from the salon website and apps to online booking and using social media has been a complete game changer.

It’s not that the marketing message has changed that much, but how we deliver that message, how we build and nurture relationships by using technology especially social media as a tool has completely revolutionised the process of building your column.

So step 4 is make sure that you learn to use social media effectively. 

5. Rebook

I’m a huge advocate of rebooking your clients back in for their next appointments before they leave the salon.

I know that rebooking is not necessarily right for every business model, for example, if your salon is in a hotel or tourist area or perhaps if you’re a salon that doesn't take appointments and works on a walk-in basis.

But for most hairdressers, if you actively get your clients to rebook their next appointments before they leave it will have a huge impact on how busy you are.

Thank you for watching…

If this has been helpful and you want more tips on building your column read or listen to my book GROW 1 Super Stylist.

Have a great week! 

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