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How do expand my business as young black hairstylist?

Do I have to invest into thousands to become a known hairdresser? How do I gain my clients ? How do I promote myself? How do I get myself into feed and be known for hair

+25 Karma if successful
From: You
To: Friend
Subject: Career question for you

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Tyler’s Answer

Hi Riley!

Great questions! I'm only answering this because I'm coming from experience watching my wife start with no clientele to thriving in her hair business today.

The career of a hairdresser is maximizing and rewarding - clients LOVE their stylist and will be loyal to the best.

It can also be difficult to start because of that loyalty - many people of course already have a hairstylist. But that doesn't mean you can sway others to go to you or persuade the un-captured market (friends and family who do little to no hair maintenance, families who move into an area, etc.).

One of the best ways to get started is to work as a commissioned stylist under a hairstylist/salon owner who has a surplus of clients. If the owner is at max capacity in workload, that's where you can come in! This is a great way to get your feet wet, incrementally gain a few clients, and spread the word about your hair "business". That way you get paid and learn the right way. Going all in can be difficult for most young hair stylists and many quit because of this (1/3 of hairstylists quit within 6 months of their first job).

Working at a Sports Clips or franchise of any kind is a good way to start to, but if you want to be a booth rent stylist or a salon owner one day, go straight into commissioned hair and that propels your career forward in a controlled way.

As mentioned in the other comments, use instagram as a way to spread the word. Your friends and family will refer you, and some of them may start going to you off the bat.

Create content weekly (even daily if you have capcity to) to create value and content so others know what you are about.

My wife did this, and now is a booth rent stylist with ambitions of becoming a salon owner one day. She has gotten to the point of earning well above the hairstylists median pay.

Best of luck to you!

-Tyler
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Maya’s Answer

Hey Riley!

My mom is actually from Detroit so I feel personally connected to this. She also has a dance studio out on Long Island that serves black and brown youth so I have a little knowledge in regards to starting businesses.

I would say the biggest mistake my mom made in the beginning with her dance studio was focusing a lot on the service (the dance classes) rather than the experience of the students. Recently, she began taking steps to increase client loyalty by offering referral discounts and creating connection right away by giving new students apparel. For a hair salon, maybe consider doing something small like branding bonnets or hair scrunchies to give to new customers. Furthermore, connectivity is so important for the black hair salon experience. People will forgive mistakes (mess ups, being late, etc.) if they really like you! Lots of time getting our hair done is therapeutic for us so I would say be a safe space for your customers to further build loyalty.

Another mistake my mom made was that her passion was guiding her in the beginning but she wasn't thinking about the financials. I would say make sure you properly track your inventory (hair products, flat irons, hair, etc.) and how much your spending to ensure that you charge accordingly so that your business is profitable.

Lastly, I would try targeting a specific customer base and location (ideally an area where there isn't many salons). If you consider targeting young black women you can create an environment that pulls that clientele in. Whether it's playing popular TikToks or certain playlists, these little things make the experience all the better.

I wish you all the luck! I'm sure you're going to kill it. Can't wait to see you doing Beyonce's hair one day :-)

-Maya
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James Constantine’s Answer

Hey there, Riley!

Growing your business as an up-and-coming black hairstylist doesn't have to mean breaking the bank. There are plenty of tactics you can use to build up your clientele and make a name for yourself in the hairstyling world, without having to spend a fortune.

First off, it's all about who you know. Making connections with fellow hairstylists, salon owners, and others in the beauty industry can lead to recommendations and partnerships that can help you broaden your client base. You can make these connections by attending industry events, joining professional groups, and getting involved in your local community to meet potential clients and build your reputation.

Next up, make the most of social media like Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. These platforms are a powerful way to show off your work and draw in clients. By building a strong online presence, showcasing your portfolio, sharing reviews from satisfied clients, and offering useful hair care advice, you can increase your visibility and attract more potential clients.

Also, consider offering special deals or discounts for new clients. This can be a fantastic way to tempt new customers to try out your services. By providing top-notch customer service and creating a welcoming, inclusive atmosphere in your salon, you can keep clients coming back and encourage them to spread the word about your business.

Staying up-to-date with the latest trends and techniques in hairstyling is key to staying competitive. Think about attending workshops, taking advanced training courses, or finding a mentor among experienced hairstylists to boost your skills and broaden the services you offer.

Finally, think about teaming up with local businesses or getting involved in community events to boost your visibility and reach more potential clients. Building a strong brand and consistently delivering top-quality services will ultimately help you succeed as a hairstylist.

Here are the top 3 authoritative reference publications or domain names you can check out:
1. Forbes - for insights on entrepreneurship and business growth strategies
2. Entrepreneur - for tips on marketing and promoting small businesses
3. Professional Beauty Association - for industry news and resources for hairstylists

Take care and God bless,
James.
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Emmanuel’s Answer

Start sharing on social media, particularly Instagram. Make sure to set a budget that is manageable for you and focus on creating and sharing your own content organically. If your budget permits, and you can allocate $500-$2000 monthly towards marketing, consider hiring a professional. They can devise a strategy that you can supplement with your own organic content, helping you to keep expenses in check.
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Michelle’s Answer

Hello, Riley !

I almost feel like asking you to do my hair right now ! Such enthusiasm and zest you have for being successful and using your talents ! The question is, what is your intent. Do you want to focus on making people look good and stylish ? Or do you want the result to be fame and fortune ? There are many things to consider, as you already probably have the skill set and experience it will take to do well.

As for doing a successful business where you are right now, you will have to create some promotional materials, whether it would be business cards or flyers or by word of mouth. Let people know who you are. With a career such as this, it is crucial to work in an already existing shop and let people get to know you. A well-respected career in most any field doesn't happen overnight. My advice is to try to get a chair at a high end salon and work for an employer.

Another thing that you can do is to regularly attend some conferences and trade shows which are great for so many reasons, especially networking. Here is where you will need to invest as they cost money and so will lodging because most of them are not in your region, so you will have to get used to traveling. This will help you as you save money to open your own salon. Eventually, you will move toward having your own business. It will be a large financial investment, yes. You not only have to rent or buy a space, you will have to buy lots of furnishings, product, utensils, devices and pay a utility bill. You may even have to pay an employee or two. So it is quite expensive, that is why I suggest that you start small. I know that people in your profession make large amounts of income in Los Angeles and New York City. Since you are not there yet, my advice is to start local and not worry about how long it will take to be famous. If it is fame that you want, you will have to do the hair of famous people, that's how that usually goes.

To be quite honest with you, social media is not the way to go with this nor is creating your own private website. Once you open your own salon, the only reason you should create a private website (which costs money) will be for information purposes only. The website would tell of the services you offer, where you are located, perhaps your price menu and any practical information about your services. People will only go to it to get directions or pricing information, so a website is solely up to your decision. I'm not sure how to put this, but to be taken seriously and looked at as a high end professional, I would stay off of social media with things connected to this particular career. If you wanted, you could create a channel on You Tube, however, to do instructional videos, but I would stay away from all of the other types of social media.

There is so much more, but I just want to wish you all the best, take it a step at a time, relax and enjoy the journey along the way !

Michelle recommends the following next steps:

TRADE SHOWS https://www.schedulicity.com/essentials/blog/best-hair-trade-shows-2020
TRADE SHOWS AND EVENTS https://www.associatedhairprofessionals.com/trade-shows-and-events
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Nasima’s Answer

It sounds like growing clientele and wanting to gain recognition are a key focus in what you are asking advice for. When you say you want to expand, I think the statement shows your motivation and drive. My method of advice is going to probe whether you have looked into marketing tools. There are many statistical tools that can help you understand more of what the audience in your area would like such as tubebuddy for youtube, social stats can track instagram data and more. Following trends to cater to your audience can help update your online presence and bring more referrals in. I agree with Michelle that making instructional videos is helpful and other content could cost resources depending on where you are in your expansion. I also agree with Manny that budgeting skills are necessary. Hoping this helps and wishing you well. Take care.
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Daniel’s Answer

I think a low-cost method of expanding this type of business these days is Tiktok and social media. Not only can you advertise yourself for practically nothing, which will help expand the business, but also if you were to offer free services to some famous influencers, that would act as a free model for your services and would allow for your brand to be marketed to hundreds of thousands of viewers for a low cost.
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Andrew Vo’s Answer

A couple of my friends are stylists in Houston so the best answer they've said is it's all about the networking especially on social media. You want to be able to have one of your clients showcased on your page, tagged, and have them repost to get the word out there for you too. It's a great place to show your skills off too, especially if you can do a specific cut that someone is looking for online, they'll come right across your page.

Also something else they've done is events with other business owners or locals in the area. Really working together on areas that you can cover for someone else and them for you is ideal in the business.

Good luck!
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shanee’s Answer

Hi Riley, I think that social media is the best outlet in today's society. Learn how to create content and personable in your videos. Good luck on your endeavors!!
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Tatiana T.’s Answer

This is a great question and I noticed that you already received some really good advice, but a bit more can't help. As someone who frequents the salon depending on the style that I want to wear, I have huge success in finding someone either from Instagram or TikTok. On Instagram, I am able to see photos that the stylist posted so it is a good way to showcase and advertise the type of work/styles that you do. You can add in your bio some more information including if you have a website, your location, and the type of hair you specialize in. On TikTok I am often intrigued by stylist that post a few videos showing their before and after transformation of a client. Or if there is a technique that they are really good at and want to showcase that as well, Tik Tok is a great place for it. These have become really good resources for me when looking for a stylist and I have learned that stylist become rather booked and busy from being on these platforms. Those are great places to start. Good luck and I wish you the best.
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