How to Build Clientele and Create Brand Identity

Don’t you just love being your own boss in an IMAGE Studios salon? Or are you still deciding whether to embrace your creativity, free yourself from the rental-chair treadmill and find success with our support?

Either way, your top priority as an independent beauty professional is to build a customer base that’s loyal and reliable. Then, through word of mouth, that clientele will help you build a reputation of being skilled and talented — which will grow your clientele and help create your brand identity.

If all that sounds a bit opaque and complicated, don’t worry. We were new to all this once, too, and our mission is to give back to the world by supporting entrepreneurs like yourself as you navigate the business world.

Read on for our tried-and-true tips on how to build clientele as a hairstylist, esthetician, nail tech, makeup artist or other beauty industry pro.

We’ll also get into why brand reputation is important and the brand reputation strategy that can help yours stand out for all the right reasons.

Why Is a Brand Reputation Important?

We’ve seen it a thousand times: One dissatisfied customer with an ax to grind and an internet connection can make that promising stream of client appointments dry up in a matter of hours. We’ve also watched incredibly talented stylists and technicians languish in unsatisfying jobs way longer than they needed to because they didn’t know how to build brand reputation online.

The bottom line is that, as a beauty professional, you are your brand — and your brand reputation is the force that will keep your business growing and expanding. In essence, building a strong clientele and creating your unique brand identity are the twin goals of any brand reputation strategy.

Ways to Build a Customer Base You Can Rely On

Stay Active on Social Media

Whether you’re an old-school type on Facebook and Insta, you’re obsessed with TikTok or you love the 280-character-limit challenge of Tweeting, you need to have at least one active social media account that’s separate from your personal account. And by active, we mean posting regularly — every day if possible — with pics and stories that illustrate your brand identity. If you’re new to these platforms, reach out to your colleagues for social media strategies that can help creatives make the most of your time and effort. Your social media presence could ultimately make or break your professional success.

Respond to Messages Quickly

Want to know the best advice we ever got for how to build a reputation as a professional that clients can count on? Respond quickly to messages. If you don’t reply to a potential client within an hour or two, they’re going to find someone else who is more responsive. As an IMAGE Studios salon owner, you’ll be set up with GlossGenius, the appointment booking and payment app that impressed us more than any other. It’ll help you stay on top of your growing clientele with easy rebooking and secure payment processing. Plus, its professional look adds to your high-end brand visibility.

Make it Personal

No one wants a disembodied corporation styling their hair, shaping their brows or applying their makeup. The only way to create brand identity is to show the world who you are and what you can do. Take before and after pics of every client, then post them on social with humble and heartfelt wonder at how gorgeous your clients look. Tell your story — where you learned to do nails, when you started calling yourself an artist, why creating beauty in this world is your passion — on your social platforms, on the IMAGES Studios 360 website we’ll set you up with and in the beautifully designed marketing materials we give you to hit the ground running in your IMAGES salon. When you connect with people on a personal level, they remember more than your brand visibility — they remember how you made them feel.

Connect with Your Community

You can find IMAGE Studios salons all over the country, from Portland, OR to Royal Palm Beach, FL to Webster, TX to Cleveland, OH. Whether you’re setting up shop in your hometown with a clientele already in place or you’ve relocated and need to build a customer base from scratch, your strongest brand reputation strategy is to find ways to connect to the individuals in your local community. That can mean volunteering to give free haircuts to people in need, joining a weekly parents’ group or offering to mentor new industry candidates at a local beauty college. You’ll build brand reputation as a professional who cares about others, values collaboration and gives back while making contact with lots of potential clients.

Build Relationships

When we talk about how to build clientele, we’re actually talking about how to build relationships. Most beauty procedures involve a level of physical intimacy that can foster a sense of emotional closeness. Use this perceived connection wisely, and you can build a customer base that would never dream of seeing any other beauty professional.

Start by keeping accurate and up-to-date style notes on each of your clients with detailed info about their preferred colors and services. Then include details they’ve shared about their lives. When you greet a returning client with gentle inquiries about the job they mentioned they were applying for or the elderly relative they were concerned about at their last appointment, you’re creating a deep bond of recognition and empathy that will keep them coming back. Other relationship-building actions include scheduling the next appointment before the client leaves and recommending products that can help keep their look fresh between visits.

Practice Gratitude

Even as we struggle to build a reputation and maintain a client base, we all have abundance in our lives. Tapping into gratitude can alleviate stress and anxiety — while also helping create brand identity. Ever notice how much more attractive influencers and famous people are when they give props to the artists who helped pave the way for their success? Be sure to thank your customers for choosing you as their beauty professional, for keeping or rescheduling appointments, for coming back again and again. And offer particular thanks to any customer who refers a new client to you. Their recommendation is priceless in terms of brand reputation strategy, so reward them in kind.

How to Develop Your Brand Reputation Strategy

Want more insider tips and tricks for how to build clientele as an esthetician, hair stylist, makeup artist or nail tech? As an IMAGE salon owner, you gain free access to the IMAGE Pro Success educational program for entrepreneurs. This series of live Zoom workshops offers deep insight into a wide range of topics, like social media marketing, money management and how to create brand identity. You’ll also be working day-to-day alongside other talented beauty pros who can help you stay on top of the trends and learn about the latest product developments. Above all, stay open to the continuous process of growing and learning. It’s your best brand reputation strategy.

Take Control of Your Brand Visibility at Image Studios

Now, are you ready to unleash your creativity, embrace your freedom and take control of your success as an IMAGE Studios salon owner? Check out the luxurious, high-end vibe of our suites in a virtual tour and see what other entrepreneurs have to say about building their brand reputation with our support. Then get started building your brand and clientele — in your very own glamorous IMAGE salon.

IMAGE Salon Suite Benefits: Be Your Own Boss

IMAGE Salon Suite Benefits: Be Your Own Boss

Success is a core value at IMAGE Studios®. We’re proud of the way our founder, Jason Olsen, built this business after making the decision to become his own boss. His success largely grew out of nurturing the entrepreneurial spirit in others.

Today, thousands of beauty professionals across the country who needed help starting a business know the deep pleasure of being their own boss thanks to Olsen and IMAGE Studios.

Need more reasons for why being your own boss is the best? Read on for the lowdown on how you can own a salon in no time without fearing the common pitfalls of many startup businesses by taking advantage of the training and support from IMAGE Studios.

Benefits Of Owning Your Own Salon Studio Space

Let’s get into the salon suite benefits you can expect when you join thousands of successful beauty professionals who got a running start with IMAGE Studios. We offer each salon studio for rent as a separate, private unit that comes equipped with:

  • A shampoo bowl, styling chair, mirror, cabinetry, specialty lighting
  • 24/7 access to the building
  • Free Wi-Fi
  • Large modern restrooms maintained by a housekeeping service
  • Ample waiting room with sleek, modern design

If this is your first time being a business owner, benefits of being in one of our suites may seem routine. But finding and outfitting a raw space with all the necessary and specialized equipment you need can be expensive, which makes it difficult for many talented pros to own a salon by themselves.

That’s why an IMAGE salon suite is a great choice for starting a business. How to be your own boss 101 starts right here!

Your benefits for taking the boss plunge with an IMAGE salon suite include:

Work When You Want To

Design your schedule around your clientele and your life, not someone else’s agenda. Got clients on the weekends but prefer your weekdays free? No problem. Like to fit all your work hours into three or four days a week? Go for it. Never want to have to clock in before noon again? Your dream can be a reality when you own a salon with IMAGE Studios.

Set Your Own Prices

When you rent a chair in someone else’s salon, you’re often bound to adhere to their fee schedule — which means you might not be getting the rates your skills and experience warrant. One of the IMAGE Salon Suite benefits most beauty professionals prize the most is the freedom to set their own prices. Your rates are between you and your clients, so we keep our nose out of it.

Unleash Your Creativity

Your IMAGE salon is the clean slate on which you can build your brand while creating your ideal workspace. From wild wallpaper to lush greenery to bespoke artwork to moody lighting, your creativity and originality are welcome and encouraged in your personal salon studio. In fact, we reward the artistry of our professionals with our annual Studio Design Awards for regional and national standouts.

Build Your Clientele

You likely have a loyal clientele that would follow you to nearly any location. But if you’re leaving a busy group salon to strike out on your own, you need to grow that client list. One of your business owner benefits with IMAGE studies is access to tech that makes booking appointments and taking payments a breeze. Clients appreciate easy digital payment options and seamless appointment apps. Not only do you get our advice and recommendations for technical solutions, you’ll be part of a community of colleagues working together in a supportive, luxuriously appointed environment — where potential clients abound.

Keep Your Profits

Handing over a portion of your earnings to the salon owner every month stings; doesn’t it? When you own a salon with IMAGE Studios, you keep every dime you make. Are IMAGE salon suites profitable? Yes — but don’t just take our word for it! Check out what other professionals have to say about their success in IMAGE salon studios across the country.

Starting a Business: How to Make the Dream a Reality

It may seem daunting to take the reins as your own boss. But remember that you’ve got help starting a business right here. From finding a salon studio for rent in your area to honing your business skills and building your brand, we’re with you every step of the way to being your own boss!

Find a Salon Space

Start by taking our virtual salon tour to get an idea of the high-end vibe your IMAGE salon studio will have. If you tried to find a turnkey place like this on your own, you’d be quickly deterred by real estate and remodeling prices. IMAGE Studios locations are spread across the country, so there’s sure to be one in your neck of the woods. And if you’re looking for the chance to relocate and own a salon, now’s a great time to explore new places!

Create a Business Plan

It can be tough to figure out the business end of how to open a salon. No matter how artistic, talented and skilled you are with hair, makeup, brows or nails, the learning curve for being your own boss is steep. Our story of success was only possible because we have always been committed to helping other entrepreneurs realize their full potential. Your business owner benefits with IMAGE Studios include industry training and educational opportunities that will help grow your acumen on topics like client retention, email marketing strategies and expenditure tracking.

Build Relationships & Your Brand

As part of the IMAGE salon studios community, you’ll have opportunities to meet other professionals and share insight on everything from social media strategies to the latest beauty trends to managing holiday stress. You’ll also get a slew of ready-to-use marketing materials, including personalized business cards, appointment reminders, loyalty cards and more. These beautifully designed and professional-looking items help you hit the ground running as your own boss.

Grow Your Business Skills

Probably the most valuable IMAGE Studios benefits are our marketing and business courses. Our highest goal is to inspire and motivate our salon owners to achieve their fullest potential — and that means giving you the educational tools to grow your own business skills. Build your brand, hone your social media prowess, develop managerial competency and more in our live Zoom workshops tailored to beauty professionals and made available without additional fee as part of the IMAGE business owner benefits package.

Business Programs with IMAGE Studios

The IMAGE Studios Business Program delivers all our starting-a-business how-to skills to the comfort of your laptop. Even if you have no idea how to open a salon, these courses can help you become your own boss and realize your dream of salon ownership. Ready to dive into the exciting world of entrepreneurship and open your own salon? IMAGE Studios has your back.

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