How to Build Clientele and Create Brand Identity

March 4, 2023

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.

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