6 Ways for Freelance Natural Hair Stylists To Get More Clients
A few weeks ago we started the pre-launch advertising campaign for our Natural Hair marketplace platform and had a fabulous response from interested clients and stylists. With +500 sign ups and counting, I have to admit that I was genuinely surprised.
I also received a decent number of emails from stylists asking about ways to increase their client base and raise their profile.
Even though I am not a hairdresser and have absolutely no experience whatsoever in the industry (except when I got my hair styled), I am an experienced marketer, so I want to give it a go at sharing what kind of tactics I would use if I were to promote myself as a mobile hairdresser.
1. Online directories and classifieds
The first I would do is to get listed on high traffic online directories and classified websites. When we talk about classifieds, I of course mean the mighty Gumtree. The website has recently undergone a major rebrand (Jan 2016) that has made it more functional, visually appealing and mobile-friendly. With 15.3 million monthly users, Gumtree’s objective is now to match Google and Facebook when it comes to UK user levels. A bit ambitious if you ask me but looking at the numbers it makes sense to set up an account and get going. For £7.99 you can have a basic ad up with your own pictures and contact details. However, you will have to deal with ferocious competition as there are already tens of afro-Caribbean mobile hairdressers listed there. Be smart: most of your competitors don’t do natural hair care! You will find loads of people proposing their services for weave in, relaxing, perm for example but very few dealing with locs, sister locs etc.
Don’t let your pictures drag your profile down! upload beautiful photos of your work to catch the customer’s attention. Nothing worst than dark, low-res pictures giving you that creepy feeling.
You can also try Yelp and Yell – but can’t really give recommendations as I haven’t explored these in detail.
2. Facebook Paid Ads
We all know Facebook, right? It is a great platform to share pictures of our holidays and give friends and family some news. It is also a massive communication tool for any business. In January 2016, Facebook accounted for 79% of the social media market in the UK, followed by Youtube and Twitter. So it makes absolute sense to advertise on Facebook from a business point of view.
Creating a Facebook ad is very simple and you don’t need to smash your budget to reach a decent number of people. You can do a trial and spend just £5 per day over a week. For a total of £35 your ad will be set to show up in front of hundreds of potential customers.
But wait for the best part of it: Facebook gives you the opportunity to choose your target audience so you don’t waste money advertising to people who are not interested in what you have to offer. If you are a natural hairstylist, you can target people based on their interests – the screenshot below from the interest board with an example of targeting for afro hair clients.
Give it a go! It is a huge untapped potential for small businesses!
I will write a step-by-step guide about how to create a compelling Facebook ad for your Natural Hair business very soon.
3. Create a website
Please, don’t run away. I can see your eyes rolling and I can hear you think: ‘what the** is he asking us to do now? I don’t know anything about websites, I am not a programmer. And I don’t have money for this.
Yes, well there is good news: you don’t need programming or coding skills to have a professional-looking website as there are heaps of website creation tools that can do the job for you. I would recommend checking wix.com or weebly out and you can get started in just a few hours for (almost) free. Watch this quick video of a free template I just found on Wix. You would obviously have to write down your own information such as working hours, area served, services etc. and add your own pictures of afro hair men and women. But it does the job.
4. Create an Instagram account
Being a stylist is all about showcasing your work and nothing is better than Instagram to put your cool Hairstyling forward. Instagram is a mobile sharing pictures social media that allows you to upload any photos you want, add amazing filters and effects and share them to your followers. Here are some great examples of hairdressers and salons showcasing their work:
https://www.instagram.com/hairbyebonyb (Highbury and Islington)
You can also add a link to your website and your contact details on Instagram so people who like your pictures can find you straight away and get in touch if they want to.
5. Get down to your high street and hand in flyers
As a geek and a digital marketer, I love to get everything done online, whether it is booking my next holidays or my Locs appointment. However, nothing beats a good face-to-face discussion with your customers! You will maybe find out that they had a bad experience in a salon and are looking for something else. You may discover the latest hair trends and brush up on your skills to match these.
Set a good example by having your own hair looking fresh and amazing. Clients will automatically associate your appearance with the care they will get.
I still remember that time when I was walking on Sydenham High Street, South East London, and got handed a flyer by a mobile loctician. Her hair was so sharp that I decided to give it a go a few weeks later…and I wasn’t disappointed!
So don’t be shy and dedicate half a day per week to flyers distribution in your local area.
6. Extend Business Hours
Starting a Mobile hairdresser business is not easy and the competition is tough. You may want to extend your business hours to match your clients’ hours. If we think about it, people usually get home around 5.30 – 6 pm Monday to Friday so it might be that you have to work late nights and weekends. Don’t worry, once your base is established you can always cut back and let people know that you are back to normal hours.
You can register a stylist profile for free on Afrocks. We will connect you with clients looking to get their hair done in your area. The process is very simple and it won’t take you more than 2 mins to fill out all the information. Once you send us your profile, we will get in touch with you very quickly to let you know about the next steps.
Give it a go!
CEO & Founder