As a salon industry business coach, one of the questions that I am asked most frequently is: how do I find more clients? As a matter of fact, most businesses have this same question, which is why I’m so excited to share my winning four-step formula for attracting more clients! Let’s jump in with Steps 1 & 2, and stay tuned for the final steps!
Step #1: Who? Finding your target market.
So, you want to find more clients for your business. While that is a great start, do you even know who you’re looking for? This is the very first step; before you can jump into marketing, products, and promotions, you need to get really, really clear about your target market. Take a moment and think about this—who is your target market? Got it? Well if you answered something like, women age 35-50, we have a lot of work to do! But, don’t get scared because I will guide you through every step!
In the business world, your target market is sometimes called your avatar. In other words, who is your dream client? To get clear on your avatar, gather some of the top influencers in your salon and start listing the characteristics that describe your ideal client. Think about a few of your customers who you absolutely adore and wish you could clone. Now, start describing everything specific about them.
Here are some questions to get started: where do they shop for groceries—Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods, the local co-op? Where do they shop for clothes—Banana Republic, Anthropologie, Asos, Nordstrom? Do they workout—hiking, running, yoga, spin? What do they do in their free time—read, hangout with friends, volunteer, cook? What is their style—conservative, edgy, trendy, classic? Where do they work—corporate, education, non-profit, small business?
I think you see where I’m going with this. You need to get so specific that you’re even naming your avatar! That’s right! Once your team is in agreement on your avatar, you need to keep this image front and center. Your front desk team, stylists, managers, and marketing team should be thinking about your avatar every day.
For a lot of us, creating our businesses’ avatar is a fun step. But, I completely understand why it can be a scary step for many people. A lot of business owners get scared about “excluding” certain customers. By creating an avatar, you aren’t excluding or discouraging anyone from patronizing your business; instead, you are focusing on quality over quantity. Above all, focusing on a target market sets you free from having to be all things to all people; getting clear on your target market makes your job a little easier as a marketer and business owner! Who wouldn’t want that?
Step #2: Where is your target market?
Now that you have your avatar clearly defined—we know where she shops and how she spends her free time—we need to actually find her! Ask yourself where your avatar hangs out, both physically and digitally.
For instance, let’s say that your avatar is a business professional who is part of local networking groups. Guess what? You need to join a networking group and physically be where your target market is! If your target market is part of the local PTA, you need to get involved with the PTA.
Another piece of the puzzle is where your avatar is digitally. If your target market is between the ages of 18-24, you should be on Snapchat. If your avatar is between 25-30, you’re probably looking more at Instagram, and if your target is 35 and up, you need to be on Facebook. Other digital spaces that people hang out include Pinterest, YouTube, Pandora, Spotify, blogs, news sites, LinkedIn, Yelp, etc.
Your wheels should be turning as you’re thinking about where your target market is hanging out. Once you know where your avatar is, you also need to speak their language and be genuine. If you and your team are consistently going to networking events, you will start to talk this talk. Maybe you’re talking to other professionals about cross promoting or some innovative marketing topics. If you are volunteering at a local non-profit, you should read up on the various initiatives they’re working on. If your interests aren’t genuine, you will stick out like a sore thumb.
The language that you use to communicate with your target market is equally important on digital platforms. Let’s say your target market is hanging out on Snapchat, but you’ve never actually used Snapchat. It probably isn’t a good idea to just jump right in and start sending snaps! Every social media platform has a certain etiquette, and you don’t want to send your avatar running in the opposite direction. Enlist the advice of your younger staff members or hire an intern to help you get started. When it comes to your target market, you not only have to walk the walk, but you have to talk the talk!
Whew! That is a lot of information to get started, so let’s recap your homework so far. First, you need to get really clear about your target market or avatar. Once your target market is clearly defined, you need to find your avatar both physically and digitally. When you find your avatar, you need to speak their language and be genuine. Have some fun creating your avatar, contact me with any questions, and check back in a couple weeks for Steps 3 & 4!