If you’re new to barbershop business, or simply looking to gain some additional clients or potential customers, there are plenty of ways to do so. Whether you’re focusing on finding the right location, crafting the perfect business card, or using StyleSeat—marketing, networking, and overall growth looks a little bit different for everyone.
Luckily, with some universal tricks and knowledge, you can fill your barber seat and have more time to focus on what you’re passionate about (like achieving that ideal cut or perfect style for your client).
So, ready to grow your clientele? Perfect—because we’re ready to help! Read on for some simple tips on how to gain more clients as a barber and how to keep them.
#1 Find the Right Location
In any business, finding the right location is an important part of growing your client list. First, take a look at the surrounding area for competitors. Although you’ll have fun meeting some fellow hair-loving friends, being too close in location may deter clients.
If you’re opening your own barbershop, make sure to do your research and see what and who is nearby. This is also a good idea if you’re an independent barber joining a team, as a better location means more clients for everyone.
See what the foot traffic is like in the area. Positioning yourself in a hair salon or barber shop where there will be more drop-in clients will help boost your list. Being next to a coffee shop, pizza parlor, or sporting goods store (as opposed to down a less traveled street) is a hand’s off way for how to gain more clients as a barber.
#2 Share Your Business Card
When you’re figuring out how to gain more clients as a barber, business cards are an effective marketing tool. Having something tangible that you can easily distribute to potential new clients will help them to remember you. It’s a simple way to put all your information in one place — your email, social media accounts, phone number, and the address of your barbershop.
Meeting someone at an event or when you’re out in the local community is the first step toward building your client base. The next step is putting that meeting into action and turning potential client into a new customer. The promise of a follow-up email can easily get lost in the inbox sea. A business card, on the other hand, is a pocket-sized reminder of who you are and what you can offer.
#3 Build Strong Relationships
Being in the beauty business is all about building relationships. Whether you’re working with a first-time client or a returning customer, working to build strong relationships will keep your clients coming back for years. In some cases, clients will end up bringing their future children to you or referring their close family members and friends.
Even maintaining one strong relationship with a client can lead to a considerable amount of future connections. Plus, it’s why many people who are passionate about doing hair love what they do — their clients become friends and their friends become clients.
When you’re figuring out how to gain more clients as a barber, remember that your services to clients will extend beyond the traditional barber seat, too. As you build your relationship, you may be asked to cut or style hair for weddings and special events.
If you’ve gone a while without hearing from a client, send a text, an email, or a handwritten card to check-in. With StyleSeat, your clients will automatically receive a reminder 48 hours before their appointment. No extra effort needed on your end!
A client who knows you care about them and are investing in them will be more likely to return to your barbershop or salon.
#4 Ask for Reviews
If you’re looking for a simple yet effective way to get more monthly clients, ask your friends, family, and current clients for some genuine online reviews.
Many times, when searching for a new barber, people will read through reviews. This helps to ease pre-appointment anxieties, as it helps them know you and your work. It also builds trust and lets people get a taste of your services before they commit.
When you’re asking for a review, it’s important to remember that one good review from a loyal client is better than none. Even if you have one positive review, that can be a step in the right direction toward a new client.
#5 Be Flexible
When you’re fine-tuning how to gain clients as a barber one of the best things you can do is be flexible. Being flexible with your clients shows them that they can rely on you. Maybe their child gets sick or they need to leave town last-minute and have to reschedule. Are you willing (and able) to fit them into your schedule?
In addition to being flexible with your time, be flexible with what you can offer. Can you provide facial hair maintenance like custom shaves or shampoo and styling services? Increase the value of your services by offering a drink or snack while your client waits.
Little things to show your client that you’re flexible and you care will go a long way and make a lasting impression with first-time customers.
#6 Use Social Media
Whatever you’re utilizing it for, social media is a way to share. As you’re coming up with your plan for how to gain clients as a barber, make sure you have your social media accounts all set up. Using Instagram, Facebook page, and Twitter is a wonderful marketing strategy that can help build your client base and share your haircuts.
Every time you are barbering someone’s hair, ask if you can take a photo of the front, back, and side with your phone. You’ll instantly have shareable content that can be easily uploaded to your social media accounts to drum up some business.
Your social media platform is also a good place to run promotions or deals — like free first-time haircuts, holiday specials, or packages that offer multiple cuts with a certain percentage off.
#7 Attend Networking Events
Attending networking events, hair shows, barber expos, and hair salon cons is another good plan for how to gain clients as a barber. Networking can be an incredibly powerful tool for all businesses, but especially when you’re a good barber or hairstylist.
With these professions, it’s part of your job as a barber to be personal and maintain conversations. People like to know that the person whose chair they’ll be sitting in is someone they’re comfortable with.
Chatting about life and relationships is often part of your daily routine. So, even if networking events might be a little out of your comfort zone at first, the good news is, practice makes perfect.
The more you attend, the better you’ll feel, and the more potential new clients you’ll meet. You can also think outside of the box when it comes to networking. Maybe there’s a fashion event where you can increase your presence and hand out some business cards or a happy hour event where you can spread the word about who you are and what you do.
#8 Try a Referral Program
As you come up with your strategic plan for how to gain clients as a barber, think of incorporating a referral program. When a current client refers you to their family member or friend, offer a free service (like a complimentary style or a beard trim).
Not only will this make your current client feel valued, but, like a domino effect, it will encourage each new customer to take part in the referral program as well.
Often called “word of mouth marketing”, this type of program is a powerful tool for getting new clients and keeping existing clients happy.
#9 Increase Barber Clientele with StyleSeat
As you fine-tune your best path for how to gain clients as a barber, try StyleSeat. Our online destination is a hot spot for beauty and grooming professionals and clients. With us, you can showcase your professional work and connect with both new and existing clients. We offer an easy way for barbers to build their business and book their appointments online. You can specify what you offer—like natural hair or kids’ haircuts.
The best part about using StyleSeat? We have a marketing program included that’s entirely dedicated to helping you find more clients that are better for your business. We’ll promote your profile across search engines and social platforms and invest back into your business to keep finding you clients.
#10 Give Your Barber Business a Boost
Whether you’re using StyleSeat, crafting your message across social media, or attending networking events, there are plenty of creative ways for how to gain clients as a barber.
As we like to think, the ultimate key to getting and keeping your clients is to find what makes you unique. What service do you offer that’s memorable or special for your clients? What are you most passionate about? Once you fine-tune your vision as a barber, the sky’s the limit.
Ready to learn how to grow your barbershop business? Whether you are just starting your small business or a shop owner of a medium sized business, we can help grow your clientele. Join StyleSeat today!