One question that comes up for many of our students after a class is, “How do I get new clients?” We want to be the first to tell you: new clients are great, but returning customers are the main course of your business. Your loyal returning customers are going to be a great source for word of mouth referrals, which are worth their weight in gold! Because lashes are maintained every 2-4 weeks, the clients you see regularly are worth the investment to be kept happy. When you make their satisfaction your priority, new clients will come automatically. Here are 8 things you can do as an artist to keep your loyal clients happy and keep the new ones comin’!
Invest in Your LASH Education
If pointing sharp objects at someone’s eyes without proper education isn’t a scary thought, becoming a lash artist may not be the path for you. Lashing is a complex blend of science and art- without learning the science behind it, you will be limited in the art that you can create and it will show in your work. You also may injure someone, and then have to face some bigger issues. Do yourself and your clients a favor and invest in the building blocks of your career. If you never stop learning, you will never stop improving as an artist. We recommend taking a course or two a year to keep your skills fresh in an ever changing industry. If online learning is your jam, check out what LA has created for you!
Make Booking Simple and Easy
Whether you’re a seasoned artist or new to the lash world, online booking is your best friend! You’re busy, and your clients are too. Sometimes it can take days of going back and forth to find the day and time that works best for both of you. Take the work and extra time out of this process by having an online booking system where your clients can make appointments themselves. There are tons to choose from, but some that we have used and loved include Square, Mindbody, and Schedulicity. Many of these programs include free trials so you can find your favorite. The ideal booking system will allow you to add your policies such as no show or late cancellation fees, and collect credit card info on file so you can implement them to protect your time.
Know Your Worth (and Stand Behind It!)
Do yourself and the entire lash industry a favor - don’t underprice your services! When you are a new artist, it’s totally acceptable to do your first few full sets for a small model fee or just the cost of products. Once you are established enough to charge your clients, determine a cost that makes sense for you and your business. There is a school of thought that in order to grow a clientele, you must offer steeply discounted pricing- and we are here to debunk that myth! If this is an industry we want to continue growing and improving, we must grow and improve together, and that should be reflected in our pricing. Remember, this is a luxury service, and the clients looking for a deal are not the clients who want to help you grow your business. The clientele of your dreams will happily pay more for quality. You’re providing a service that takes an incredible amount of skill and patience - make sure your pricing reflects that and own it!
Keep an Updated lash Portfolio
Consider social media as your living, breathing artwork portfolio. Your potential clients love looking at examples of your work before making the commitment to come and see you for an appointment. Give them the goods on social media so they can dream about what wearing your lashes will be like! Think about your business social media like a dating profile. Since this is such an intimate service, your future clients want to know what you’re like as a person, too! Some behind the scenes action in your IG Stories can help them build a sense of trust and familiarity around you, and help them feel like they already know you when they walk in for their first service.
The things that will really make your social platforms shine are simple. Authenticity, great lighting, diverse canvases, and of course, beautiful lash work. Keep in mind that you aren’t posting for other lash artists, you’re posting for clients. Most clients don’t understand “This is a doll eye map I created using The Couture Collection .07 CC curl in lengths 7-11 mm.” Speak to them in the captions the way you would speak to those who know nothing about lashes. Keep it fun, and remember to take those gel pads off for extra Instagrammable photos!
Respect YOUR CLIENT'S TIME - AND They WILL Respect Yours
Time is the most precious human resource one can give. If you want to build a clientele that is loyal and returns to you, you must respect their time! If you are consistent about being on time for their appointments, and you don’t reschedule them often, they will return the favor. Once in a while you will have a client that you will have to train to be on time to their appointments, and these things can be managed through having strict policies in place. An example would be, “For the sake of other scheduled appointments, if you are more than 15 minutes late, your appointment will be rescheduled and you will be charged a late cancellation/ no show fee.” Other helpful tips include getting your lash space set up ahead of time, and keeping track of time during appointments. Add 10-15 minutes after every appointment to properly sanitize your space, eat a snack, and check your texts. (Or chug a protein shake while you pee- we don’t judge!)
Keep Your LASH Workspace Tidy + Welcoming
We can all agree that after a pandemic like COVID, cleanliness really is next to Godliness. Sanitation practices are more important than ever! Just because you have to be sanitary does not mean your space has to be boring. There are tons of ways to keep your lash space cute, functional, and sanitary- it just takes a little creativity! Get crafty in sourcing furniture pieces that are vintage or pre-owned to save some cash and put together a lived in, comfy space for clients to relax in. Your clients will also feel more comfortable during their services knowing you are educated in sanitation and technique, so proudly display your accomplishments like the Lash Safety Certification on your wall in cute frames.
Make YOUR CLIENTS Appointment About Them
When you touch your clients, there is a physical exchange of energy that happens. As many in the beauty industry are empaths, deep connections are bound to be made between you and your clients. Especially if you’ve known one another for years, over time it can become easy to unload your personal business onto them. Keep in mind that they are paying you for a service, and their appointments should be all about them. As artists, we do our best work in silence, so encouraging them to relax is best.
When they need to talk, be there for them to listen, but be careful not to absorb their “stuff”. This can be draining over time, especially if you’re not taking time to protect and ground yourself. During their appointment, you can share some things when asked, but keep personal things (fights with your spouse, money issues, etc) to yourself, or make plans to hang out outside of your working hours as friends if it goes that route.
Show Appreciation TO YOUR CLIENTS
Remember how we mentioned earlier that word of mouth referrals are worth their weight in gold? We meant it. Nurture those word of mouth referrals by offering a kickback to clients who are bringing you new business. It could be a Starbucks gift card, a small discount on their appointment, or even a free fill after a handful of referrals. Clients who come to you because they were recommended to you by a friend are the best, because they feel like they already know you in a sense. When they meet you for the first time, you’ll have an icebreaker by sharing a connection. Show your existing clients you care for them by recognizing their birthday with a treat, discount, or a complimentary service. Pro tip: A bouquet of flowers can go a long way when they’ve lost a family member or pet, they graduate, they get married, etc!
All it takes is a little mindfulness and effort to create a soul soothing, lovely experience for your clients. The extra effort is worth it, trust us! It will help you establish your dream clientele who are loyal to you and help you grow a thriving business.