Congratulations to Salon Plaza’s Member of the Month for May, Salon Owner Freda Austin, Owner of Salon Mystique at Fountain Square Shopping Center, Richmond, VA
Freda agreed to work with Salon Plaza’s Income Prosperity Coach, Debra-Sue Cope, to define her Brand Promise.
Together, we show you how to create a Unique Brand Experience that expresses your values and personality – a Brand Promise that is TRUE to who you are.
SUCCESS IDEA: Customers Want A Unique Experience Only YOU Can Deliver
The ONLY thing NO ONE ELSE can ever do is be YOU! Your salon can and should feel like an extension of yourself. Developing your personal brand is fun, exciting and a great way to express your personality and values.
You’ll also attract more clients who are a good fit – and keep them loyal to you.
That’s the recipe for Salon Owner Success!
Two Parts to Defining Your Brand Experience:
- Personal Identity: Your style, flair for life and sense beauty must be reflected in your brand
- Client Preferences: What your best clients want most from you
If YOU are a salon professional who wants to take your career from a J-O-B to a true Professional – then follow these steps and create your own Unique Brand Promise like salon owner Freda Austin does in this post.
ACTION STEPS: Discover Your Personal Brand
Freda, let’s start with the first crucial element in your Unique Brand Identity…
Most stylists don’t look at our business as a profession. They look at it as a job to go to every day. But this is what I chose to do. It is my profession.
I’ve wanted to be a hairstylist since Middle School. It’s not just about doing hair…
I’m passionate about knowledge – The Science of Hair. I love to continue my education to provide the most skilled, up-to-date service.
I give my clients what they should get: One-to-one attention and professionalism. I try to minimize how many people are in the salon at any given time, two at most, to give each client personal attention.
Because they have things to do and shouldn’t be held up getting services, I’m considerate of their time.
The conversations I have with my clients are very important. I build them up, not me. They may be going through all kinds of things. I can help by listening and encouraging them.
2. What are your special talents that help others look their best?
I love to cut and style hair. Not just a basic cut – I like to be trendy and upscale. This is what my clients look for and tell me they like best. I apply the techniques I learn from classes and my experience to create an effect. The focus is on healthy hair.
3. Do you have a niche interest that can help define your personal brand?
I do texturing, using different tools like clippers and a razor for the right effect and style I’m trying to achieve. Knowledgeable and highly skilled, I give consistent results.
4. Who are your ideal clients? What characteristics do they have in common? What do they want from you?
Although I have some young children through college age – the daughters of clients who I’ve done for years – most are business owners and professional women in Corporate America who have been with me for 10 years or more. Those are the type of people I tend to attract.
When my clients refer others to me, they tell their friends they will get a nice style that fits their face and their profession. They reassure them that their hair will get healthier.
With a new referral, I take the time to get to know her and what she is looking for in a hairstyle and the challenges she has with her hair now. If her hair is in an unhealthy state, I explain what to do restore it.
I’m always educating them while they’re in the chair… what TO DO and what NOT to do. I give them options to keep their style looking great and their hair healthy in-between appointments. Asking good questions and listening develops a high level of trust.
When it comes to the health of their hair, I won’t let my clients take over the chair and tell me what to do. Let’s say someone comes in and her hair is broken or coming out. If she says needs a relaxer, I won’t compromise the integrity of her hair or weaken my character as a professional stylist just to take her money.
That’s not who I am.
Money is not the thing that drives me. Trust is. By caring for my clients and giving good service and advice, trust comes naturally.
Character matters to me. I put my trust in the Lord and He takes care of me. And this allows me to make money. I gain client loyalty over time and really do better in the long run.
5. What kind of salon atmosphere would express these specific qualities?
I like the modern look: clean lines, dramatic. I have my own workstation, mirror, and ledge; floating shelves on the wall for retail and towels that give me a lot of compliments; a nice mirror with a unique design and an oversized lamp for ambiance.
This is my vision – what I see and want to create. I don’t do anything half-way. That commitment gets reflected in my business and in everything I do. I represent Him, and He does everything well.
6. What big to-dos and little touches can you do EVERY TIME, consistently without fail, to create anticipation and expectation that never lets your clients down?
In my “Meet and Greet Routine,” I’m a hugger. A few people are not comfortable with that, so a light touch or handshake works well. After the service, I never let anyone leave without hugging them and telling them I appreciate them.
7. Super important – HOW DO OTHERS SEE YOU?
I’m so affectionate, giving and encouraging… I love on everybody. People tell me,
“Every time I talk with you I always feel better.”
I’m giving of my time, my knowledge, and my Faith. I’ve had people who have come to me and are going through something. They tell me all about it. Then I’ll ask, “Do you mind if we pray?” And we’ll pray together and then hug.
That’s why I’m creating an inspirational wall with scriptural quotes framed around a circular mirror so my clients can see themselves being inspired.
Being a hairstylist and salon owner is more than just a “job” to me… it is my passion and life commitment – a way to express and share with others the gifts the Lord has given me.
“When you have a passion, you must truly live it!”
Your Turn: What is Your Unique Brand Promise?
Smart salon professionals like Salon Owner Freda Austin have given up trying to be “all things to all people” in favor of developing a targeted, brand experience. So can you.
• Define your personal identity and brand promise
• Design your salon atmosphere, service, and market image around your brand
If you make the effort to develop your own consistent, personal brand, you will become a shining gem among the stylists that haven’t thought this through. Your clients will take notice of the unique, consistent and pleasing experience they receive whenever they visit.
When you do, you’ll make your salon business more memorable, desirable and marketable.
Next Week: Freda’s Personal Journey from Passionate Middle-Schooler with a Dream… to Professional Stylist and Salon Owner
Are YOU ready to open a salon where you can express your gifts and serve your clients 1 to 1? If you are a Salon Professional in Virginia or Maryland, then why not…