Building Clientele and Raising Prices for your Services
Cancer. Losing a Husband. Cheating husbands. Losing a child. Going through a divorce, and even deciding to stay. What do all of these life challenges have in common? They all belong to at least one of my lash clients over the years. I literally have grown to love these women. They started out as complete strangers, coming to get beautified. But lash by lash, they have become my sisters. Our souls literally connect every 2 weeks or so when it is time for their fills. I don’t want to offend anyone, because I know how popular this term is, but “Lash Naps” just aren’t my thing. I understand that many want to file in, half sleep while someone robotically applies individual lashes, then once finished they want to pay and get back to life. There is NOTHING wrong with this… but for me, as the one applying the lashes- there is something missing when that happens. The human connection. You know the saying, “if you learn how to love your job, you will never work a day in your life?” Well I think I found out WHY I keep doing lashes, and more, HOW I have raised my prices over the years as well. Let me explain.
I often get asked, “How do you GET and KEEP your clients?” I think I get this question because many times I actually turn away people who want me to do their lashes, and I am among the most expensive around for my area. I would like to think it is because I am WAAAY better than anyone else, but I just know that is not the case. I do take great care in my work, and you can’t discount that, nor would I want to mislead anyone into thinking doing a “half-job” will ever make sense when trying to either build or keep a clientele. But to think they couldn’t get at the very least a satisfactory set of lashes somewhere else is just not living in reality.
FIND YOUR REASON (as long as it ISN’T the money)
I think that what makes this “job” a passion for me, is not a passion for lashes- it’s a passion for people! I LOVE selling eyelash extension supplies and answering questions about eyelash extension training because I too was a beginner at one point. I also have made mistakes along the way. But I have learned from them, so now I love passing that knowledge on to others who I can relate to because I too was once a beginner. When I do that- I make friends, and connections with people across the country and even the world. I love doing lashes, because I make deep and lasting connections with my clients. They becomes a therapy session that we are both in desperate need of. When tragedy strikes either one of our lives- we talk about it and solve it together. Eyelash extension products and services can bring me together with people. Is this making sense? Your perceived struggle to get more clients is because lash artists think they need to be “the robot” so to speak. They think that they are no different from any other lash artist out there because all they do is apply lashes. Maybe that is true if you don’t connect with your clients- but if you take the time to ask questions about THEIR lives, and open up about yours, then you will gain a friend and as long as you do a great job on their lashes- who doesn’t want a friend they can trust?
Your “reason” for applying lashes is almost always initially the money. Whether it be extra money, or a way to provide for yourself or your family. Those are all noble reasons to do eyelash extensions. But, there needs to be something else that you label as the reason WHY you do this job. I recommend you dig deep and ask yourself what your core goals in life are? Is it to have a closer family? Is it to draw closer to God? Whatever it is, you need to find a way to tie your core goals into your job. If you can do this, you will find that everything else will fall into place.
FIND THE RIGHT KINDS OF CLIENTS
When building a clientele, of course you will take whoever is willing to pay you. But over time, I found that we tend to gravitate to a certain type of client. Based on what we PERCEIVE to be “good advertising” or the kind of person who it is cool to say you do her lashes. Most of the people (not all) that fit that mold, I have found to be flaky, and not loyal. They go to whoever has the best prices, or they simply care more about finding someone closer to where they live. They are also sought after by other lash artists because those people also view them as the “type” of person that would be good for business. But as you will read below, I NEVER judge a client too quickly.
I have found that since I look for people with depth in their lives that I end up gravitating to a wide variety of clients. Some of my very favorite clients have been over 70 years old! They have been former cops, divorced, parents of special needs children, bodybuilders and surplus store owners. They are doctors, nurses and stay at home moms. But they are ALL women that I am inspired by.
Whenever I get a new client- I like to start with the attitude that this person has ended up on my lash table for a reason. I’m not sure yet if that reason is for them or for me. But I want to find out as soon as possible. Taking this approach allows me to look for the good in everyone. It also prompts me to ask questions, and sometimes the kinds of questions that many would find too deep for an initial meeting. I have found that when someone is willing to open up even a little bit, and I reciprocate- we will have a wonderful and meaningful relationship that goes well beyond eyelash extensions. These are the kinds of clients that motivate me to be a better person and help me to be more sympathetic to humans in general because if there is one thing we all have in common, it is that life is hard. When I finish a fill and we have had a great conversation, I walk away a better sister, wife mother and friend.
I should also mention, that because I love these women, I find that doing a mediocre job on their lashes is impossible. I care about every lash and want them to look as amazing as possible. I notice that those who just do lashes as a job, or work- tend to watch the clock more and skip the little things that make for a great and professional set of lashes. So, really, finding the right clientele will help you to be a better lash artist in my opinion.
HOW DID I RAISE PRICES ON MY BEST FRIENDS?
As my clientele grew, my number one goal in life, which is to be the best wife and mother I could be started suffering. I had too many clients and I knew that any one of them would understand if I told them I was cutting back on clients. BUT, how on earth would I pick who to let go? It was agonizing. I would write lists and try to cross names off, but it was literally impossible. I would try to base it off who left the better tip- but then found that I would be missing out on people I adored. So, I did what made the most sense- I raised my prices and let them weed themselves out. Even that wasn’t easy, but it kept me from having to “choose” my favorites. There were times I had to eliminate a time slot, so that took care of those situations without having to raise prices. They were just necessary based on school schedules and other life priorities.
So, at the time of this post, I have raised prices 3-4 times. A couple of times thinking that by raising my prices I wouldn’t have anyone left willing to pay that much. I was wrong. Now I make more money doing lashes on fewer clients- and they are all clients I love! I look forward to doing lashes after a decade of lashing. But not because of the job- but because of the PEOPLE!
IN THE END…
In the end, they say, no one ever said on his or her death bed, “ I wish I spent more time at the office.” But I think in my case, it might be different- slightly. I know the relationships and life lessons I have already learned will carry with me forever. I’m not really into being sappy, but I wrote this post because I think it is tragic that so many only view this wonderful skill and art of applying eyelash extensions as a way to earn a pay check. Although as I mentioned above, that is always the initial and main reason we all start- this can become so much more.
I wish all of you the very best in your lash careers. I hope that this insight will help you enjoy your chosen profession much more and deepen your relationships with your clients!
I am so grateful for each of you who take the time to like my posts and follow Lashes Direct on social media. I REALLY appreciate the comments and I would LOVE to know what your thoughts are on this post. Do I look crazy? Lol!