Models, friends & family

Friends and family have always been the best advocates for my business. Carrying out treatments on them is a great way of building a portfolio so future clients can refer to your photographs.

Consider treating your immediate support network for free or at a small charge to cover just your consumables. 

Get these models to recommend you to their friends/family for more practice. 

I always start talking about any new treatment I want to do training for and get the feelers out for who would like to  model. Existing clients are often enthusiastic to be models as they already know, like, trust me and want to support me. I do, however, limit numbers. I find that doing 15-20 models when I want to roll out a new treatment is a great way to feel confident before I release it in my clinic and charge for it. This may seem like a lot, but trust me, if you want to charge and treat with confidence, get the practice in.

SEO 

There are various ways to help with search engine optimization (SEO) and improve your ranking on Google.

Register Your Business with Google My Business 

This will be one of your most important resources for getting new clients. 

Ensure you fill out as much detail as possible. Hook it up to your database booking button.

Keep updating your Google My Business page with all the great work you’re doing. It will help to optimise it for better performance.

Reviews

Ask everyone you treat to leave you a review on various platforms, especially your models that are enjoying treatments at a reduced fee. Most clients are happy to do this for you.

Reviews build your authority and give you credibility.

Social media

Instagram, Facebook and TikTok are the main platforms I use to showcase my work. They work as a gallery for me too. Facebook has the benefit of a reviews section where you can ask your clients to leave their testimonials. 

Building reels, stories, lives, and engaging with your audience is a great way to build relationships, trust, and credibility while also showcasing your work.

Many clients who find me on Google go on to check my reviews and then also tend to cross reference with my social media. There are great artists out there, but the ones that really grab the attention of clients are the ones who are posting regularly on social media platforms.

Leaflet dropping

I recommend always starting with your local community to build up your client base and reputation. There are more than enough clients to go round, even if there may be competition in the area.

You may think it’s old fashioned but trust me, leaflet dropping works. The average response from a leaflet drop is 2-5%. That’s 2-5 people for every 100 leaflets dropped.

It’s been a very powerful way for me to tap into the local community and generate business. Every leaflet drop I have done has brought in business. Once the client is with you, and they like you, they’re very likely to return for more treatments and refer you to their contacts. Many of my leaflet drop clients have been with me for years.

Interested clients often hold on to leaflets and will eventually get in touch even if they don’t immediately. 

Leaflet dropping can be very beneficial but also hard work and time consuming. There are many companies out there that can take this job off your hands. 

I recommend using Dor2dor.com. They target specific areas that you may want to cover, and their costs are usually reasonable. However, it’s worth shopping around, getting quotes and checking reviews on the best options in your local area.

Team up & affiliate with similar businesses 

You could team up with similar businesses near you that don’t offer your services. You could offer clinic days in their salon where they get a cut of every customer they book for you, or they may just charge you a day rate.

Networking

One of the key ways of building my business up in the past few years has been by networking with local businesses. Look up local networking events. Some require more commitment than others. Try them out as a visitor and find one that you feel comfortable with and that suits your schedule. I’ve received some fantastic opportunities through networking and once people know, trust and like you they will always recommend you. Some groups have been better for me than others, but none of them were a waste of time. I’ve made some of the most useful contacts and not to mention friends through my time networking.

Customer service

This is the key ingredient to building up your business. Being friendly, polite, and caring takes you a long way. Sometimes we don’t always feel our best selves – BUT FAKE IT if you must! The client is coming for you for the service and not just the procedure. Building relationships is a key ingredient for your business to strive. A person will always remember how you made them feel. You may run late for a client, or there may be some other issues that crop up here or there. When you build positive relationships, there’s more room for patience and forgiveness for both client and practitioner.

Pricing

Check for your competition. Don’t undercharge as this devalues your service. Keep in line with competition to start with, and maybe start with an introductory discount to get things moving. Once you get enough portfolio models, the word is out and you start building a regular clientele, aim to increase your prices towards a premium service.

Marketing

Showcase your work on social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and TikTok as well as your website. These will act like your gallery and your clients can also keep up to date on what you are doing and offering as well as communicate with you. 

Reputation 

Strive to create the best reputation around. Work slowly and thoroughly and when you’re starting out, don’t be cheap. If a client needs an additional treatment as they have a slight patch, fix it for them with no quibble. They’ll remember you for this customer care and tell others how caring you have been and the pride you take in your treatments. Once you start getting more experience you will achieve perfect brows almost every time. Sometimes perfection takes a bit longer and a bit of extra time. Remember the no quibble mentality within reason.

Integrity

To build a good reputation, integrity is key. Integrity means that you’re honest, behave ethically and strive to do the right thing. Sometimes the right thing can be to kindly decline treating a client as they may not be a good fit, or have had previous work done elsewhere which means there is no room for you to do a treatment and help them. Politely refuse to treat clients who are emotionally fragile, vulnerable, or indecisive. In these cases, it’s good practice to ask them to go away and think about the treatment and give them a complimentary second consultation later, so you treat them under calmer circumstances. You protect them from having a treatment done on a whim and you also protect yourself from future complaints. If you feel uneasy about treating them, it’s ok to inform them that, in your professional opinion, they’re not a suitable candidate for this procedure. Offer them alternatives.

Consultation fee

I do recommend you charge for this to prevent no-shows. You can have a policy in place so that this fee is redeemable against the treatment should they go ahead and book within a time frame as an incentive for the client to book in sooner rather than later. After this time the consultation fee can lapse and expire so that should the customer not return for 2 years, they are not expecting the redemption of this fee. In any case, should the client return after a prolonged period, a new consultation procedure should be carried out as there may likely be changes to their health or lifestyle.

Deposits 

In general, you will find that customers expect to pay a deposit for expensive treatments, and I strongly advise that you put this policy into your terms and conditions to protect you from time wasters and no-shows. For a procedure like fat dissolving treatments, I normally ask for a 50% deposit at the time of booking with the balance to be paid on the day.