I'm going to talk about 2 ways professional hair stylist networking can greatly benefit your beauty career.
1. Building Clientele
2. Landing Gigs
Are you familiar with the "6 Degrees of Separation" Game"? I know someone that knows someone that knows someone that knows someone, etc.
Building clientele can work the exact same way, but you have to work the machine.
Say you did Maggie's hair and Maggie was thrilled. Maggie tells her bestie and posts on Facebook that she just found an awesome stylist working at La Bella Foo Foo Salon.
5 of her FB friends post it to their mother's page because mom was looking for a new girl.
It can be that easy! Building clientele isn't very tricky but it does take consistency and perseverance. Find more clientele building techniques here.
If you want some insight on a salon referral program this article gives you great information! (will open in a fresh window)
When speaking of a "gig" I mean any specialized job or freelance opportunity you may desire. Shoot, even getting your foot in the door at the most prestigious salon in town.
My newbies, I want to have a heart to heart with you for a second. From my vast experience, there are few professional hair stylists out there who are willing to do the work it takes to live the life of their dreams.
Everyone can dream. It doesn't take any real energy to do it. But when it comes time to go after the dream people won't make a move.
So what happens?
They either stay in the same salon or salon hop. Staying put can be someone's dream. Working for different salons may be someone's dream. Nothing is right or wrong, only right or wrong for YOU.
But if you are one who dreams big and intends on living the dream in reality instead of just in your head, then you are going to have to fight inertia and take active steps in the direction of your dreams.
Got it? Good. Moving on.
So how do you network your way to your dreams?
You start somewhere, anywhere.
And build, build, build.
Every step you take to meet others and get noticed counts. It's like building a house with bricks. You may only have 2 bricks to start with. It doesn't matter.
Every contact is a brick. And over time the bricks add up until one day you find yourself living in a beautiful brick palace called your successful beauty career.
An example of how to use professional hair stylist networking to land a gig:
Say you wanted to do fashion hair for photo shoots eventually leading you to working for a style magazine.
Where could you start? You are working in a little salon, how could you possibly ever get to do fashion hair for photographers?
Sounds like a biggie, huh?
Well every vision begins with a step, even if it is a small one.
First of all, you get your head right. Start thinking that you can do it! It will take a little time but you will get there.
Next, get your skills going. Work, practice, develop.
Start networking. Start with small photographer studios or local colleges that offer photography classes. Offer your services for free. Advertise what you want on Craigslist. "Awesome professional hair stylist seeks hair styling opportunity for photo shoots. Free service to develop my portfolio."
Think from an amateur photographers point of view. He/she is building their portfolio as well! But who in the world would do their fashion makeup and hair for his models? He is looking for YOU!
Do some pro bono work for some photographers. Add the pics to your professional hair stylist portfolio. Add it to your resume.
Now branch out a little with your new experience under your belt. Go to local play theaters and start doing hair for the stage. By now you are getting better and more confident. People are getting to know you as a fashion hair designer.
Remember the amateur photographer? He got better too! And who is he going to call when he gets his first professional shoot? You, of course.
TA DA.....that is how professional hair stylist networking works to get you gigs.
EVERY CONTACT COUNTS!