Beauty and barbering professionals are first creative and artistic. That’s definitely you. And that’s certainly me. Over my 26 years of industry experience, however, I’ve noted that it takes a bit more than just talent to be successful in what I feel is the best industry in the world. In fact, there are four main traits and skills that I believe are an asset if you want to make beauty and barbering a long-term career.
First, the backstory.
It’s true that the beauty and barbering is one of the few professions that literally touches everyone on the planet in some aspect. When I started cutting hair at the age of 11 years old, I knew I had found the gift that God put me on earth to live out. I saw many of my friends and fellow colleagues share this same skillset but chose instead to pursue other interests.
Perhaps they were a little apprehensive about pursuing a long-term career in the field of beauty and barbering. I can definitely understand that. One of the things that most of them marveled at was how much I truly loved what I did—from the long days standing on my feet to the multitude of conversations I’d have with clients. Standing on my feet for 12 hours a day did not bother me at all; it was actually fun and kept me off my butt. I like to think that that mindset dates back to my teenage years where as a three-sport athlete in high school, I was always on my feet and didn’t care to sit very long anyway. As a solopreneur building my business one client at a time, standing on my feet was the last of my worries. I went on to successfully finish barber and cosmetology school and later became a salon and barbershop owner.
What stands out and surprises many is that I took it upon myself to pursue my dreams. Looking back on my journey from then to now, I have accomplished more than I could have ever imagined. Today I am the CEO and cofounder of ShearShare, the first B2B mobile app that allows licensed beauty professionals to find empty salon and barbershop space to work by the day. I’m a best selling author and speaker, earned my Doctorate in Professional Barbering, and serve as a mentor and licensed instructor. It’s safe to say that I love beauty and barbering more today than I did when I first launched out in this industry more than 26 years ago.
So that’s my background. The following four traits are what I believe take a stylist from good to great.
The first asset will have to be #passion. This trait is really hands down the number one trait you must have in order to stay the course, because it is a major positive that can keep you going when you bump up against the challenges that you will undoubtedly face on your journey. Know this: If you are not in it for the passion and love, you’re wasting your time. Passion is that starting point that will overcome many obstacles you will face, because you’re starting out by seeing the glass as half full.
Not to mention that the results of your work will show when you have true passion. The client will know it as well.
Second is #personality. This is important for an array of reasons, your future, your success and mostly your leadership qualities. We live in a society where relationships matter. Most or all artists in beauty know that in order to really be successful, you have to be relational. Clients value the relationship they have with their stylist or barber—and they should—because it carries a lot of weight. Be positive and converse with your clients. This simple TO-DO t will help to build and retain clients, all while allowing your personality to lead the way.
The third one is the skill of #artistry. Why this important is because no one person is alike. For example, even if you give two different people the same haircut, color, and style, the technique in which you go about accomplishing your results will differ. The texture of the hair will be different and/or the color of their hair may not be the same. Being able to service various types of hair and people speaks volumes to your artistry and unique skillset. There is no “one size fits all” service; the goal is to be well rounded. Note: Every client you service is a brand-new canvas and billboard to market your art.
Last but not least is #consistency. I always say that talent will get you through the door, but it will not keep you in the room. To have longevity in anything requires consistency, because consistency is key to your future success. I speak at cosmetology and barber schools around the nation, and to industry vets and in speaker forums of all kinds. When I first started in this industry over 25 years ago building clientele, and a new client would get in my chair, I was always thinking ahead for his/her next service and how I would replicate what I was doing in that moment. This has to be your mindset as a beauty or barbering professional. Do yourself a favor and focus on the quality of the service, not the quantity of people. Remember, repeat business is the name of the game, and only you determine that from your work.
I hope you take these four skills and traits and apply them to your arsenal to better serve your current clientele and future clients. Make an impact, it will take you places you never dreamed of. Choose today to go from good to great!
For more best-practice business articles for licensed cosmetologists and barbers, click around on the ShearShare blog at blog.shearshare.com!