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raise rates
How to tell clients your rates are going up

Pricing your hair and makeup services can be a tricky thing. Most freelance hair and makeup professionals will charge as little as possible, hoping to make up for these low rates by sheer volume. But that only works if you are fully booked weeks in advance with low overhead. Now ask yourself: are you?

Didn’t think so.

To give you an idea, entry-level hair and beauty employees in Australia earn a minimum wage of $20.79 an hour, which also takes into consideration business costs like health care, licensing, taxes, and other business essentials. However, when you’re self-employed, you’ve got to consider the costs of doing business and the costs of living too.

And let’s be honest, you didn’t start your own business, just to make minimum wage.

It’s time to be confident about your business goals and start earning more money. Here’s how to fearlessly tell clients you’re raising your rates.

 

Change your money mindset

Fear and uncertainty are the main reasons freelance hair and makeup professionals are hesitant to increase their rates. Maybe you’re afraid you might lose regular clients, or that you won’t be able to get new clients to book you at these higher rates. Whatever the reason, you can’t avoid having the money talk with clients forever.

To grow confidence, you need to set successful goals and take action.

So first, you focus on the outcome: envision yourself with a fully booked schedule but with plenty of time left to focus on the business. Picture paying yourself generously and living the lifestyle you want. This will happen when you raise your rates!

 

Come up with a plan

Clients won’t rush to hand over more money. In fact, most upward shifts in pricing are usually met with resistance. Without clear benefits over the competition, why should they book you at a higher price? Make clients aware of the benefits of booking you. Benefits to clients could be luxurious products and equipment or specialty treatments. Wondering how to keep existing clients on board? Give them a chance to book at the same rate one last time, to remind them why they come to you in the first place.

Do you break down at the slightest objection? Check out the tips in last year’s article on what to do when clients say you’re too expensive. Practice role-playing with a friend or family member to avoid fumbling over words and showing insecurity to clients. Also, don’t take no for an answer straight away. Stubborn clients may need some time to come around, so try following up through a quick message via email or social media to gauge if they’re ready to book again.

 

Earn more as a freelance hair and makeup professional

Do you constantly feel the need to validate yourself? We know the hair and makeup industry is very competitive. However, every freelancer has walked the same path as you and if you want to be successful, you need to be able to accept criticism and hold your ground.

You deserve to earn an income that sustains your business and lifestyle without having to feel sorry. Ask for the money you want without fear and take your business to the next level.

Not signed up for Stylemee yet? Try it for FREE here or download the app for iOS or Android.

boost your business income
4 ways to boost your hair and makeup business income

Want to give your hair and makeup business an income boost? Try being consistent in your marketing efforts. Although it may seem like you’re boring, consistency is what makes your business profits grow.

With so many online and offline marketing channels it’s easy to hop from one new marketing idea to the next. If you feel like you’ve tried all of the marketing tricks in the book, you may have been trying too hard.

So try a little less hard, and use the magic ingredient most hair and makeup professionals tend to overlook when promoting their business: being consistent.

Are you getting your marketing right? Let’s look at a few marketing inconsistencies and find out how you can reduce them.

 

#1 Cement your brand in the mind of your client

Mixed messages can damage your earnings. You want to cement your brand in the mind of your client, and that means keeping a consistent look, feel and voice. Achieve consistency by auditing all of your online and offline marketing channels every quarter. This goes for social media too. Make sure to keep your posts on brand, on message and consistent across all channels. Remember, sloppy posting can cost your business money!

 

#2 Deliver a seamless service, every visit

There is nothing worse than when someone walks through the door with a negative vibe. So when it comes to delivering a wow-experience, your clients shouldn’t be able to notice a difference whenever they book you. From the moment you walk through their door, remember to smile big, take a deep breath, and exhale whatever negative energy you might be carrying around with you. Want to learn some better ways to shake off negativity? Check out this blog for an awesome article about how to stay positive as a freelance hair and makeup professional.

 

#3 Communication is key

Don’t you find it annoying to be phoned by a business, when you’ve specifically asked for a text or email, not a call? With so many different clients and so many different ways, communication is an area where consistency counts. Clients do like to receive news and offers but always make sure you check how they prefer to be contacted and record the information.

 

#4 Check the figures

Being consistent in your marketing efforts also means being consistent about measuring them. Don’t just stick to the usual business stats but measure your core marketing tools too. For instance, if you want to know if you really are delivering a seamless service, check how many new clients you gained in this period and find out how many clients rebook you after their first appointment. If only 3 out of 10 clients return, chances are there is room for improvement. Want to find out if your social media is a success? Measure the engagement, and find out how many people use your online booking link or visit your website via social media.

 

Have questions? Want us to cover certain topics? Email us at sav@stylemee.com and we’ll answer your questions in a blog post!

new year business resolutions
4 New Year resolutions for freelance hair and makeup professionals

New Year is the time for a fresh start. An opportunity to turn the page on your life and your business, and decide where you want to be heading over the next year.

We all have New Year resolutions, and we are all guilty of slacking on them. Incorporating New Year resolutions isn’t something that happens overnight, though. It’s something that is developed over time and requires a plan.

So how do you make those business resolutions happen? These 4 tips will help you overcome procrastination and create New Year resolutions that stick.

 

#1 Focus!

It’s easy to write a long and epic list of New Year business resolutions, but come February you’re probably still wondering how to make it happen. That’s why you need to focus.

Start by examining each resolution on your list and imagine how you’d feel if you’d accomplished them. Then picture the difference it’ll make to your business and assess what you will lose if you don’t do it.

Now that you’ve pondered over each and every one of them, pick the 3 resolutions that are most important to you and cross the rest of them off the list. You’re now free to focus on the 3 most important business resolutions on your list.

 

#2 Write a plan

The most effective way to focus on making your New Year business resolutions happen is by writing a marketing plan for your business.

Assess what worked in 2018, and write down what didn’t work that well, where the gaps are, and which areas you need to throw extra energy or budget at in 2019 to give your business the boost it deserves.

Now, close your eyes and visualize how you’d love your hair or makeup business to run in 2019. Turn these thoughts into SMART marketing goals (Specific, Meaningful, Achievable, Realistic and Time-limited), and think about what you need to put in place to check your progress over the coming year.

 

#3 Get creative

If you’re a visual, creative person, then this one’s for you! Rather than just writing down a list of resolutions, try creating a vision board of resolutions instead. A vision board is a tool that has long been popular with successful entrepreneurs, designers, and celebrities.

Al you have to do, is tear out or download motivating pictures from magazines, include motivational quotes that inspire you, write your business solutions out and pin them on the board.

 

#4 Make it happen

Now that you’ve made your business resolutions visual, it’s time to focus on how to get there. Think bite-size steps. How are you going to attract those new hair and makeup clients?

  • Post on Instagram every day
  • Ask clients for reviews
  • Block off weekly time on your calendar to focus on marketing

 

Need some extra help with all of that? Join Stylemee, the one-stop-destination for your freelance hair and makeup business. Download the app and start managing your profile, calendar, bookings and payments on your phone anywhere, anytime. It’s that simple!

Download the Stylemee Pro app on Android or iOS, or sign up now.

 

hair and makeup discount
How to avoid hair and makeup discount mistakes

You have probably pondered about this question many times: Should I offer a discount on my hair and makeup services? Especially when it’s quiet, and all your competitors seem to be discounting everything.

At those times, it can feel like offering a discount on your services is the only way to go. But is it, though? The short answer is: sometimes.

The marketing secret is in knowing when and how to give discounts. Use them wisely, and they can boost your freelance beauty business. But use them wrongly, and they can damage your brand and ruin your profits.

Want to avoid hair and makeup discount mistakes? Here’s what you need to know.

 

Consider the two different audiences

Like it or not, discounts certainly have a role in marketing new hair and makeup clients. If you want to persuade that new client to give you a try, instead of your competitors, sometimes only a discount will do the trick.

We’ll let you in on a little secret: a study led by Akshay Rao of the University of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Management suggests that clients perceive an additional 50% for free approach as being more valuable than a 33% off discount, when in fact both discounts are exactly the same offering!

When it comes to your current clients, our marketing advice is: don’t do it, unless you really have to. And if you really have to, give added value instead of a discount.

For instance, if you want to reward loyalty, offer a complimentary hair treatment with a colour service. Or if you want to increase your bookings during the quiet period after Christmas, offer an upgrade from a basic makeup service to a premium makeup service if they book their next appointment between January 2nd and February 28th.

But no matter who you target, always make sure your promotion is visible on your website, booking page, or social media page, and remember to set out detailed terms and conditions so you won’t get caught out. You do want to make it profitable, so you need to do your maths to work out exactly what monetary value you’re giving away.

 

The best discount types and how to use them

Now that we know the difference between discounts for new clients versus existing clients, let’s take a look at some of the different types of discounts and the best time to use them.

 

A free hair or makeup gift

We all love freebies! From a client’s perspective, a gift with each service enhances the value of that service. Try offering free products or additional treatments with every service, or offer a gift card for the next booking.

 

Seasonal discounts

Want to avoid looking desperate for business? Don’t just push out a discount, but make sure you have a reason for it. Big holidays like Christmas, New Year, and Valentine’s day are great for seasonal discounts, but it could also be a client’s birthday or a local event happening in your area.

 

Thank you offers

What better way of showing your existing clients your appreciation that by emailing or texting them an exclusive offer to thank them for their loyalty. A thank you message will make your client feel good and it’s perfect for filling up the gaps in your calendar.

 

Last-minute booking deals

Another great way to fill up the gaps is by offering reduced prices for last-minute bookings. Make sure these discounts can only be taken at the eleventh-hour, otherwise your clients might take it for granted.

Want to set up discount offers on your Stylemee booking page? Get in touch now, and we’ll fix it for you. Download the Stylemee Pro app on iTunes and Android, the one-stop destination for freelance beauty professionals.

how to stay positive as a freelance beauty professional
How to stay positive as a freelance beauty professional

Life of a freelance beauty professional can be a bit like a rollercoaster ride. The highs of making more money, serving your sweet spot client, and doing what you love are thrilling and exciting, while the dips and twists that come along with the job can really throw you off if you don’t know how to handle them.

You may wonder if you’re cut out for this business, or if you’re able to make it in the industry. You stop loving your work, and suddenly you find yourself wishing you were back in a 9-to-5 job.

Despite the dips and twists, working as a freelancer comes with a lot of positive moments and accomplishments as well, and it’s these positives that make the lifestyle worth it.

So how do you stay positive as a freelance beauty professional?

Let’s find out.

 

When work dries up, remind yourself why you started

Freelance work often comes in cycles, and the moment things start to feel stagnant, you start panicking about paying the bills. This is the perfect moment to take a minute to remember why you became a freelance beauty professional in the first place.

Is it your dream to work for just one person on a never-ending 9-to-5 job? Didn’t think so. Just remember the freedom and flexibility, and think about the aspects of the work that make you smile. Learn to embrace the cycles of busy periods, followed by quieter periods, and enjoy the thrill of the hustle.

 

Dealing with difficult clients will only make you stronger

We all have to deal with them from time to time: the penny-pinchers, the chronically late, and the rude. Difficult clients come in all shapes and sizes, and while they can get under your skin, remember that dealing with them helps build emotional resilience.

Want to stay away from difficult clients? Start targeting your sweet spot client and follow these tips to reduce your no-show-rate to emergencies only.

 

Celebrate your success, however small it may seem

We all like to celebrate, don’t we? So why not celebrate that new client you brought in, or that dreaded task you finally ticked off your to-do list? Celebrating your success, however small it may seem, will help give your confidence a well-deserved boost, and help you stay motivated on your journey.

Looking for fellow freelance beauty professionals to celebrate your successes with? Join Stylemee and become part of a group of talented hair and makeup artists

 

Download the Stylemee Pro app on Android or iOS now. With the Stylemee Pro app, you can create a compelling profile in less than 30 minutes. Once your profile is set up and approved, you can start focussing on growing your business and brand, while Stylemee handles the rest.

Get booked, get paid, and grow your business. It’s that simple!

Increase your income, set successful goals

Do you ever feel like you’re working hard but not getting anywhere?

As a freelance beauty professional, you’re always looking to grow your business. Maybe you want to build an empire, or just be able to work less and spend more time with your family.

Either way, increasing your income will pave the way. But you constantly have to make progress if you want to make this happen. It’s all about making small, step-by-step improvements over time.

Simply saying “I am going to make more money this year” isn’t going to cut it. Your goals should be specific and measurable in order to be successful. Here’s how to do it.

 

Be SMART

Goal setting is important, no matter what type of business you’re running. Research shows that people who create goals for themselves are more successful.

You’re probably familiar with the SMART goal setting method. It’s a way of setting goals that are not only specific and measurable but also achievable, relevant and time-bound.

So, instead of saying “I am going to make more money this year”, you should say something like: “I will increase my daily/weekly/monthly earnings by X%.”

 

Be polished and put together

Let’s say your earnings for the previous month are $5000, and your goal is to increase your monthly earnings by 10%, you will need to make an additional $500 this month. How are you going to do it?

Wow your clients, by giving them a unique experience. Make them feel like they are getting personalized treatment, and make sure you dress to impress. Show your clients that you are in control, have great taste, and take your professionalism seriously.

 

On the spot offers

Another way to increase your income on the spot is by offering add-ons and products. Take the opportunity to give a consultation during each appointment and see how your client is feeling about their hair or their skin.

Introduce them to the products you use, or come up with a few add-on services that are high value to your clients and low cost to you. Selling add-on services or products can add up to thousands of extra dollars at the end of the month.

 

Fill in the gaps

Want to see a big increase in your monthly earnings? Take a look at your schedule and see if you can fill in the gaps. Reach out to clients via social media to let them know you have some last minute openings and add the link to your personal booking page.

You could consider running a promotion or offering a discount to give those bookings a boost.

 

Stay on track with Stylemee

With the Stylemee Pro app, you can keep a close eye on your monthly earnings. That way, when you set goals for yourself at the beginning of the month, you can easily track your progress.

Take some time this week to set a SMART goal for yourself and use the Stylemee Pro app to stay on track. Growing your freelance business was never this easy!

Download the Stylemee Pro app for iOS or Android.

holiday season
How to prepare your freelance beauty business for the holiday season

The holiday season, probably the most stressful time of the year for freelance beauty professionals. You have no real PTO and have to serve clients who don’t really care if you miss out on all the Christmas parties if it means they get to look beautiful on theirs.

However, there are some real benefits to freelancing during the holiday season, and with the right strategy, planning and attitude, you could be having the most wonderful time of the year.

Here are the top things you can do now to prepare your freelance beauty business for the holiday season.

 

Let’s talk boundaries

It’s not just you who’s booked solid in December. Your clients are probably swamped too. If you don’t set boundaries, clients will try booking last minute or outside of your regular hours, or even start messaging you once they realize you don’t have many openings left.

So, the first thing to do is block off your own holiday and personal time. In order to put forward the best you, you need your rest. Plus, you deserve it!

Next, if you’re planning on opening up extra holiday hours for booking, let your clients know in advance. Tell them your schedule is super busy during the holiday season and you won’t be able to accommodate any requests outside of these hours.

 

Pre-booking for peace of mind

Want to avoid booking stress during the holiday season? Get clients to pre-book appointments.

Make an announcement on your booking page, website, or social media page that your holiday schedule is filling up quickly, and if clients want to secure a spot, they’ll need to book their holiday appointment as soon as possible.

Not only does a calendar filled with pre-bookings means peace of mind for you, but it also avoids last-minute panic for clients. They can book their holiday appointment at the time that suits them best.

 

Post your #holidaylook on Instagram

If filling empty columns is still on your to-do list, the best way to get clients to book a holiday appointment is by posting your best holiday looks on Instagram.

Remember to include a clear call to action in your post, such as “Want to sparkle just like @client during the holidays? Click on the link in bio to book your holiday appointment before my schedule fills up!”

 

‘Tis the season to be selling

The holiday season is the season to be selling, so why not add a holiday package to the menu? Take some of your most booked services and create a special package that’s only available during the holidays.

Not only does this encourage clients to spend a little extra, but it’s also an opportunity for them to try a new service they might continue booking in the future.

 

Season’s greetings

The holiday season is a wonderful opportunity to thank your loyal clients, reward them and get them booked in for the new year. Show loyal clients you appreciate them with something as simple as a personal thank you card or email.

For those sweet spot clients, who love your services, who buy additional products or services from you, who re-book you, and who recommend you to their friends and family, give them a small complimentary add-on service or a “Thank You” gift card for your services.

This way, you’re giving your loyal clients a reason to come back. Plus, you’re filling those gaps in the quite January weeks.

 

Stay organised with Stylemee

Are you a freelance beauty professional, looking to stay on top of your game during the holiday season? Download the Stymelee Pro app, the one-stop destination for your freelance beauty business, and manage your freelance business anywhere, anytime.

With Stylemee, you can just focus on your work, while we manage everything else. Running a freelance business was never this easy. Sign up now!

Freelance hairdresser
These are the 5 basics for becoming your own boss

Deciding to leave the comfort and safety of a full-time job is a tough decision to make. Still, it’s a risk many are willing to take in order to enjoy a life of freedom and flexibility.

Maybe you’re working in an already established salon, with regular clients and a regular paycheck. Or maybe you’re doing something completely different and decided it’s time to start pursuing your dream.

Regardless of your current job, if there’s no room for you to grow, it’s time to take the plunge and set-up your own freelance beauty business.

But, before taking the leap, let’s cover these business basics for successfully becoming your own boss.

 

#1 Start saving some money

Before giving up your full-time job, make sure to save a good amount of money. You will need enough money to buy all the supplies and equipment, and a little extra in case it takes you a while to get your business up and running.

It also pays to hire an accountant to guide you through your first year. This way, you’ll learn how to manage your books and organize your paperwork, and you’ll get a clear understanding of the tax deductions and credits you’re entitled to.

 

#2 Grow your clientele

When starting your own freelance beauty business, it’s important to build a solid clientele. You need to know how to attract and keep clients that’ll love your services, rebook you, and recommend you to their friends and family.

Create a marketing plan that targets your sweet spot client, and make sure you have a clear understanding of what your competitors are doing and how you provide a better value than them.

Instagram is the perfect platform to market your beauty services to potential clients. It’s visual, shareable and easy to use. Plus, it’s free marketing.

 

#3 The perfect kit

As a freelance beauty professional, you need to be well-equipped to keep your business going and your clients happy.

Building the perfect kit takes time and is a financial investment. Concentrate on quality, and choose suppliers that allow you to order online, and that offer fast and reliable delivery.

Strapped for cash? QC Makeup Academy wrote a great article on how to build your makeup artistry kit on a budget.

 

#4 Check your attitude at the door

In the early days, you might only have a few client bookings per week, which can be terrifying and stressful. But, no matter what’s going on in your business or personal life, check your attitude at the door.

Make sure your kit, personal appearance, attitude and services are always on point and beam confidence. The more confident you are, the more confident clients will be in you. And the more confidence clients will have in you, the more they will refer you to their friends and family.

If you stand by your work and make sure you leave your client feeling happy and beautiful, success will follow you anywhere you go.

 

#5 Have an exit plan

No matter how excited you are to get started on your freelance journey, make sure you leave your current job on good terms and give plenty of notice.

If you’re working for a salon, you may have built very personal relationships with your current salon clients. However, that doesn’t automatically mean they are yours to take when you decide to go freelance.

Have an open chat with your current salon owner to discuss how you will choose to part ways with each other and your clients to prevent any miscommunication later.

 

Bonus tip: make Stylemee your front desk

Want to become a freelance beautiful and stay on top of your life? Download the Stymelee Pro app, and get more done!

You can create a compelling profile in less than 30 minutes, showcase your work, and manage your calendar, bookings, and payments on the go.

Becoming your own boss was never this easy. Sign up now!

freelance beauty professional
What salon owners can learn from freelance beauty professionals

Recently, we had an interview with Alarna Bell, Melbourne makeup legend and Stylemee Ambassador, about starting and growing a freelance beauty business.

For 18 years, Alarna had her own salon, and in May 2018, she took a leap of faith and decided to close the salon and go freelance. Simply because everyone was booking her on location.

As an example, last year, Alarna did over a hundred wedding bookings and only three of those bookings came into the salon. Nowadays, people want you to do their hair and makeup in the comforts of their own home.

Are you a salon owner, looking to maintain a competitive edge? Here’s why you should get in on that wave of the freelance economy trend now.

The no. 1 thing clients want today is to save time

Many freelance beauty professionals are thriving despite competition from salons. In fact, in the current economic climate, salon owners could probably take a leaf out of the freelance beauty professionals’ book.

In modern fast-paced society, it’s all about convenience. The population has become a different type of consumer, one that’s glued to services like Uber, Netflix and Airbnb.

If people are going to a place, like a salon, they want to have a different experience and offering, and they want it yesterday. Otherwise, they just turn to technology.

As a salon owner, you will need to start adapting to these changes in the industry. You’ve got to be able to get out there and service these people where they want you. Otherwise, you will surely get left behind.  

 

Service both salon clients and mobile clients

Even if you have a well-established salon, that’s regularly busy, and that gives you lots of clients to work with, you probably still have quiet days or moments. So, why not make the most of it, and start offering your services to mobile clients too?

Servicing both salon clients and mobile clients is a great way to gradually crossover to the freelance path, and with Stylemee, you can set up an online booking page for your salon in less than 30 minutes.

Your personal Stylemee page allows you to showcase your work, and manage your calendar, client bookings, and payments in a simple and secure way.

Next time one of your staff members has a quiet day or a few gaps, simply update their availability in the Stylemee Pro app and start taking bookings.

Australian dollars
Here’s what to do when clients say you’re too expensive

There’s nothing worse than getting stuck on-the-spot when a client says you’re too expensive.

Hearing your services are overpriced is just part of being in business. In fact, if a client has never told you that you’re too expensive, you’re probably not charging enough.

Still, it stings, doesn’t it? But instead of getting offended, be prepared with an explanation, and learn to take advantage of the situation.

Here are a few tips to help you navigate the conversation after a client says you charge too much.

 

Compared to what?

When a client tells you, “you’re too expensive”, they’re actually making an unconscious comparison. They’re measuring your rates against something else, and you don’t even know what that something else is.

Next time you hear a client saying your services are too expensive, ask them, “compared to what?” Maybe they’re comparing you to another stylist who may not be as experienced as you, and they don’t understand the true value of your services.

 

You get what you pay for

Some clients may have no idea what to expect when it comes to rates, so it’s important your clients understand they’re getting what they pay for. More experience, education, and skills equal a higher quality experience, which means higher rates.

Defining exactly why your rates what they are will teach both you and your client a lot about your services.

Only you know what your services are actually worth, so you must believe in your rates. If you know your rates reflect your experience and skill level, there’s no need to feel discouraged when someone says you’re too expensive.

 

You will always be too expensive for some people

No matter what you charge, you will always be too expensive for some people. It’s part of running a successful business.

Remember, not every client is a good fit for you, so it’s important to consider if a client is worth your time. If a client isn’t likely to book you again in the future or recommend you to their family and friends, it might be time to let them go.

However, sometimes, a client is genuinely interested but they may not be able to afford you at the moment. These serious potential clients may book you in the future, so it’s important to maintain a good relationship with them and communicate your value.

Your rates reflect your worth, and as long as you provide a valuable quality service, you will attract your sweet spot client. At Stylemee, we leave you in charge of pricing your services because we believe in transparency and flexibility.

Sign up now, join a talented community of freelance beauty professionals, and manage and grow your business on the go.