Is it the competition or is it complacency?

I read it all the time, “There are too many lash artists in my area! I can’t find clients!”

But in reality, there likely aren’t. Yes, there are very small towns that may have an abundance of artists, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t stand out. In a large city, there are thousands of opportunities, every day, to get new clients. The problem is more apt to be how you market yourself.

The global population is sitting at around 52% female, right now. So unless you’re in a town of under 40,000 people, you should be able to get a piece of that clientele pie with no problems.

The average lash artist can only have between 100-160 appointments per month. That’s allowing for a full 40hr work week and well timed sets. Of those available appointments, at least 60% should be regular clients with multiple appointments each month. It would take 100 of these artists to see 18,000 clients in a month.

Here are some questions that you should ask yourself, Grab a pen!

  • Who is my ideal client? What age, what do they do, what are their hobbies? Do I want one time clients or regular clients?
  • What is their income? Regular clients are ones that have regular disposable income they’re willing to spend.
  • What is their lifestyle? Are they going to care for their investment or destroy my work in two days?
  • What is their likely source of advertising? Do I need to advertise online or locally or both?
  • When and where do they view ads? Are they likely to see something at 9am or 8pm? At the coffee shop or on Facebook?

In the Lash Industry, we talk all the time about finding your tribe. Your clientele is part of your tribe. If you’re a twenty-something who loves buying online, you may want other twenty-somethings who buy online as your clients. But if you’re looking to cater to the over 40 crowd, you may need to advertise somewhere other than Instagram or target your advertising to different time slots. Learn to use the analytics that are built into the platforms you use to advertise. They can make a big difference in how you advertise!

Outside the box

I’m going to speak about local advertising. Don’t get me wrong, social media marketing works, but it’s not your only option and it might not be hitting that target demographic you’re aiming for. For me, online marketing was not as worthwhile as getting out there into my local community. Here’s why…

My ideal client is over 35, has an established career, owns a home and likely has pets. They like to travel and they like to enjoy the amusements available in my town.

I’m in a tourist town in the middle of BC, Canada, population approximately 152,000. Hiking, skiiing, boating, lakeside lounging, great eats, micro brews, winery tours, biking, etc. are all available. There isn’t a huge shopping culture here. There aren’t a lot of diverse entertainment options, like night clubs, theaters and galleries.

Waterside Yoga

There are a LOT of dinners out with the gals and the culture here is kinda rustic beverly hills more than park avenue. While we have a significant number of blue collar folks, we also have the high-high end clients who are either retired or enjoy a second home here as a good chunk of the population. They almost did a “Housewives of” here, as a matter of fact.

If I cut the population of just my immediate town in half (76,000) and discard half again that aren’t ever going to be clients, due to style or indifference, I still have a potential client pool of around 38,000. It would take over 200 lash artists to fully saturate that market. I think there are about 45 currently working full time. That’s a wide open field for the available 29,000 still without an artist!

Some of these local women are IG veterans and love social media. But not the majority. They love their local shops and local wines and they’re much more interested in patronizing a local studio that they hear their friends talk about than any chain. Word of mouth is the phrase of the day! They may find you on a local high end beauty or swap group on Facebook, but they’ll disregard the average ad on Marketplace. If they see your brochure in their favorite local coffee shop, they’ll snap a pic on their phone and call you before they look you up on google.

Getting the idea? Social media marketing doesn’t hit my target demographic the way it can for others. My ideal clients have busy lives and don’t spend much time On social media because they’re out there living and working.

If I’m not monetizing on local advertisement through networking, individually and with other businesses, my name doesn’t get out there.

My Local Solutions

So, here are a few of my alternative strategies that have served very well over the past 6 years.

I donate gift certificates to 2 local charity events every year.
I’m a member of a Women In Business chapter that (pre-C19) did monthly meetups and gave me the opportunity to speak to other local professional women who might be interested in my services.
I attend a monthly local networking event open to local business and consumers.
I partner with a couple of local businesses to showcase some of their materials in my studio and they have my business cards and brochures in their businesses, and a couple of owners and employees wear my lashes.
I put up that brochure in my local coffee shop.
I occasionally post on a bulletin board at the university student union.
I offer a referral program to my regular clients.
Only rarely do I post on social media, for clients. Twice a year sales and occasional aftercare tips. The rest is for you Queens and Kings!

What marketing strategy works best for you? Shout out your ideas for different advertising venues!

Comment or reach out via Instagram, Facebook or email below!

Looking forward to hearing from you!