When I was fairly new in the hair industry, I found myself on the fast-track to becoming a burnt-out stylist. I had been doing hair for several years and found myself trying to master all the things!
You know what I’m talking about. We want to know how to cut all the trendy and classic haircuts, and flawlessly execute all the latest color techniques, and create all the latest and greatest hairstyles, and on and on. We’ve all been there.
We want to be the best at everything!
But you know what happens (and it can happen quickly) when you try to excel at all the services for your clients, especially when you’re just starting out . . . you burn out!
The thrill of your new career becomes something you dread. You’re so busy trying to be the master of everything that you aren’t able to master anything except anxiety and insecurity.
AN IMPORTANT DECISION TO MAKE
After graduating from beauty school, you’ll face countless choices as you start your hairstyling career. There are many things to think about and the possibilities are limitless. It’s a very exciting but sometimes overwhelming process.
While many of the decisions you have to make will be easy, there’s one very strategic, career-defining decision that you might not even know you need to consider.
What’s your service niche?
In other words, what do you want to be known for as a hairstylist?
When I was on my path of becoming a burnt-out stylist, I was blessed to work with an amazing stylist who saw where I was headed. One day, he asked me, “Sherri, what do you want to be known for as a hairstylist?”
I had no idea how to answer that question. Until then, the thought of what service I wanted to be known for never even crossed my mind so I didn’t know what to say. But one thing I did know was that he gave amazing haircuts, and since I struggled with haircutting, I told him I want to be known for great haircuts.
WHY DOES IT MATTER?
Why is it important to decide what you want to be known for?
There are many reasons why this is important but in my opinion, the number one reason is because you need to gain your clients’ trust in you and in your abilities. They need to see and feel your confidence in yourself and in your skills if they’re going to sit in your chair and keep coming back.
This can be very difficult because when we graduate from beauty school, we know how to do things, but we don’t know how to truly do them yet. The only way to learn is through experience, and when you’re just starting out, you don’t have the experience yet. It’s a challenge we face with anything new that we learn.
So why not decide which service ignites your passion and focus on mastering that service. I’m not suggesting that you say no to the other services – I’m suggesting that you deeply focus on the niche that lights you up the most so you can build your confidence, your reputation, your clientele and your income!
FROM BURNT-OUT TO ON FIRE!
You may be wondering how it turned out for me when I said I want to be known for my haircuts. After years of continuing education and practice, practice, practice, I can proudly say that today, I’m known as a master in precision haircutting.
I became a professional educator for industry leaders like Wella, Paul Mitchell and Graham Webb, and I created a nationally recognized apprenticeship program when I owned my salon in northern California.
That doesn't mean that all I did was haircutting. What happened is that I became the best I could possibly be at that one service, and I started attracting clients who were looking for a master in precision haircutting.
When clients sat in my chair, they already had confidence in me because they were either referred by somebody who had received one of my haircuts or they read a review about me.
So not only did they book an appointment with me, but they also trusted in me and my abilities, which made it easier for me to be a creative professional. And they trusted me to do other services on them as well.
WHAT’S YOUR SERVICE NICHE?
What do you want to be known for as a hairstylist? What service truly lights you up?
When you become really good at something, you’ll become confident in yourself. Your confidence will be revealed in the way you speak and in the way you carry yourself.
The clients who sit in your chair will be coming to you because they already have confidence in you. And they’ll most likely be referring you to their friends and family as well!
If you don’t know what you want to be known for as a hairstylist, please take some time to think it through, and make this discovery a priority. This decision (if you follow through with it and begin investing in yourself to master it) has the potential to change your career trajectory from burnt-out to on fire!
My career is proof that it works!
On Point Hair Academy and my Own Your Chair program were created for stylists like you who need just a little help (or a lot of help) in different areas of their hairstyling business. You don’t have to take this hairstyling journey alone.
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Remember, your work is not about you. Your work is about how you make your clients feel.