One of the questions I'm asked the most by new and aspiring Barber's (especially when starting at a new shop or area) is "How do I build up my clientele?" Here are some of the suggestions I always offer,...nothing groundbreaking but rather some tried and true ways that worked for me in my early years and have afforded me a booked clientele, and an overflow that keeps the other chairs in the Parlor booked too.
(1) Make some business cards with all of your pertinent contact information and hand them out everywhere. You don't make business cards to hold on to them, so hand them out when at restaurants, church, the grocery store, bars, coffee shops, and anywhere that has potential clients in need of your services. (2) Remind client's after each service to rebook for their next appointments, so that they get into a regular cadence of haircut frequency. (3) If client's are happy with the service you gave them, ask them to leave positive feedback for you on Yelp or Google Reviews. This helps potential new clients using Yelp in your area, and it's free advertising. Also give them a few of your business cards and ask them to refer anyone they think may appreciate your services. (4) Instagram is a free way of advertising your work and letting clients know more about you. Post quality photos of the haircuts you've done, ask coworkers to take some photos of you working, and even add some photos of you doing things you enjoy outside of work to help potential clients relate to who you are when they see your page. As a general rule of thumb, I don't post anything that I wouldn't want my Mum, kids, family or Priest to see, so keep the content of your page tasteful and professional. If you want to post more personal and unprofessional stuff, make a second profile and keep it private.
5. Building a clientele requires endless self promotion, especially in the early and lean years. Patience, perseverance and persistence are they key to making sure that you're doing everything possible to get people in your chair.