Networking Tips For Every Independent Stylist
What You Need To Know
If you’re doin’ the damn thing as an independent stylist out there in the big, bad beauty biz world, we just wanna say one quick thing—we’ve got mad respect for your hustle. As a stylist, there are so many unique niches where you can flex your talents and by taking an independent spin on the stylist game, you’re allowing yourself huge opportunities.
The only problem? Well, you’re kind of on your own.
Don’t get us wrong, there’s no shame in the solo hustle game—and honestly, a lot of stylists perform better when they’re doing their own thing (and not having to worry about working with a team). But if we’re being honest, honing your networking abilities as a solo stylist or contractor is pretty dang vital for a lot of reasons.
Networking can help connect you with other artists who can mentor or teach you.
Networking can help you to expand your net of contacts in the beauty biz world (we’re talkin’ suppliers, brands, etc.). And, of course, networking can help you find new clients—we won’t pretend that one isn’t important.
Stylists who work in a traditional studio sort of give themselves that advantage because they’re consistently surrounded by others in the beauty business and others who can directly relate to their struggles (of course they can, they work for the same employer).
You, on the other hand, sort of have to start from scratch.No worries though—we’ve got you covered.
There are plenty of ways that you can rock your independent stylist game while maintaining a health networking schedule.
Not sure how? Get to reading!
Breakfast Club: Stylist Version
If you’re renting a salon space where other stylist rent, if you’ve got a few stylists friends in your Rolodex (err, or your contacts on your cell), or you’ve networked with a handful of stylists before, we suggest forming a breakfast club of sorts.
No, it doesn’t have to be a literal breakfast club—in fact, we can bet you’ll get better results if you turn it into a wine night (just a suggestion). Put on weekly events for independent stylists just like you where a solid group of professionals can chat, bond, and network with each other in a friendly, fun environment.
Attend Educational Events
Continuing your education as a stylist is a big part of your job—but it’s also a great way to meet up with other stylists.
We encourage you to attend educational events, tradeshows, expos, and more to learn, grow, and of course, meet people who work in the industry with you!
There’s nothing wrong with networking through your current clients! Sure, you’ll need to make sure you’re doing this professionally. Perhaps your client knows other independent stylists.
Heck, perhaps your client can turn you on to new clients. Either way, offer your current clients incentives or loyalty programs so they’ll be extra motivated to help you connect with new folks.
Local Business Clubs
All it takes is a quick Google search to find the local business clubs in your area—check out the Chamber of Commerce, the employment resource center, the local job fair, etc. There are plenty of clubs out there where you can network with other businessfolk, entrepreneurs, and stylists—you just have to know where to look.
These clubs are unique opportunities because, ideally, they’ll connect you both with other stylists as well as professionals (who could potentially turn from contacts to clients in a snap).
Teach a Workshop
Remember how we mentioned the educational event thing? If you’d much rather teach than be taught, we recommend putting those talents to use and putting on your own unique workshops.
This doesn’t have to be a huge, excessive thing—just pick something you’re great at that you know other stylists might benefit from. Make it a free thing and you can bet you’ll garner more than a handful of attendees.
Social Media Networking
You guys—this is why social media was invented!
Keep a lookout for groups in your area that might already exist or start a group for independent stylists. Sooner or later, stylists just like you will find your group and your network can consistently expand.
Seek Out Studio Space
If you’re super serious about making connections with other stylists and you’re not currently renting out studio space or a booth in a co-working set-up, we highly encourage that you take this step. Trust us, even if it takes a little while to develop relationships with the stylists who rent around you, camaraderie will happen and bonds will form.
The best part about this option? You likely won’t be limited to being around stylists just like you—maybe you’ll work next to barbers or cosmetologists or estheticians or nail techs. We love a well-rounded network.
Just because you relish the opportunity to work as a solo stylist doesn’t mean you have to keep yourself locked away from the world.
You deserve to have the job you desire and connect with people who relate to you—it doesn’t have to be one or the other! We encourage you to give some (or all!) of these tips a try—who knows, you might be running your own beauty squad of independent stylists in no time.