Mar 1, 2021

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Your Secret Weapon In Business (How to Become Fully Booked)


Text overlay reads "my favourite way to get fully booked" over a flatlay image of a cellphone with a grid full of hair photos, a gold hairbrush and a terrarium in the background

“we fail our way to success”

Welcome back to another episode of The Anxious Creative! I’m so excited to be chatting with you. In this episode we’ll be talking about your secret weapon in business, to guarantee and solidify more income.

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Welcome back to another episode of The Anxious Creative! I’m so excited to be chatting with you. 

In this episode we’ll be talking about your secret weapon in business, to guarantee and solidify more income. Wherever you are listening to this, get ready to listen up and maybe take some notes (but don’t put any pressure on yourself – you can also just enjoy this in the background!)

Buckle up ‘cause this is gonna be a good one…

“The Book”

I’ve been in this industry for almost 20 years now, I actually had my 19th birthday during my second week in the salon!

I had started cosmetology school in grade 10, so I was pretty lucky to have some extra education under my belt, but I had never worked in a salon before. 

2 or 3 months into the job I started to feel like it sucked. I wasn’t allowed to have new clients, but I was allowed to have request clients. 

I spent most of my time sweeping, rinsing color bowls, giving hand massages (I worked in an Aveda salon and this was a point of difference for the company) and all I wanted was my own clients. 

I remember flipping through the books (this was back when the book was a physical book… back before the fancy online booking systems came around) and seeing some of the other stylists booked months in advance. 

My schedule was still so inconsistent at the time I was pining for the day that I was “fully booked”.

In fact, I remember standing by the receptionist one day, as she was taking a phone call. I saw her open up the book to my name, I got super excited to see who she was going to book. 

Instead, she flipped the pencil around to the eraser side and erased my only client on the books for the next day…

Talk about a buzzkill.

Fail Your Way to Success

What I teach and talk about is all based on my experience. I don’t want to be a person that’s coming across like I never failed to get where I am. 

I think it’s time that we start looking at failure from a different perspective. When a toddler is learning to walk, they fall down a TON, is that considered a failure? Of course not! They get back up and they try again. Eventually, they learn how to walk without falling. 

I believe that failure is when you quit trying. Not when you try. 

Try, Try, and Try Again

After 6 months in the Aveda salon I was starting to get better and more confident. I was even getting more full days in the book! 

When clients would leave I would ask if they wanted to book in advance, they normally declined, saying they preferred to just call in. 

I always felt a little defeated but I could shrug my shoulders and say “Hey, I tried.”

I truly believe that hairstylists need to learn how to be marketers; it’s a competitive industry and if you don’t know how to market yourself well, it won’t work for you. 

I wanted to get more booked up and I was wracking my brain trying to figure out how to do it. I ended up using a really sneaky marketing strategy (that I didn’t even know was a marketing strategy). 

I had started to get a couple clients to book their appointments in advance, this allowed me to tell other clients:

“Hey, I’m starting to get more and more people booking their next appointments. I was wondering if you’d like to solidify a time that works for you. The last thing I would want is for you to want to book in with me and not be able to get in. I know you’d been able to get in last-minute before now. So I wanted to see if you would like to solidify a time, it can always be changed if needed, but I love having you in and would love to have your next appointment solidified on the books.”

Yup, it might make you roll your eyes or shake your head, but pre-booking is your secret weapon. 

And before you start spewing excuses, I want to give you two things that make this work:

  • Give incentive

  • Have urgency

Ask yourself what is the benefit for them to take the action that you want them to? 

Incentives reward somebody for doing something that they were going to do anyway. 

I don’t want you to create false urgency, or false scarcity. Lying to your customers is NOT a good marketing strategy. 

I chose to say “a lot of my clients are starting to book their next appointment…” because there is still truth to that statement. I’m not saying “All my clients are…” or “I’m booked up really far in advance”. This helps take away the “sliminess” of marketing by staying honest. 

When we are trying to promote our business we feel like we are benefiting off the backs of our clients. If you can flip that and ask yourself “how are you doing this to help your client out?” it will help you promote your business in an integral way. 

The fact of the matter is that we have to make money to live

Instead of feeling gross about giving an opportunity that helps your business financially, reframe it that you’re helping your client have better hair and feel more confident, so you’re giving them an opportunity to continue to feel good about themselves. 

Make sure to compliment them, let them know: “I love having you in and it makes me so happy…”

Once I committed to asking every single client who came in if they wanted to pre-book, that’s when the magic started happening. 

Remember, the worst they can say to you is “no”. And that’s not a personal rejection! Don’t take that “no” as “you’re failing and you shouldn’t ever do this again”. It takes consistency and practice to see results. 

After a month of consistently asking my clients to pre-book, 8 out of 10 of my clients would book their next appointment. Now, these appointments were 6-10 weeks after their first appointment, so it’s not like I was pre booking and automatically seeing results the following week. 

You have to play the long game: through consistency and showing up. 

Here’s some tough love with Dawn: you have to continue to show up and not give up when someone says no. You have to play the odds in your business. 2 out of 10 people will say ‘no’, 6 will say yes and there will be a couple on the fence. 

Remember that it’s not going to come naturally. The first time you offer someone to pre-book, you’ll probably trip over your words, you’ll stumble, it’ll feel awkward and your inner critic will tell you that you’re a terrible person who messed up and should never try that. But don’t listen to it!

Don’t be scared to mess up, to trip up. Practice and consistency will help it smoothly sail off your tongue. 

I see a lot of people being too scared to try and be a beginner at something. But you have to be willing to suck at something in order to get better at it. 

I’m nearly 20 years into my career and I’m still pushing myself into doing new things so that I can be uncomfortable and get better and grow. There is no place of fully arriving and there is no guarantees anywhere. 

The confidence and comfort comes with practice and consistency. Zip up the suit of confidence and step into the person who you want to be. How would they show up?

Pre booking is your secret weapon when done and executed the right way. 

I hope this encourages you! Shoot me a DM (@dawnbradleyhair) on Instagram that you are committed to giving every single client the opportunity to pre-book this week. I want to help you stay accountable to that. 

Commit to smaller goals along the path if it feels like the full journey is too much. 
I can’t wait to see what happens for you over time. It’s not magic, it’s not luck and it’s not coincidence. You committed to yourself and the payoff is SO freakin’ worth it. 

I’m here to help you create the magic of taking what you learn and implementing it. 

If you’re struggling with technique or you want to get some more FREE education, check out my YouTube channel

See you in the next episode!

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I am just a small-town, Canadian gal from the prairies who teaches thousands of creatives around the globe how to earn 6-figures stress-free!

Hey, I’m Dawn!

“Rock Your Business” Course Creator, Host of “The Anxious Creative” Podcast. Named by Salon Magazine as Canada’s #1 women of influence.

Get to know me! :-)

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