18 Jul Life After HDC: Kat Whitney
HDC grad, Kat Whitney, is a 20 year old hairstylist who graduated in June 2018. Since graduating, Kat accepted a position at Halifax’s most sought after salon and has been promoted from a Level 1 to a Level 3, earning significantly more money. Kat credited HDC’s Business Building Programs to her success. We were able to catch up with Kat to ask her about our program.
- How did HDC help prepare you to start your career in Cosmetology?
HDC has helped me tremendously in my career at Vitality because of their coaching around tracking, setting your mind set for each client and understanding everything there is to know about hair. I wouldn’t be where I am today without every teacher being there by my side to help me succeed.
- How has the business building program in your HAIR program helped you gain clientele once you started your career in Cosmetology?
There are two classes at HDC that we had for building your social media presence. I have built almost my entire clientele through social media. Also, with the wise words to pre-book every client to ensure you have a high retention rate.
- How has the social media program in your HAIR program helped you gain a clientele once you started your career in Cosmetology?
Like I said before, I have built almost my entire clientele through social media. HDC taught be strategies like following new people, commenting and liking almost everyone’s photos for a reminder of me and my page!
- What was the biggest take away from the business building program in the HAIR program?
To always bring up pre-booking after every appointment with every guest, create exclusive promotions to gain new clients or referrals. There was so much more but those are the ones I found are the most helpful that I have used in my day to day work.
- What was the biggest take away from the social media program in the HAIR program?
To always post and stay relevant for all your followers. To comment and like everyone’s photos on your feed. Also, I try to follow 5 new people every shift to grow my business.
- What have you learned not to do in a business environment?
I’ve learned not to talk about sensitive topics things such as trying to stay away from talking about religion and government where clients might disagree or get offended.
- What kind of tips and tricks did you learn about retaining your clients? Has it been helping you create a clientele base after graduating?
I try to be very honest with my clients. For example, if I don’t feel my client needs a take home treatment, I will tell them they could go without at that visit, or if they need a better shampoo, I will suggest that they to invest in a professional product to reach their hair goals. Clients love that transparency and honesty and will grow a trust with you.
- Tell me about the success you’ve had since entering the salon? What do you think helped you with this success?
I think the biggest factor to my success was with social media, going out on Spring Garden Road to hand out my card and offering a discounted color service for new clients. From doing this I have level jumped from a Level 1 to a Level 3 in less than a year and almost have a full book of clients. This is unique for someone in my stage of the game, the average stylist takes up to 3 years to jump to a Level 3.
- What advice would you give someone taking one of our programs at HDC?
To be able to focus very hard on your social media and invest in photography classes for understanding lighting and angles. Social media is our new world, everyone has it and it is the fastest way to spread your business and bring people in! I’m grateful HDC coached me on this tool.
- Why is having strong technical and business skills important in your professional cosmetology career?
Even though you may get lots of walk-ins if you’re in a busy salon location, it is harder to pre-book these types of clients as they don’t tend to like to book in advance. You need a strong business building skill set in order to make it in our industry. Try to hand your card out to everyone you meet to generate your own business – you can’t hope that the busy bus will skyrocket your career, it takes a lot of hard work. I’m grateful that HDC set me up for success with both the technical and business building skills.
- Tell us how social media marketing has contributed/played a role in your success as a STYLIST?
Like I said before, I have jumped from a Level 1 to a Level 3 in less than a year all through social media. I always try to follow all my client’s friends and family as another strategy to build awareness of my own personal brand.
- How has the business building program improved your communication skills when talking and listening to your clients?
To try to talk more about hair. I always catch myself talking too much about our personal life’s during appointments. Try to switch back to hair whenever you can.
Follow Kat on Instagram @KatWhitney_HairStyling
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