Breaking into the bridal hair industry can be an exciting opportunity. Working with brides will involve creativity, travel, people pleasing skills, and an ability to work under pressure. It can also be incredibly special to be there when your client is getting ready for their big day, while you have a hand in making them look their best and most beautiful.
So you've decided you want to do bridal hair, but how do you start to build your clientele? A few simple steps can insure that you will attain clients quickly, and start to earn great money in the lucrative bridal hair business. Many stylists treat their bridal business as a whole separate entity, creating websites, portfolios, and other promotional materials that are specific to the bridal industry. Below we'll be covering these topics to help you build a successful bridal career
Creating a look-book is a great place to start. Gather photos of any bridal hair that you've done, and stage test shoots to build your portfolio.
Call local modeling agencies and ask if they need photos of new talent, or recruit some of your friends to model for you. Having 7-10 looks in your portfolio should be enough to get you started. Create an online portfolio and also a hardcopy portfolio to pass onto vendors.
Which vendors, you ask? By teaming up with other people in the bridal industry you can reach so many more potential bridal clients. Head to your local bridal shop and speak with some of the salespeople. Drop off your portfolio for brides to look at while they try on wedding dresses. You'll definitely get a few referrals going this route, and once you establish a reputation with the salespeople, they'll be sure to refer all future brides to you. Other vendors to contact and team up with include florists, caterers, wedding venues and makeup artists.
If you already have your own website, I would create a separate one for bridal clients. Creating a website that caters to your bridal clientele will make you look like a serious professional. They can browse different looks, have a clear idea of your pricing, and it will save you a lot of time to not have to communicate directly about all of these things - brides like to ask a lot of questions.
Having a bridal website is also a great way to attract new clients if they are searching for a stylist online. Gather testimonials from previous brides and include them on your website along with as many photos as a previous bridal client can give you. If you include shots of the hair as your client went through the night, it can make a potential bride feel comfortable that your work will hold up and last into the wee hours of the evening. You can also include a referral list on your website, stating who you think is the best of the best when it comes to makeup artists, florists, caterers, etc. This will make a bride feel like you really know the wedding industry inside and out.
Once you get a few clients under your belt, you'll start to build your clientele quickly. The bridal industry works almost exclusively off of referrals. All of those bridesmaids that you style at your client's wedding will be getting married one day (if they aren't already, of course) and they'll definitely be calling you if they like your work.