I moved to a new city, gave my airbrush tanning business a new name, rebranded, created a new website, and have zero public reviews so far… I’m basically starting from square one again, and I’m taking you along for the ride!
Welcome to the “Grow Your Biz With Me,” Blog Series, where I am going to document all the steps I am taking to get my sunless business back up and running. I often receive inquires from both new and seasoned artists asking how they can build their business’, gain new clientele, and make a name for themselves… Well, girlfriend – Get ready to learn from someone who has been through the process already and has to do it all over again.
Having recently moved from California to Texas, I lost my business that I worked so hard for over the past few years. I lost my existing clientele, I lost my consistent income, and I lost my motivation. I fully understood that it wouldn’t be easy moving to a new state, and to be completely real with you – It’s been over a month now since I last sprayed an actual client. Like, woah. Going from being fully booked everyday to nothing was nice for a month, but damn am I ready to be back behind the gun.
While I haven’t sprayed a single client yet here in Austin, I have been taking the past month to do my homework and have taken a few strategic steps so that I can finally get this show on the road! Here’s what I have done so far…
The Legal Stuff
First things first… Had to get a new Business License, Business Formation, Seller’s Permit, DBA/FBN, and Liability Insurance. Understand that these will vary state-to-state and a few states even require State Licensing in order to offer airbrush tanning. Please do your research to ensure you are fully covered before taking a single client. For me, these items are non-negotiable’s when it comes to starting a business. If you don’t have them, you’re not ready to start taking clients.
The Doing Of Research
Let’s just say, you need to know who your competitors are and you need to know both where they excel and where they lack in order to do the job best. At the end of the day, business is business. Yes, there is more than enough to go around, but you’re in business to ultimately make MONEY. So, over the past month I have visited most all the big names here in my new city for an airbrush tan. I have been taking mental notes on each business’ booking process, customer service approach, selling points, overall experience, solution selection, artist technique, and of course – the final results. By doing a bit of market research, I now know exactly how to position my business in this area and focus on excelling in what my competitors lack.
The Building Of The Brand
For those that have been following me for a while, you know that I built my business in California under the name, “Kailee Sunless.” I intentionally built my business around myself – I WAS the brand. While being a self-branded business had both its positives and negatives, I want to be able to have a business that can run itself without me spraying all day, every day. I essentially want to work “on” my business without being “in” my business. To make this a reality one day, I have since rebranded as “Rove Tan,” complete with an entire new look, brand message, and personality. Personally, my goals now are much bigger than just being a one-woman-show and needed to reposition my business to fit my future aspirations.
The Gaining Of Clients
As previously mentioned, I am literally starting from zero. It’s kind of fun, kind of scary, but it’s the ultimate challenge that I am SO up for. Here’s EXACTLY what I have done to get things going so far…
- I joined multiple Facebook Groups that allow soliciting for services in Austin, TX. I targeted girls meet-up groups, girls that have recently moved groups, and moms groups as well.
- I offered 100% FREE airbrush tans for the remainder of October. Yep, I said FREE. Listen – Sometimes you have to lose some to gain some. However, I’m not “really” tanning for free. I am tanning in exchange for a Yelp, Google, and Facebook review for each client that books with me. Regardless if these clients ever book with me again, I am gaining true, genuine, and STATIC public reviews that potential paying clients will see when searching online.
- When I made my post in each group, I requested for each individual to send me a direct message on my business Instagram account to secure their appointment. This resulted in numerous new follows, allowed these clients to view my work, and gave them assumed confidence in still taking me up on my offer after they had seen my social media.
- In addition, I have written up a scripted text message to send to each client the day after their service just to check-in and see how their results are, to send over direct links to the review pages that I want them to post to, AND I am giving each client a personalized discount code that they can share with friends.
One thing I will mention… My social media accounts are already established. I do have active followings on both Facebook and Instagram and I do have an extensive gallery of client photos to post. I understand this can be a pain-point of most new airbrush tanning businesses that I already have an arsenal of. (PS: If you’re going to follow my above game plan and you also need assistance building your social media, you might want to include a requirement of these clients sending images of their tans in addition to public reviews!)
Check back next month for an update! I am excited to be sharing my journey with you in real time!