In an industry where there are 20 salons, 15 massage therapists, and 12 makeup artists within a few blocks of each other, it’s essential for you to create a solid, stand out brand for your salon, studio, or spa. The secret? A solid mission statement. 

Branding. I’m sure you hear the word and think: What does that even mean? 

I felt that way for such a long time with my salon. Actually, it took me at least a couple of years to figure out who I was and what I stood for. 

Your brand, in essence, is you. It’s what you stand for and what you promise to deliver to your guests. But that’s easier said than done when you’ve just launched a new business. With something so important, where do you start? 

Before you dig into a massive business plan or social media strategy, branding starts with one (seemingly simple) thing: a mission statement. Sometimes called a “brand vision”, this is the philosophy that gives your business life.  

Anyone can go anywhere and get a great haircut, right? So why should they come to you? And, more importantly: Why should they come back again and again? What makes you special? 

You should be able to explain exactly why your business matters in only a sentence or two. Once you can do that, the rest of your branding follows suit. Here are just a few quick tips to get you going in the right direction when crafting your business’ mission statement.

Step 1: Define Your Brand

Think about what you are trying to convey to your customers. How do you want your clients to feel when they sit in your chair? 

The keyword here is feel. Defining your brand isn’t about the words you use in your emails or the colors you choose to go with on your website or how you decorate. It goes deeper than that.

Think about the type of services you are offering and how they will speak to your target market. Think of how you want to promote your business and how your brand will speak to your customers before you ever do. You also want to think about what makes you unique so you stand out from your competition.

Assignment: 

Make a list of adjectives you’d use to describe your business and that you’d want loyal clients to use to describe your business. Are you different, eclectic, sleek, bold, luxe? Try to write down 30 or so words. Next, take a look at three businesses you consider your main competition — or even other businesses you admire most. Write down a few adjectives that come to mind when you think about their branding. Notice any patterns?

Step 2: Identify Your Target Market

Who is your perfect client? What do they do for a living? Where do they live? How often do they visit your salon? What are their hobbies? Where do they hang out? 

If you can envision the perfect client, who would they be and what would they look like. Once you figure out who your target market is you can aim and shoot. Now you can start crafting your social media posts toward this perfect client.

Assignment: 

Write a one-paragraph description of how your ideal client spends his or her day, including coming to see you. What do they do when they wake up? What are their evening plans? What are the most frustrating things they deal with during their day-to-day? The most exciting? Getting a real picture of your dream guest will help guide your mission statement.

Step 3: Identify What Makes You You 

This is super important. Even once you’ve decided how you want potential clients to see you, you need to be yourself and be true to your brand. People want to do business with people they like and trust. There’s no need to do a song and dance to get people to do business with you. If you are kind, honest, and stay true to yourself, and you stand solid within your brand, you will have no problem attracting new clients.

Assignment: 

Try explaining what makes your business unique to someone you trust out loud. Or say it out loud in front of a mirror. Often, when writing a mission statement, we get too complicated. If you say it out loud, it’s more likely to sound authentic — because it’s literally how you would explain what you do to another person! Jot down words or phrases that you really love to use in your final (written) mission statement. 

Step 4: Write Your Mission Statement

Once you define who you are and what you have to offer, you’re ready to create a mission statement. This short sentence (it’s okay to go a little longer but two or three sentences max!) should define you, your business, your team, and everything your brand represents. 

Think of your mission statement as the thing that ties everything together. It’s your promise to your clients. It’s the way you show up every day in your business. You will live, eat, and sleep your mission statement. 

So make it a good one. Take your time. Edit and revise. Then share it with the people you trust most for some honest feedback. 

Assignment:  

I’d challenge you to write not one, but three, mission statements. Refer back to the previous exercises and try a few styles on for size. Once you have them, read them out loud again. Which of the three do you feel most deeply? Remember, feeling is everything when it comes to authentic branding.