Ep. 77: Strangers to Clients―How to Create New Clients in Seven Steps


How do you turn a complete stranger into a client? Better yet, a raving fan?

That's what I want for you.


I want you to find somebody (or somebodies) who is going to be your client for life and refer a lot of people. But remember they all start out as strangers.

So let's break it down. 

All sales is psychology. That's all it is. And the same psychological pattern needs to happen when a stranger chooses you to be their artist as when you choose to buy anything else.

The question that your soon-to-be clients are always looking to be answered is this: Can you help?

Don't you want your clients to feel like you can help them? You should! That's how you build your clientele.

In this episode, I teach you how to get strangers to feel that trust with you even before they pick up the phone to call you.

You have complete control over how you're perceived in many ways.

Maybe not complete, but I would say you can control 95% of what's out there about you by creating content that brings about trust.

So I'm going to give you my trust formula on exactly what to post:

Tip #1: Tell Your Story

Tip #2: Educate

Tip #3: Demonstrate

Tip #4: Survey

Tip #5: Behind-the-Scenes

Tip #6: Entertain

Tip #7: Inspire

You don't want to miss this. If you've been looking for a new way to boost your client numbers after trying thing after thing that doesn't work, THIS IS THE THING.

Do the thing! 



Here are the episode highlights:

‣‣  [08:20]  Here's where I get the ball rolling on building trust with your clients. Why is that important? What does that even look like? I answer those questions here.

‣‣  [12:54]  Tip #1: Tell Your Story. You can find that here.

‣‣  [14:26]  Here's where you'll find Tip #2: EducateEducate what, Sheila?! Well, I'll tell you! Listen at this minute mark to find out.

‣‣  [17:47]  Tip #3: Demonstrate. Pretty self-explanatory, but I do give you a few extra tips on how to demonstrate and what you should demonstrate at this point in the episode.

‣‣  [21:24]  Survey says... DING DING DING Tip #4: Survey. All you need to know on how to survey your client base is found right here.

‣‣  [24:03]  Tip #5: Behind-the-Scenes. If you know, you know. It's all over Instagram! Everyone is interested in the behind-the-scenes of their faves' lives. They're interested in yours too. Learn more at this minute mark.

‣‣  [26:28]  Right here is where you'll find Tip #6: Entertain. It's probably the tip that'll have you the most nervous, but don't worry, girl, I got you! Tips and tricks to that are right here.

‣‣  [27:32]  Last tip! Tip #7: Inspire. You are inspirational. Let others see that! I tell you all about how to channel your inner inspirer right here.





You can follow me, Sheila Bella, on Instagram @realsheilabella!


Here are the links that were mentioned in the podcast!

Strangers to Clients

Pretty Rich University

Beauty Boss Spotlight

Grow Your Gram

Online Course Workshop




You can enjoy this podcast by downloading it on iTunes here.
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You can enjoy a transcript of the podcast here.


Sheila Bella:

How to turn strangers into clients. Yeah. That's today's topic on Pretty Rich Podcast. Hey, you guys, what's going on. I'm so excited to be chilling with you right now. And yeah, consider this kind of a work party. Okay? Because we're going to get a lot of work done, but we're going to have a lot of fun doing it. And I'm going to try my best right now to show you guys a peek into Pretty Rich University, because this formula that I'm about to teach you is directly from the vault of PRU. Which by the way, if you don't know what PRU is, it stands for Pretty Rich University, which is my 12-month long, online mentorship program. It is the most comprehensive course out there, program out there for beauty marketing. It can help not only permanent makeup professionals, it can help lash artists. It can help aesthetician. It can help nail artists, anybody in the beauty industry, who's trying to sell anything. Not to mention makeup artists. We have some makeup artists and mediSpa owners in there.


Listen, to this entrepreneurship thing, if you don't have anybody to talk to, bounce ideas off of, it can literally make you crazy. Right? And your family doesn't understand you, like, "What's going on with you? Why don't you go back to your desk job?" Like, "That made me crazy too, but in a different way." If you need people to bounce things off of, if you need the strategies to shortcut your way to success, check out sheilabella.com/prusheilabella.com/pru for some insight on how Pretty Rich University works and all the people that it's helped. I've made this program super affordable because I know it's for the beauty boss that's struggling, or it might be for the seasoned professional who doesn't know how to market their business for 2020. And you know you need to update your marketing strategy for the modern day. So check it out. I'm going to put the link in the show notes, sheilabella.com/pru.


Okay, today, let's get to it. How to turn a complete stranger into a client and a raving fan. That's what I want for you. Somebody who is going to be your client for life and refer a lot of people. But remember they all start out as strangers. So let's break it down. I'm going to jump right in the lesson. Let's break it down. Everybody that you've ever bought anything from, a few things needed to happen before you did that. Whether it was a pair of shoes, or a book, or a ticket, or a product on Amazon, something needed to happen for you to say, "That's the one for me. That's the one I'm choosing. I want to go with that." And that's what you want strangers to do with your business. Right? You want them to choose you and you alone over the sea of other artists and technicians out there.


So I want to begin by saying that all sales is is psychology. That's all it is. And the same pattern, the same psychological pattern needs to happen when a stranger chooses you to be their artist as when you choose to buy anything else. So there's this book called, Why She Buys by Bridget Brennan that I always reference. And she says, "Women buy for one reason alone. And that reason is basically, can you help?" We love service. Right? We love luxury. We want to get from A to B as quick as possible.


So the bottom line is, can you help? Does this organic salmon at Whole Foods have what I need? Does this makeup mirror from Amazon have what I need? Can it help make my life better, period. But even deeper than just being able to help, the feeling, the feeling that we're going for, that you're aiming towards should be trust. Do you trust that supplement from Thorne Research to do its job? Do you trust that this doctor knows what he or she is talking about and can perform your surgery well? Do you trust that this new foundation that they're selling is going to give you great coverage without making you look oily? It boils down to trust, that feeling where you're just like, "This is the one. I know it's the one for me. No questions asked. I want that for my clients. I want them to feel that way about me." And what I'm going to teach you right now is how to get strangers to feel that trust with you even before they pick up the phone to call you.


So think about where this stranger is stalking you. Right? Probably on Instagram, probably on Facebook, probably on your website, probably on Yelp or Google. You know what's great? Is that you have complete control, actually. You have complete control over how you're perceived in many ways. Maybe not complete, but I would say you can control 95% of what's out there about you by creating content that brings about trust. So if you have a website, social media presence, YouTube, whatever it is that looks trustworthy, it almost doesn't matter what that bad review says. If you have a ton of content that demonstrates otherwise how many people you're making happy every day, the awesome work that you do, how professional you look, all of that stuff. Then whoever reads that bad review and then looks at your website, Instagram, and all that other stuff would probably think twice. Like, "Oh, well maybe it was the client that was crazy." And sometimes it is.


So I'm going to give you, today, my trust formula, exactly what to post. For those of you who are like, "Sheila, I don't know what to post today." Or, "I know you tell me I need to go on stories or on live video, but I don't know what to say." Or maybe you have a web designer or maybe you're designing your website yourself, like I did when I first started, and you don't know what to tell your web designer to do. This formula of how to turn strangers into clients is surely going to help you.


Okay. So now that we've established that trust is the feeling that we're going for, think about the last time you met somebody new. A stranger, just like you are on the internet to somebody else, and you weren't sure about them. So let's pretend you work in an office, even though we know you don't, let's pretend you work in an office, and remember the Avon lady? Yeah. Is Avon still around? I don't know. Okay. So remember the Avon lady? So annoying. Right? Is it Mary Kay now? Anyway, they keep coming around with their makeup and their essential oils, sorry if you're a doTerra person. And yeah, maybe it might be super annoying. Right? But they just keep coming and you don't want to buy, you don't want to buy, you don't want to buy. Remember that to other people, you're probably that Avon lady or that essential oil person. It's okay. Stick with me. I'm going to show you how to build trust anyway and get that client to turn around.


Okay. So back to Avon, I'm going to say Avon, am I dating myself? Yeah. I'm 37. Anyway, we had Avon in the eighties. Okay, so think about what would need to happen in real life. Okay? You're working in an office and here she comes again, Ava, the Avon lady, and you're like, "Ugh, here she is again. I really don't want to buy, but okay." What would need to happen in real life for you to actually buy from her? There are seven things that need to happen before that.


The first thing is, story. If that Avon lady stopped selling for a second. Okay? Just like was not interested in selling, not interested at all, but just got in a casual conversation with you about her story, her personal story. Has nothing to do with makeup. Listen, and I feel like everybody has a crazy story. Everyone has a gnarly story. What if she told you that when she was a child, her parents divorced and it was really traumatic for her. Maybe it's because her mother became a single mother and she had to grow up really fast. Wouldn't you trust her a little bit more? Yeah. Or maybe not even her childhood story. What if she told you the story of how she got into Avon? What if she told you that she didn't feel smart enough to finish high school, but she fell in love with cosmetics and she would rather do this than sit at a desk job all day long, because she helps so many people feel a lot better about themselves and she loves it. That's a great story.


So tip number one, tell your story. Tell your story on your website, on your social media, on whatever platform you're using. Tell your story and tell it regularly. There isn't anybody that I feel like I wouldn't be able to feel something for, like, or even love if I knew their story. So when I say, tell your story regularly on social media, I mean, tell it like once a week. Especially if you have new followers, introduce yourself to them, tell different parts of it. I'm not saying air out all your dirty laundry, but storytelling is lasting. Sales pitches don't last, but stories do. They make you feel something.


This is what I think about all our social media pages, once you tell your story, once you tell your story and people say, "Hey, that was really great. I feel the same way," it becomes more than just an IG page. It becomes a community and community binds people. And a lot of times, you kind of forget people's stories, but you never forget how their story made you feel. Do you guys feel me on this? I mean, there's people that I know on social media I like and look up to, but I can't repeat their story to you word for word. I just remember that I liked them. I just remember my body remembers that I trust them. Okay? So that's tip number one.


Tip number two is, educate. So again, Ava the Avon lady, she's still not selling to you. Completely uninterested in selling to you. She just told you her story and let's say your computer crashes. And you're like, "Dang it. Not again." And Ava's like, "Hold on. Let me do that." She takes over your station, and then she does a little computer wizardry, and then she's like, "Okay. So what you need to do next time is you need to press these three buttons together, reset, and then boom, your computer will work." She just taught you something and it worked, it fixed something in your life. Say what? You trust her now because she's smart. She's competent. You see how that wasn't even beauty related, but you trust her a little bit more.


But what about if she educated you in a way that was beauty related? So let's say it was wintertime and she saw that you had a little bit of dryness in your skin, and she wanted to educate you in how to circumvent that without buying her products. What if she taught you this DIY mask you can make at home from olive oil and, I don't know, honey or oatmeal, whatever it may be. She taught you something completely for free. Didn't expect anything in return. Didn't even sell you on anything. But it worked and she knew her stuff. Right? And you're like, "Okay, cool. So she fixed my computer. So she's capable. And she gave me this great recipe for a DIY mask. And now my skin looks great." Law of reciprocity. And she just showed you that she was capable. Then, yeah, you'd probably be more likely to buy now, but she's not pitching now yet. She's still not pitching. And you're still a little unsure of her.


But anyway, let me bring that back to your website and social, educate people frequently. Once a week. Again, it's the law of reciprocity. Give them something that can really benefit them. I could go on and on about this, you guys, I really could. Do you know why people are even following you? Would you follow you? Really? Would you follow you if you weren't getting anything, anything out of your page? Right? Why would you follow yourself? There are these viral, super viral Instagram pages and all it is is massive value. It's just a bunch of quotes, or it's just a bunch of recipes, or it's just a bunch of mental health checklists, and that's it. And it's like millions and millions of followers and why? Value. Value. Because their pages solve other people's problems without asking for anything. Educational content is super trust-building. So create more of it. And like I said, it doesn't have to be beauty related, but if it is, bonus points for that. Especially if you guys are trying to be trainers, if you're trying to be a trainer, you got to train, and train for free. Be generous with your knowledge.


Okay, tip number three, tip number three is, demonstrate. Tip number three is demonstrate. You got to do this too, once a week. There are seven tips. So that's good, because you have one day a week to do each tip. So this tip ,demonstrate, literally means show, have proof. Social proof is awesome, especially on social media. So let's go back to Ava. So let's say Ava goes to the bathroom and one of your coworkers is like, "You know what? I bought this blush from Ava, the Avon lady, and I get so many compliments on this." And then you're like, "What? That blush you're wearing right now? It's so beautiful." And your coworker's like, "Yeah, it's great. And I bought some other skincare stuff from her too," and my skin has never looked better. And then you're like, "Wow. Yeah, your skin does look really good." Okay. So social proof.


Social proof works in a real life setting and btdubs, it also works in an online setting. Meaning, when we read people's reviews or testimonials or see their reactions to things, we're more likely to buy. Especially if we see them all the time. If you see them all the time like, "Oh yeah, of course." When you see competent artists, usually we see reaction after reaction, or testimonial after testimonial, or art after art, et cetera, et cetera. And we see it regularly. I would have no problem sending somebody that I cared about to this person in Arkansas, that I've never met. I've never met. But when we say her work looks good, that's what we mean. We mean that she has awesome before and after photos, she has a lot of testimonials and she posts them regularly.


So even though I myself have never walked into her office, I would tell ... whoops my water bottle just fell. I would tell my friend to go there because I've seen her work and I know she produces great work consistently. So it is so important for you to post some sort of testimonial once a week, whether that's in the form of a reaction, a photo, a video, a screen capture from an email or a text your client sent you. It could be a client selfie, then she's like, "Thank you so much." Or maybe your client posts a really awesome selfie, and then you can be like, "Hey, can I repost this and feature you on my page? Because you look extra fly and your brows and lashes do too." Clients will be like, "Yeah, sure, no problem."


Yeah. So there's different ways you can collect testimonials because you need that, that's social proof. Oh my God. And speaking of social proof, influencer marketing still works. Yep. It sure does. I'm going to go on a tangent, but yeah, I built Sheila Bella Microblading. A lot of it was through influencer marketing because it works. It was weekly, social proof. I would have an influencer come in, I'd film her, and she'd tell everybody how awesome it was over here, and everybody could see that I did a great job. So demonstrate. Demonstrate that you're awesome. Collect them testimonials. And if you don't have any clients, do it for free, you need the practice anyway. Do it for free and collect testimonials. That's how you get started.


Okay. Tip number four. Tip number four is called, survey. Okay. So what's survey? Survey says. No, no. Survey is basically listening, talking. Are you writing this down? I hope so. You know what? I'm going to give you guys a freebie. You can download this list. You can download this list at sheilabella.com/strangerstoclients. So if you're driving, it's okay, keep driving. Just go to sheilabella.com/strangerstoclients. I am going to have this list for you so you can reference it, so you can print it out and use it for your social media formula. As a reminder, when you're stumped, "What do I post?" Whip it out. I got you.


Okay. So let's keep going. Number four, survey. So let's go back to Ava. So let's say all Ava does is talk about herself. Right? She's just like, "Meh, meh, meh, meh, meh, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me." You're probably not going to like her very much. Relationships required two people. Yeah. And if Ava never asks you about your life, she never asks you your opinion, you're probably not going to like her very much. And all this tip says to do is to ask your followers a question. So let's say, Eva asks you, "Hey, which one do you like better? I'm trying to choose." Even just a question like that. You're like, "Oh, you value my opinion. Oh, okay. Oh, I like this one." Or what if she asks you about your story? Like, "Hey, where were you born? You know, what's your story? Where do you come from?" You're like, "What? Cool." So yeah, this is what I mean.


So on your social media platforms ask people questions. Like I just posted right now, what is the biggest challenge for you in your beauty business? It's on my Instagram because I'm truly curious. I really am. I want to know, because I want to help you guys solve problems, and I want to know what your exact problems are so I can solve them, truly. And I think you should do the same thing. Have you ever asked your social media following, no matter how big or small it is, what are your biggest annoyances with your strip lashes? What do you hate most about your eyebrow routine? Do you ever ask them that? If no, it means you're the only one talking. Yeah. And that's not a very good friend. So survey.


Tip number five, behind the scenes. Behind the scenes content. Okay. So Ava. So let's say all we see is this put together girl and her Avon uniform and she has her hair in a bun and it's always so perfect and neat, and her makeup looks awesome. We never see her looking imperfect. You know what else is trust building, by the way? What's trust-building are freaking flaws. Freaking flaws are trust-building. So show your flaws. If you're the kind of person who's like, "I don't want to go on stories today because I don't have any makeup on." Slap a filter on and be like, "I don't have any makeup on right now," and show up anyway.


So let's say Ava is just so freaking pretty. Right? And then she shows you her imperfections. Let's say she takes off her makeup and shows you how awesome her foundation is, because I didn't know she had that many acne scars, you could never tell. What if she opened up to you and showed you that, "Hey, she lives in a studio apartment and she has a whole closet full of Avon makeup. And she's working to be able to afford a house. That would probably make you feel something for her and trust her that she was vulnerable enough to open up to you about that.


Okay. So I kind of want to use that example because I want to compare it to basically those of you who are not posting your studio space because it's not done. And if you're the kind of person who's like, "I don't want to show you yet because it's a mess in there. All the construction's being done." Our maybe it's an old room that you're taking over and it's so messy in there, and you don't want to show your space because you haven't decorated it yet. Meh, boring. Perfection is boring. It's boring. So show us the journey. Show us the journey. I want to see. I want to see you make the transformation. Show us some behind the scenes of the transformation. Show us the behind the scenes of you practicing on latex skin and then how much better you got two weeks later, that's compelling. That is storytelling. That's lasting. Okay, behind the scenes.


Next step, entertain. What? Entertain. We're almost done. Number six is entertain. So remember, Ava's still not selling anything to you. She's not selling anything to you, but what if she makes you laugh one day? You know when girls make me laugh, when my friends make me laugh, it is, oh, it is so trust-building. So let's say it's somebody I haven't hung out with in awhile, and then all of a sudden they make me laugh. And then I remember, "Oh yeah, that's right. This person's awesome." So being entertaining is actually valuable, if you can be. If you're funny, show it use it. If you're not funny, find a funny meme. You're funny, please. You are. Okay, but if you're not used to being funny on camera, just post funny memes or something that genuinely makes you laugh, because it's human. And speaking of human, do you guys realize that all of these tips have one common denominator? They all make you more human. Yeah.


Okay. Lastly, tip number seven. Last tip, inspire. Inspire. When you inspire somebody, when you inspire a client, actually, it transitions the relationship from customer to friend. So let's say you're having a bad day, and Ava can see you have a long face, and then she says something to you that makes you see that hard situation that you were in a lot better, differently. Then you're like, "Oh my gosh. Oh, thank you so much." Number one, I personally love inspiring people because why not? Why not? We're all going through the same things. Lord knows, I want encouragement when I'm down. I don't want to feel like I'm the only one dealing with something. And if I have a platform that can help alleviate that, I'm going to use it. Whether it's for, 10, 200, 2,000, 100,000 people, I'm going to use it for that.


Because at the end of the day, what you're trying to do is you're trying to serve people. Right? That's what we're trying to do. And it takes a mindset shift to really take yourself out of the equation. Okay? Because showing up on social media is hard. Take yourself out of the equation, and you think about that one woman, that one girl, that one person, man, whatever, who really needs to hear this message right now. Think about your ideal client. Okay? Your favorite client. What would brighten her day today? I wonder what she's going through and what she needs help with. That's how I craft content. And I'm telling you, it's such a meaningful way to market, it's lasting and it feels really, really good. It feels good to be a human doesn't it? That sounded weird. Like I'm Pinocchio or something. I'm a real boy.


So let's go through everything. Number one, tell your story. Number two, educate people. Number three, demonstrate, post testimonials. Number four, survey your clients, listen to them, ask them their opinion. Number five, behind the scenes, show your flaws, show the flaws of your space. Number six, entertain. Be silly, be goofy, be funny. Don't take yourself too seriously. And number seven, inspire. And that, that is how you turn strangers into clients. And I'm going to say this, I'm going to say this right now and you better be listening, don't you dare don't you dare post a special without hitting each and every one of these categories first. Never, ever, ever ask for money, never ask for money without giving value first.


If I see your page and I see a bunch of specials and no story, no behind the scenes, no educational content, not even a testimonial like, "Oh girl, pass." Why would I follow you? And you'd feel that way about your page too. And I know I'm being kind of harsh, but I want you guys to succeed. I want you guys to do what you love, what you love. I don't want work to feel like work. I don't want you to live worried, ridden with anxiety about where your next client is going to come from. And this formula, if you watch me, this is what I use. This is exactly what I do. And it works. And more than just it working, it feels good. It doesn't feel salesy. It feels fun. It feels like I'm in alignment with my soul, because sales gets a bad rap. Right? Sales gets a bad rap because nobody wants to feel sold to. And yet, if you have a page full of specials and opening appointments and things like that, you will have a sales page, but what you want is a brand, a meaningful brand.


I want you guys to strengthen your personal brand, because if you have a personal brand that's strong, you can sell anything. You can sell butt cream tomorrow because you have a strong personal brand. The Kardashians, Jesus Christ. Yeah. It doesn't matter. It doesn't matter. It doesn't matter what they sell. They can sell pancake mix tomorrow. And we're like, "What? Yeezy pancakes? Oooohwee."


Okay. I digress. So if you guys want this download, this free download to help you remember the social media formula or how to turn strangers into clients, just go to, I just made up this URL like five minutes ago, but yeah, I'm going to make it happen by the time this podcast is posted, sheilabella.com/strangerstoclients. I hope you guys enjoyed this episode. Until next time.


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