Become a Freelance Barber

How to Get Started & What You Need to Know

There are so many wonderful, beautiful things about a career in barbering.

 For starters, it’s skills-driven industry, so the more time you invest in yourself and your business, hypothetically, the better you’ll do. 

But perhaps the best feature of this industry is its flexibility. 

With barbering, you’re not tied to a specific place, you’re not tied to a specific company, you’re not tied to one specialty. There are so many options you can take advantage of.

Freelancing is one of those options. The freelancer barber industry is a rapidly growing one, and something that barbers of all experience levels are beginning to take advantage of.

Maybe you’re interested in this route but have hundreds of questions. Maybe you want to know more about this path to see if it’s a good fit for you. Whatever it may be, we realize that there are several things to address before you can take the plunge into the freelance barber world, and we want to help answer as many questions as we can.

Check out what we have to say about getting started as a freelance barber, how you can make it happen, and what sort of tips we believe are going to be insurmountably valuable to your freelance barbering career.

Apps are Your Friend, Use Them

Believe it or not, there are plenty of barber-specific apps out there and making the effort to get in on these types of apps is going to help you become a successful freelance barber.

Check out apps like ShearShare, Groomed, and The Cut. All of these apps are helpful for independent barbers who are looking to build up their clientele.

ShearShare is an interesting app that helps hook you, the freelancer barber, up with salon and barbershop space when you need it! It’s specifically made for licensed barbers and cosmetologists who want to bounce around from space to space and book when and where they want. Instead of investing in a regular, static space, you can use this app to rent space when you need it.

Think of Groomed and The Cut like the Uber of barbering – these apps hook you up with clients who want you to come to them to get them, well, groomed or cut! This is a very modern, very savvy way for freelancers to get connected with clients. These apps even help you manage your appointments and offer several other helpful features. Note that they do take a bit of a percentage, but they’re a great way to get your feet wet in your barbering career.

Barber-specific apps aside, try to invest in other apps that will make your life easier, such as Square for payment, time management and scheduling apps like MyTime, and more! 

There are hundreds of apps out there, so do your research and picks the ones that make the most sense for your freelances business, will help you manage your time, and will help you keep appointments!

Have Great Tools and Astounding Sanitation

Because the nature of your business is going to involve you moving around quite a bit (whether that’s booth-booth, home-to-home, or salon-to-salon), you’re going to want to invest in some seriously amazing tools and some even more amazing sanitation techniques.

We’re not saying that you wouldn’t have to clean your tools – or invest in the best tools – if you worked at a specific barbershop, just that because you’re consistently moving your tools around, they’re going to be exposed to elements that tools that stay in place likely wouldn’t.

Do yourself, and your clients a favor, and make sanitation and tool investment two important factors in your business. Want an in-depth idea of how you should be cleaning your tools?

Check out our sanitation guide here.

Market Yourself Well

Note that marketing yourself well doesn’t necessarily mean that you absolutely have to market yourself in expensive, traditional ways.

As a freelancer, you might not have hugely adequate funds to devote to marketing, and that’s okay!

This is where social media is going to be your best friend.

Get media savvy, invest in some free lessons on how to use these platforms to benefit your business, and start marketing yourself via these outlets. Social media is a great place to try out new things, build your business, and get creative. There are plenty of resources available online to help you create great ways to market yourself within your niche!

Be Good to Your Clients

We know you’d be good to your clients regardless, but as a freelance barber, you need to make even more of an effort to be really good to your clients.​

After all, barbering is a personal business – you need to connect with your clients, give them a great experience, and make sure they leave you feeling happy, satisfied, and totally comfortable bragging about you to their friends.

Consider things like introductory rates for new clients who might be wary about trying out a freelance barber. Or, offer weekly discounts for creative things like #fadeFridays (this is a great way to incorporate your social media, by the way). Another great idea is to offer referral discounts to get your name out there.

Overall, you need to be over-the-top great to your customers.

This isn’t just because you need word-of-mouth referral (you definitely do), but also because it creates a bar for your reputation. People are going to be far more comfortable working with you if they know you’re a professional who isn’t just great at what they do, but great at how they treat their clients, too.

Be Upfront About Your Certifications and Licenses

This is a short piece of advice, but one we think is pretty valuable.

For starters, we don’t mean that because you’re a freelance barber you have less credibility, less skill, or less experience, however, it goes without saying that you might need to bit more upfront about your certifications because you don’t have a dedicated barbershop with your name on the door.

People might be a touch wary of putting their precious locks in your hands because of this fact, so making sure that you’re touting your licenses and certifications – and always having them on you – is going to make a huge difference.

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