A few weeks ago I shared with you the statistic that all hairstylists lose about 10% of their clientele each year as clients move, decide to try a new stylist or want to see somebody at a different price point.
Marketing isn't optional for any stylist at any place in their career because of this 10% annual loss, so whether you are working through your first year in the industry or just celebrated your 20th anniversary as a hairstylist, we have no choice but to market your business. What we do have a choice about is what those marketing efforts look like and I want yours to be as effortless as possible.
I want you to stop everything and just answer this question:
"Marketing my business as a hairstylist is....."
Some of you answered with words like "fun, exciting or interesting" which is awesome! Most of you probably thought of words or phrases like "hard, overwhelming, confusing, too much work". Some of you may have even said "pointless".
Let me know if this sounds familiar...
You realize that social media is key as a hair stylist so you start your Instagram page to feature all of your awesome work. Great, Instagram is a powerful tool and you should be all over it. You start posting, hash-tagging like crazy, following your clients, following stylists you admire, taking great pictures and then...crickets. No referrals, no new clients, only a handful of likes and comments.
Maybe you've realized that some of your favorite educators and Insta-famous inspirations are still crediting their Facebook pages and profiles for their steady stream of referrals. You put energy back into your Facebook and post pictures of your work, share blog articles, maybe even try running ads and again...crickets.
Maybe what you should do is join Snapchat! Have you tried Periscope yet? Guy Tang built an empire based on his Youtube videos, so maybe try that. If you've taken my classes, you know I preach that Yelp is an incredibly powerful social media tool, try that too.
Sound maybe just a little bit familiar? I know. That is the story of probably 98% of hairstylists who are working their talented little butts off trying desperately to get more referrals and build a beautiful clientele. Most of these stylists don't even crave Insta-fame. They just want to pay their bills, afford vacations, provide a great life for themselves and their loved ones and enjoy coming in to work every day.
I'm here to tell you that you aren't asking too much! You can have all of this and more.
The problem here is that we see all of these incredible, talented and inspirational stylists achieving social media success almost effortlessly and when it isn't so effortless for us, we become defeated. Why are they seeing new referrals every week from Facebook, Instagram, Yelp and beyond when you're seeing nothing but tumbleweeds?
Have you ever heard the saying "you can't compare the back-end of your business to the front end of somebody elses"? What you aren't seeing is the work that went into creating that perfectly curated newsfeed or photo gallery. The brainstorming, organizing, meticulous planning. hash-tag researching, client tagging efforts that took place long before the referrals began pouring in.
Want to know the funniest part? Most of those who are seeing social media success don't really realize all the pre-planning efforts that they applied to their business either. Some stylists are natural marketers who achieve branding without even trying. The great news is that even if you aren't a natural marketer, it is a skill that can 100% be learned so lets get the process started:
Determine Your Target Market-Yep, it always starts here. Until you decide WHO you're trying to reach, you can't reach them effectively. Every business big or small has a target market and you as a hairstylist are no exception. I know that you can cut the hair of people of any age. I know that you've taken the time to master formulation and can do most hair color. But, who do you enjoy working with the most? What do the majority of your very best clients look like. We want to create carbon copies of all of those clients and we do that by focusing in on your target market.
Build Your Brand-This is where most stylists get stuck. The idea of building a brand is weird and confusing. What is a brand anyway? The most common mistake is to think YOU are your brand and you aren't. You are the CEO of your hair business, not your brand. Your brand is the way you showcase your business and should appeal to your target market. You may love to go out and party on the weekends, but if your bread and butter clients are 45 year old soccer moms, you won't attract that target market flaunting your fun, party lifestyle. You can have your fun, party lifestyle and build a different brand within your styling chair. This is what hair stylists who are successfully marketing themselves are doing every single day.
Determine What Social Media Platform Your Target Market Prefers- Any light bulbs just go off? What if you were spending all of your time and effort on Instagram and your target market is hanging out on Facebook or Snapchat. This happens all the time! I do firmly believe that you need to, at a minimum, have a presence on Instagram, Facebook and Yelp. When you Google search yourself, generally all of these platforms come up. Sometimes other things like your website, Linked-In profile or other social media platforms will come up too, but you never know what will come up first or who will stumble upon you at any given time, so you need to be at least slightly tuned in on all three platforms. You don't have to love Yelp. I hated it for a long time. The reality is that clients are using it to find new stylists every day so why cut off that resource when it can work totally for free? Will you get bad reviews? Maybe a few and maybe they'll be full of lies, but the only way to take control of the platform is to embrace it so I always suggest it. The point here is to establish yourself and maintain control of your presence everywhere you can, but focus on the platform that stands the best chance of growing your target market.
Master Your Main Platform-If your target market likes to be on Instagram, really learn and understand how to take AMAZING pictures, get consistent with your look, learn what local hashtags work in your area, get social on the platform. If your target market in on Snapchat, learn to do your own Geotag, have fun with filters, snap every day. If your target market hangs out on Facebook, optimize your page, tag your clients in photos, learn what to post on your page to break into the feed. That was the quickest, least effective tutorial of each platform ever written, but these are all skills that we cover in tremendous depth in Thrivers Society.
Create Awareness Around Your Platforms-Here it is. The missing piece that leaves most stylists completely frustrated. You curate this gorgeous Instagram feed or optimize your Facebook page, it totally appeals to your target market and still you don't see the results you had hoped for. This all happens due to a lack of awareness. If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound? Your profiles can be amazing, but if nobody is looking it hardly matters. Awareness goes far beyond hashtags and there is a method to the madness.
If you are ready for a little help building your brand, refining your social media messaging or creating awareness around your business, be sure to hop on the waitlist for Thrivers Society by clicking here. You don’t have to join, but by just hopping on the waitlist you’ll be set to receive a notification when my next totally free, 5-day online business building bootcamp is scheduled and we’ll work through the entire framework in depth.
Bootcamp is my #1 most requested free training I host all year and trust me, you won’t want to miss it!