If you made it to my latest, free online class last night, thank you for spending your Sunday evening with me! It was truly my pleasure to share with you all my strategies for creating an awesome website as a hairstylist or salon owner. If you couldn't make it or didn't know it was happening, click here and I'll let you know as soon as I have another chance for you to attend. It was my most popular class to date by far and I'm working on making it accessible longterm.
So, as soon as I complete an online class I download the class reports and browse through all of the questions I couldn't get to. My eyes almost popped out of my head when I saw there were 2,031 questions asked in class last night. When I was mid Q&A I kept seeing the list grow and grow but I had no idea there was so much demand. You guys are awesome!
I spent the morning summing up the most commonly asked questions about website building and here they are for your learning pleasure:
"I know I should offer online booking, but what if I'm not crazy about the idea of offering online booking to my clients?" I love this question. The beauty of online booking is the allowing your clients to book an appointment with you without picking up a phone. We are a society who is officially deciding that phone calls suck and we prefer texting and email for personal and professional communication. If you don't want to offer online appointment booking, instead allow your clients to email you directly through a special email address on your website to request appointments. Commit to checking that email address twice a day to assist your clients.
"Do you suggest having a gallery or portfolio page on your site?" Yes, and no. I love seeing gorgeous portfolios filled with 20 images or more, but don't put up a portfolio page and then stock it full of Instagram pics or load up the 6 pictures you happen to have. A portfolio needs to be well stocked with great, gorgeous, professional photos or super clean photos you've taken in great lighting. You should also add to your portfolio quarterly at a minimum.
"Can you elaborate on the Follow Me Page" So you like the follow me page as much as I do, huh!?! Consider creating a whole page dedicated to social media feeds. This is an awesome alternative to a portfolio if you don't have plenty of professional photos to use. These feeds can auto update which puts your site on auto pilot and encourages clients to follow you on social media too. Win-win!
"What should we include in the stylist bio section"-This is a really fun part of your site to build. This is the only area where I think you should be more casual and share some fun personal information. I always suggest 3 paragraphs: The first should be about your career and education, second talk about your specialties as a stylist and third get personal. Clients like to know what your hobbies are and want to connect with you on an emotional level.
"Where do you find the gorgeous images you are saying we need for our site"- There are few options here. My first choice would be for you to hire a professional photographer to take at least a great picture of you, your team if appropriate, your salon or workspace and a staged shot of you working behind the chair on a client. That is enough to get you started and can usually be done for a couple hundred bucks. When you are working on clients be sure to take great after pictures with amazing lighting and a clean backdrop. You'll be surprised how great a picture on your smartphone looks when you set the stage correctly. If all else fails, find gorgeous stock images that will appeal to your target market. Don't you dare upload generic, "pretty" pictures on your site. Your clients will relate much better to pictures of you own work or more candid style stock images than the glamour shot style photos we usually see.
"What platform are you building on"- My preferred platform of choice for all hairstylists and salon owners is WIX. It is a drag and drop style system that is 100% customizable. There are close to 100 different templates to choose from and each can be fully edited to meet your needs. You can integrate with any online booking software, add videos, add an online store to order products, add a blog and so much more.
"How do you get a web address"-There are tons of web address hosting sites out there that will allow you to purchase a web domain (web site address). GoDaddy, Host Gator and Blue Host just to name a few. Wix can get you setup with a domain through their site if you do decide to use WIX and you can also transfer an existing domain into WIX.
"Do you need anything special to sell products online"- Yes and no. You do need a resale license or certificate which can be obtained through your county or state, but if you are selling retail in your salon you hopefully already have one. If you don't, be sure you take care of that ASAP. If you are planning to sell product that you purchased from a major brands sales consultant, I would suggest you let them know, but that is up to you. You'll also want to research shipping cost and stock up on boxes so that you can box, address and ship orders out no more than 24 hours after they are placed. Be wise about jumping into online product sales. While I think it is brilliant, it also requires a plan and organization.
The demand for this class has been unbelievable. I will be offering the free, online webinar again soon. For more information and upcoming dates, click here for more information.