The climate for marketing ourselves has changed so drastically from ten years. Even two years ago!
Every day we are inundated with many ways to connect to our guests and other industry professionals. We are in the business of longevity in an instant gratification world. We want to create a place for ourselves in this vast industry and have more tools at the touch of our very convenient phones, but let's not forget the real thing that will keep clients in your chair for years to come.
Apps will come and go but you are what people are coming for.
Let's start with the 'gram (Insta that is). I recently worked side by side with a huge social media hairdresser. I was so impressed by his page and the quality of photos he had on it. He had tens of thousands of followers with supermodels all over the page. Yes he was busy in salon and yes, got a lot of opportunity from it. I learned a lot about who I want to be online and a lot of who I didn’t want to be.
So consider this; who are you appealing to: models? Average people? Industry icons? You may be inadvertently closing yourself off when your social media tells a one dimensional story. I know as artists we are multifaceted; we can work behind the chair, freelance, do editorials, and teach. Our work is limitless in possibility. Being aware of that will impact the day to day client you're inviting in. An overly one sided insta story can intimidate the average guest into feeling uninvited if they aren’t young and perfect.
Working with your salon management team to make sure your presence in online searches ( Google tags etc.) is very important. What does the average person search for? #Opalhair, #balayage, #NYstylist, you get the point. So making sure your personal site and salon site is tagged well will have mutual benefits.
Next step: you have just booked a whole week of new clients!! Consider what the expectation is of their experience. Do you look the part of the person who they want to have working on them? It's a nonverbal cue of trust. Project an image of a person that gives advice about beauty. Hear what this client has to say and be honest with them. All new clients have been somewhere they don't want to go to again for whatever reason. Allow ththem to be vulnerable and speak their mind about what was missing from their previous experiences. A lot of people, in my experience, have said that no one listened to them. Give someone a tailored experience and they are yours forever.
Connection = loyalty
This is where you finish up and feel really great for all your awesome new clients, but your work is not done. Make sure you have their contact information. Ask for an add on insta, email address, phone number or even (gasp!) a home address. It's a must that you carve out 1 hour a week to follow up. A simple note to express your gratitude for choosing you. Be specific, “how are you living with the new cut? Is it easy for you to style?” ( I like to offer styling lessons whenever they have time to come back). Let them know you always welcome any feedback about their experience. Lastly, I ask for honest feedback via yelp or Google reviews. It's a very fair way of getting reviews that do not push them to say anything they don't want to say. This way we close the loop on the guest experience. Good reviews lead to great search leads them to your social media and now they are involved.