Social Media Has Us All FooledIt is social media that has everyone thinking that the only thing you need to do to build a personal brand: use Instagram to post pretty pictures on a regular basis. Unfortunately, it is not that easy. To create a personal brand, you have to commit to defining who you are in your industry. Be it through your business practices, your social media presence, or your works in your community every tool that you are using to build your brand has to create the same impact. You have to deliver a consistent message across the board to your audience. It is more than selling yourself to gain views or advertising dollars. Enclosed in a personal brand is what you can deliver to your customer. Keep reading to find out what you need to do to develop your personal brand as a Hair Biz Entrepreneur.
1. Tell YOUR StoryMerge your personal brand with your hair business! Your audience will buy from you if you know who you are. Use these tools to tell them who you are and set yourself apart from other salon owners, stylists, or hair companies.
Tool #1: The About Me SectionSo many people underestimate the importance of the About Me section on their website. The problem with that is you are alienating yourself from a customer who would buy from you to support you. It is human nature to help someone who you feel like you know. If you happen to be a salon or suite owner who opened up a shop because you could not find someone in your town who catered to your hair type, or you experienced a lot of shedding or alopecia, and you decided to open a shop to provide for women who were experiencing those same issues, why wouldn’t you share that with your audience? The people visiting your website are not just men and women who have already visited your shop. You may receive referrals or random visits from a search engine. Those potential customers need to connect with your personal story to purchase from you, so make sure your own story is out there for consumption.
A Successful About Me:
- Captures your audience with a strong opening statement.
- Shows your customer who you are. Try adding a professional video or picture with you doing hair. Put your best foot forward and add makeup and good lighting!
- Add a testimonial to the end of your About Me. Show new clients that your current clients stand by your work.
- Lets readers know who you are honestly. Tell them who you are, what you do, and WHY you do it. Do that in your tone of voice. If you use slang, free to add a couple “YASSS!” or “Fleeky” catchphrases. Do not have someone write your About Me section with words that you would need to sound out if you read it.
- Keeps it short. Sadly this is not the time to share that you come from a long line of hairdressers. Do not expect your customer to read about your grandmother braiding hair in the 60’s. Instead, address your audience with the why’s and let them know why they need you. Use your key selling points to keep them reading, and give them a call to action so that they know to book you.
Tool #2: The PressReach out to local papers or business podcasts that cater to your niche. Get yourself in front of a reporter, blogger, or podcaster so that you can spread your “WHY?” to the masses.
2. Create a personal web experience for your particular demographicIf you specialize in a particular type of hair styling, you are in luck. It would be advantageous for you to make sure that your site highlights those specialized services. For example, if you specialize in frontal installment add videos that show how your method of securing a frontal differs from other stylists and post it on your page. Do this, and you will set yourself apart from the competition because you are providing proof that you do what you say you can do. Another approach would be to advertise your work in a way that other salons are not. A lot of salons and hair companies post images of finished looks, but as a salon, you can create a more specialized website by posting before, during styling, and after styling photos. Show what the process looks like by telling a story in images. Hair companies, you can create video content explaining the different types of hair you are selling. Add in why you choose to stock up on a kind of hair more than another then emphasize the importance of adhering to your coloring instructions, the difference between raw and processed hair, and mention how all of these factors can affect how long you can use the hair you are offering. You want to show that you are knowledgeable about the hair and beauty industry.
3. Do Your HairIf you own, work in, or manage a salon make sure your hair is laid whenever you are present in your salon. Yes, I understand that you do hair for a living and your business is hectic, so you have no interest in doing your hair. However, that means nothing. How do you expect people to buy into your brand and purchase a service from you if only half of your head is done? Then when they see the other side of your head, it has a head wrap hanging off of it? Outside of that, you want to make sure you are presentable at all times. You, your salon, your product, and your styles should always be photo ready. A good rule of thumb: Be prepared for social media promotion at all times by ensuring that you always put your best foot forward. If you are selling hair, you are not off of the hook! Make sure you have tried your product at some point and have images available to show that you have installed it. This tip goes for those of you who do not typically wear weave as well.
4. Set higher pricesTake this branding tip with a grain of salt. If you genuinely believe that your product or services are priced reasonably feel free to ignore this branding tip. However, a lot of times businesses that are just starting out. Or brands that take their neighborhoods into account, price their products and services lower than what they really should be. Stop that! Just because you have a shop in a specific part of the country that may have a low cost of living doesn't mean you should undercut the price of your sew-in. Think of it this way; new clients could correlate pricing with quality. You may think that pricing yourself up may increase the interest in competition, but there is something to say about pricing and quality. If I get my hair done by the local beautician who charges only $100 and her sew-in rips my edges out when I take the sew-in down, I'm going to think twice about going to her again. This is especially true if I know you're down the block and your sew-ins are a $150 and all of the work that I've seen from you shows that my hair will grow underneath and I will still have edges once I take that selling down. Many businesses are afraid to charge what they're worth because they think that it will affect the clientele and customers that they have coming in. This isn't a dangerous stance to take but sometimes you get what you pay for good and bad.
5. Serve your customers before you sellTo build clientele and not one time customers, you need to serve whoever is in your chair and keep that thought process first. Don't think about how much you're getting paid for a service. Don't think about the tip you may get. Build your personal brand by delivering quality and going above and beyond to service your customer. For example, if your customer purchased a coloring service and you notice that their hair looks a little split at the ends after the color, give them a trim! If they have spent more money on this color then just a regular service on your service list you can afford to give them the $15 trim complementary. It shows that you care about their hair, its health, and their look as a whole. It also shows that you're not so focused on the dollar; that will get you a client who continues to come back to you because they know that you care about them and they know that you care about their hair. The client is that's completely different than a one-time customer who may be coming to you because they want the trending color of the moment. Remember, building clientele is how you build a business that lasts and is in it for the long haul.
6. Spend time building your relationships and reputationNever underestimate the power of a previous customer and a current customer. With that in mind be sure to invest in your relationships with both of them. If you perform a simple service for a presumed one-time client and they come back to you because they know that you can do that service well, they might return for a more expensive service. That more expensive service means more money and then that client becomes a repeat customer that you can bank on. Get the client to come because for two reasons:
- You did your job so well the first time.
- You keep in touch.
7. Invest in your brandBased on Merriam Webster, the definition of optimize is "to make as perfect, effective, or functional as possible." To brand your hair business, you need to optimize all of its features. Your website needs to not only have amazing pictures in full color and 4K quality, but your site needs to run at quick speed. If you're selling hair products on the site and hair extensions, you need to make sure that your payment processor works. Your shipping materials have to be of good quality that they somehow have your brand name on them. Make sure packaging is clean and crisp. You don't want to put anything in an envelope if it should go in a box because chances are it needs that added protection from the hazards of transit. You need to invest in your brand and be willing to spend the money that your brand needs to put its best foot forward. Spend the money on a photographer if your pictures are getting older. Use the money for nice chairs in your waiting room if you're known to have a packed salon on Saturdays. Spend the money on coffee or donuts for early morning clients. Do these little things to set yourself apart from other salons and other hair extension retailers. The point of building your personal brand is so that your client has you at the forefront of their mind. Whenever they want to get their hair done or purchase hair extensions you want to be the first place they think to go.
8. Understand the specific customer you want to serveWho is your target market? And who is your ideal customer? It is understandable that you want to cast out a net and reel back in all these fish. However, what happens when you don't have the boat to hold all of these fish? What happens when you can't service all of the clients that you marketed to? I'll tell you what happens. You start to upset some customers, and instead of getting rave reviews you start to get not such good reviews and that turns people away from your business. What you want to do with your hair business is cater to a specific customer. Be a jack of all trades, master of one. Reel in your targeted customer and then let them know that you can serve them in all different ways. For example, produce a homemade deep conditioner known to help regrow hair market your salon and services to a client that has dehydrated hair. Advertise and cater to a client that may be thinning around their edges. Don't market to a someone who wants a sew in because then you're sending out two different conflicting messages involving tension and haircare.
9. Get Clients to Submit Reviews Across the WebWhen building your personal brand, you have to go to where your clients and potential clients are to make sure they see you. You do this by asking your satisfied clients to leave reviews on different websites. For example, you might have your own site, so you can request that clients leave a review on your website. However, there's a lot of people that find you through a search engine like Google. You can ask some clients to go ahead and leave a Google review. The same thing goes for Yelp. Yelp is a vast platform that people go to when looking for a new service provider in their area. And if you have reviews on Yelp potential customers don't have to go hunt for your website to know about the services that you provide. Because Yelp acts as the middleman between you and your potential client. If you ask a current customer to leave a 5-star review, you can almost guarantee that others take in that feedback and use that to seek you out and grow your business. It also increases your SEO ranking. This tactic is called Barnacle SEO: the practice of using big business websites with an excellent reputation to promote your own site to create more traffic.
10. Contribute Guest PostsWhen growing your personal brand within the beauty industry is a good idea for you to guest post on the pages of well-known hair blogs or favorited beauty websites. Writing for these platforms helps to put your name out there more and helps to associate you with a brand that is reputable and trusted. Thereby letting people know that they can put their trust in you and become a client or customer of yours. To communicate that your articles are on those platforms, you can take the logos from the blogs that you have contributed to and put them on your website. Let people know that you have some affiliation with other businesses that know how to treat people and are credible.
11. Build a great portfolioYour work will always speak for itself. You need to have quality images and video of what you do online. Whether you have everything compiled on one Instagram account, one Facebook account, a gallery on your website, or lookbooks printed in your waiting area you need to show your quality of work. In the hair-industry actions speak louder than words and visuals are what will get you your next client so showcase what you can provide with the services that you are offering. This day and age there's no excuse because Instagram is a mobile portfolio and you can use a high-quality cell phone camera to take images. Put your client or model against a clean white background in front of a window, let sunlight hit them, and take quality photos so that you can attract more clients. Gone are the days when a professional photographer had to your sole source for photographs. Even development time is a thing of the past. Everything is so instantaneous that you should at least be taking two to three pictures a day. We should instantly be able to see the clients that you have walking in and out of your shop and get it installs flawlessly by another stylist.
12. Link up with other Beauty Industry ProfessionalsEveryone is always screaming "Gang Gang" but when it's time to link up with someone and collaborate with another Hair Biz entrepreneur you may find yourself falling short. What you may not realize is, you are missing out on a whole new audience. If you were to link up with someone who only sells lashes and you only sell hair extensions you can open yourself up to people who need to complete their look. Build a relationship with your local nail salon. Go in there and get your nails done or get your eyebrows done and then see if they have a website. If they have a site, see if they have an "About Us" section that talks about the neighborhood where the nail shop might be. Ask them if they could link your website in that section so that when people go to read their "About Us" section potential customers can see your site. Let them know that you'll do the same for them. When collaborating with other businesses, if they specialize in a skill that you don't you can always trade and refer clients. You used to see people do that with business cards. They would go into a business and ask if they can leave their card on top of the counter of a neighboring shop. This is the modern version. By hooking up with other beauty industry professionals but doing it through websites, you can boost your online presence.
13. Be timely in your communication and workThis may be hard because we're all busy and sometimes you cannot get to everyone contacting you. Nonetheless, when you can, get back to clients or customers who have a last-minute ask; especially if they have asked you to do something within your operating hours. If you're open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. and a customer comes in at 8:55 p.m. to buy some hair extensions, help them! You are open for another 5 minutes; you can take their order, and get them on their way. Keep your word so that you can create dependability and consistency for your customer base. Also if you're interacting with potential customers or current customers who have questions or concerns try to answer them within 24 to 48 hours. Let them know that they're correspondence with you is important by appreciating their time and getting them the information they're asking you for.
14. Be yourselfBe you! Show who you are. Let your personality show in how you operate your business to draw people personally and come to your business; that's okay. You differentiate your business by making it more relatable. And people will like your business because they love you.
Grow and EvolveYou will never perfect all of these personal branding tips at once! In fact, if you ever do, get out of business because you are no longer growing. Because your business is always growing and evolving, you are always going to grow and evolve. Continuously use these steps to mold your brand and hold yourself accountable if you slip up! Comment below with the tip you are going to use this week to grow your personal brand.
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