Okay, so we all know at this point that marketing your business as a hairstylist online is no longer optional, right? I always have to bite my tongue when a stylist says "I wish I had time to focus on social media & my website, but I'm so busy working behind the chair to make it happen". Listen, if you are so busy that you can't spend 30 minutes a day working on your web presence, then you must be making enough money to hire a professional to manage it for you. I only know of a handful of stylists who can truly say they are just way too busy and those who truly are that crazy busy can absolutely afford a social media and marketing manager.
Building an online presence is as important as picking up the phone when your client calls to book an appointment. It is a crucial part of your business and has to be prioritized. I think most stylists get stuck getting started. We all know it is important, but it's incredibly overwhelming to try and master it all at once. Let's break down the steps to making your online presence loud and proud! If when you're done reading you decide your ready to master social media & online marketing, download the free Social Media & Online Marketing Guide at the bottom of this post.
- Understand what I call "The Trifecta" of online marketing for hairstylists- We are living in a smart phone obsessed society and I want you to think about what you use your phone for. The vast majority of us use our phones for checking email, using apps and internet browsing. As hairstylists, we need to have a perfect presence in all 3 of these areas in order to be successful. We want to pop up when our clients browse Instagram and Facebook, we must use email marketing to pop up in their inbox and all of our marketing needs to point strait to our perfectly designed website. Hello Trifecta!
- Build the perfect website- All hairstylists must have a website. I'm talking rental, commission, freelance, literally everybody. Just having a website isn't going to cut it. Have you ever looked up a restaurant, store or spa, took one look at their website and thought "there is no way they are getting my money". I do that all the time! 87% of clients will research you online before considering an appointment with you even if they've been referred to you. Your website must be well branded, easy to navigate and irresistible. Remember, your website isn't meant to be stagnant. You should be updating your site with new information and offers quarterly at a minimum. If you need help building your website, click here to learn more about my Website Academy.
- Implement email marketing and use it often-It is so easy to use an email marketing system now, there is really no excuse why any hairstylist shouldn't be mastering their email marketing game. Social media sites can go away at anytime (think Myspace) and not all clients use apps. Email is the universal form of communication and the average adult checks their email at least 3 times per day. Many computerized booking systems and apps now offer email marketing included in your subscription and your clients will truly love seeing emails pop up from you throughout the year. Use email marketing to promote special offers, fill up slow days or last minute cancellation gaps and share information about retail products. Some clients go 12 weeks between hair appointments. We want to stay on their mind during that downtime and email marketing is the way to go. Start by committing to a monthly newsletter then consider adding monthly birthday emails and special promotional offers. The more attention you give your clientele, the more business they'll give you in return.
- Network for success-This often goes over looked and can lead to huge results. A great way to get your name out there is by promoting through other successful businesses or publications. Reach out to successful local clothing stores, spas, fitness centers and see if they would be willing to promote a special email or website offer through their online marketing. This can be a great added value to give to their clients and could produce a huge boost in your new guest count. Also, think about reaching out to local bloggers or publications and ask if you can write a piece for their followers. Often bloggers or magazines are actively seeking out guest writers, so if you have the flair for it, jump in!
- Start blogging-I often have a hard time convincing stylists to give this one a shot which is such a shame because the impact is huge. By building a blog you will not only be increasing your website SEO, but also giving your clients and community a reason to come back for information from you regularly. Can you image if your clients were sharing an awesome article on their Facebook page saying "you've got to check out my hairstylists latest article. She's amazing". A vision, quality content and a strong point of view are crucial, but if you can come up with a fun and appealing style, your business will boom.
- Don't waste your time with Google Ads or Pay Per Click-With all of the web tools available to us these days, there is just no need to spend that kind of money. Instead, use social media, networking and your referral program to encourage new clients to check out your site. There are very few instances where paying for web traffic is actually worth while and website exposure isn't one of them. Next week we'll talk about mastering social media so stay tuned for more!
- Master Social Media-Just so you know, just because you have an Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat and Periscope, doesn't make you a social media master. I see less than 10% of stylists using social media to actually build their business. Social media isn't a place to upload pretty pictures of you work and wait for clients to stumble into your chair. They call it SOCIAL media for a reason. Be active in all of your applications and be sure that everything you post is a good representation of your brand.
Online marketing is crucial, but it can be really fun and kind of addicting. It's an instant gratification type of project because you'll start to see results right away if you do it right. Make this a priority in 2016 and enjoy reaping the rewards!
Ready for more? Click the image below to download your copy of the guide: