We are on a social media roll here on the blog! Wooo hooo! Last week we heard from Michelle Stevenson about how to take your Instagram page to the next level. This week, it's all about Facebook.
At some point around 2014, for most of us Facebook became the red-headed-step-child of social media for business. Facebook had put that terrible algorithm in place that killed our organic reach and Instagram seemed like a hairstylists dream come true.
While many hair stylists jumped ship and took their social media party to Instagram full time, many brilliant hair stylists didn't give up on our once beloved Facebook and, man, have they been reaping the benefits. Actually, I've interviewed many, many social media mega-stars and half credit Facebook as their main source of referrals still today.
I've always coached to both platforms and seen success in both areas, but when Carla Miller joined Thrivers Society and I got a peek at her Facebook page, my mind was blown. Carla is a Facebook marketing master and she's seeing referrals pouring in from the platform monthly. I told Carla that I'd be honored to interview her for my blog and she thankfully agreed!
Born and raised in the UK, Carla is part of my international Thrivers Society crew. She is a busy mom of three juggling clientele building from her home salon space while managing the home full time as well. Many of us got our licenses because we wanted to have successful careers while being around for our families and she is the epitome of living that dream. She had once thought that maybe being in a home salon was holding her back but, oh my gosh, is her business growing like wildfire.
Carla my love, thank you so much for sharing your story with me! Let's start with you telling us a little bit about yourself
It's truly my pleasure Britt! Okay, I'm Carla and I'm a Hairdresser and Beauty Therapist (Carla does hair, nails and waxing. Triple threat!).
I grew up around glamorous women. My mum, aunt and nan never left the house without their hair set and full makeup on. They would take me to see their stylist Denise in the salon to get their perms, all the rage still in the early 90's. I would sit and watch, passing Denise the rods and chatting her head off asking her questions.
I remember being a young girl, sitting at the kitchen table watching my mum getting her acrylic nails done and I loved watching. The nail tech had a case full of beautiful nail art designs and I was obsessed. I started practicing all the time on nail tips and collecting tones of nail polish.
Wow! You really were born and raised as a hairdresser in the making. Okay, so you fell in love with the industry at a young age, but how long have you been working behind the chair?
Fast forward to turning 15 I was taken on by a local salon owner and she helped me get on my apprenticeship and go to beauty school. I worked in a salon from 15 years old and when I left school at 16 I went to beauty school. I've been qualified 13 years.
That's incredible. Many of us knew at a young age that we wanted to do hair, but couldn't or didn't take the leap until much later. Okay, so tell us about your salon now.
I currently work from home. I've worked in salons all my life and love it. I rented space in my last salon and it closed down when I went on my maternity. It seemed like a good time to transition so I ended up working from home.
I offer hair color and cut services plus a full range of beauty and nail services.
I'm loving free hand hair painting and free hand nail art. Some of my clients have the strangest requests. I recently got to try vivid work which was so fun. I love that our industry allows us to be so creative and constantly evolving.
For a long time my focus was just on nails. I had no confidence in hair at all and. I think not understanding color theory really put me off. Denise, my mentor, encouraged me to get more education and that is a large reason why I'm doing hair so successfully today.
I think a lot of people become discouraged early on so it's great to hear that you pushed through and succeeded. So, when did you start to build your Facebook account and why did you focus there?
Wow, a long time ago. There wasn't Instagram so Facebook was the focus and I started off with a profile as there weren't pages then. When Pages came out I opened mine right away and every one who liked it saw every post and it was easy to grow my business.
In 2012 I experienced what every body else did and it wasn't quite so easy to grow, but I decided I wasn't going to let that stop me. I still get 2-3 new clients directly from Facebook each month so it's still my main focus.
That's awesome! So, what is it that you do on your page that gets attention and drives all of that traffic?
Well, lots of things! Here's a few great tips:
When ads first became available, I started doing a few paid ads. They worked really well and I could keep control of the budget.
I also share my page with everyone! Firstly getting all my friends and family to like it and share it. Then telling each and every client about it. Having it on all my marketing material. Clients loved seeing their nails and hair on the posts and would share and tag people in it.
I am also really good about getting my clients to leave reviews! I ask them to leave a review and they do! They're what every new clients wants to see along with photos of good work.
I have done contests through my page. People love something for free or discounted so I always get lots of engagement when I have something available to win. The goal is always getting them to share the love which helps get my reach out there. They also feel the love from me when they win something so it's effective all around.
The important thing for me is to keep up with Facebook changes. Now my biggest views and clients come from videos. I've tried a few photo videos and recently picked a winner from our Facebook contest via video which was a huge hit. My next exciting challenge will be Facebook Live!
Like you mentioned, for many years my focus was nails but I really wanted to turn those guests into hair service clients as well. I have been more actively posting hair photos and encouraging my clients to post their hair selfies on their page and tag me in them. When they say thanks to me for their hair I comment back leaving a link to my page or website. It's been working really well.
Wow, you put a lot of work in, but you can see you're getting great results so it's all well worth it. I want to circle back to a story you told me. Recently, you built a gorgeous website for yourself and you mentioned to me that your special offer wasn't getting the downloads you were looking for. Tell us how you turned that around.
Oh, yes that is true. I wasn't going to give up though! I posted about my website offer to my Facebook page and on my personal page and tagged a few clients. It got so many comments and inbox messages and finally I started seeing the website traffic I had wanted, it was kind of unbelievable. Having the website offer and using Facebook to drive the traffic was a huge success for me.
Are any other marketing techniques really working well for you?
Pounding the pavement as you always say. I have been giving out my cards everywhere. The kids play gym, school gates, supermarket, the gym, on the bus haha. I got over the fear and it really does work!
Carla's business is exploding right now. She and I met through Thrivers Society just a few months back and since then I've come to see how dedicated, motivated, driven and talented this incredible woman is. You can find out more about Carla at https://www.facebook.com/carlamillersalon/?pnref=lhc or check out her website at http://www.carla-miller.co.uk/. Since our interview a few weeks back, Carla actually did her first Facebook Live video so you can check it out! I'll be interviewing her again about her Facebook Live experience soon so keep an eye on the blog.
Carla, I want to personally thank you so much for taking the time away from your hectic schedule to share your story with us. You are truly an inspiration as you gracefully balance your life as a full time mom and full time beauty technician. It's beyond impressive and gives so many of us hope that it really can all be done successfully. XOXO Britt