Making Time to Market Yourself (And Why!) for a Busy Stylist

Written by Tara Regan

All you stylists and spa specialists out there, let me see a show of hands – How many of you do your own marketing? “Wait!” you exclaim, spitting out your drink (gracefully, of course.) “I don’t have to do my own marketing. Someone else does that for me…right?”

Well, maybe. Allow me a follow-up question while you snag a new drink. What comes to mind when you think of marketing as a stylist or spa specialist? Do you think expensive newspaper ads, passing out flyers, or a full-on billboard? Do you think of it as something only executed when you’ve run low on clients and need new faces in the door?

Whatever your answer is, I have the same piece of advice because marketing is much more than that … all of that! You should ALWAYS market yourself. 

Listen up, because this is important. Your salon is NOT in charge of achieving your goals for you. As great as it is when a salon is supportive of you, you still need to be a strong, self-sufficient member of the team on your own terms. You are the one driving your life. You don’t want to leave it in the hands of someone else. Accept help where you can, but build your own business. Honing these business-building and marketing skills will help you in any direction you steer your career.

Cringing yet? Don’t worry. Many people get nervous when marketing something. Some of us have this incorrect impression marketing is about one thing and one thing only – telling someone to BUY what you’re selling. They make the mistake of making their marketing efforts one big plea to buy something. Anything! True marketing, while yes does have some objective to ultimately SELL, should really focus on serving customers and giving them something truly valuable. 

But, how do you find the time in a busy beauty professional’s schedule to execute your marketing ideas? While it’s nice if you work in a salon or spa that handles the general marketing for you, remember you should never leave your business and marketing solely up to the salon. 

Beauty professionals are notoriously busy! Always up and at it, with little time to sit still during the day. So, how do we find time to do all of this on our own? Once you decide on your marketing objective (more clients, higher retail sales, higher ticket prices, reputation), it’s time to get your plan together. Then find the time to carry it out.

First decide how you’ll get the word out about what you’re promoting. Are your clients social media savvy? Or do they like newsletters? Do they read signage around the salon during their appointments? Think about your audience and a good place to communicate because that’ll let you know the best way to deliver your marketing message.

Ask your clients to follow you on social media. They’ll feel more connected to you and interested in what a day in the life looks like! Social media marketing not your forte? Don’t fret. Here are some quick tips. 

1.    Give yourself a timeline to reach your goal. This keeps us accountable and gives you the urgency to put the plan in place so you’re not procrastinating like sooooooo many of us. Quick note about me: I told myself I would have my first podcast episode published the first week of January, and boy, that sure lit the fire for me! I’d been putting off my much-needed website makeover for nearly six months. Once I had the deadline, I worked backwards and decided what I needed to do in order to hit my goal. A timeline aligns everything in your schedule and allows you to see the steps to take to make your goal- chasing successful.

2.    Capture photos or videos to use as content in newsletters or social media. Remember, behind-the-scenes photos and videos are great tools too! While people sure appreciate a good balayage post, keep in mind your audience wants to get to know the real person behind the talent.

3.    When posting on social media, keep your tone of voice the same across all posts. Most people like reading things that sound friendly and conversational instead of salesy, generic or copied and pasted from the manufacturer. Tell your clients in your own words why you’re talking about what you’re talking about, and why they should care!

4.    Don’t post to social media on the fly. While social media should be simple in your busy schedule, you’ll get the most benefit when you take time to carefully craft your message and proofread it. Ensure your content is on brand with your overall image. Take advantage of the best times of day to post. You can find a free download of the most recent report of best times of day to post on social media on my website, felicitymarketingstudio.com.

5.    Get to work early and sit for 30-40 minutes before your first client is due to get your posting plan organized. Get the week’s worth of posts done while you’re planning. Schedule your posts to go live at certain time. Facebook lets you schedule in on the regular post itself. Instagram lets you use apps like Planoly. You can download a free guide for standing out on social media on my website.

6.    Respond to comments and inquiries though the day when you have downtime. People want to hear back from you when they reach out. Set up automatic message replies for Facebook in case you’ll be away longer than usual.

7.    Promote your social media profiles on your business cards. 

8.    Fine-tune your promotion aesthetics to keep it cohesive. We have premade marketing available on our website to help you.

9.    Review the results of your marketing efforts. Did you reach your goal? What worked? What would you change next time?

10. Gear up for your next marketing goal because it doesn’t stop here!

Here’s what I want you to take away from this blog post – Always give your customers value before asking them to buy from you. Whether it’s in the form of knowledge and information, or a positive experience they’ll never forget, work to highlight the value you bring.

If your client books are full and you don’t have the capacity to take on more, great! That means you can focus on growing retail sales. If you’re offering a line of luxury products, create a campaign to entice your current client list to love and use the new stuff.

Or maybe your retail numbers are sky-high. Then, consider focusing your marketing on encouraging your guests to try (and love!) the higher ticket services you offer. This means something new for your guests and more income for you in likely the same appointment timeframe. You’d basically be growing your income without finding places to cram new guests in an already-booked schedule. Talk about a win-win! 

Your marketing efforts can even be focused on simply becoming a revered, respected, and recognized name in the beauty industry as a beauty expert or wellness advocate.

I’m dying to know. Which of these marketing goals could you see yourself taking on this new year? Which way will you challenge yourself to grow? There’s nothing more satisfying than achieving goals you set for yourself. It just makes you feel like you have the power to do anything. Truly anything! Now, enjoy that second drink knowing you can market yourself and you’re going to crush it. 

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