Building a Brand 101

Whether you run a one-chair salon suite or a salon with a staff of 20, one thing we know for sure: In these digitally savvy times, if you’re not on social media, your business probably isn’t growing. But if creating a social media presence feels more like a nuisance than a necessity, it’s time to shift YOUR perspective. Below, three salon pros share why being on social is more than good for everyone’s business.

Create A New Fan Base 

After working as an esthetician for 15 years and owning Spa 10 in Encino, CA, for nine, Lori Crete wanted to share the wealth of knowledge she had accumulated. She decided to do a podcast after learning that the social medium, where audio recordings are downloaded to your computer or phone, is enjoying a renaissance. “As a beauty business owner I wanted to create a space where people could be moved and inspired by others doing great things in the industry,” Crete explains. In the first six weeks of its debut last year her “Beauty Biz Show” podcast was downloaded 5,000 times. Since then, it has been downloaded 120,000 times, reaches audiences nationally, in Canada, Australia and Mexico, and is ranked as the number two podcast on iTunes in the beauty category. “My podcast has increased my network with other industry experts, and has provided an invaluable rolodex of resources and support.” In one short year Crete’s show has helped to bolster her consulting business to other beauty business owners. “I love connecting with other like-minded people,” she shares. “Doing this show allows me to do something new and serve the community in a whole new way.”

Increase Your Clientele

Pekela Riley, owner of SalonPK in Jacksonville, FL, knows a thing or two about marketing her skills via social media. Riley is active on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter, and leverages her weekly radio program, “Hair Fashion Pro Tuesdays,” by streaming it on YouTube. “I came out of the era of business cards, so this has been a great way to promote my work,” shares Riley. “As a result, I get the right [type of] clients: ones that are more loyal. Fans on social media follow your work for some time and have already made an assessment that you are right for them.” A professional stylist for 18 years, Riley claims her revenues have grown 100 percent since she’s been on social media. What makes a good Instagram or Facebook post great enough to convert a fan into a customer? Something dynamic, says Riley, “like a difficult color [technique] or something really polished. We posted a photo on Facebook that was shared over 30,000 times and got 100,000 likes. When people walked in with the photo, we knew where it came from.”

Become An Influencer

It’s not just potential clients who follow your social media pages. Brand directors do as well. Josh Velazquez, an educator for Baxter of CA, learned firsthand the power of social platforms to sway a brand’s opinion. The edgy barber at Solo Salon in Chicago has over 10,000 followers (@Snipertoe). Like Riley, social media has raised Velazquez’s profile as an industry influencer. He now gets requests to teach classes at salons across the country while representing Baxter. In 2015, Riley, who has nearly 47,000 followers on her personal page (@pekelariley), and another 30,000 on her salon page (@Salonpk), was recruited to audition for the artistic team of Mizani based on the content she posted. Today, she teaches her specialties—tapered cuts and texture—nationally as one of their Hair Artists, and has contributed to the brand’s global marketing campaigns. Additionally, Riley uses her social media following to convert fans into paying students. A year ago, she started #SuccessCamp, a one-day, hands-on training session that teaches cutting and revenue-building tips. “Over 90 percent of the stylists who came from New York City, Chicago and Dallas learned about the camp exclusively from social media. I did no other promotion. Where else could I have achieved that type of success?” she says. “The bottom line is, you can’t call yourself a badass stylist and not be on social media. Clients and other salon professionals want to feel like they are a part of what you’re doing so they can join you.”

Many thanks to our program sponsors Matrix, Redken, Pureology, L'Oréal Professionnel, Baxter, Decleor, Essie, Mizani and SalonCentric for making this Digital Supplement possible.