For the last few years, I've been appearing on prime time morning TV in the UK. The show, This Morning, which airs on ITV, attracts around 6 million viewers and has won numerous awards.
As stylists, we lead extremely busy work lives. So, I'm sure some of you may be wondering why I would even consider devoting such a large chunk of time to doing makeovers for TV. The answer is really quite simple: The rewards are endless. You can't put a price on the effect that appearing regularly on a popular program has on your personal profile, your salon's profile, your product range and your bottom line.
Here's why: On the days following one of my appearances, our client hotline and Web site get a lot more hits and inquiries than usual, and the percentage of bookings is up around 10 percent. So powerful is TV's impact and reach in the UK that it's transformed a handful of hairdressers into huge celebrities. That's something I never take for granted, and whenever I'm asked to appear, I drop everything.
Beverly C works behind the scenes
Presenting on live TV takes a totally different set of skills than presenting onstage to fellow hairdressers. Avoid trying to impress the audience with hairdressing jargon; the language you use should be layman's terms. Viewers want the hairdressing secrets they're seeing unraveled in an easy-to-understand manner so that they can easily replicate what's being done. The goal is to be calm, warm, natural and informed, but avoid being smug. Remember, you're addressing the consumer.
When you appear on live TV, you simply can't afford to make any mistakes. Your voice should flow with plenty of movement and you should captivate the viewer. Often I hear the words "down-to-earth" and "friendly" used in describing my presentation manner, and I find that an honor. It means I've mastered the technique, and so I'm sticking to it!
In front of the camera on ITV's This Morning.
My advice to stylists trying to break into TV is to start with live broadcasts for lifestyle or shopping channels. A few appearances on these channels and you've got the makings of a show reel that you can use to pitch yourself for guest spots on other shows. And if you're really serious, once you get a few TV breaks, you may want to consider getting a good agent who will bang on all the important doors so that you don't have to. The cost to you is simply a percentage of bookings paid, which is usually around 20 percent, and is well worth the many benefits a TV appearance can provide.