Three Marketing Mistakes Hair Stylists Often Make - Part One

You may be making huge marketing mistakes without even knowing it.

Honestly, I see and hear it all the time; in-person, in emails, and on social media.

But before I go any further, we need to talk about marketing for a second.

When people think of marketing, their brain often goes to more obvious forms of marketing like ads and social media posts with an obvious call-to-action.

Here’s the deal…

EVERY SINGLE THING you say and do in reference to your products and/or services is a form of marketing.


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Let me tell you a story.

When I was in my apprenticeship, my boss sent me to “spy” on two other salons.

I got a blowout at one, then an updo at the other.

My task was to listen to how they consulted, suggested, and, essentially, marketed to their clients.

I actually think about this random experience fairly often.

Why?

Because I started to realize three big marketing mistakes that hair stylists commonly make:

  1. Focusing on features rather than benefits

  2. Ending the natural “marketing flow” with silence

  3. Neglecting to seal the deal


Let’s dig into the first mistake a little deeper...

Focusing on features rather than benefits

 

We often verbalize what we can DO, rather than what we can DO FOR our clients.

Here's some examples of things we can do:

  • Haircut
  • Multi-Dimensional Color
  • Smoothing Treatment

Now, think about what these services can do for a client:

  • A haircut can transform someone’s face, accentuating their best features.
  • Multi-dimensional color can put life and sparkle back into your hair, making it appear healthier.
  • A smoothing treatment can cut down styling time, instill confidence, and make your hair extremely enviable!

 

Too often I see social media posts with a photo of pretty hair and a simple tagline like, “Look at this pretty balayage! Book with me if you want balayage, too.”

The client is thinking, “Well cool. But what’s balayage? How the heck do I even say it?”

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Let’s make sure we’re communicating the benefits of our products and services when we post on social media, not just what the services are.

Same goes for selling products in-salon. Listing off features such as number of ounces, ingredients, etc is okay...

...but you know what's even better?

Explaining the benefits of the product.

Essentially, this is as simple as answering the client's unspoken question, "What's in it for me?"

And the trick is really listening to your client's pain points, picking the best services and products to resolve them, and explaining HOW it will resolve them.

There's a fine art to asking the right questions and revealing pain points.

Honestly, learning this skill can skyrocket your hair biz revenue like crazy!

I go over that and oh-so-much-more in my signature program, the Beauty Biz Boost.

Stay tuned for my next blog post about the second marketing mistake stylists often make!

Why Social Media Marketing is Pointless

Hey! Caity Hubert here.

In this blog post I’m going to tell you why social media marketing is pointless.

 

Wait…

Hold up…

Did she really just say that?

Yes, I really did. And I mean it.

Sort of.

Actually...let me rephrase that sentence.

Social media marketing is pointless IF you don’t have a spectacular product to back it up.

There we go. That makes a little more sense, yes?

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Let me dive a little deeper into this topic.

Here’s the deal. I’ve noticed a trend in the beauty industry...and it’s not a great one.

Hair stylists are doing things completely backwards.

And you may be one of those stylists.

It’s kinda hard to self-diagnose this issue. Frankly, it sucks to admit you may be wasting your time on your clientele-building strategies.

So let’s step back for a minute.

(Humor me, here, alright?)

Imagine you’re not a hair stylist. Imagine you’re a baker. And you just opened a cute little bakery of your own!

You’re fresh out of school, so you don’t have a ton of dough to spend on advertising and such. (Ha ha. Dough. See what I did there?)

Maybe you were top of your class and you graduated from culinary school feeling super-confident!

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Maybe you even have a few loyal customers already, or worked under an established baker for a bit.

Either way, now that you’re done with your training, you’re mostly starting your business from scratch.

(Yes, that’s another bakery pun. Sorry not sorry.)

Then some industry expert told you to focus on social media marketing.

So you start to market the HELL out of your bakery. You make a website, a Facebook page, and an Instagram account.

You start posting photos of your work, linking to your booking site, and offering discounts to get people in to try your cookies.

Maybe you even try paid ads, email campaigns, or networking events.

(Sound familiar?)

So maybe your efforts to market your bakery work! Maybe you get more traffic into the bakery, more sales, and a few good Yelp reviews to boot!

Awesome, right?

Well sort of…

Because even though you feel busier and you’re selling more cookies, you’re working A TON.

You’re running to the supply store to get a ton of supplies, baking a crap-load of cookies that you’re selling at a discount to get new clients in. People seem to like your cookies, but you’re not totally confident they’ll return for a second visit to the bakery.

And at the end of the month your bank account seems just as empty as before you launched all these social media campaigns.

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Even though you’re working more, marketing more, and starting to make more sales.

You start to feel overwhelmed, overworked, and underpaid.

So what the heck? How are you EVER supposed to make more money?

I’m assuming if you’ve read this far, you resonate with my bakery example at least a little bit.

Maybe it sounds a little like your journey as a hair stylist?

If it does, you’re not alone.

There’s a REASON the average hair stylist only brings home around $25,000 a year (a little over $11/hour). There’s a REASON even some of the top-paid hair stylists only make around $50,000.

There’s a REASON very few hair stylists are ever able to pay themselves over $100,000 a year.

And, contrary to what you may think, you don’t have to work more hours, raise your prices, or bust your butt on social media marketing to get there.

To tell you the truth, it’s not really impressive to have thousands of social media followers if you get low post engagement. Even less impressive if those followers don’t convert to clients.

And even if you do get a ton of new clients in your chair because of your marketing efforts, if your retention rate isn’t great you’ll ALWAYS have to be busting your butt to fill your books.

It doesn’t have to be this way.

Honestly, it shouldn’t be this way.

Most people follow the ideas of the traditional marketing funnel. This is the idea that clients “funnel” down a certain path; awareness, consideration, conversion, and retention.

Here’s what most hair stylists’ marketing strategies look like in relation to the traditional marketing funnel I just referenced:

  1. Post on social media hoping to make people AWARE of you and the fact that you do hair
  2. Hope that your social media followers click on a link to your website, causing them to read about you, skim your service menu, and CONSIDER coming in to see you
  3. Some of these potential clients do decide to book an appointment with you, hopefully coming in and CONVERTING to actual clients.
  4. Hope that they pre-book, come back, and you’re able to RETAIN them as a loyal client!

Notice a pattern with this marketing “strategy”?

It's actually more “hope” than actual strategy.

Here are the issues with this all-to-common plan:

  • Even if you attract a ton of new followers and potential clients to your social media channels, there’s a good chance it may not be the right people. Often, new followers are other hair stylists, your Mom, or people who aren’t local.
  • As for the people who would potentially make good clients, it may take awhile for them to actually click through to your website. It’ll take a lot of time, effort, and energy to craft amazing social media posts to keep you at the top of your potential clients’ minds.
  • The average website has a conversion rate of less than 3%. That means that for every 100 people who visit your website, only 3 will ever book an appointment.
  • Most hair stylists have a retention rate of below 66%, meaning that if all 3 of those clients that finally booked an appointment, you’ll probably only retain 1 or 2 of them.

 

Please don’t get butthurt when I say this, but it’s ridiculous to assume that most of your social media followers will eventually become clients.

 

For the reasons I’ve detailed above, it’s safe to say that it will most likely take at least 300-500 new social media followers to gain 1 loyal client.

Ummm...is that just me, or does that sound like a LOT of work?

What most people forget, though, is that there’s actually one more section at the bottom of this marketing funnel.

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These people are your influencers. They’re not only clients you’ve retained, they’re also clients who advocate for you. Essentially, they’re your dream clients.

You love them. You love doing their hair.

And they love you!

They trust you, pre-book with you, add on additional services, and purchase retail.

They’re the clients who tell everyone about you and refer all their friends to you without you even having to ask.

And because their friends are just as awesome as they are, they become rockstar clients, too!

So let’s go back to our cookie bakery example from earlier in this post for a second…

What if instead of working so hard to bake a ton of cookies to draw new people into your bakery, you focused on the few loyal customers you already had?

You start catering to their needs and making sure that they get the best damn cookie of their life every time they walked into your bakery.

So instead of baking dozens and dozens of pretty good cookies...you’re baking just a few batches of PERFECT cookies.

You feel your stress start to melt away because your product gets better and better with every batch you make.

And instead of feeling overwhelmed and stressed with your career choice, baking becomes enjoyable again.

Before you know it, your influencers/advocates have brought you a new stream of steady customers who love your baked goods.

And because you aren’t running to the supply store all the time, feeling pressure to discount your product to get people in, and spending so much effing time on marketing efforts…

...you’ve finally ARRIVED.

You’ve finally arrived at the place where you’re making good money, working reasonable hours, and loving every minute of your time with your customers.

Well guess what?

You can totally have this happen as a hair stylist, too!

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When you perfect your product (aka your guest experience), you’ll be able to effortlessly cultivate a group of dream clients that essentially do your marketing for you.

 

But you also have to be sure of the following things:

  • Your consultation is PERFECT, and you’re communicating super-effectively with your clients

  • Every client who sits in your chair has a top-notch experience that stands out from all the other salons and stylists they can choose from

  • You are charging ENOUGH and the CORRECT amount for optimal profitability

(FYI...I can help with all that stuff. And OH so much more!!)

 

So if you’re ready to free yourself from the pressure, stress, and time commitment that comes with the not-so-effective social media marketing strategies you’ve been doing...stay tuned.

If you’re ready to start effortlessly attracting, building, and retaining your dream clientele...you’re in the right place.

And if you’re ready for all the reasons you got into the hair biz to become realities, I can help.

CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE

Four Ways to Establish Boundaries in Your Business

We are so blessed to be in an industry in which we get to create bonds with our clients. However, this can often lead to blurry-feeling boundaries between your work and personal life.

So how do we create boundaries without coming off as a cold fish?

Here's four tips to help you establish healthy boundaries in your beauty business:

💋 Keep office hours. Set a cut-off time, such as 7 PM, when you stop responding to texts from clients.

💋 Use a Google Voice number. Clients can text and call this number, which is linked to your personal cell phone. It's easier to tell if a phone alert is business-related or personal.

Another plus? If your cell phone number needs to change for any reason you don't have to change your google number, meaning you don't have to re-print business cards!

💋 Utilize a FB business page. Clients can see all your contact info, pretty hair photos, and other business-related information in one place. There's also a separate FB Pages app, making it easier to enforce your office hours.

💋 Have a cancellation policy and stick to it. I tend to be pretty understanding when clients are sick or have emergencies, but when clients no-call-no-show you suffer financially. I highly recommend coming up with a clear plan for no-shows and last-minute cancellations, and communicating it to your clients.

Three Ways to Improve Your Website's Service List

I recently ran a survey and discovered that a huge majority of clients want to see a detailed service list on your website. They want to see what you're offering and how much it may cost them.

New clients often use your service list to decide if you're the stylist for them, pick what service they are going to book, and estimate what their cost will be at check-out.

It's super-important to make sure potential clients get good information so they book the correct service, know what they will receive when they come in, and don't have sticker shock when you're done taking care of them.

Here are three ways to improve your website's service list:

💋 Be specific.

If you simply list "Haircut", clients may be left wondering what the service includes. Does that include a shampoo? Would they be up-charged if you blow dry their hair or use hot tools? Do you charge differently for short hair as opposed to long hair?

My salon lists separate services for a Haircut with and without a Blow Dry Style. We also specify who those services are for.

For example, the description under the "Haircut without Blow Dry Style" service specifies that the service is ideal for "clients who prefer to have their hair cut dry, or who have their hair cut short enough that a blow dry style is not necessary".

Being specific will give your clients a clear idea of what their service will entail, which eliminates the risk of sticker shock at the register.

💋 Use adjectives in your service descriptions.

What sounds better:

"Includes a shampoo, haircut, and style."

or

"Includes a fabulous shampoo with optional scalp massage, customized haircut, and blow dry style."

No-brainer, right?

I love to include descriptive words in my service descriptions. Not only does it make my services sound valuable, it keeps me accountable to deliver what I described online.

Using descriptive words will make your services sound more appealing, and make clients excited to come see you!

💋 Avoid industry jargon.

We all know the difference between a partial foil and full foil, but we shouldn't expect our clients to. The first time I got my hair colored at a salon, the receptionist asked me over the phone if I wanted a "partial or full" and I honestly had no idea what she meant.

Clients aren't always savvy on the latest trends. Heck, sometimes it's hard for me to keep up! Ombre', sombre', babylights, oh my!

I recommend either brainstorming client-friendly descriptions for your services (especially color services), or indicating the what the results look like in your descriptions. I've seen some stylists include a few example photos, which I think is fantastic!

Clarifying industry-speak or providing examples will help clients book the correct service, ensuring you will have enough time for what they're wanting.


Could your service list use some re-vamping? Is it already on-point and amazing?

Comment below. I'd love to hear your thoughts!