Hair myths debunked!
Everyone wants to know the secret to great looking, beautiful hair. But not all the conventional wisdom out there should be believed. So, how do you sort the fake from the fabulous?
As professional stylists, most of us would love to spend the entire day making our clients look fabulous but, in the competitive and ever-growing world of hairdressing, taking time to market yourself properly is more important than ever. You can’t rely on word of mouth, you need to be proactive in showcasing what you can do and using the web to your advantage.
The internet is open all hours and every business needs a website. In fact, not having a website can turn a lot of people off because they’ll feel like you’re hiding something or you’re not really trying. Even people who don’t visit your website will be reassured to see your website address on an advertisement or business card because it immediately sends the message that you’re serious about what you’re doing,
Your website is your shop window, and a good-looking website won’t only encourage more clients through your door, it can also show off what makes you special. The best way to do that is to include photos of your work, and it’s worth investing in a professional photographer to get those pics absolutely right. Don’t forget there are plenty of other salons for people to choose from, so ask yourself a simple question when you put your website together: what makes your salon so special? Of course, the answer is you and all the other talented stylists you work with! Don’t be shy about projecting that personality and energy into your website, because for many prospective customers that can make all the difference!
Show you’ve got something extra…
…and that’s where a well-written blog page comes in. Blogs are important because they’re the voice of your brand and they give your website visitors an opportunity to get to know you and find out a little bit about who you are. But give your blogs direction and energy and show people you’re the ‘go-to hair guru’ whenever they need advice and an opinion they can trust. Naturally you should talk about what’s happening in your salon and any promotions and events you’re taking part in but be careful not to make your blog sound like 350-1,000 words of soulless advertising. Make it warm, make it fun, and give it value so that your readers will come back again and again. Also, don’t forget to add a photograph or two to break up the words!
Ideally, you should aim to blog at least once a month – twice if possible – so you can build up a regular audience who’ll start to feel an emotional connection with your brand. It may only seem like a few people are reading – especially when you start - but you’ll be surprised how quickly that changes.
How often do people ask you the same basic questions over and over? Where are you? What times do you open? What services do you provide and what do you charge? Is there parking nearby?! You could probably add at least ten more annoying questions to that list without stopping to think about it, and while you’re giving them the answers (again!) you’re not doing what your business is all about – cutting hair. More than that, how many times have you dealt with those kinds of enquiries and the caller doesn’t make an appointment anyway!
If all that information is already on your website, it’ll cut down unnecessary calls and time-wasting conversations.
Even advertising in the local newspaper can be expensive, and so can producing pamphlets or leaflets to push through doors or hand out on the street. Not to mention that pamphlets and leaflets can look pretty cheap and nasty if they’re not done right, and even then a lot of people still get irritated when they drop on the doormat.
On the other hand, a website is probably the most cost-effective form of advertising possible and, unlike a printed ad, you’re not limited by space so it can contain all the important information your customers need. Think of it as an investment in your business. Once you’re set up and online, paying a monthly or annual fee for hosting (and maybe a domain name if you’re taking things really seriously) is the only major expense you’ll have to worry about. The bottom line is, it’s an online world and none of us can afford to ignore it. But, with a little bit of thought and planning, a website and blog could be worth all the time and effort you put into it and the best sales tool you ever have. Who knows, you might enjoy working on it more than you expected!