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  • Writer's pictureRylea Arnold

The Power of Social Media for Small Businesses: The Story of a Hairstylist Who Used It The Wrong Way

Okay, I know you’re getting tired of hearing this, but social media plays such a powerful role in your small business. Take it from me! I’m a hairstylist in my 20's working in a senior-populated small town. I used social media to fill not only my books with my ideal clientele but my soul AND pocketbook.

That sounded pretty dramatic, so let me explain: I knew I did not want to be doing perms, roller sets and short haircuts forever despite my town's demographic. It just wasn’t what I was into. I was bored, understimulated and capped on income. I knew I could be capitalizing on the younger population and their hair needs, I just didn’t know how to reach them effectively. The traditional marketing I learned in hair school was ineffective for my fellow Millennials and Gen Z’s. Gone are the days of handing out flyers or hanging coupons in public washrooms. Believe me.

So, what did I do? You guessed it. I started an Instagram account and posted occasionally. I followed other local businesses, young entrepreneurs, high school friends, their moms, and even their dads, took lame hair pictures and hashtagged the sh*t out of everything. But here’s the deal: It didn’t work.

It didn’t work because I didn't have a strategy.

I thought I could just post whatever, whenever, and suddenly have people running through the salon doors. (We’ve all been there!) So, stuck in a rut of self-pity, I started questioning my career choices and wanting to give up.

Does all that sound a bit familiar? Feel a little called out? GOOD!

Instead of giving up, here’s what I did:

  1. Spent time learning and studying social media so I could develop a strategy.

  2. Created a mood board curated with images, pictures, people and colours that I enjoyed. This allowed me to take a step back and define my ideal clientele and who I was as a brand.

  3. Strategically followed and interacted with people, local businesses and other hair stylists. Do they meet my “ideal client” requirements? Do they live in the area? Are they actively using their account?

  4. Showed up on Instagram every single day, not necessarily posting, but interacting and engaging with followers and potential clients.

  5. Spent time producing and planning high-quality content. Posting 3-4 times a week with quality content rather than 7 times a week with lazy content is always the better option.

  6. I also told everyone that sat in my chair that I had Instagram. This works well in the service industry. After providing a service, I would encourage them to message me on Instagram if they had any questions. 90% of the time, they’d end up following me!

Within a couple of months, I was bringing in significantly more money than before. It was officially working. Incredible, right?! People were tagging me on Facebook when others asked for hairstylist recommendations, my direct messages were blowing up and my books were almost always full.

Long story short, your social media is 100% worth investing in as a small business. Without it, I don't believe I would have been as successful as I am now. (This year I even placed 6th in ‘Penticton’s Best Hairstylist.’ I am POSITIVE that wouldn’t have happened if I didn’t have a strong social media presence.)

Now, I know what you’re thinking. Not everyone has the time or interest in doing this all themselves. I hear you! That’s where we come in.

As a social media agency, we serve to augment and amplify your marketing efforts to bring you more business, money, and TIME! We offer social media audits (find out how well you're doing so far) as well as custom social media strategies (learn what you SHOULD be doing) to help steer you in the right direction. And, we're in the process of building more offerings for solopreneurs and small businesses, so SUBSCRIBE to be the first to hear as new things launch!

All in all, when it comes to hair colouring and marketing, leave it to the professionals. ;)

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