At the Salon Digital Summit, an interactive conference on social and digital media for the salon professional produced by MODERN SALON, NAILS, SALON TODAY and Bobit Business Media, Zoe Belisle-Springer from Phorest @z_elspring @phorestsalonsoftware moderated a panel of artists who discussed the impact that being personal on social media, especially Instagram, can have on salon pros and salon businesses’ bottom line and the type of clientele they attract. The trio of experts included Christina Kreitel @christinakreitel ; Christopher Smith @christopheraaronstudio ; and Natalie Boos, director of marketing for the Business of Balayage @natalie.boos @thebusinessofbalayage.
How Has Instagram Impacted Your Brand
Kreitel:How many of you remember doing hair before Instagram? It typically took us five years to build a clientele and be able to pay the bills. And then Instagram came out and everyone is making money. Within one year, I went from 20K a year to over six-figures in a year and I was still doing hair out of a bedroom in my house. Instagram is everything.
Smith: But I never thought social media would bring me jobs and clientele. It has, though.
Boos: The Business of Balayage didn’t exist before but Instagram built our business.
How Much of Your Success Do You Attribute to Showing Your Personality
Smith: All of it.
Kreitel: It’s the law of attraction. If you’re not being authentic you won’t attract people you want to work with.
Boos: You spend so much time with people in the salon so you have to like these people. It's really important to be transparent about who you are. It’s going to come out eventually. They are coming to give you money, let them know what they’re coming to you for. We form attachments to our stylists and clients are all humans and looking to make those attachments.
Smith: I think that at the end of the day, I want to be me and for so long I tried to be like everyone else. When I started to really be me is when I started to grow more. Social media can make you feel like crap sometimes and at the end of the day, I just have to love me.
What Does Brand-Building Like?
Boos: Don’t post it if you don’t want it in your chair.
Kreitel: If you want to do creative color, why are you a brunette? You want to be a pixie specialist, why do you have extensions? It’s better to have quality over quantity. Your Instagram is your portfolio and your magazine.
Smith: Make it your story, the book of your life. Your stories should be about what you’re doing and who you are.
Kreitel: I’m on the Cosmoprof Artistic Team and a lot of people ask how they found me? The truth is it didn’t have anything to do with hair. I’m a HUGE nerd and I thought if I post about my love for Harry Potter no one is going to take me seriously but I took a risk, I did and 20 minutes later, Cosmoprof messaged me. Harry Potter made me famous. Being good at hair is not enough. Remember that there are people behind these handles and they want to know who you are.
Have You Ever Shared Something Personal and Had it Backfire?
Kreitel: Yes, and you apologize. But when someone I follow and admire, and they fail, it’s nice to see that they are also human.
Smith: It’s just about being you, 100% of the time.
Boos: We get feedback about things that didn’t go as planned. Remember that your goal is to listen and understand that the big part of it is this is a social platform not just a broadcast platform. You’re also supposed to be listening to what other people are saying.
Smith: Not everyone is going to love what you do. You’ll always have haters.
Kreitel: As long as you know that your integrity is intact, and as long as you know you’re doing things with love, don’t worry—if people are hating, your followers will stick up for you.
How Do You Really Be Authentically You?
Smith: Just have a conversation. But it took me a year of teaching and practice; videotape yourself constantly. I kept judging but you have to just be fine, have fun.
Boos: I hate speaking to crowds but I want to share the content and information and that is my motive. I put the rest of it on the back burner.
Kreitel: In the end, no one cares what you look like because they’re too concerned with what they look like. I got stuck in that track of I’m not fancy enough and in the end I realized I don’t have to keep proving that you need to see my selfie face all the time. The reason people watch is because they want to hear what I have to say. I have learned that the more awkward I am the more views I get.
How Much Personal Do You Share?
Kreitel: I’m going to be personable but not too personal. I’m not going to show you where I live, I’m not going to show you a fight with my husband, but I’ll show little personal bits to reveal that relatibility.
Boos: Everyone is different. Just as you are careful about what you share in the world in a conversation. You have to figure out what you are. If your goal for your Instagram is to build your business then your main feed can be hair and your stories can be more personal.
Kreitel: Social media is about being authentic and you can’t be authentic without being a little awkward.
Smith: I try to help people as much as I can and that is my love—giving back to people.
Boos: Just put it out there and accept that people are going to come to you.
Kreitel: There is so much hair in the world. Don’t compare yourself or drag others down to feel better about yourself.These days showing you’re good at something isn’t enough; you also have to show you’re a decent human and good to be around.