5 Best Practices and Strategies for Hairstylists on Instagram
With Instagram continuing to grow in popularity, I thought it would be wise to share some of the best ways I’ve seen hair stylists find success in using it. Is it possible to actually get new hair clients in your chair through Instagram? Absolutely. The hair industry revolves around beautiful images, so it’s only natural to have success in a community built strictly around images.
The one thing you absolutely need to remember about being successful with Instagram is that you have to have a passion for what you do, and maintain that passion through the posts you make. If you feel pressured into having to take a picture for your account it just won’t work nearly as well as just having fun with it. Your followers aren’t dumb. They’ll know when something is being half-assed, and when a lot of work is being put into something else.
The 3 Types of Hair Business You’ll Generate Through Instagram
- Repeat Business – This is where most of your Instagram business is going to come from. If you’re consistent, you’ll catch some of your existing clients at the right place, right time through your posts. It can be extremely effective during the holidays with a well timed holiday post. The idea is to subtly appear in front of your clients right when they were thinking about hair, and to remind them that they need to book an appointment. It’s also done wonders as far as bringing old clientele back that you may had lost contact with.
- Passive Referral Business – Through your followers “liking” the images you create, you’ll gain exposure to contacts that are one degree of separation away from you. Meaning that they’ll know someone who knows you. As they say: “The best type of business comes from referrals” and it totally applies here. There’s nothing stronger than being validated by one of your followers, and having a potential client see that validation can create a potential new client relationship.
- New Business: Through proper hash-tagging (which we’ll talk about shortly) as well as utilizing timely special offers, you can extend your reach to a group of people who do not know about you, but whose interest can be piqued by browsing through your gallery of images.
Now that we’ve talked about the types of business you can generate through Instagram, let’s talk about best practices that you as a hair stylist can apply to see results:
5 Best Practices for Gaining New Hair Clients Through Instagram
- Consistency/Timeliness: Must I say more? You absolutely have to be consistent for this to work. Furthermore you need to be cautious about the time of day you make the posts. I would limit posts to no more than maybe 2 a day. As far as the best times to post, you really have to think about who the majority of your clientele are, or maybe even more importantly what type of client you’re looking for. If you’re looking for business women, then post during lunch hours and after business hours. If your target market is college students, then post around the evening and night time. I’m sure you get where I’m going with this. You can take the most beautiful post in the world and if you do it during the middle of the night, no one we’ll see it and your efforts will render useless.
- Proper Hash-Tagging: Proper hash-tagging can be crucial to gaining new business. I wouldn’t get too crazy with the hash-tags and add like 20 of them which makes your post seem ridiculous, but maybe focus on about 5 or 6 of them. Usually I suggest hash-tagging #YourCity #YourNeighborhood #TheTypeOfHair #Hair #OtherReleventItems #SomethingFun. So for example one of my successful clients uses: #SanDiego #LaJolla #Balayage #LOreal #ThisHairIsReal. How does hash-tagging help? When other users search for a hash-tag on Instagram (or click on one), other images with the same hash-tag will appear. It also helps with your websites search engine results if you’ve tied your Instagram account to your Hair Stylist Website.
- Great Images: It’s pretty obvious that you want to select your best images to showcase on Instagram. Additionally, I’ve seen some creative tools being used to spice things up a bit. You can use Flipigram to create a slideshow of before and after for a specific clients hair (great for a hair coloring session or highlight), you can use Diptic to combine photos and create a timeline for a client from start to finish, and finally the filters in Instagram can hep beautify an image, just don’t get too crazy with it.
- Mix Personal with Business: Your Instagram doesn’t have to be flooded with client pictures and photos of hair. Clients love seeing the personal side of your business as well. It’s a great opportunity to create a bond through sharing photos of pets, family and outdoor activities that you enjoy doing. It’s a way to build rapport and strengthen the relationship without having to really speak to the customer at all.
- Call to Action: Another smart way to use Instagram to generate more hair business is to promote Special Offers. It’s something you don’t want to do too frequently, and it should certainly have a rarity tied to it so it doesn’t undervalue your business and earnings. Don’t get clients in the habit of waiting for special offers. Instead I’d suggest something that would tie it in to bringing more referral business like “Come with a Friend and Get 20% Off your Next Highlight”. Beyond the special offers, I’d also create a sense of urgency during the holidays by posting something like “Only Two Slots Left Before Thanksgiving”. You can use this to help position yourself and your clients for success.
Here’s an example of one of my favorite Flipigram posts:
A video posted by hair by sher (@sharlie1) on
Another small bit of advice to remember is to respond to comments! Its critical to interact with your followers. Also, don’t worry too much about how many followers you have;
It’s the quality of the followers not the quantity that matters.
Do you have any best practices that you follow and that I haven’t mentioned above? Please share them! I love learning from my followers and I know some of you can get really creative. Also, please share this post if you enjoyed it!