In an increasingly impersonal world where the Internet has replaced the phone, and decisions are made after scanning a few photographs and a handful of user reviews online, a brand having a personality has never been more important. Clients want to ‘know’ your business and in hairdressing, knowing the people that make up your business is of utmost importance.
So why do so many salons have slick, minimalist websites devoid of any interesting information about the stylists? Or why would your Facebook page be teeming with discounts but have no revealing comments about what makes everyone in the salon tick?
Research by US-based Inc. Magazine has found the ‘About Us’ section of any website is usually one of its three most visited pages. Clients are looking for insider information, so those pages need to tell the salon’s story and give clients a reason to trust, nay, LOVE it before they walk through the front door. Yet so many ‘About Us’ sections are outdated, unprofessional and lacking in relevant information, and many actually risk undermining a brand. It’s no excuse to avoid it because it needs the most upkeep as a team is always evolving. You just have to learn how to update and do it regularly.
Employee biographies are the ultimate selling tool as people aren’t just making the decision to come to your salon, they are making the decision to choose a specific stylist. These biographies provide a way for customers to build relationships with your stylists through personal history and they lend credibility. Consider the following when developing your online biographies for each stylist:
• Professional history
• Extra certifications
• Extended education
• Editorial work
• Personal interests
• Inspirational quotes and tit-bits.
Adding a stylist’s experience and qualifications is essential, but don’t forget the human interest elements – they have to be likeable as well as knowledgeable. Not only does this give the story more permanence but it also makes it easier for a client to make a connection. Just make sure to keep it brief; too much text can be a turn-off.
Next step is photography. A picture says a thousand words and should adorn a stylist’s biography. Some salons go even further, giving stylists their own page on the salon website where they can put some ‘before and after’ photos of happy clients. Stylists can then start a dialogue by commenting on the client photos and update the page with what is happening in their lives. This sort of interaction can influence new clients looking for a new ‘best friend’ – aka hairdresser.
Savvy salons are also incorporating social media with employee biographies by adding ‘share’ buttons so clients can easily share information about their favorite stylists and before/after images. Others are including posts from stylists’ Twitter feeds, Google+ updates or Facebook pages. Doing so has the same benefits as listing contact info – it shows you have nothing to hide and want to connect beyond the website.
Finally – and this is a no-brainer that can easily be missed – if a stylist is active in social media professionally, the website should include links to their blogs, any portfolio websites and their social accounts, etc. if that is part of your social media policy and you don’t mind there being a connection between stylist and client. And, of course, there must be a ‘Book Now!’ link next to every single stylist biography to give viewers the ability to act immediately.
Valorie Reavis is an online and social media marketing guru with Linkup Marketing focusing on search engine marketing, salon email marketing programs and social media marketing for salons and spas. If you have any queries for Valorie email her at firstname.lastname@example.org
Related: Top 5 Questions about Facebook | Facebook Identity Crisis | Get Started with Email Marketing | Reaching Consumers Using Local Search Engines | Strategic Positioning of Keywords for Salons and Spas | Online Marketing Tips for Salons & Spas
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