Updated: Oct 31, 2022
When you run a salon suite business, Instagram is the best tool for growing your book. A few tips can take your page to the next level and grow your business.
If you are in a salon suite now or are seriously considering getting into one, Instagram is one of the most important tools you can use to ensure a steady influx of new business. In fact, I recently had lunch with a hairstylist who was in her 50s and already had a solid book of business when she decided to really focus on Instagram. She said she just decided to try it, and in just one year, she doubled her income. With so much new business, she raised her prices, hired an assistant, and moved into a salon suite. Keep on reading to see how you can do the same!
Create Your Business Page
When you run a salon suite business, YOU are now a business. You need to convert to a business account. Having an Instagram business profile allows you to run ads, add detailed contact info, have a booking link and more. Business pages have insights to see how many people clicked on your link, what is the most popular time your page gets views, the days your content is viewed the most, etc.
Click here to learn how to convert your Instagram account
Next you need to set up your profile, but first a quick note... A theme that will come up a lot in this post is that when people are looking for a new hairstylist, or waxer, or nail tech, or whatever, they are not just looking for someone talented and good at what they do. They are looking for someone they will get along with. If I’m going to sit still in a chair for an hour and a half every two weeks with the same person, I better like him or her!
This is why, when it comes to your profile picture, use your face not your logo. People want to see you and who you are. They want to get a feeling for whether they can connect with you, and that starts with your picture. Put a little personality into it, think about how you’re dressed, made up, are you standing in your salon suite? All of this tells a little about who you are.
Next, add ALL of your contact info – salon suite address, phone number, email and link to book an appointment. You will have the opportunity to add a website, too. You can either add your booking link, you website, or if you have multiple links you want to send people to, use Linktree.
The last part of your profile is your bio. You have 150 characters to describe yourself. Make sure to include what you specialize in and call out anything unique or special about your business, any awards, affiliations, etc. This should tell people everything they need to know about your specialties and qualifications.
Content & Visual Theme
Getting back to making your Instagram represent who you are, aesthetics and branding matter, even on your Instagram—the idea is that someone would click on your profile and see your brand at a glance. What is your brand? It's YOU! Are you edgy? Preppy? Sexy? Funny? How did you decorate your salon suite? Your IG feed should mimic that. Pick your theme and use it to influence every post on your page.
Take, for example, Kelsey Simone, she likes to mix up selfies, outfit posts, product shots and fillers that all fit her brand. You will definitely want to use IG as a portfolio to showcase the nails, hair, skin, lashes, brows that you do, but for an awesome Instagram feed. You need to post a variety of different types of photos. The best way to get that variety is to make a list of the different things you could post and alternate the images when you post. It could look something like this:
Client photos (close ups, far away shots, reposts, etc)
Retail products you sell
Your salon suite
Images that reinforce your personality
That’s exactly how Kelsey does it, and she does it with a pretty consistent color palette, which makes for a minimalist, clean and beautiful feed.
Having posts that stick with a color and design theme all look harmonious together.
If you’re intentional about your Instagram posts and keep them all looking similar, your feed will look beautiful, and that in turn will attract more engagement and more followers.
Like I said before, people are looking for a stylist, they are looking for someone they can connect with and that begins with showing your personality online. Putting yourself out there can be intimidating for a lot of people but it can really pay off. Showing your face on Instagram creates brand recognition (remember, you are the brand). It is so important to offer your followers/potential clients the opportunity to know who YOU are and what makes you more than “just another stylist.” It also builds trust. When you continue to engage with your community and show how relatable you are, this turns into trust. Let your followers get to know the person behind the page (and the chair!). You can participate in trending reels, speak to the camera in your stories or even pepper in selfies that show your personality.
Schedule Content Clients
When you review your calendar for the week, try to look for opportunities with clients who you know will create great content. These can be clients who you know love being featured on your Instagram or big transformations you know will be happening with your services. Consider leaving an extra 10 minutes at the end of their appointment for some “content time” and don’t forget to take the before shot! Scheduling these opportunities ahead of time can help you plan ahead.
Instagram is a visual medium. Photos and videos are the life of this marketing tool, so if you take only one thing away from this post, let it be this. Make sure your photos are in focus! That’s the bare minimum of making sure your photos and videos are great quality, the next most important thing is lighting. Try to get natural light or a ring light, and having multiple sources of light is also helpful. If you really want to take it to the next level, you can edit your photos on an app on your phone like Snapseed or Adobe Lightroom (my personal favorite).
If the first thing your followers will see and care about are your photos, the next thing they’ll do is read your caption. Your caption provides detail, color and personality to your post. It’s where you can explain what’s going on and educate your followers in your beauty niche.
Try not to make your captions too short. Take some actual time to make sure that they enhance your photo. People do read them! Don’t make it too technical either, just share the story behind it, share your feelings about it and educate about it. You might tell a story about the client, the challenge of achieving the final result and what you did to get it, how much you enjoyed the process, that sort of thing. Again, its one more way to show your personality, so go ahead and have fun with it!
Hashtags & Tags
I’m sure you already know that Hashtags will help you get more reach and engagement for your posts. Using the right hashtags can help you improve your posts’ engagement rates and get more followers and ultimately, more clients. For example, users looking for a stylist to do hair extensions in the Mount Holly are likely to search #hairextensions and #mounthollyhairextensions. While the general #hairextensions hashtag will show her hair extension ideas and inspo, #mounthollyhairextensions will show her who in the area is doing them.
You can manually input your hashtags after your caption or you can put it in a comment. Search bloggers and influencers in your area to see what hashtags are they are using that relate to your work. You should search other local businesses and do the same. Always hashtag your location, too, so in addition to #mounthollyhairextensions, also use #mountholly. Lastly, use trending hashtags to draw more users, too, for example use #happyhalloween as one hashtag to gain more views while showing a picture of a holiday themed manicure.
Make sure you tag and hashtag brands and business affiliated with the post, they might even feature you or repost for you. And Geotag your work in popular locations in and around your salon. That’s it! Do it for every post and try to mix it up so they are not identical everytime. If you are varying your content. That should be easy to do!
Stories & Highlights
Instagram stories can be as fun and creative as you'd like, providing a brilliant way for your clients to get to know you and have an insight into your business. They can also build brand awareness, increase engagement and drive traffic to your booking site with the links feature.
Using Instagram Stories is a great way to share content that isn't quite ‘right' for your main Instagram grid – it only lasts 24 hours so doesn't need to be archived. You can even create polls on your Stories – engagement isn't only for the feed! To boost engagement even more, tag your stories with your location and key hashtags - this will increase the likelihood of being discovered by users who don't already follow you.
I like to think of your Instagram page as your website. Use the Highlights feature to create categories that stay on your profile and give information you want to give. Use them to provide the color for your bio. For example, if your bio says you are a certified lash and brow specialist, have a highlight that shows your lashes and brows. You can use highlights to answer FAQs and give tips, or just use them to show you and your personality. Maybe have one highlight that is devoted to your salon suite and how its decorated, or whatever you like!
Consistency & Engagement
Instagram rewards people who post regularly. I know you’re busy with client appointments, but, there are tools out there that can make regular posting much easier. Take advantage of tools like Later, Planoly and Buffer so you can schedule posts and images ahead of time, making it great for social media planning.
You should also make time to reply to every direct message and comment, Instagram also rewards that. The best way to do all of this is, maybe once a week, you should set aside time to edit photos and videos, schedule your posts for the week, and respond to all comments and DMs.
I promise you will be rewarded with more clients if you are consistent and just commit to your Instagram page!
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