Posts in Advertising Tips
Are You on Bangstyle Yet?

Well, are you? 

Bangstyle is your ultimate destination for hair inspiration. This digital platform brings the “art” back into our industry. Bangstyle provides professional stylists and the beauty obsessed with a place to feel at home. Follow trends, techniques and tutorials while sharing your passions and connecting with fellow artists--all in one place. 

Want to learn how? Whether you’re a professional beauty brand looking to get in front of industry professionals, or a stylist looking to showcase your work and grow your network, Bangstyle’s President, Ashlee Levitch, is here to give you the lowdown on how you can get involved.

Ashlee began her career in marketing and fashion only to make the switch into the beauty industry in 2008 when she first accepted the position as the President of Bangstyle’s House of Hair Inspiration. Since then, Ashlee has developed a space where beauty truly meets technology. She has developed this online platform to promote hair artist’s hard work, innovation and compassion and now she’s giving you the opportunity to get involved. 

What Is Bangstyle, You Ask?

Bangstyle was initially created so that stylists could share pictures of their work and basically build these amazing lookbooks where they could have all of their hair photos in one beautifully curated place.

Bangstyle was started just a few years before Instagram blew up--and it’s still the only photo-sharing platform dedicated to hairstylists--but boy has it blossomed into so much more.

Today, Bangstyle is a resource for hairstylists and beauty industry brands everywhere. In fact, it even has a large consumer base, who use it to sift through photos for their own hair-inspo before heading to the salon. 

Bangstyle produces all kinds of content, from blogs and articles, to specific brand features, to curated collections and beyond. It’s a one-stop-shop for all beauty industry professionals--so, what are you waiting for?

Want to Show Off Your Work? Stylists Welcome!

Are you a stylist or beauty guru? Do you want to show off your work and spread the love? You’ve come to the right place. 

Bangstyle was brought to life by a few incredible individuals who wanted to bring “art” back into this amazing industry. Ashlee reflects on their original mission centered around showcasing a stylists passion for their craft, which for many goes beyond the tradition cuts and colors being done in the salon. 

While babylights and balayages are artful in their own way, stylists and hair show artists are always creating these amazing avant-garde looks behind the scenes. While these might not be your run-of-the-mill salon styles, these artistic updos often grace runways and editorial shoots and absolutely deserve to have their praises sung--and thus, Bangstyle was born.

Today, Bangstyle is not only the perfect platform to post your own hair photos, but it’s an essential resource for connecting with other beauty industry professionals, brand ambassadors, hair educators--you name it. And, Bangstyle is always looking for content creators! If you’ve got an idea for a blog post, article or web series, submit away!

Creating a Bangstyle account is totally free and incredibly easy. All you have to do is sign-up and start sharing!

Have You Got Something Our Stylists Should See? Beauty Brands All Aboard!

Bangstyle is home to thousands of the industry’s best beauty brands, including cult favorites like Redken, Sam Villa and Keune, and they’re always looking to add more. Brands can create their own profiles on this digital platform, where they can share photos, product knowledge, post articles and even introduce team members and brand ambassadors. 

Ashlee attributes much of Bangstyle’s success to the level of investment from beauty industry brands everywhere. Without their support, consumers and stylists wouldn’t be quite as connected on the platform, these brands really bring everything full circle.

Ashlee is so proud of how far Bangstyle has come as far as brand promotion goes. Today, brands can create their own channels where they can publish content, post photos, articles and even upload videos to share with both stylists and general consumers alike.

If you’re looking for a unique way to showcase your brand and get in front of your ideal target audience, it’s time to create a Bangstyle account!

Want to learn more about the ever-so-inspirational Ashlee and Bangstyle’s roots? Listen to the podcast that inspired this blog, episode 191. And don’t forget to create your Bangstyle account today! Happy surfing!

The Top 5 Recruiting Strategies of Successful Salons

Why is recruiting such a major struggle for salon owners? Have you heard the saying that you have to be “slow to hire and quick to fire”? While that is such sound advice, the problem that arises before you’re able to put this saying to use is having a plethora of options to choose from.

So, how do you get people jazzed up about your brand? So much so that they’re knocking down your door, wanting to be a part of your tribe? Kati Whitledge, our beloved host, is sharing her top five recruiting strategies for building a successful salon.  

In addition to hosting the Beyond The Technique podcast, Kati is the owner of the award-winning Be Inspired Salon located in Madison, Wisconsin, and the creative brain behind Meet Your Stylist, an innovative salon software system that matches potential clients with salon professionals based on services, lifestyle preferences, and personality metrics.  

Always Be Recruiting and Accepting Applications

Take a minute to think about your salon’s average turnover, how many stylists and front desk employees do you typically have to replace in a year?

For example, based on Kati’s averages, she anticipates that she will lose up to two stylists per year. That means she should be looking to hire three to four new team members each year because not only might she have stylists that leave her, but she’s also in growth mode and she’s hoping to build her team.

Your numbers might look different than Kati’s, but regardless, you should always be planning ahead when it comes to hiring and on-boarding, because you want to have an abundance of options for when the time comes.

Quick Tip: Do you have a page on your salon website dedicated to hiring and on-boarding? Good! Does it say that you’re “currently not hiring”? Bad!

Even if you aren’t actively hiring at this time, you never want to promote that on your website Instead, you should always give the impression that you’re open for receiving applications. You never know when the perfect applicant might send over their resume, and you want to have options for when the time comes!

Have a Digital Plan for Attracting Dedicated People

In today’s digital age, it’s so important to give potential employees the option to submit their applications online. Your ideal candidates are now coming from the Millennial and Gen Z generations, and they’re so used to immediate gratification that they’ll skip right over your salon if you can’t provide them that opportunity.  

Instead of instructing interested candidates to email a copy of their resume to the hiring manager at your salon, you should include a digital application right there on your website.

You should also be super specific about each position you’re looking to fill when you are actively hiring, because you’re going to be looking for very different qualifications when hiring a marketing manager versus a new assistant stylist. The more direct you are when sharing your expectations for the position, the more promising your potential candidates will be. 

Quick Tip: What’s better than having one page dedicated to recruiting and hiring? Having multiple! If you have one page for each position you’re looking to fill, you can dedicate that page to displaying the specific qualifications necessary and even include an online application that is exclusive to that position. 

Share Videos on Social

There’s no better way to sell recruits on your brand than having your own stylists give their testimonials to working at your salon. What better way to help potential candidates get a feel for your salon culture than to have your team talk about their life in the salon?

You can upload video testimonials like these to your salon’s YouTube channel, Facebook, Instagram, even repurpose them for IGtv or on your social media stories. The beauty of creating video content is that it can be used and shared again and again—and it has a much higher chance of capturing your audience than typical graphics and photos do.

Be Active in Your Community

The fourth recruiting strategy that Kati stands by is staying active in your immediate community. As a salon owner, you and your team should be committed to building relationships with the local beauty schools and youth programs in your area as a means of seeking out talent.

You should be attending career fairs and offering to showcase your own talent by having your stylists teach classes at the local beauty schools. If you stay in front of these young potential candidates, you’ll be top of mind when it’s time for them to pursue a career.

Kati also highly recommend joining your local Chamber of Commerce or other business networking groups. The people around you are going to be your most valuable resources, and although groups like these are outside of your industry, they’re especially useful for when it comes to finding and hiring talent in other areas such as marketing or web design.

Level Up and Pay to Play

Finally, if you want to be hiring top tier talent you have to be raising the stakes and paying really well. Not to mention, it also pays to back your job postings on websites like Indeed or Craigslist. Be strategic about your listings and show that you’re serious about who you hire by putting in the extra effort.  

Kati will tell you that it’s worth investing in hiring because the cost of losing an employee is much greater, so you might as well spend a little extra in order to find someone that is really going to fit your brand.

To listen to the podcast that inspired this blog, check out episode 175, and if you’d like to learn a little bit more about our host, Kati, check out her website and don’t forget to subscribe to the Beyond The Technique podcast for more incredible industry insight.

The Events Every Salon Should Host, Featuring Tena Pettis
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Have you thought about hosting events at your salon, but weren’t exactly sure what to do or why bother? Hosting events offers tremendous benefits for your salon, and Beyond the Technique is excited to share Tena Pettis’ innovative ideas for the events that every salon should host!

Why Host Events?

Tena is the owner of Capture Salon in Stillwater, MN where she feels that her salon is literally a hidden gem. When Tena purchased Capture Salon from the previous owner, she found herself explaining their location by describing the two stores on either side of her building. Everyone knew those other two stores, but had no clue there was a salon between them—total bummer, right? Reflecting on this unpleasant reality, Tena quickly realized that they were simply missing out on people seeing their gorgeous space. (It is seriously gorgeous!) So, in Tena’s words: “events were a big no-brainer.” Just by getting people into the salon, you start to build a relationship. Long story short: events build exposure.

Celebration Events

Celebration events are probably the most obvious and widespread events for salons. One of the most common celebration events is hosting a party for your salon’s anniversary. For Capture Salon’s anniversary, Tena explains that they “go a little bit more out” by hiring a caterer, serving wine and beer, and hosting a musician!

Another creative celebration event is hosting a party for a new stylist on your team to welcome her on board! Tena explains that this event will be a little bit more private, and they plan to invite the new Stylist’s family, friends, and close clients. By hosting an event, past clients can easily find her and follow her to Capture Salon! Also, this is a great opportunity to fill her books (win-win!).

Because you can never run out of reasons to celebrate, Tena and her team thought of one more fun event: Top 100 Clients! Tena is going to pull a report of their Top 100 clients from the previous year and invite them to the salon for an exclusive event. Their plan for the night: “just LOVE on those Top 100 clients!” What client wouldn’t love to be appreciated and spoiled for a night?

Education Events

As industry professionals, we often think about educating Stylists and salon owners, but we also need to think about continuously educating our clientele. A recurring education event that Tena and Capture Salon host are Essential Oils classes. Right now, Essential Oils are really trendy and everyone is talking about them. To meet this demand, Tena hosts one or two classes a month where oiler newbies and pros can come to learn more and sell their product. Tena explains that those who attend are always walking away with tips and tricks as well as exposure to their salon.

While Essential Oils classes are a perfect fit for Capture Salon, Tena stresses that you can educate clients about anything! For example, Capture Salon is also hosting a Smokey Eye Class. This event will be a great way to promote the makeup lines sold at Capture Salon and get Tena’s Stylists really fired up about an event they can lead! Educational events assist in branding your salon as experts who clients can come to, follow, and learn from.

Collaboration Events

Just like education events, the opportunities for collaboration events are truly endless, and you can get as creative as you want! The aesthetician at Capture Salon is working with a local nutritionist to host events about health and wellness. Even as a collaboration event, this class will also educate their clients about a holistic approach to beauty and wellness.

Beyond the Technique founder, Kati Whitledge, is also the owner of Be Inspired Salon in Madison, WI where they host an annual collaboration event. Kati explains that every year, Be Inspired Salon hosts a charity Cut-A-Thon. 100% of the proceeds from that event are donated to a local charity which is voted on by their clients. Kati explains that this is a great way for her Stylists to give back and create a great community feeling.

Planning Your Event

Budgeting. Tena explains that every month, she sits down with their bookkeeper to create a budget for food, wine, and beer for events. Typically, their monthly event budget is $250. While they don’t always use the full $250, putting this money aside creates a buffer for the months when they want to host a larger event. Also, Tena suggests that when hosting collaboration events, you try to solicit a small contribution from your partner since you are providing the space. Salon events can be as low-key or glamorous as your creativity and budget allow!

The Logistics. Planning ahead is crucial for a salon event to be successful! A tip that Tena recommends is printing a paper calendar for the year to map out your events. Being able to plan for the full year allows you to visualize the times of the year when it makes the most sense to host certain events. For example, you may choose to host your Top 100 event in February because the month is associated with love and host your charity Cut-A-Thon in October when things are a little slower. When you start seeing your events on paper and actually planning it out, the whole process seems a lot easier!  

Marketing. Did we mention Tena is also the founder of a social media and graphic design firm? (Yes, she is a rockstar!) For this reason, we couldn’t wait to ask Tena how she markets her events. Tena’s answer: “We are pretty aggressive with our Facebook events.” Tena offers some insider advice about Facebook events. For example, she notes that it is important to post in the event everyday to give people little updates, entice them to the event, and make sure that they don’t forget! Also, Tena explains that you can message everyone in a Facebook event, but the message appears to be personalized. In other words, no one knows that it was a mass message. Tena suggests sending a message similar to: “Will I see your beautiful face on Saturday?” or “So excited to see you at our event on Friday!” It is a little bit intricate and Tena explains that you can only do this on a mobile phone; if you want to try it out, here are some directions.

Stylist Buy-In. A really important piece for Tena is making sure that her Stylists have bought into the idea of hosting salon events. Maybe you can relate to Stylists who are great behind the chair, but look at events and think: “Ugh, this is just another thing that I have to do.” To address this challenge, Tena makes time for a team debrief following an event. At this meeting, she will ask her team how the event went, what happened, and who they met. Tena finds that her Stylists often explain appointments they booked or new connections they made. Being able to reflect on the positive benefits of the event allows her team to understand the opportunities to get new clients in the chair!

We hope that Tena’s insights spark your own creativity and leads to a productive, profitable, and eventful year! To get more industry advice, make sure to follow Beyond the Technique and listen to our weekly podcast!  

Craving more innovative ideas from Tena? Check out her website to get connected with her community and listen to her podcasts!

Listen to the full interview with Tena Pettis on Episode 65 of Beyond the Technique’s podcast.

How to Use Guerilla Marketing to Grow Your Salon Business

What Is Guerilla Marketing?

Are you familiar with guerilla marketing? If you’re not, you should be. Entrepreneur defines guerilla marketing as an unconventional way of performing marketing activities on a very low budget. It can be a great business strategy for salons, especially new ones! In this post, I’m going to tell you how I used guerilla marketing to grow my business, and provide you with five simple steps to help you start a guerilla marketing program for your own salon.

First things first – why try guerilla marketing? One good reason is that it can be done on a shoe-string budget. Money can be tight for many new salon owners, and guerilla marketing (if done right) can be efficient and cost-effective. And due to the nature of guerilla marketing, it’s a great way to build brand awareness in your community AND build local partnerships, which can be another powerful tool.

So, with those benefits in mind, I decided to try it out for my own salon! When I started Be Inspired Salon no one in my community knew about us. So, my team and I started to go around to neighboring businesses and talk to members of the community. We gave away brochures and gift cards, NOT discounts (you all know how I feel about discounts). It was a risk to give away gift cards, but we knew that if we could get them in the door it would be a game changer.

That tactic worked, but we needed to step it up a notch. We decided to attend local networking events with the goal of building relationships, not selling services. But here’s the thing, we got a little bold with our new strategy. We attended these events dressed like cocktail waitresses. We had on nice Be Inspired Salon branded shirts and professional name tags, and we carried around trays with free product samples and whiskey glasses to collect business cards. (I said we were bold!)

We definitely drew attention, but in a good way! And don’t worry, we didn’t get in trouble. The hosts of the events thought it was a very clever idea. Anyways, it was a great way to start conversations and get to know the people in our community. We would tell them about the salon, offer a product and ask them to enter their business card for a chance to win a prize. We would alter the prize based on the audience, but usually it switched between a free hair cut or a product bundle.

Take a guess as to who won? Everyone! That’s right. When I first started guerilla marketing, I made everyone a winner. We were new, and we had plenty of openings. And it turned out to be a great success! We started getting new, paying clientele in the door.

Five Steps to Guerilla Marketing

But there’s a little more detail to how I made it happen. Here are the five simple steps you can follow to repeat what I did for your business.

1. Find events. I’m very lucky to live in a professionally driven community. There are always networking events going on. But if you are looking for ideas, check your local business chamber or search for local organizations on LinkedIn. It’s also a good idea to check out Business Networking International (BNI) – they have chapters across the US.

2. Set a strategy. Networking can be intimidating, so it’s a good idea to have a plan before you go to events. First, set a goal of how many people you want to meet and/or cards you want to collect at each event. I started out with 10. Then, decide what you are giving away, and like I mentioned before, personalize it to the crowd. Finally, brand the heck out of everything you give away! I had little stickers made that included my salon logo, address, and website and put them on everything my team gave away. It’s a simple and affordable way to grow brand awareness.

3. Follow-up. This is the most important step to make your program successful. How many times have you had a conversation that ended with, “We should meet up sometime!” Only to never have that happen? The same goes with business networking. After my events, I like to find them on social channels, usually LinkedIn, and I send them a quick note. Something like, “Hey! It was nice to meet you last night. I want to connect.” And if you don’t feel comfortable using a social platform, email is another great option.

4. Set a schedule. Frequency is another key to success. When I first started, my team and I were going once a week. And if you’re thinking I’m crazy, you’re not wrong. It was a lot, but it did lead to results. But I know that everyone doesn’t have that kind of time, so at a minimum, I would suggest going once a month.

Once business picked up, I thought I didn’t need guerilla marketing anymore. I was wrong. I rode the first great wave of new business, and after about six months of no networking, business slowed down. I couldn’t figure out why. I talked to my business coach, and he pointed out that the only thing I stopped doing was guerilla marketing. So, the lesson here is that even when business picks up, you can’t stop networking. You need to keep a consistent frequency, even if it’s once a month.

5. Get your team involved. You don’t have to do it all by yourself. I recruited my Stylists to help for several reasons. First, it can be scary to go to an event by yourself, so the buddy system is never a bad way to go! Second, I wanted them to be more invested in the business. I started to notice that if I met someone at an event, and they came to my salon, they expected to see or work with me. As I got busier, that wasn’t possible, so it was important to have my Stylists at events as well.

We have an event sign-up at the salon with the expectation that at least two people have to go to ONE event per month. This way you don’t have to go every month, but your salon is still being represented in the community.

If done well and done consistently, guerilla marketing can help you grow your salon business! If you’re looking for more detail on how to get your program started, check out “Episode #74  - Have You Been Guerilla Marketing?” on the Beyond The Technique podcast!

Three Ways to Increase Your Salon's Instagram Following

I’m going to be honest: there are actually seven ways. I have seven secrets to help you increase your Instagram followers by 500%. To give credit where it’s due, our sister company: Meet Your Stylist has this amazing guide called Seven Secrets on How to Increase Your Instagram Following by Over 500%. That’s where I got the ideas for this post. But I’m going to focus in on three of those ways in particular.

First, I want to ask: why do you want to do this? Why increase your Instagram followers? Here’s one good reason: in 2015 only 27.6% of the U.S. population used it. Now, in 2016, we have 89.4 million users a month in the United States, and worldwide there are 300 million users per day. To put it plainly, Instagram is blowing up! Because millennials are the main users of social media, particularly Instagram, it’s essential to consider that demographic when trying to increase your Insta following.

Step 1: Define Your Unique Selling Proposition

What does that mean? It means asking yourself what sets your salon apart from others in your area. Let’s imagine that you specialize in crazy hair color; blues, greens, pinks, reds, orange. If that’s your specialty, create an Instagram stream around that, and you’ll start attracting individuals who are drawn to that type of service. Defining your salon’s unique selling proposition will differentiate your Instagram posts from those of other salons. It will increase interest from your target market.

Are there services or products that you provide that others don’t? Do you specialize in certain haircuts or hair coloring services? Maybe you offer a guarantee that no one else does.

Your Instagram shouldn’t cover every single aspect of your salon, but should hone in on some of your top unique attributes and services, and use those to gain a community of interested followers.

Step 2: Frequency and Consistency

Frequency is important, but consistency matters even more. If you don’t have time to start an Instagram page for your salon, wait until you know you can commit to it. If you’re not ready for it, who could potentially help you? If you do choose to have someone else run your account, however, I would choose someone who already works at your salon and has a knack for Instagram.

Frequency matters. You don’t want your current followers and potential audience to miss the opportunity to engage with you. I recommend posting consistently each day, but that can vary between each salon. You may post morning, afternoon, and evening every day or you may start with just once per day at first. Just be consistent! To make it easier, I would highly recommend using a social media scheduling program. A couple that we’ve used are Mass Planner and Hootsuite (which is cloud based and can be accessed anywhere). With these options you can spend some time one day of the week and schedule your Instagram posts for the entire week and then get right back to work.

Step 3: Use Hashtags

There are a ton of people searching specific hashtags on Twitter and Instagram. It’s definitely in your best interest to use them on every post. Hashtags are essentially keywords that Instagram users can search to find related and interesting posts and pages. Therefore, it’s important to include hashtags that are relatable to your target market in every single post. The more hashtags you use, the greater chance of increasing your followers. You’ll also want to have some specific branded hashtags just for your salon.

These are just three of the ways to increase your Instagram followers, but the rest of the list can be found by entering your email at I know these steps work, because they definitely worked for us. When we implemented these seven strategies we actually did increase our following by over 500%. There are four other secrets left that I didn’t cover in this post, but they’re all equally as helpful, so I certainly recommend checking out the link to the full strategy list.

Being actively present on social media, giving value to your followers, and creating a community is an extremely cool and important part of owning your salon. Even if your followers don’t become clients, they are becoming your advocates, and in a social presence that is a huge asset for the positive reputation of your business.

Share your Instagram ideas with other industry professionals by joining our sister company's private Facebook group. We all work together to empower others and build one another! We can't wait to meet you!

Number One Marketing Mistake You Must Stop Making

What is the number one marketing mistake that salons across the US are making? Humor yourself by taking a guess…have your guess ready? The number one marketing mistake is: giving discounts!

This marketing tactic is so prevalent across the US that it’s almost hard to believe, right? Discounts are offered left and right, and we see them all. the. time. You know what we are talking about: “$10-Off Tuesdays” “$20 Off Your First Visit!” “Re-Book Today and Get 20% Off!” We have two words for you: Stop It!

Discounts Devalue

Any verbiage with the word “off” is a marketing mistake that you need to stop making and the reason is psychological. The word “off” actually devalues the services that you are offering. When your salon offers a discount, you are teaching clients that your products and services are worth less. The bottom line: discounts devalue.

Everyone Wants More

Are there ways to build a huge following and clientele without offering discounts? YES!

Instead of devaluing your services, focus on adding value because everyone wants more.

Here are a couple strategies to try at your salon:

  • Offer a complementary treatment with a client’s first haircut. This is a great added value for your client and costs very little overhead. Doesn’t a complementary service sound better than giving 50% off? We know it does, and your clients will notice too!
  • Gift color protection shampoo and conditioner after a client’s first hair color. As a stylist, you want your clients to use color protection shampoo. To ensure that they do, offer it as a gift! You can even follow-up with the client when they are running low to re-stock (double-win!).

Earn Your Worth

Position your salon to attract the type of clients who you want to work with! To do so, you need to stop competing on price. If you complete on price, you are always going to be a small fish in a big pond. Instead, start earning what you are truly worth. Build your clientele with the slow and steady approach, and you will gain a remarkable following. Today, make a promise to yourself that you will no longer make this marketing mistake and start thinking of innovative ways to gain and retain clients!

To get more industry advice, make sure to follow Beyond the Technique and listen to the weekly podcast--we will see you there!

The Social Media Musts for Every Salon

You may be wondering why there is so much hype around using social media, and Shana Dee is back with Beyond the Technique to tell you why! Shana recently learned that if you’re not in front of a new client or a new prospect every day, you’re unemployed. Harsh, but true! That is why Shana Dee is here to share the social media musts for every hair salon!

#1: You Must Be on Instagram

Friends, Facebook is not enough—you must be on Instagram! There are no ifs, ands, or buts, you need to build your tribe on Instagram. 

Recently, Shana was taking a styling class in New York where she had the opportunity to chat with Courtney Bright, the social media expert for American Salon. If you don’t already know, American Salon is the Number One place for hair stylists to be featured right now—they are huge! Chanced with this opportunity, Shana Dee asked Courtney how often Stylists should post on Instagram. Do you have any guesses at Courtney’s response? She answered: “As much as you want!”

If you follow American Salon, you will notice that they generally post about three times a day. Does posting three times a day make you a little—or a lot—nervous? Don’t be scared! American Salon has a TON of content to share and they have dedicated, full-time employees to manage their accounts. As Stylists, social media cannot be our full-time job; otherwise, we wouldn’t have any time to style the hair that we take pictures of! Ultimately, Shana and Courtney reached the conclusion that it doesn’t matter how often you post as long as you are consistent.

If you can manage posting three times a day on Instagram, you must consistently post that often. If you can only post once a day, then make sure to post every day! Shana Dee reminds you to do what feels right for you and be consistent! 

#2: Pictures and Videos that WOW!

Not only do you need to post, but your pictures need to be awesome! You cannot post hair pictures with terrible lighting, product all over the background, unorganized styling tools, messy color on the cape—you get the idea. Your pictures must be clean and inviting.

So, how do you know what your pictures should look like? Shana Dee suggests a simple exercise. Start by taking out your phone and scrolling through Instagram and Pinterest. Whenever you want to click on a picture think: “why did I want to click on that picture? What made me drawn to this photo?” Once you begin this exercise, you will notice a pattern in these photos—copy that pattern! You will consistently notice a clean background, soft lighting, and great shine. (If you want more photo tips, check out our previous blog post: How To Get Featured on Instagram.)

Pro Tip: Shana Dee suggests a simple trick to find the best lighting in your salon! Hold out your hand straight in front of you, just like you are telling someone to stop. If your hand has a shadow on it, you are in bad lighting. If you’re in good lighting, the back of your hand will be lit up without any shadow. Super simple, right? Now, go chase the light!

In addition to pictures, Shana Dee explains that videos are huge right now! One of the easiest and quickest ways to make a video is using Snapchat. Videos are a great way to show people what you’re doing at the salon. For instance, you can have half of your video show a client’s “before hair” and half the video show the “after hair.” You make the video on Snapchat, save it to your phone, then upload it to Instagram. This might sound challenging, but Shana explains that you just have to do it! As you continue to practice, it becomes faster and easier.

#3: Call to Action

 Give a call to action! A call to action goes in the copy or written words of your post. Many Stylists will post a picture and say: “Beautiful balayage!” and that’s it. Although that might seem great, you aren’t telling the viewer to do anything. Should a client call you? Are you accepting new clients? What should the viewer do?

Typically, you should accompany your posts with how you want the viewers to respond. Here are some ideas to try:

  • Email now, link in bio!
  • Now accepting five new clients.
  • Like and comment below!
  • Call now to schedule an appointment.

Once you find your voice, you can tailor your call to action to fit your audience. For instance, Shana Dee recently shared a post where she said: “Pretty hair is the best hair. If you’re not in love with your hair, you could be! Email now.” This is an excellent call to action because it is fun, and you’re telling the viewer exactly what to do!

#4: Hashtags

You must use hashtags! Hashtags are your calling card, and they allow Instagram users to find your pictures. Basically, hashtags are what you would enter into the search bar on Google. For instance, Googling “hair salons in DC” would become #hairsalondc.

How should you use hashtags? Here are some dos and don’ts.


  • Include 30 hashtags. You cannot exceed 30 hashtags, or IG will not include them.
  • Research appropriate hashtags. Find some posts of other area Stylists and see what they are including in their posts.
  • Format correctly. You can either include your hashtags at the bottom of your post by including five spaces between your call to action and the hashtags, or you can include them in a comment. Here are two examples:



  • Don’t include hashtags in your words. Don’t say: “Beautiful #balayage.” Save the hashtags for the bottom of your post.
  • Don’t use only one or two hashtags. Users could only find you in one or two locations; don’t limit yourself!

Are you fired up about building your tribe on Instagram? Admittedly, there is so much that you could learn about social media, but Shana Dee suggests just doing it! As you continue to post, your pictures will get better, and you’ll even improve your skills behind the chair!

Are you looking for even more inspiration? Make sure to follow Shana Dee and Beyond the Technique for more social media ideas, tips, and tricks!

How To Build Salon Partnerships

What are partnerships? They’re a strategy for working with businesses that are industry friendly and like-minded. In my experience, people love to connect with others.

For example, a friend might email me asking if I know any bartenders who will come to their location for an event. I then refer my friend to someone who I think will provide an exceptional experience.

Another example: at Be Inspired Salon, we provide all hair services, makeup, and facial waxing, but we do not do facials or chemical peels. Therefore, we have an amazing partnership with Serene Beauty that allows us to promote each other because we’re industry friendly, but we don’t directly compete with each other. It’s an amazing partnership.

How do you identify beneficial partnerships?  

The following are some questions to keep in mind when considering a new partnership.

#1 Do they have a great reputation?

Do you not only love doing business with them, but also feel confident referring your best clients to them? Is the experience going to be predictable and fabulous?

#2 Do they value what your company values?

Maybe you hate corporate franchises and want to keep your business organic. Those are things that you can decide beforehand when you’re seeking out potential partners. Then, find partners who support and appreciate those values.

#3 Are they similar, yet different?

Can the other business offer valuable services or products that you don’t offer, but also doesn’t compete with what you offer? At Be Inspired Salon, we also partner with a local massage company that offers organic and healthy materials. This way our services are related, but still different.

#4 Are they communicative?

This is huge. Is there a dedicated representative at their company who will continually communicate with you to maintain the relationship?

#5 How are you able to help one another?

Your partnership blossoms by promoting one another either internally or externally. Promoting internally might be exchanging brochures, posting signage in your store, and adding them to your email marketing. An external example would be attending their events or doing social media promotions.

Another way you can promote each other externally is adding a resources page to your website which showcases all of your fabulous partnerships. This not only helps each other but helps your clients! Supporting each other is important to maintaining a steady, healthy relationship that doesn’t cost anything.

In other cases, you may want to spend a little money and give your partner a small gift. This could be something like a $10 gift card or another small item that’s not devaluing what you offer. This is also advertising your business through word of mouth--they like you and are more likely to speak highly of you. Huge, powerful partnerships are better for your company if and when you have identified your unique selling proposition in advance.

Getting out there and meeting people to expand your partnerships is a great idea for your business. At the end of the day, the better and more powerful you partners are the more “right” clients you’ll have coming in.

Does your salon maintain any partnerships? Share your innovative ideas with us in the comments or on social media! To hear even more partnership ideas, listen to Beyond the Technique podcast episode 36. Be sure to check back for our weekly blog and podcast!

Five Ways to Increase Client Retention

In the salon industry, the struggle is real when it comes to client retention. In fact, the likelihood of a new guest returning to your salon after her first visit is less than 30%! If that number makes your cringe, don’t close your eyes—keep reading! We are sharing 5 Ways to Nurture Relationships to Increase Client Retention featuring industry expert, Tena Pettis!

1. Sales Calls

Yes, you did read that correctly. Each of Tena’s Stylists at Capture Salon makes sales calls every week! While this seems scary to a lot of Stylists, Tena assures you that it really works. In less than one year, Tena’s Stylists went from 17% booked to over 50%. Most software allows you to generate a report of clients who have not visited you in the last 6 months—these are the people who you want to call and get back in your chair! A simple phone call—or voicemail—will remind the client that you are thinking about them and have time to serve them!

2. Events

Hosting events is a great strategy to be a proactive business owner rather than a reactive one. Many clients are just looking for a fun night out, so why not provide one in your salon! Not only does this build exposure, but it reminds your current clients about the awesome services that you provide. By inviting clients into your space, you are nurturing a bond that will last long after the event ends! Tena suggests having a planning meeting before every quarter to decide when to host events and run promos.

3. Referral Program

Tena stresses that her salon really wanted to make their Referral Program stand apart from their competitors’. Tena’s team created a unique referral card that granted the new client $20 off and the client who gifted the card $10 off. To make the program feel extra special, they only allowed each stylist to give a set of 10 referral cards to 10 of their clients. By limiting the number of referral cards, the Stylist made their top 10 clients feel extra special, and the client saw more value in handing them out!

4. Email

Email marketing is not dead. Have we mentioned that Tena is also the founder of Tena.cious, a social media and graphic design firm. Take it from the expert—you still need to send your clients emails! People check email every day, all day. In your emails, you can send updates about events, product promotions, and even highlight your Stylists. If you are new to the email game, Tena suggests starting with two emails a month and eventually bumping that to once a week. Do not be scared to send emails; your clients wouldn’t have provided their email address if they didn’t want to hear from you!

5. Mail

Good old fashioned, snail mail. At Capture Salon, all Stylists send handwritten cards to new clients about one week after their visit. This is a great opportunity to thank the client for visiting and invite them back for their next service! In addition to new clients, Capture sends spontaneous cards to returning clients. Sending branded cards is a great way to be in front of the client again, and it shows that you are thinking about them. You can even slip in event cards and information about promos.

Which one of these strategies are you going to try first? Tena remind us that the only free strategy is sales calls! Remember, if you want to be successful, you have to be willing to do what others cannot do or will not do. After all, the key to substantial success lies Beyond the Technique!

What other strategies do you have to nurture client relationships? Comment below or share with us on social media! To hear even more of Tena’s tips, listen to her on Beyond the Technique podcast Episode 51.

How To Get Featured on Instagram

Start with a simple lesson in common sense. When you are scrolling through Instagram or Facebook, what do you like about the pictures that you stop for? What catches your eye and makes you stop and stare? We believe that there must be something spectacular about the picture! So, here are three components that will help make your pictures stand out from the crowd!

Smooth and Shiny Finish

You know the feeling of seeing a picture with hair so shiny that you want to touch it? Well, maybe it is just us. Either way, that is the feeling you want to strive for! Try to avoid frizz, dehydrated ends, flyaways, and an unkempt appearance. This doesn’t mean you can’t share a tousled, care-free look—you just need to have a purpose behind it. Creating a shiny and smooth finish can be as simple as spraying your product line’s shine spray. Visually, this is going to make a tremendous and spectacular impact in the photo!

Great Lighting

Channel your inner Tyra Banks and chase the light. You need to be really, really aware of where your light it is coming from and position your client accordingly. Another component to lighting is filters! Filters are a great way to create bright, crisp, and clean photos. By consistently using the same type of filters, you will create a brand image that allows others to easily identify your photos. Even though you are creating different styles, people can recognize your brand by your filter and that is crucial to building a huge following!

Attractive Background

You want to keep the focus on your client’s hair, not the other customers or products in the background. Aim for a clean and consistent background such as a light colored wall, an exposed brick wall, or even a trendy distressed wooden wall. Having a clean background doesn’t mean it has to lack creativity, you just want to avoid clutter. Being consistent with your background is another great strategy to create a branded image!

Having your pictures shared by other industry sites is a great strategy to build your following. Want to get started now? Tag Beyond the Technique and our sister company Meet Your Stylist in your spectacular photos—we are always in the sharing mood!

Want even more industry advice? Listen to our weekly podcast and learn even more social media tips and tricks from the pros! 

Create Your Unique Selling Proposition
Portrait of happy young cool woman

A “USP”, Unique Selling Proposition is simply what makes YOUR Salon/Barbershop different from the rest. We’ve heard businesses say, “We give the best customer service”. Wouldn’t most upstanding businesses argue this same point? We want to help you create a UNIQUE point of difference that will allow you to stand out from the crowd.

Clients Crave Custom!

Let’s imagine you have very curly hair. If you had to choose between a Salon/Barbershop that does all related services under the sun or a Salon/Barbershop that exclusively works with curly hair types, which would you choose? Your clients are no different!

Get Excited!

Think about your favorite celebrity professionals. They are typically known for one service that they do incredibly well. YOU are essentially preparing your career/salon/barbershop for this same status.

Time for a Brainstorming Session!

If you had zero restrictions, what would you do that would impress the pants off your clients? If money wasn’t an issue, if lack of manpower wasn’t an issue, etc…what would your Salon/Barbershop do that would blow the minds of all your clients?


  • We want to be the ONLY Salon/Barbershop to provide late night services in which we’ll have a DJ, Pianist or some form of entertainment, while serving one alcohol beverage per guest during their appointment. You could offer this one night per week to start and go from there!
  •  We want to be the ONLY Salon/Barbershop to cater to teenagers! This includes a specialty brochure of trendy services and pricing for those ages 10-17.
  •  We want to be the ONLY Salon/Barbershop to carry our own exclusive product line!
  •  We want to be the ONLY Salon/Barbershop to offer complimentary clean-up appointments in between normal scheduled haircut appointments.
  •  We want to be the ONLY Salon/Barbershop to specialize in Curly Haircutting.
  •  We want to be the ONLY Salon/Barbershop to offer monthly packages that bundle client’s favorite services.

Be Courageous!

Friends, do not be scared that if you do this you may lose clientele in other areas…if you do it will provide an opening for your USP which will ultimately serve your future clients the best. Meaning, do you want to be average? Average is best of the worst or worst of the best. Or do you want your clients to have the very best? Of course! Be courageous and create your Unique Selling Proposition today!

Why It's Good to Sound Like a Broken Record

ADVERTISING TIP! Did you know it takes 21 times for an adult to remember new information? This is why it is GOOD to sound like a broken record! Friends, choose ONE message you want your market to know and repeat this over and over and over. Not only will you have a greater ROI (return on investment) with this strategy, but you’ll be able to track your ROI much easier because the message is consistent.


If you specialize in red hair color, and if doing red hair coloring services is enjoyable, profitable and key to providing a solution for your clientele...then this can be your message: "We are the very best in red hair color". Now focus all of your efforts in exploiting this fact!


Have a Facebook album featuring your sizzling reds. You could have an album for each type of red, such as “Annie” reds, Burgundy reds, Auburn reds, Animated reds, Strawberry blondes, etc…

You pin your best red hair color clients, you Instagram these pictures as well. You ask your audience, “Have you always wanted to try red but scared to know if it will work for you? Let our experts provide a complimentary color analysis to unlock your red hair potential!” Then show different shades of red that would be applicable to any client.


You get the point…choose ONE service that you want to be known for and hone in on that message again and again. Depending on the area you live, and the platforms you choose to share your message, it may take up to one year for the market to know this about your brand. So give it time.

What do you want to be known for?

Men’s haircuts?

Bridal Hair?


Treatments for thinning hair?

Curly hair?


If you’re a part of a team, your entire team should be on board with one to three categories that your location specializes in and would like to be known for. If you’re an individual, we recommend just choosing one.


We want to discuss this in more detail as this topic should stand on its own. However, a quick reminder that once you hone in on what you want to be known for. You now need to effectively get this message across to the right audience. An example of what not to do would be sending the message that you’re known for bridal hair and advertising this in a magazine that reaches women ages 35+. This seems like common sense but start with this first: thing about WHERE your ideal audience obtains the information you’d like to put in front of them. More to come on this topic :)