Posts tagged Instagram
Keeping Up in the New Era

The beauty industry is changing at a rapid pace. The question is, can you keep up?

Michael Cole, of Summit Salon Business Center, has been in the industry for over 30 years. He’s witnessed the many eras of our industry from the precision-cutting of the 70s, the rise of hair color in the 80s to the glamour shots of the 90s. However, nothing tops the digital-social era we’re living in today.

Our industry has become about so much more than cutting and coloring. Our stylists are providing new services, learning new techniques and perfecting their customer service skills. Our marketing and branding is out of this world. Our receptionists are out on the floor, engaging with clients, selling retail and building relationships along the way. Our salon owners and managers are learning all of the ins and outs of operating a business and as a whole we’re reaching new and incredible heights--and the view is great.

Michael refers to the revolution taking place as “disruption”. We’re being taken for a ride and we’re fighting to hold on, but to Michael, that’s part of the fun. Michael shares his secrets for keeping up with today’s technically savvy world and also how SSBC can help you reclaim your power. 

How to Handle Change as a High “S”

Are you familiar with the four DISC personality profiles?


Did you know that 80% of beauty industry professionals score a high “S”? This means that the majority of stylists, estheticians, massage therapists and make-up gurus are the steady, calm, supportive personality type. It also means that one of their biggest obstacles is typically change. 

So, with all of the changes currently sweeping our industry, how can all of these High S’s not only survive, but turly thrive in their careers?

Get on Your Instagram Game

Social media is one of the most powerful tools we have in our digital toolbox, and for the beauty industry, Instagram is at the top of the food chain. Michael says that he can tell how technically on-trend someone is by doing a five second driveby on their Instagram page. It doesn’t take long to see if you’re with it!

As a stylist, your Instagram serves as your digital lookbook. It’s the perfect place to showcase your latest cuts and colors and you can even pull up your own Instagram during consultations with new clients when communicating about what they’re looking to have done. Michael says you should always be photographing your highest ticket hairdos in order to draw in others who want the same services. 

That being said, not only is it important to have a trendy Instagram as a stylist in order to showcase your work, but Michael says you should also be taking advantage of your Instagram-savvy clients. 

You probably won’t have time to take pictures of all of your clients while you have them in the salon, so you should be strategic about the ones who do get that before and after photo-shoot. Michael suggests taking a peek at your client’s Instagram pages in order to see who has the most followers. Anyone with upwards of 200 followers is the perfect client influencer. You definitely want to be tagging them in the hopes that they might share their new do on their own pages too.

Salon Owners, It’s Time for Your Social-Digital Bootcamp

Okay, let’s go back to those DISC personality profiles. While most of our stylists are high S’s, our salon owners and managers tend to be high D’s. They’re controlling, competitive and they’re used to being in charge. All of which are characteristics of great leaders, but they also mean that salon owners and managers are more likely to struggle with today’s power structure because they no longer have full control. 

Once upon a time, the beauty industry power structure started with the manufacturer, moved down to the distributor, trickled down to the salon owner, then the stylist until it found its way into the hands of the client, but alas, that is no longer the case. 

Today, it’s often the younger stylists that are the most digitally savvy, and they also tend to have younger clientele which means more client influencers to do the marketing for them. Michael has salon owners come to him all of the time with complaints of feeling disempowered due to this new system and he says that it’s all about how you view your situation. 

You have to learn to channel that power in a new way. You have to learn social and digital skills in order to catch up to your most technically-savvy team members and then you can set guidelines for the way that your team is allowed to live and breathe your brand on social and take back some control. 

Things are changing in our industry whether you like it or not, Michael says you might as well embrace it or you’ll wind up chasing it later on. 

If you’d like to learn more about Michael and the new era we face, listen to the podcast that inspired this blog, episode 187. And don’t forget to check out Summit Salon Business Center, where you can find the best coaches and mentors around to help you tackle these changing times.

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!

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!