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.