Posts tagged social media
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!

How to Handle Bad Reviews

Let’s start with a quick question: what’s the first thing you do before visiting a new restaurant? Google it, of course! If you’re like me, you want to look at the menu, scroll through some pictures, and read the reviews. This is no different for the beauty industry which is why your online reputation is crucial for the success of your business! Plain and simple, reviews matter.

We all love reading the positive reviews that our clients share, but even the best salons can’t avoid a negative review. Even though the negative comments make you want to pull your hair out, you must know how to respond to them with professionalism and grace.

All Reviews Are Created Equally

Since customer reviews are so important in shaping your reputation, I am super fired up to share that my salon has a 4.7/5 rating with over 200 unique reviews! I have yet to find another salon in the U.S. who has an abundant and positive reputation on Google as we do. If you find one, please let me know! Our overwhelming amount of positive reviews adds a tremendous amount of credibility when clients are searching for a salon in the area—it is a huge selling point, and your salon can do it too!

Before we dive into some examples, I want to share my personal philosophy about handling the good, the bad, and the ugly reviews. Whether positive or negative, you must respond to all of your reviews. Yes, this will take time to become a habit, but it’s worth it! By responding to all reviews, you are showing future customers that you care about your clients, you’re responsive to their comments, and you’re willing to apologize when necessary.

Pro Tip: When responding to a client review, try to include their first name in your response. This small step adds a personal touch to your message that doesn’t go unnoticed!

Example #1: Positive Review

Review: 5/5 Demi did an amazing job cutting my short hair! She listened to what I wanted and was patient while I showed her some pictures that I liked. She also did a great job at suggesting a hair color and showing me swatches of different colors to help me make my decision. Demi even followed up with me to make sure I was still loving my look! Overall, Demi & the Be Inspired Salon team were very professional, and I had a great experience! –Meghan

Response: Awesome Meghan! Thank you so much for sharing your feedback here. We appreciate you very much and look forward to seeing you soon! XO ~Be Inspired Salon

How simple, right? This quick response shows a new client that we appreciate her feedback and her business!

Example #2: Negative Review

Review: 1/5 I called for an appointment, and I was put on hold. That is fine. I understand salons can be busy. I was on hold for 10 minutes. No one picked up the phone, I decided I would hang up and call again. I called 20 minutes later, I was put on hold again. Waited another 10-15 minutes and hung up. I am a new client, and I am searching for a new hair salon, but this will not be the one if I cannot even make an appointment.” –John Doe (Yes, he actually created an account and used the name John Doe.)

When I saw this review, I was not happy! So, I called my team to investigate what was happening in the salon that night. After reviewing the situation, I responded with the following (truthful!) message:

Response: John Doe, our apologies! We use a new VoIP (voice over IP) phone system, and it was not working properly last night. I am looking into this as we speak. As you can definitely see from our online reputation, this is NOT like us. Would you be willing to give us another chance? We can call you directly this morning if you’re comfortable emailing us your contact info? Our email is Again, we are so sorry that this happened and so irritated with this new cloud phone system. ~ Be Inspired Salon

Even though this wasn’t a fun conversation to have with a potential client, we acknowledged our error, offered a sincere apology, and suggested a way to correct the situation. Ultimately, we did our best to correct an unfortunate situation, and that is all you can do!

Example #3: Be Bold

Review: 1/5 Worst, most unprofessional salon experience I have ever had. Went in on the first day to get natural looking caramel highlights in my brown hair and left with hair the exact same color as it was before. I went in the next day for a color correction and after waiting 45 minutes past my appointment time, I was finally seated. She made my hair go from one extreme to the other. The entire bottom half of my hair was died vividly blonde with streaks of blonde going through the top. Nothing like the subtle caramel highlights I had originally asked for. I tried to make peace with the color, but couldn’t stand the way it looked. After giving the stylist two chances to properly die my hair and ending up increasingly dissatisfied results each time, I do not trust the stylist to die my hair properly. –Sally

As I do with every negative review, I researched the situation to uncover exactly what happened with this client. In this case, it seemed like we would never make the client happy. Have you had clients like that? Ultimately, it came down to trusting my team, and I knew that we were not at fault. I couldn’t allow this client to take us through the wringer, so I needed to be bold in my response.

Response: Sally, we are very disheartened to receive this review from you. Why did you tell us that you loved your hair if you were truly displeased? We did our best to work with you, so you would be absolutely thrilled with your hair color. It is unfortunate that you do not perceive it to be so. Best wishes to you. ~Be Inspired Salon.

You might be thinking “Wow! That’s bold!” But, I believe in trusting my team and cutting ties with a client when necessary. I wasn’t afraid to stand up for my team because we have an overwhelming amount of positive feedback, and that speaks volumes about our business!

I know that responding to bad reviews isn’t easy, but there will be times when you can’t avoid it. If you ever want to bounce some ideas off other industry professionals—like how to respond to a bad review—check out our private Facebook group! We will work together to empower each other and build one another!

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!

Build a Personal Brand with Social Media

Are you branding yourself on social media? The answer is always yes. Right now, whether you recognize it or not, you are creating your own personal brand. Think of yourself as a trustworthy politician who everybody loves.

The mindset that I believe will benefit you, regardless of whether you’re just starting out in your career or you’re an established entrepreneur, is to realize that your job on social media is to run a likable campaign. You’ll be the brand behind whatever position you take or life role you play.

Here are some basic rules for you to follow in order to have a winning self-brand!

Rule #1: First Impressions Are Everything

Others will judge you in seconds based on your first few posts. So, be wise about what you want others to believe about you. I’ve talked about this before: there’s no difference between a greeting online or in-person. Some of you say, “I want to keep my social media private rather than public,” but I think there is a way that you can do both. First off, I’m glad there wasn’t this social media presence when I was a teenager because I would have scarred my adult self had I posted, shared, tweeted, or snapped pictures of events that I participated in when I was young. (Thank you for this blessing!)

But, now you have to think about your social media presence strategically, as though you’re a politician running a likeable campaign. If you’re trying to stay private you’re really missing out on a competitive advantage. These days people don’t necessarily like to follow the brand itself; instead, they like to follow the person behind the brand. That’s who inspires them.

How are you inspiring the people you’d like to do business with? If there are people you’d like to meet that would provide you with opportunities for growth, then figure out who they are and utilize your personal brand to get in front of them. Just remember that first impressions are everything! So choosing the right pictures to display or making sure the wrong pictures aren’t out there is crucial.

Rule #2: Post About What You’re Passionate About

The easiest way to gain followers is by being yourself. There are so many people in the world who share your interests and values. Be bold and confident enough to share yours. If you’re passionate about healthy living, then that can absolutely be a part of your brand. You’re not just an “accountant by day” or a “salon owner by day;” you are this person every day and you have a multitude of unique attributes, characteristics, hobbies, and passions. Share the things that you’re passionate about with the world and you will encourage authentic engagement. The right people will want to be around you, and not just because you’re an awesome hair stylist who happens to be the best at blonde hair coloring. They don’t just follow you for your talents, they follow you to find out more about you as a person, what your everyday life is like.

Again, it always comes back to how you inspire others. I encourage you to post about what you’re passionate about. If a couple people don’t resonate with those passions and they stop following, that’s okay. You open yourself up to a world of possibilities when you’re authentically true to yourself. The right people will be following you, and that opens up doors for opportunity in the future. There are many people I’ve met only online who have opened up opportunities for me.


I’ll share a story. Before I ever started my podcast, I thought a lot about starting one, and I purchased the equipment for it. I sat down and recorded some pretend episodes to practice and see what I sounded like and how I could improve, before ever launching the “Beyond the Technique Podcast.” I had also been listening to a lot of other podcasts.

For example, there’s an awesome sales podcast called “The Sales Evangelist Podcast” with Donald C. Kelley. I started listening to his podcasts, and at the end of each, he’d encourage people to connect with him on LinkedIn, which I decided to do. And instead of sending the typical automated message, I created a custom message and said, “Hi Donald, I just wanted to let you know that I have been listening to your Sales Evangelist Podcast. It’s awesome! Keep up the great work. Thanks, Kati.” What was really cool is that he not only accepted the connection, but he responded to me and said “Kati, that’s awesome! How did you hear about my podcast?” So I messaged him back and said “Well Donald, I’m new to listening to podcasts and I love business, sales and motivational topics so I was looking into some and found that you were one of the top choices to take a look at, so I subscribed to your podcast and I’ve really enjoyed it.” He replied a couple days later and said, “Awesome Kati, are there any sales topics you’re looking to hear about?”

I didn’t respond right away because I wanted to think about this: what could I learn more about in regards to sales? I was in the shower where there were no technological distractions and thought, “You know what, this is an opportunity for me to respond a little bit differently. I should respond and ask him to have me on as his guest. What’s the worst that could happen?” So I went back and said, “Donald, I would love to offer myself as a guest on your show. The topic would be People + Passion = Sales. I think that would be really cool; let me know your thoughts! If you are excited about this, I will send you an outline of the show for you to consider.” 

A couple of days went by and I was lying in bed, looking at my husband, and thought, “There is no way this guy is going to respond to me. He’s probably just going to ignore it and wish it away because he feels bad rejecting me.” But instead, something amazing ended up happening. Donald messaged me back and said, “Kati, that topic sounds awesome! Click on this link to set up a date when we can communicate with one another.” Score! Now he’s down in Florida, so our podcast session was a virtual conversation, and it did get released. You can officially go and check out the Sales Evangelist podcast for the “People + Passion = Sales” episode. I’m incredibly thankful that I decided to put myself out there!

When you put yourself out there about something that motivates or moves you, it pays off. That was actually my first official podcast before my own podcast launched. So like I said, posting about what you’re passionate about will help you get to know the right people.

Rule #3: Avoid Unnecessary Topics

What topics should you avoid? The ones that you yourself don’t like to see. The topics that drive you nuts, and the ones you want to disregard--those are the posts that you should also avoid. I could give you some common sense advice in connection with today’s politics. It’s very challenging to take a stand politically when you’re a business owner or entrepreneur, because potentially 50% of all people, regardless of what stances you take, will completely disagree with you.

Is it worth that conversation? It’s kind of like a marriage: there are some arguments that are just not worth having. But just keep in mind that it’s okay to avoid the unnecessary topics altogether. I get that you’re passionate about some things, but ask yourself if it’s worth the potential back-lash if you post on touchy and controversial topics. Everyone is different, so just do what feels right to you, while keeping the reactions of others in mind.

Rule #4: Remove the Negative

If you have a connection or friend online who is constantly posting negative content, remove them or unfollow them! Figure out a way to get it out of your sight! You don’t need negative content in your life.

Here’s an example: If you’re working on living a healthy lifestyle and you have friends who are constantly posting temptations, get those posts out of sight and out of mind. There may be people constantly posting that they’re out partying and drinking, but you’re trying to focus on building your wealth, not your weekend. That might not be a hindrance, but if you’re trying to lose weight or eat healthy then it may definitely affect you.

What are those things for you?

Rule #5: If You Sign the Checks, You Are a Public Figure

I’m speaking figuratively here. If you own a business and have built a life as an entrepreneur, you’re a leader. People are following you and you should know it’s time to accept that leadership role. What is your mission? That’s what your public page should represent--the mission of your life. Not just personal or professional, but all aspects of your life. Your personal life is not separate from your professional life, they’re completely connected. Your career, social life, family, intellectual well-being, spiritual well-being are all important pieces of your life and are some of the things that your public figure page can represent.


Now you’re armed with five rules that will help you create a winning self-brand on social media. So what are the next steps?

Take it slow. For Week 1, just look through your photos and decide what stays and what should go. Take a look at your timeline. Do you have it set up ask you to approve when someone tags you in photos or posts? You may sometimes want to hide it if the pictures you’re tagged in don’t accurately represent you.

It is important to be protective of your personal brand. During Week 2, you should come up with a plan of things you want to post and make sure there’s a consistency to your plan.

I’m personally passionate about business, the beauty industry, living healthy, physical fitness, and my faith in Jesus Christ. My family, friendships, and networking are things I’m passionate about. My goal is to slowly build a plan around that. Let’s say you post once every couple of days. That should be consistent. If you’re on Instagram and you want to post every single day, that’s awesome. Keep a focus on your passions and you’ll begin to build a consistent following, because your followers will understand who you are and what you do. They’ll want to join you on your journey because you’re an inspiration to them.

For Week 3, you should be all about removing the negative. When you see something that does not align with what you believe or value, remove it right then and don’t think twice about it.

Finally, Weeks 4 and 5 are when you should take the plunge and set up a public figure page. This might take a little more planning for you but don’t overthink it. Your life has been your preparation for this. You need to step on stage for your performance. It may not be flawless, but it will get there.

Practice makes permanent. The more practice you get, the more feedback you’ll get, and thus the better you’ll get. I know it’s a little scary to put yourself out there, but what’s the worst that can happen? People can choose not to follow you or ignore the posts you put out there. But most people are going to accept and support you. They’re going to be excited that you put yourself out there and admire your boldness and bravery. They’ll like you and praise the fact that you’re confident and in tune with your journey.

Are you ready? If you take action on this plan, please share with us on social media! We can't wait to see your success story!

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!