10 Instagram Tips That Will Make You More Money
No question: Instagram is a MUST for hairdressers. Whether you want to build your clientele and fill your seats, or grow your following to become the next Guy Tang, you’ve gotta post your work. But it’s not as simple as snapping a pic and uploading it—if you use Instagram strategically, you can accomplish your goals faster and with better results. We’ve got the best insight from some Insta superstars!
These experts gave us their best advice at the John Paul Mitchell Systems Gathering:
Jason Reyes, aka @iliketocuthair: Jason is an international trainer for Paul Mitchell and also has a wildly successful Insta following with more than 52k followers, plus he’s a two-time BTC #ONESHOT nominee.
Fern Andong, aka @FernTheBarber: Fernie, a cutting specialist for Paul Mitchell, is another BTC #ONESHOT nominee and has an Insta following of 106k!
Tiffany Hight, aka @tiffanymae_arcs: Tiffany styles hair at A Robert Cromeans Salon in San Diego and has perfected using Instagram to fill her seats and build her waitlist.
Picking the brains of our 2016 #ONESHOT nominees at The Paul Mitchell Gathering @fernthebarber @popular_nobody @hairbypaulahouston @iliketocuthair @lucasdoney! CONGRATS to all of the #BTCONESHOT2016 finalists! Make sure to grab your tickets to the awards show on Sunday, September 25th at the COLOR, Cut & Style Show in Ft. Lauderdale! Go to behindthechair.com/ONESHOT. #pmgathering #behindthechair
1. Start with the basics.
The key to thumb-stopping images is to ask yourself, “Is this good enough to post?” So make sure the finish is perfect (think shiny, beautiful hair) and the background is clean, clean, clean (no messy stations!). Your ideal backdrop would be a pure white wall with great lighting. And speaking of lighting…
2. Lighting is CRUCIAL.
Natural, outdoor lighting is always best, but not always possible. Fernie DIYed his lighting setup with fluorescent fixtures and Phillips Natural Light from Home Depot. Tiffany said she’s experimented in her salon to find the ideal lighting for different conditions, so she knows exactly where to snap pics whether it’s evening, nighttime, cloudy or sunny. At the very least, a ring light is a valuable investment for your salon to ensure the best lighting possible and can be found for less than $200.
An example of a great backdrop and lighting by @FernTheBarber.
3. Your bio IS searchable!
Your bio can only be 150 characters and it is a way potential clients can find you, so choose your words carefully. Don recommends using the Notes app in your iPhone to make a bulleted list of key words (for example, Tiffany’s bio says “San Diego Hairstylist, Gaslamp District” so someone Googling those terms can find her) that you can copy and paste into Instagram. And use emojis to break up the text—the colors will draw people’s eyes to your info!
4. Use hashtags wisely.
It’s always good to tag #BehindtheChair to get your work featured, but also make sure to use hashtags specific to your area. Tiffany uses tags like #unlimitedcalifornia so people browsing that tag come across her work. Jason says he keeps a couple different sets of hashtags in his Notes app that he can quickly copy and paste depending on the photo (for example, a bob may use different tags than a men’s fade). And FYI: Instagram allows 30 hashtags per post.
Tiffany uses hashtags like #sdgohere, which is specific to San Diego. She also tagged a huge nearby event—ComicCon—to get viewers that might not be searching for hair.
5. Experiment with geotagging.
You might be used to setting your salon as the geotag for your work, but think outside the box. Once, Tiffany accidentally tagged the convention center nearby. Someone attending a conference at the convention center was browsing that geotag, came across Tiffany’s work, and booked a spot that opened up from a cancellation the same day.
6. Your videos don’t have to be complicated.
Use video to your advantage, but don’t overthink it. Tiffany uploaded a quick video to Insta and Facebook of her trying out Paul Mitchell’s Express Ion Stylewand before it was released. Clients commented that they thought it was awesome and wanted to try it, so Tiffany called the ones that commented and let them know when her salon would receive the wands—and sold nine of the wands before they were even in stock.
Fernie made this video by setting his mannequin in front of a white board and rubber-banding his phone to a mannequin stand—and he got 1.4 million views.
7. Check your DMs and follow up on comments.
If someone comments on your work, always respond! “They have extended the branch, and I’m a fool if I don’t grab it,” Tiffany said. And she recommends checking your inbox even if you don’t have a notification, because sometimes you won’t get one. Many of Tiffany’s clients message her on Instagram and it’s an easy way to do a digital consultation and fill your chair.
8. Do some strategic creeping.
When browsing Instagram, check out hashtags that are important in your community. Tiffany browses #sandiegofitness because it’s wildly popular in her area. She checks out some of the top posts and leaves a quick comment. The user sees her comment, gets interested and checks out her page—and more often than not, she gets a new client.
9. Have a call to action.
If your goal is to increase your following, remember that Instagram uses an algorithm to determine what people see on their feeds—and the lower your engagement (likes and comments), the less likely you are to show up. So include a simple call to action in your posts, like posting a side-by-side photo of two looks and asking which your followers like better. Don said he sometimes simply asks followers to leave a comment with their city, and it’s amazing how many people will do it—which leads to better engagement and posts showing up more often.
10. Keep posting!
Don’t let your feed go dry. Even if you feel like you didn’t get great finished shots of a cut or color, you can still do some creative content. Jason said he sometimes simply posts a close-up of a great line on a bob or a zoomed-in photo of an amazing fade—not even the entire finished look—and people double-tap. And don’t think you need a fancy video editor either. Jason has created videos right in Instagram by starting and stopping the video recorder throughout a cut to quickly edit together a clip.
Jason posted a close-up and got 194 likes.