Cosmetologist branding will totally take your beauty career to wonderful places.
Are you pumped now? After reading why you should personally brand your career I bet your brain is already busy at work picturing your own Brand of One.
Let's get going! The money is out there just waiting on you.
Let's lay it out first so you have a deeper understanding.
Get your notebook out.
1. Know Your Specialty (Your Muse) - What is that one thing that you love to do above all else? This is the thing that makes you forget time, as a cosmetologist, because you enjoy it so much. This is the thing that you can't get enough of. This is the thing that makes you the happiest.
2. Know Your Target Market - having a specific target market supports your Brand of One. If you service everyone you won't be able to super please that handful of clients that really want what you do best. Paige may have an occasional lady over 50 that has a special occasion but that is not her bread and butter. If she tries to please everyone she will water down her specific product of Bridal Hair Design and actually lose potential clients.
3. Know Your Values - know the dynamics of your brand that are most important to you. These values will provide a strong foundation for you to build upon. You will need to know your Brand's values to build your Mission Statement. Your Mission Statement will be your touchpoint that reminds you what your Brand represents. It keeps you centered and on track to achieve all of your Brand goals.
4. Define Your Product - what is your specific cosmetologist product? Again, if you try to please everyone you will be diluting your brand. So clearly define that product (your specialty is your product) and remain true to it. Paige's product was creative updo design. Though her primary focus was Bridal Design, it easily translated into Prom Design.
5. Develop Your Image (pic, colors, look and feel) let your personality shine through while maintaining a professional image. You should build on your uniqueness. Paige had beautiful hair that she wore in romantic ways. What is something that makes you unique? Your hair, voice, personality? Whatever it is....USE IT!
We want you to stand out from the crowd and differentiate you. You will need to have one picture of you that supports your Brand and use that one picture always. People begin to associate that image with your Brand and this is a very good thing and necessary! So don't keep changing it. Choose a color scheme that works with your muse. Light pink and white worked for a romantic theme. Black and red may have been her favorite colors but would not work with her theme. You have to be conscious of the message you are putting out there. Everything works together to identify your cosmetologist Brand of One.
Ivan represents Andes Clippers but he is known as The Clipper Guy. He branded himself beautifully. He grew his skill, knowledge, experience and credibility on purpose! He even holds world records for haircutting. Do a little research on him if you want to see cosmetologist personal branding done right. www.zoothair.com
1. Have your special business cards - you are most likely working in a salon now, meaning you work for someone else. Your management will determine how much flexibility you have in this area. If they allow it, put your specialty or tag line under your name. If they don't just get your own hair stylist business cards made that you keep on you at all times. Make sure the cards reflect the theme or look and feel of your Brand. Keep the colors the same. You will be working In your spare time to build your Brand. Paige never knew when she would see a happy engaged couple out about town! You will also want to leave your hair stylist business cards around in specific places. Paige would want her cards placed anywhere a future Bride may be.
2. Have a Tag Line- A tag line is a few words that describe a Brand's message. It can evoke emotion, describe a brand, or be a call to action.
Nike, Just Do It
Allstate, Are You in Good Hands?
Apple, Think Different
BMW, The Ultimate Driving Machine
Bounty, The Quicker Picker-Upper
Calgon, Calgon, Take Me Away
Paige established her cosmetologist Brand's identity in 3 little words, The Bridal Artist. In 3 words her tag line speaks directly to her target market. It evokes emotion and describes her brand perfectly. There is no wondering what it is about. It is direct and to the point. It also sounds like she is the best because not only is she a hair stylist, she is an ARTIST! And since she is "THE" Bridal Artist it must mean she is the only one around who knows her stuff. Who wouldn't want her to do their wedding day hair?! So think hard about this and keep chiseling down to the fewest words possible. You want it to be remembered by your target market. Try not to go longer than 5 words, it gets too confusing and may not fit on your cosmetologist business card. Shoot for a 2-5 word tag line.
3. Have a Personal Brand Website - Don't panic on me now if you are not techie. There are many FREE website providers available that make it super easy to throw a site together in a matter of minutes. My recommendation is WIX.com. Wix offers many templates for just about anything from online vitae to blog to ecommerce.
This is a crucial piece of your cosmetologist Branding puzzle that you MUST do! When someone stumbles upon your Brand through a found business card or Facebook or whatever the first thing they do is start searching.
You don't want your target market trying to dig up info on you. You want to make it easy and put it in their lap. Your web address should be on your hair stylist business card as well.
On your Personal Brand site you will need to include your contact information, your Twitter name, your Pinterest board, your Facebook page, your YouTube channel, your Instagram account name, your portfolio of your "specialty" work that is representative of Your Brand, your picture (that reflects your Brand), a bio, your mission statement and some testimonials from happy clients. After you get social media working for you it will be easy to pop some twitter posts on your site or put up some of your videos (that we are about to discuss).
You may want to start a blog on your site too where you write about everything that has to do with your specialty. On Paige's site she would have a beautiful romantic theme with pictures of before and after brides and pics of entire wedding parties. She would have testimonials from thrilled clients. She would have a blog about wedding "beauty" tips. AND she would have all of the social buttons so her visitors could help her grow her cosmetologist Brand of One! All of this for FREE and a little work from you.
4. Social Media - You know them all. But the most beneficial for your needs (as of this writing) are Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and YouTube. Posting your "specialty" pics will push your Brand hard and fast. For example I was researching cosmetologist tattoos for this site. Surprisingly there was not an over abundance of them and the same few kept coming up, which led me to their websites. Can you imagine the chain reaction when you have a website that is all about one specific thing, or niche, and the social media begins to feed it! What happens is your website becomes more credible and the search engines recognize it as an "authority" on this very specific topic while pushing it further and further up in the rankings. Can you see how Paige and her Bridal Artist pictures on Pinterest get reposted on Facebook and Twitter and lead her target market back to her website? Her audience just continues to snowball and so does her reputation.
Now let's talk about YouTube for a moment. If you really want to put your Brand on steroids you have to make a few videos that are niche specific. Paige, for example, could post a video of preparing a bride for her updo on her wedding day. Like, "How to Prep a Bride for her Wedding Updo." It could be a 60 second video but it is super specific! So what if all she is doing is draping the bride properly and insuring that no important garment is close by to risk being damaged. Guess what? Her special bride and groom cape with her name, Paige, The Bridal Artist, is in the video!. Name reinforcement. Happy smiling bride. Pretty romantically dressed Paige. Does she look like an authority on Bridal Hair? UH, YEAH!!!
Start a series of videos on your specialty. People will subscribe to your channel. Then they will visit your website. Then they will post it on Facebook. Then someone will Tweet. Then someone will look at your Pinterest page and re-pin. OMG! Can you feel your career on rocket boosters???!!! Get ready for lift off!
YouTube word of CAUTION: You must protect your Brand like you would protect your 6 year old daughter at a public swimming pool! Nothing comes near it that isn't pure of heart. Just like social media can take your Brand to dizzying heights it can also damage it beyond repair. Everything you post must absolutely contribute to the reputation of your brand and add value to it. Do not post anything negative or sub-standard. If it isn't your best work don't post it. Can you imagine if Paige posted a video of her doing an updo in her kitchen while swearing and looking like a hot mess? That would de-value her Brand and she would lose enormous credibility. Her target market would see it as tacky. She needs everything to look like she is the ultimate in professional Bridal Hair Design. Nothing less will do. So be careful and guard your baby.
Social Media "Food for Thought": It is a proven fact in the world of advertising and branding that continued exposure to an image raises credibility and trust. It is basic human behavior to feel favorably towards someone or something that is familiar to us. You could have 2 candidates for mayor. One highly qualified but with little campaign funds and one candidate that is not qualified in the least but has lots of money to spend on his ad campaign. By voting day the community has seen repeated images of one smiling candidate that is not qualified while barely hearing the name of the qualified candidate. The under-qualified smiler will beat the smart one because people have become familiar with his face and name. His image imprints on their brains and raises his credibility and trustworthiness (barring any negative press).
So you can clearly see that the more often your professional cosmetologist Brand comes across your target market's viewing the more you become an authority, thus growing your brand and leaving your target market with a case of the warm fuzzies.
5. Be Consistent with Your Brand - I want you to fully understand and internalize this statement:
Without CONSISTENCY Branding means nothing.
This means everything above must work together to build Your
Brand of One!
Your values, your image, your look and feel, you picture, your colors, your business cards, your website, your social media....EVERYTHING.
Once you have all the details worked out do your best not to change anything. It's ok if you want to switch specialties if you find you are on the wrong path. But when you switch stick to the plan prescribed above.
Just so you have a clear understanding think of Paige's awesome brand as The Bridal Artist. Say Paige decided she was tired of pink and white and went to her favorite colors red and black. It totally messes up her image! Or if she started posting videos on cutting and color. Braiding would be in line with her Brand but not cutting. So stay true to your Brand and it will pay you in dividends!
Remember where Paige started? She worked in an average salon doing everything a licensed cosmetologist does but dreaming of being a bridal hair stylist. She was stuck and didn't know where to go with her career.
After going through the Cosmetologist Branding Plan where does Paige's career stand? It looks pretty good to me!
These are obviously more advanced techniques for stylists with some experience.
But what if you are a new professional? If you are new in the industry I want you to focus and learn. Give yourself some time to grow your skills and develop your client base and reputation. Start off you with Beauty Career Techniques for Beginners. Start off with Personal Marketing. It won't be long before you intuitively feel like it is time for you to take the next step.
Keep your goals posted so you see them every day. Focus on where you want your career to go. You will find that opportunities present themselves for you to grow in that direction. And when you are ready......Pull the Trigger and start building Your Cosmetologist Brand of One!
May your Cosmetologist career Live Long & Prosper!!