When I first interviewed Mitzi Bishop, owner of Bishop's Salon and Day Spa in Nashville, Tennessee, it was the early 1990s and she had just filmed and produced a VHS tape instructing clients how to do a great blowout at home. Back then, it was a great idea for supporting the sale of retail products, helping clients look their best between appointments and differentiating her salon from her competitors. Today, it's still a great idea, but one Bishop has continued to evolve with new technology.

When Bishop discovered that a salon webcam is a window into her world, she tapped into a whole new level of marketing, client education and connectivity possibilities. “I initially got the webcam so I could send clients home with their own personal blowdry video. When the client is in my chair, I tape her blowout, show her what products I’m using and how I’m using them and walk her through each step of the finishing process, then I sign the DVD like a record and off she goes,” says Bishop. “But once we were hooked up to the webcam, oh my goodness, it’s the greatest thing that ever happened.”                       

Bishop then started doing short little client instructional videos on Mondays at 6 p.m., which she shoots with her iPhone. Earlier in the week she’ll post a notification on Facebook and tell clients what she’ll be teaching with a list of supplies they need to gather for the class. Clients have the option of purchasing a $10 ticket for the in-salon class or catch the finished instructional video for free on Facebook.

“For example, I’ve taught a classes on how to apply false eyelashes, how to spray-tan your own face and different methods of makeup application,” says Bishop. “They’re small things that take a few minutes to teach, and they don’t necessarily spotlight products or services we sell, but they position our salon as beauty experts.”

The webcam offers a bird's eye view of the work going on in Bishop's chair. CLICK HERE to check it out live.

Bishop also webcams some of the instruction she gives her stylists during Monday night in-salon educational classes and allows outsiders to watch via the webcam portal on her website. “You’d be amazed at how much the general public is interested in cutting and coloring education,” she says. “We knew how popular it had gotten when the webcam went down for a few months. I got emails from all over the country, and as far away as Switzerland and England. And, people send positive comments about what you’re doing, which is very encouraging.”

The salon also encourages clients to get a little webcam footage of their new salon styles and post them to their own Facebook accounts, which in turn exposes the salon to a whole new network of ‘friends.’ “The camera makes a tiny little beep when it is turned on and off, and on Saturdays it’s constantly pinging,” laughs Bishop.

Bottom line, the webcam combined with other technologies is helping Bishop’s distinguish themselves. “We using technology to create a better experience for our customer and to stay ahead of the game,” says Bishop. “We’re still doing the same great haircuts we’ve always done. Clients don’t necessarily need all those extra things, but they love that you’re investing in them.”


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