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Do you feel like your salon doesn’t stand out enough among the competition? Do you sometimes feel that one cares about your beauty business, and you can’t figure out why? Or maybe you’re wondering why your industry peers seem to get all sorts of publicity and recognition, meanwhile you’re starting to feel invisible.

Those high-caliber salons and beauty professionals you’ve been eyeing have likely figured out a key part in having a successful business: their personal brand.

They’ve understood the power of showing up as a beauty expert and as an embodiment of their business, and it’s paying off in spades for them.

If you’re not sure what a personal brand is or how it will help to grow your salon, keep reading.

Your personal brand isn’t a luxury, it’s a necessity.

Being anonymous as a business owner and “hiding behind your logo” just isn’t an option anymore. As uncomfortable as it may be, you need to get used to the idea of being the face of your salon. This is especially true now that social media is such a crucial part of promoting your business.

So many salon Instagram feeds are 100% focused on the client work they’ve done: photo after photo of nails, makeup, hair and skin. Of course, your feed does need to be used as a place to show off a portfolio of your work. But you should also be flaunting your best business asset here: your face.

Do not hide behind your craft! Just as important as showing what your work looks like or what your salon looks like, potential clients need to see you in order to eventually know, like, and trust your business.

We tend to think that the more we use business-y language, and the more we show our logo, our colors, and salon’s interior design, the more “professional” we look online. We want to give the impression that we have an established business that’s doing serious things.

But actually, social media has opened up the doors for salon owners and their staff to be real people, and truthfully that’s what everyone wants to see on your feed anyway: People.

With increased competition in the beauty space, and Millennials becoming increasingly picky about which businesses they support, there’s more reason than ever to start thinking about and using your personal brand.

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Developing your personal brand is not just about showing off your years of training and being knowledgeable and skilled at your craft, although that is part of it. Your brand is also about you as a person: your personality, character, values, opinions, even your personal style are all things that potential clients are looking out for.

They want to feel that they understand and relate to the vibe of whoever they’re entrusting their hair, skin, nails, or face to. They need to feel perfectly comfortable with you and trust that whatever service you’re doing, you would do the same to yourself, too.

Being skilled at your craft, having a good location and decent pricing isn’t enough anymore. In order to stand out among your competition and attract your ideal clients, you need to step up and be the face of your business.

Doing this will allow you to charge premium pricing, to be seen as an expert and educator in your industry, and to work with clients who appreciate and adore the real you.

How to start cultivating your brand.

"Okay, this all sounds great," you might be thinking, "but how do I even start to work on my personal brand?"

First of all, it’s important to think about your goals for your career and your salon. What would you love to be the local expert on? What if you were to become the number one destination for manscaping, like Mel Gardner from is?

Mel’s business is Bare Skin Studio in Orange County, California, and she specializes in male brazilian waxing. She has clients travel from 100 miles away to visit her, and she’s even been featured on Dollar Shave Club! Mel has focused on a niche and branded herself as the expert in all things manscaping. What would you like to be considered the local expert on?

Next step in building up your personal brand is to get your face out there. Literally! My recommendation is to work with a photographer and get some professional headshots done, along with some photos of you working in your salon. A photoshoot will only set you back a couple hundred dollars, and you’ll be able to use the photos everywhere you appear online.

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Once you’re comfortable with sharing your headshots on your website, Instagram, and marketing materials, make it a habit to show up often on your Instagram and Facebook pages. Even just sharing a new photo of yourself once a week goes a long way in helping your audience to connect with you, and it allows potential clients who are researching you to get the inside scoop into who you really are.

Finally, start looking at yourself as a source of valuable information that you can share with your audience. Share your opinions about beauty products and techniques, share educational videos and stories. You truly do have a wealth of knowledge in your beauty niche, and by divulging your expertise, you’ll become even more appealing as a business, too.

Once you do this for a little while, you’ll find that your books are fuller, you can raise your prices, and your clients are exactly the type of people you love working with. That’s the power of a personal brand. That’s the power of using your greatest business asset: your face.

About the Author: Stephanie Mitchell lives in Ottawa, Canada, and is the owner of Sunnystorm Marketing, where she helps salon owners and beauty professionals to grow their business and their clientele. Her goal is to teach every beauty business owner to succeed with smart and fun marketing ideas. Through her blog posts, eBooks, videos, and courses, she wants to help you dive deeper into all parts of beauty business marketing. You can learn more about Stephanie and download free resources at www.sunnystorm.marketing.