Management Practices

The Business of Hair Color: 'Tech'nicolor Show and Tell

Stacey Soble | April 1, 2014 | 1:31 PM

The Business of Hair Color: 'Tech'nicolor Show and TellSocial media allows you to have real-time, daily conversations with your clients, which opens the door for you to promote color services and in some cases, educate your clients on what you offer and why, says Kelly Ehlers, owner of Evoke Brand Strategies, a digital, social media and mobile consulting company. “Beyond posting what a stylist consider ah-maz-ing color, you need to get into the minds of your clients by asking yourself, ‘What will inspire them to make an appointment and change up their color or try a trendy technique?’” she says.

While industry pros understand all the techniques and products behind a bold hue or hand-painted technique, clients don’t know what it really takes to create these looks. “All of us industry pros are suckers for a bold hue or an impeccable hand-painted technique, but do your clients really know what it takes to create these looks? By showing the before, after and maybe a few ‘in between’ photos of color transformations by your stylists, you’re education your clients and what it takes to achieve those looks from a technical and product standpoint. Here’s an example: Have you ever had a client come in with a celeb photo in hand, asking you to recreate those subtle highlights? This is a perfect opportunity to educate your clients about balyage and why your stylists are the best. Explain new trends, technique and the brands you use at your salon so clients can rest easy, knowing you’re color experts.”

Haircolor is a visual art form, so it makes sense that the most successful marketing color strategies are visual-based, says Matrix Colorist George Papnikolas, who credits much of his recent growth to Instagram. “There are a handful of people who post a lot—for example you can search ‘#ombre’ and see who in the industry is big in social media,” he says. “Almost every new client these days finds me through Instagram –I’ve been flown to Paris to do someone’s hair and I’m starting to do services in a salon in Dubai.”

And while Papanikolas regularly colors the Kardashian sisters, which gives him some great posting fodder, he says salons in any town can leverage their own clientele by posting befores and afters of their best work.

Even your most loyal clients that respect the great work that you do can be hesitant to try color for the first time or mix up their color look. Evoke’s Kelly Ehlers suggests taking it social and offering them an incentive to do so. “And you can do that without discounting by leveraging some product samples or a treatment than can be added on. Here’s a quick campaign example: For a week, post celeb “color crushes” from your stylists and staff with quotes on ‘why’ they think the color perfects the celebrity’s look. Ask fans to comment for a chance to win a free conditioning treatment at their next color service.”

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