February 2010

Charlene Abretske

Beauty Business Buzz | Charlene Abretske


Venture Into Viral Video

What possibly could Susan Boyle, the recent protests in Iran and a wedding party dancing down the aisle all have in common?

If you guessed they were watched by billions of people worldwide on YouTube, you are correct. What this could possibly have in common with your salon -- a lot more than you might think!

We are all looking for cost effective ways to promote and educate our salons, right? Why not use something completely free and post the link to your Facebook, Twitter, blast the link through e-mail, and embed into your web pages?

Gone are the days when you had to have a huge production budget to create a promotional video or have to pay huge web development fees to get it loaded to your website. It is easy, can help your clients tremendously on a day-to-day basis and it gives you instant access to:

• Promote special events
• Showcase individual talent
• Let your clients in on insider beauty tips
• Instruct clients on styling tips
• Recruit new team members
• Share product knowledge

You don’t need millions of viewers to make an impact on your business. If you are trying to build or grow, video gives the unique opportunity to your prospective clients of actually feeling like they are already part of your business. New customers begin experiencing your talent, expertise and vibe long before they walk through the door. In this cash strapped economy you can offer more value to your existing clients by instructing them at their leisure in a fun way. Think about it, there are no other mass mediums for your message that allow the client to feel so immersed as video.

The viral nature of video and YouTube allows you to begin with a message to your clients, your clients can pass it on to their friends and they can pass it on to their friends, and so on, and so on. Originally what might have 50 views by your direct customers can be spread on to hundreds and thousands of people in a few short days. Using the power of video in conjunction with your other tech endeavors like Facebook, Yelp and Twitter can only maximize the effect.

Remember you are in a visual field and the power of the work you do is best appreciated when it is actually seen. Imagine when you do a makeover on a client and you record the before and after. Pictures are great to capture the moment, but how much more gratifying is it to get a testimonial from the client that is over the moon happy, you can hear it in their voice, you can see it in their smile, it creates loads of excitement which becomes palpable and tangible to others who will want that same feeling on their visit.

I searched “how to style your hair” on YouTube - there were 138,000 videos. Topics range from: the perfect French twist, blow-dry your bangs, to how to style your Mohawk, and everything in-between. These videos were created by stylists in their bathroom, to top celebrity salons and world-wide product companies. The number of hits were staggering from the tens of thousands to the millions, imagine what numbers like that can translate to for your business?

Before you post your video consider:

• What will appeal to the type of clients you currently have, they will be the ones hitting it and spreading it to their friends who are interested in your message.

• Be comfortable and have fun, the entertainment value alone can set you apart from other videos.

• Make sure your message is conveyed the way you want it to be, you can always reshoot!

• Watch several of the existing popular video to get ideas and stay original to the mission and values of the salon.

Break out your video camera, get creative, this may just the thing to excite the team and propel your business. As a stylist, be ahead of the game, show your flair, creativity and the fruits of your education. As a business owner increase your credibility and show you take technology as seriously as your clients do, actually be on the leading edge before your competitors know it exists.

A Few Facts about YouTube

• People are watching hundreds of millions of videos a day on YouTube and uploading hundreds of thousands of videos daily. In fact, every minute, 20 hours of video is uploaded to YouTube.

• User base is broad in age range, 18-55, evenly divided between males and females, and spanning all geographies. 51 percent of users go to YouTube weekly or more often, and 52 percent of 18-34 year-olds share videos often with friends and colleagues

• Can be used for video embedding: Users can insert a YouTube video into Facebook and MySpace accounts, blogs, or other websites where anyone can watch them.

• Can be used for public or private videos: Users can elect to broadcast their videos publicly or share them privately with friends and family upon upload. — YouTube factsheet

Charlene Abretske is a business advisor with Your Beauty Network and supports salons and spas with growing their businesses through on-demand back office tools designed for beauty professionals. For more information call (866)364-4926 or email info@iybn.com.