August 2011

Lisa Kind - Editor

The Mane Objective | by Marco Pelusi

 

Friends with Benefits

Nothing is more feverishly shaping our industry than the rapid development of social media combined with online marketing.

This powerful marketing combination has the muscle to open doors, build clientele, create your persona, extend your brand and increase your bottom line.

Many initiatives are available at little or even no cost… with the exception of your time, energy and effort.

"I just don't think I'll get clients from Facebook," or, "I don't think I will really build my business from Twitter." If you have said or thought these words, trust me, you will live to regret them, because actually, the exact opposite is true.

From Facebook and Twitter, to blogging and website marketing, LinkedIn and industry-specific social sites, your online friends and followers can help to catapult your success and theirs as Friends with Benefits.

Colleagues and entrepreneurs… do not underestimate the power of social media backed by strong online marketing. You may think it is all fun and games, but think again.

Social media is a virtual networking and referral system. It contains its very own online world of opportunity. This has certainly made a difference in my success, both from a public relations and a business standpoint.

First, start with a good website. Social media, blogs, etc., should all lead back to your place of business online, and it does not have to cost you a fortune. Even a brochure-style, one to two page website created in WordPress or something similar will do.

When leading people back to your website, be sure to offer them a place to submit their email address. The key to these media forums is to link them all to each other, creating endless opportunities for future marketing and long-term relationships. From your website, you can then build a substantial email-marketing list.

When the time is right, you can certainly upgrade your site. This is something I recently did myself. Perhaps you can add an area for product purchasing. Almost every client I have checks out my website before they book their appointment.

For the individual hairdressers trying to make a name for themselves, yes, a website is still very appropriate. It should include one to two pages about you and your work, as well as what you are all about. It also must include a way for clients and potential clients to reach out to you.

After your site is up and ready, hit Social Media hard and fast. Even if you are already on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, step up your strategy. You can add a business profile page to any of these accounts and increase your exposure. You can connect with others in the industry that may need you as much as you need them. You can reach people outside of the country that you never imagined existed. There really are no limitations.

If you are a little lost as to how to get started, ask a friend, watch what other people "do" online and do a little homework. Socialnomics: How Social Media Transforms the Way We Live and Do Business by Erick Qualman, is one good resource.

Did you know that now more and more people are looking for what they need (i.e. salons, spas, etc.) through social media more so than the World Wide Web? So, keep your profile accounts fresh, constantly post updates and announcements and always, always mention your website.

My "Facebook Friends with Benefits" have afforded me nearly 2,500 friends to date. People I have not seen in years will reach out to me on Facebook to book an appointment. In addition, I am able to send personal invitations for my hair show events, etc. to industry staff. The opportunities are simply endless.

If you can find the time, get a blog going as well. You can set one up for free through WordPress. Here, you can further brand who you are, get direct feedback (good and bad) from your public and catch people who are searching with key search words related to what you do. Creating your own blog with search engine optimization (SEO) words always increases your chances of being noticed.

Do not hesitate, jump now into the world of social media and online marketing. Watch your fans build, watch your friends build and watch your business build. You will quickly learn that your online friends do bring benefits -- the kind of social benefits that will build your success. The nice thing is that, in return, you can do the same for them.

Marco Pelusi is globally recognized as a haircolor trainer and platform artist. Marco Pelusi Hair Studio, Inc. was named Best Hair Color in Los Angeles 2009 by KTTV Fox11’s “myfoxla Hot List” competition. Pelusi created the Marco Collagen Color Guard HairCare System, the collagen system developed for color and chemically treated hair. For more information, visit www.marcopelusi.com.

 

 

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