February 2012

Charlene Abretske

Beyond Your Chair| Jayne Morehouse


Five Minute Power Connects

Most of us dedicate so much time and energy to our work and families that we often forget to take care of ourselves physically, intellectually and emotionally.

Nothing beats an hour a day at the gym or yoga class for daily stress relief and a business class every month or two to help us promote our businesses and serve our clients better.

We're lucky to live in a time when the internet can provide a daily connection to the world—of beauty, of culture, of business, of life—and deliver useful, interesting and entertaining information right to our inbox via email every day.

In fact, I rely on my favorite websites daily to deliver bite-size doses of information right to me, so that in just a five-minute break, I can be informed, amused or simply reminded to slow down, breathe deeply and recharge quickly. Here are some of my favorites.

Marketing Genius

Seth Godin is one of today's greatest marketers. If you don't have time to read his many books, you can start your day with an email from Godin, which will change how you approach your business after just one week. Free to subscribe at sethgodin.com.

Peter Shankman leads the charge when it comes to building and enhancing customer relationships via social media, but he goes beyond that to remind his raving fans of the importance of making the right decision. Visit him at shankman.com to sign up for his blog and connect with him on Facebook and Twitter at @petershankman.

Finally, ragan.com offers a treasure trove on everything from basic communications tactics to grammar rules you might have missed in school, great tips for public speaking, quick tutorials on optimizing pubic relations and social media for your business and daily tips to keep your program fresh and relevant. The daily enewsletter is awesome.

Stalking Your Competitors

While you might not have time to visit your competitors' stores every week, you can still keep up with their tactics. Two to follow include ulta.com and sephora.com. Sign up for their beauty clubs and get their regular emails, too. Check out their promotions and discover they engage with customers, then do it better. Your personal relationship with your clients will always trump a customer's connection with a brand—when you respect and nurture that relationship.

Beauty Beyond Borders (of Your Salon)

While you're focused on the salon world, your clients are bombarded by retail beauty products and brands every day. You can keep up with what's hot by following any of your favorite magazines from Glamour to Cosmopolitan to People online to some of the most popular beauty websites and blogs. Try temptalia.com, fashionista.com, afrobella.com and wwd.com. Only Women's Wear Daily is a paid subscription, but the beauty and fashion information it provides is well worth the investment.

In addition, did you know there are four million mommy bloggers in North America, who now control $2 trillion worth of America's purchasing power—including beauty products, according to CBC, Canada's national public broadcaster? If your clients fall into this demographic, research who your local powerhouse mommy bloggers are, then follow their blogs online.

Ignite Your Passion and Chill Out

If you don't have time to follow your passions right now, there's no reason to abandon them completely. You can find websites and blogs dedicated to any interest from music to knitting from cooking to gardening from pets to politics.

Get help distressing by finding a site that offers inspirational sayings, daily yoga moves or an exercise of the day to help you focus on you. I love the DailyOm.com, which provides daily lessons and inspirations that help me to slow down and focus on what matters.

News of the Day

Most national and local news channels offer free daily newsletters and updates on everything from current events to the weather via email, Twitter and Facebook. Plus, in this presidential election year, you'll want to stay current on candidates and issues. Get local updates from your local newspaper, the New York Times or CNN delivered right to your phone via text and you'll be sure to stay on top of what's happening.

Your Action Plan

Find five online communities that you connect with and spend five minutes each day reading and thinking about one topic or idea each has shared. I'd love to hear what your favorites are and might share them in a future column. However, remember that nothing replaces human interaction to inspire growth and change, so make sure to make time to connect one-on-one with other people.

Don't forget the Stylist Newspapers website has all of their informative articles, board news, product features and more on their website. Visit www.stylistnewspapers.com to view the digital edition as well as any archived columns and featured articles for the past several years. What a great source of information!

Jayne Morehouse is a columnist for Stylist Newspapers and the president of Jayne & company, a full-service brand communications agency for beauty companies and salons. Follow her on Twitter @JaynePR and @BeautyIQ and connect with her on facebook.com/jayneandco.