The Changing World of Salon Education Through the Web

by Amy Colvin

Hair shows are exciting, inspiring and fun. They are also, by today's standards, a big expense to the exhibitors, educators and salon professionals. A salon is only able to send a few employees to these shows, hoping they learn enough to pass on to the rest of the staff, but usually something gets lost in translation or is forgotten. Wouldn't it be great to be able to send the entire staff? Or bring the educator to the salon?

The days of extravagant spending are gone. This is what is changing in the world of salon education. Stylists are looking for more creative ways to get on top of their game. YouTube is a great example. Hair tutorials posted on YouTube get massive amounts of views. They can be watched repeatedly and are free. Where else can a stylist get free education?

There are many avenues to get free inspiration. The internet has made access to the globe much easier. Skype lets you speak face to face being miles apart. This is the same principal with a web broadcast or webinar. NAHA (North American Hairstyling Awards) is a great example of stylists being able to participate without actually being there. Hundreds logged in this year for a live look at the NAHA festivities. Along with seeing everything visually, the web viewers were also able to chat and voice opinions and excitement about the night. 

Webinars are a trend for learning in the same manner. You can watch a show or a live class and interact by asking questions just as if you were in the audience. Although you will more than likely see advertisements, it's more of a "soft sell" with no obligation. This is a small price to pay when you are getting great, accessible education that you can watch in your pajamas, or gather and train your entire staff as opposed to just a few. And it's with little or no cost involved. They sometimes even offer continuing education hours.

The demand for salon training will be around as long as our industry is alive. The hair industry is far removed from the stereotype of ditzy hair dressers. Salon employees are business savvy and smart. They want to be taught what they seek and not something they didn't bargain for. With so many avenues to learn these days, they are choosing to go the most valuable route.

As do our clientele. Clients are looking for the best service. They will still pay for it, but it better be the best. Just one or two things can make them switch to another salon. The same is true with education. More bang for your buck, so to speak. 

The best advertisement for salon education is word of mouth. If the class is not a good value, people will talk. If it is, then people will talk even more. When we revisit the YouTube example, we see a very entertaining video go viral on social networking sites. This is how word of mouth works, particularly very well in this day of social networking.  

With the instant gratification of today's lifestyle, the world of education in our industry is changing. Be wise and take advantage of all that is offered on the world wide web.

Amy Colvin of Foolproof Updoing Seminars. She currently teaches world wide through the methods she describes here. Look for her on the wide world of the web. www.foolproofupdoing.net

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