Marco Pelusi here! Let’s talk Friends With Benefits!
Nothing is more feverishly shaping and growing our industry than the rapid development of social media combined with online marketing – business owners and hairdressers, salons and spas, alike. Are you with me on this? I know you are. And, if not, you should be! This powerful marketing combination has the muscle to open doors, build clientele, create your persona, brand your identity, extend your brand, and increase your bottom line… with many initiatives being next to little, or even no cost… except your time, energy and effort.
“I just don’t think I’ll get actual clients from Facebook,” or, “I don’t think I will really build my business from Twitter.” If you’ve said or thought these words, trust me, you’ll live to regret them and/or you’ll be astonished when you have to eat your words because the exact opposite is just so very true! From Facebook to Twitter, to blogging to website marketing, to Linkedin and industry-specific social sites, your online friends and followers have big benefits that can help to catapult your success and theirs too! F.W.B. –Friends With Benefits!
So, colleagues and entrepreneurs… don’t 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 literally a virtual networking and referral system online! It is its own world of opportunity, only online. And, it has certainly made a difference in my success, both from a public relations and a business standpoint.
First of all, start with a good website. Social media, blogs, etc., should all lead back to your place of business online. And, it doesn’t have to cost you a fortune. Even a brochure-style 1-2 page website created in WordPress or something similar will do. And, when leading people back to your website, be sure to offer them a place to submit their email address, should they long to be on your e-mailing list. The key to these media forums is to link them all to each other, creating endless opportunity for future marketing and long-term relationships and clients. And, from your website, you can then build a substantial email marketing list.
When the time is right, you can then certainly upgrade your site with a little more budget. Something I just recently went through myself at www.marcopelusi.com. Perhaps even add an area for product purchasing. My online site has attracted marketing staff at large beauty companies enough to remark at how professional it is… and almost every single client I have specifically checks out and approves my website before they officially book their appointment. For the individual hairdresser trying to make a name for himself/herself, YES! – a website it still very appropriate. 1-2 pages about you, your work, and what you’re all about, along with a way for clients and potential clients to reach out to you is a must.
After your site is up and ready – hit Social Media hard and fast! Even if you’re already personally 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 and potential clients. You can connect with industry-specific people 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. Grab hold of all of what these forums have to offer at nearly no cost except your time and effort.
If you’re a little lost as to how to get started, ask a friend, watch what other people “do” online, and/or do a little homework. “Socialnomics: How Social Media Transforms The Way We Live And Do Business,” by Erick Qualman, is one good resource. And check this out, 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 almost 2,500 friends to date. People I haven’t seen in years will reach out to me on Facebook to book an appointment! And, I am able to personally invite industry staff to attend my hair show events, etc. It’s just simply endless.
If you can find the time, get a blog going as well. You can set one up for free at through WordPress, for example. Here, you can position yourself as the expert at what you do, 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 picked up on search browsers and the like. www.megsmakeup.com has quite honestly caused people to order Marco Pelusi products and all my fans on this site have voted for me, “Best Haircolor!,” twice!! Meg Heads are the best!
So, don’t hesitate, jump now into the world of social media and online marketing! You have nothing to lose but missed opportunities. Watch your fans build, watch your friends build, what your “LIKES” build, and watch your business build. You’ll quickly learn that your online friends do have benefits – the kind of social benefits that will build your success. And, the nice thing is that in return, you can do the very same for them!
Are any of you in the beauty industry (or any industry really) and using facebook, Linked In and/ or twitter to promote yourselves?
Thanks Marco! Great advice