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Fulfilling your dream of becoming a professional hairstylist sometimes requires a bit of ingenuity. If you really want to market yourself as a brand, then you need to stand out from the crowd. Whether you plan to open your own hair salon or just work in one, here are some innovative ideas to jumpstart your career.

1. Partner with a manicurist

Does your hair salon have a professional manicurist on staff? If not, there is likely a professional nail salon within a few streets of your establishment. Develop a partnership where each customer receives a discount on both hair and nail services. It’s an easy way to double your client base almost overnight.

2. Partner with a local photographer

Photographers always need a team of professional hair stylists, manicurists, and makeup artists. In addition to getting paid to work on professional photo shoots, stylists also get credit after the publishing of the photographs.

3. Take more client photos

Give your customers an extra boost of self-confidence by posting their pictures on Facebook, Twitter, and social media. “Before and After” shots are always a popular marketing tactic. Customers may not visit your website frequently, but almost everyone monitors social media several times a day.

4. Post retro hairstyles

In the midst of all Facebook posts, sometimes it’s fun to mix things up by posting some silly photos of old prom pictures and wedding photos with out-of-date, retro hairstyles. Ask family members for old yearbook photos with the “Big Hair” trends of the 80’s or the “Feathered Bangs” from the 70’s. Who knows? Maybe your pictures will go viral?

5. Host a public promotion

Some hair salons have tremendous success by setting up shop in a local park or giving free haircuts to the homeless. Take videos of the public outing and share them on your website and social media. It’s a great way to build brand awareness. Just make sure to have lots of business cards handy for hundreds of potential new customers.

Chech out the Shave or Dye annual fundraiser for the Irish Cancer Society.

6. Try SMS marketing

If customers spend more time on Twitter than do they do visiting your website, imagine how much time they spend on their smartphones. SMS marketing is quick, easy, and cheap! It’s also one of the most effective methods of achieving an almost immediate surge in sales, too. SMS marketing is an inbuilt feature of new salon management systems such as Hive Salon Software.

If being a professional stylist is your lifelong dream, take control of your destiny by implementing some creative marketing strategies. By engaging in social media and SMS marketing, you can always post a quick discount coupon to reward existing customers, too. When it comes to having a successful career as a professional hairstylist either working in or owning your own hair salon, repeat business is one of the most important factors.

Marc O'Dwyer

After completing a Graduate program in Marketing, Marc’s impressive sales career began at Allied Irish Banks, Pitney Bowes and Panasonic where he received numerous Irish and European sales performance awards and consistently exceeded targets and expectations. In 1992, Marc’s entrepreneurial spirit led him to set up his own business, Irish International Sales (IIS). Initially, this company was a reseller for Take 5 Accounts and Payroll software. Within four years, IIS became the largest reseller of Take 5 in Ireland, acquiring four other Take 5 resellers. He also found time to set up two mobile phone shops under the Cellular World brand and a web design company offering website design services for small businesses. In 2001, he bought the majority share in a small Irish software business, Big Red Book. At that time, the company was losing money. The company became profitable within two months, and Marc then acquired a payroll company to compliment Big Red Books Accounting products. In 2003, IIS were appointed as Channel Partners with SAP for their new SME product, SAP Business One. Marc sold his Take 5 business and concentrated on developing this new market for SAP As a result, by 2007, IIS was recognised as the largest Channel Partner for SAP in EMEA (Europe Middle East and Africa). In 2008, the IIS Sales Manager bought the Company from Marc in an MBO. He launched Big red cloud in June 2012, the online version of big red book, to date the company successfully converts 59% of trials into sales and the number of customers is growing rapidly. Marc continues to run both Big Red Book and Big Red Cloud which now support 75,000 businesses. He is a very keen sportsman, having played rugby for 20 years, represented Leinster at under 16 and under 20 levels, and league squash with Fitzwilliam Lawn Tennis Club for 10 years. Marc has competed in 11 Marathons, including the London and Boston Marathons, and has completed several Triathlons and Half Ironman races. He has also completed six Ironman Races in Austria(x2), Frankfurt (Germany), Nice (France) , Mallorca (Spain) and Copenhagen (Denmark)

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