It's no surprise that our daily lives are technology-driven. From checking the weather to catching up on the latest via social media, the average person spends a lot of time online.
According to Pew Research Center, 77% of Americans go online on a daily basis, which includes 26% who report being online "almost constantly". That number increases for those who connect via mobile and for the 18- to 29-year-old crowd.
With a wealth of information just a click away, it’s incredibly likely that a potential guest is going to do a bit of research online before they even appear on the appointment book.
So, one quick question: when’s the last time you’ve taken a real look at your online presence from the perspective of a current and/or future guest? Never? Months and months? No judgment!
While not all-encompassing, here are a few suggestions to get started:
- A Simple Search: Search your name. Search for your salon. Is it easy to locate? Is the contact information accurate and spelled correctly? Go through the motions that a guest would go through (such as clicking on the map for directions) to make sure that what’s out there is representing you and your business properly.
- Reviews: How about those guest reviews? Reviews, the good and the bad, shape opinion, so staying on top of your online reputation is critical. Have you graciously thanked the positive ones and reached out to the not-so-positive commenters? Did you discover you have no reviews or few reviews? What’s your plan to make sure your guests give you all the stars?
- Social Media: Your social media accounts – how much of your life is public versus private? Do you have followers who are also your guests? Are the pics that you post driving guests in your direction? Perhaps, you may have overshared. Doing a quick rehab to tone down what may not send the message or persona you’ve intended could be the solution. It may be time to consider filtering out some followers and creating a second grouping of professional-only social media accounts to feature your portfolio work and engage with guests.
- Portfolio/Images: Do you have current pictures of your work featured? If not, commit to taking great photos and posting consistently. Not only is this a perfect way to showcase your talent, but your guests will also love seeing your work (though it’s a good idea to get permission before posting!). There are incredible online examples, how-to articles, and apps to help. Also, be sure to update your Beauty Cast Profile as well.
Start somewhere. Devote 5 minutes to discover what’s out there. Choose a fellow professional that you trust and do a peer review. This is not about being “inauthentic” or “untrue to you”, but rather about taking control over the message that’s being shared with the masses. It’s about building a business that allows you to live the life you want while doing what you love.
You owe it to yourself to set aside the time & go for it!