Humans are social animals and spend a lot of time communicating with one another. The possibilities for conversations have become endless with the helping hand of social media. People can seamlessly connect, especially on popular platforms such as Instagram and Snapchat. Photographs have become a common way of communicating with one another and of course, this includes selfies.
Selfies are nothing new and more than likely, you have taken plenty on your own or with friends and family. Looking at Instagram, over 411 million photos are using the hashtag #selfie. While they have become a great form of self-expression and capturing important moments, they are also a great marketing tool.
Many businesses across industries have shaped their social media campaigns to encourage consumers to take selfies with their products and services. It allows you to build trust, advocacy, and loyalty while encouraging your audience to engage with your business. However, selfies are particularly important in the beauty industry.
Permanent Makeup Technician, Lash Lift Artist, and Owner of The Brow Artiste, Melissa Yeung, believes client selfies are the key to her business. She first got into permanent makeup after getting eyebrows done for herself. She had realized the amazing positive impact it had on her life and now she enjoys sharing the happiness with all her clients.
Melissa offers a variety of eyebrow services, all customized and tailored to her clients’ facial features. She proudly uses only the best quality products in the industry and certified vegan, cruelty-free pigments. When clients take selfies of her work, it positively enforces her business and works in her favor.
When clients voluntarily take photos of your work, it’s usually to share with their audience. If they take the time to capture your work with a selfie, more often than not, they are satisfied with your services. Your clients become natural advocates of your services. These selfies become personal testimonials–authentic and personable.
You will find that many of your satisfied clients will post their selfies online and tag you. There’s nothing like a boost of self-confidence after a beauty appointment, so why not share it with the world? When clients post selfies of their new, fluffy eyelashes or freshly done permanent makeup, they’re naturally promoting your business. Melissa describes how selfies are visual reviews that complement her business and serves as a referral for her audience.
“It displays that they are very happy with my brow work and shows they would like to share that they’ve had a wonderful experience! Potential clients love seeing real people use your service and it speaks even louder if they know your client personally or within the community,” Melissa says. “It delivers a connection between the person in the selfie and your audience. People love seeing faces that feel personable and relatable. A large part of getting your eyebrows done is to give you a confidence boost. It’s rewarding to see my clients send me selfies and seeing them so happy and confident.”
When a client shares your work on their social media platforms, they’re helping to expand your online presence. This means that your client’s friends and family will be exposed to your work and may spark an interest. It’s an effortless, indirect way of referring people to your business.
Client selfies work to build, strengthen, and expand your online presence. Having an online presence on social media is important for your beauty business. It was shown that online stores with a social presence have an average of 32% more sales than those that don’t. Clients are more willing to pay for a service from a business that has a stronger brand presence online.
Social media is a great, low-cost platform to strengthen your online presence. Without having to spend on advertising, you can create and grow your business’ social media accounts. You could potentially reach millions of users that use the platforms daily.
Potential clients want to visually see your work and what you can do for them. Having a portfolio will help to create buzz around your work. One of the easiest ways to build your online portfolio is with client selfies. As you’re building your portfolio, we encourage you to take photos of their clients before and immediately after the service. These photos can be used to market your business online and keep track of your work. However, asking your clients to snap a selfie after the healing process is done will also do wonders.
Potential clients are not only interested in immediate satisfaction. They want to see what the healing process and retention is like. This is especially important if you offer permanent makeup services because it can take weeks to get to the final product. Client selfies are a great way to capture that!
When you have enough client selfies, you can build your Instagram content strategy with them. Beauty businesses need to have a content strategy for their Instagram. Building this will drive engagement and encourage potential clients to look into your services.
As mentioned in our article about online reviews, many clients are happy to share and support the work of small, local businesses. This is especially with beauty professionals as you have already built a connection with your clients. With selfies being so common, it’s not unexpected to see your clients take and post them online.
Melissa explains how natural it is for clients to take selfies on their own. “When clients recognize results of their beauty services, it’s natural to take photos so they can show their friends and family,” she says. “When you politely ask, they are more than willing to support you and share those photos. Also, selfies are easy to do, fun and fast! I have had some clients send them to me without asking. It also doesn’t hurt to reach out and ask!”
You can encourage current and future clients to take selfies by reposting the ones you have already received. If your clientele sees you reposting them to your business page, it can encourage them to take part. Melissa makes it a habit to repost her client selfies and save them in her Instagram highlights as personal testimonials.
Think of it as a collaboration with your clients. Their selfies help you grow your business. If you repost them, you’re helping them in return by expanding their own online reach. This becomes very valuable if your clients happen to be influencers or business owners as well.
Branded hashtags are associated with specific brands. Businesses will create them to encourage engagement within their audience. It also allows them to easily track user-generated content using the brand. In fact, 70% of the most-used hashtags on Instagram are branded hashtags created by businesses.
You can take advantage of this by creating your own branded hashtag. Your hashtag can be as simple as just using your business name. Whenever you repost a selfie or create content to encourage them, remind your clients to use your hashtag. Using a branded hashtag allows clients to become involved with your brand.
Make taking selfies fun by creating a selfie station at your salon or home-based business. You can make it as simple or complex and you’d like. Find a nice backdrop or wall, then supply a few fun props for clients to snap a few photos before leaving their appointment.
After taking photos at your selfie station, be sure to upload them to your Instagram with your branded hashtag. Use this as a way to encourage your clients to take photos and have some interactive fun at their appointment, even if they’re camera shy.
If you want to see a quick growth in engagement, host an online contest. As an entry, ask your current and past clients to upload a selfie with their permanent makeup, lash extensions, or whatever your service entails. With each entry, ask them to tag you and use your branded hashtag.
The prize can be anything you’d like, whether that’s a discount towards your services or giving away free service, touch-up or fill. By providing an incentive, it encourages your clients to share their selfies. This is effective if you’re trying to gather a lot more client selfies to build your portfolio and Instagram content strategy.
Lastly, we asked Melissa what advice she would give someone looking to start their own beauty business.
In Melissa’s Words:
Being a business owner is both difficult and rewarding, but the main thing is to stay consistent, fight through the challenges, and focus on providing great service. With every bump on the road, you are learning to never repeat the same mistake. There is no manual on how to run your business; everyone’s path is different. It’s a learning process. The reason one can focus with determination is choosing to do something you love, then there’s no such thing as quitting because you’re living the dream of your own business.
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