It was a pleasure to be a guest speaker/educator at the Long Beach International Salon and Spa Expo (ISSE Long Beach) this past Sunday. Seriously, it was such a humbling experience to share my journey with those who attended. If you couldn't make it, I have good news... I've posted a video of my interview below!
I offered some insight into using Instagram as a marketing platform. While I didn't initially create an Instagram account to build a clientele, I just started posting pictures of my hair art, sharing my passion, and it boomed! Now, three years after creating my account, I highly recommend it over all other platforms.
Here are five Instagram insights:
1) Take advantage of Instagram's visual platform. Hair is a visual art, and you need to display your art for others to admire. Instagram is the perfect application to showcase your skills for any field in the beauty industry (not just hair). If you are a nail stylist, esthetician, brow specialist, etc. share your best work! In my opinion, it only takes 5-10 seconds for someone to see your pictures and decide if they want to follow you.
2) Make an effort to post pictures of every client. To piggy back off the first bullet point, you have to post your everyday work to have a page that always looks appealing to the eye. I use various angles to implement white space. For instance, I take a few shots of each angle and make sure the photo is good quality with great lighting against a wall that way there are no distractions in the background and followers can fully focus on the hair. My two personal favorite photo apps to use are Afterlight and PicFrame.
3) Post consistently and use relevant hashtags. Consistency is key to growing a large community. If you don't post daily, people will forget you. The great thing about Instagram is that you can search any hashtag to find what you are looking for. Also, the explore feed is great to find unique photos that spark your interest.
4) Offer tips but don't give away formulas. People often ask why I don't share my formulas. Honestly, it wouldn't matter if I did, because most likely it won't come out the exact same because everyone's hair is different. You need to tailor the formula to your client's hair type. Instead of sharing formulas, I share "Hair Tip Monday" (#LarisaLoveHairTips) and give away my tips & tricks here & there. This tactic encourages your followers to interact with your posts and it gives them a reason to check back.
5) Ignore haters. If you are good at what you do, you're bound to have haters. I never respond to negative feedback. In the beginning, it used to bother me a lot, but now I try my best to not pay attention to negative people because at the end of the day, they don't know the real me. Remind yourself to stay positive and to not over-compare yourself to others as this may cause you to lose sight of your own talent.
You can watch the full interview here:
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My responses to three of your "Ask Larisa" questions:
1) Anne G. asked: "Where do you have your prices and how can I book an appt with you?"
LL: My rates start from $300 to $800 it all depends on length, thickness, and inspiration. I'm currently not booking new clients due to being booked till 2016, and I need to accommodate my loyal clients. I will update everyone on Instagram once I start booking new clients. Xo
2) Alex P. asked: "I'm sure this is not the type of question you had in mind when creating your blog, but lately I feel like i'm in a rut. I recently read The Alchemist, not sure if you've read it or heard about it, but it definitely got me thinking about how truly happy I am doing what I do. I have a regular office 9 to 5 job which I like for the most part. But it definitely doesn't make me feel happy or like I'm doing something good with my life. I've always wanted to become a hair stylist. I think about how happy I feel when I get my hair done, and how happy my stylist is at my reaction. I also like how just getting a little hair touch up can make me feel like a completely different person. I want to be able to give that same feeling to others too. And I guess my question for you is how did you know that you wanted to be a stylist? And how did you become the successful, talented artist that you are today? Are there any additional courses you took or a mentor you had? I apologize for the long and unnecessary rant, I'm just scared of change, I suppose. And maybe hearing from other successful people will give me that push of confidence I need."
LL: At the end of the day, my motto, and I can't stress this enough, is DO WHAT YOU LOVE! If it makes your heart happy, then go for it! It is better to put yourself out there and start the career you've been dreaming of then always wondering "what if." I never took any additional courses. Hair to me comes naturally. I look at hair as a canvas, and I paint. In my opinion, anything artistic comes from the heart. It's either you have it or you don't buy your true talent will always shine. If you feel a tug at your heart to become a hairstylists, then make the big move! As far as mentor goes, there was this lady in Beverly Hills that I used to work for. She was a sweet lady with so much happiness in her heart. I didn't learn much from her color wise, but I learned her attitude and professionalism. Her love for hair shined, and it inspired me and motivated me to be the best version of me that I can be. Xo
3) Selina B. asked: "I currently have blonde hair, however I just had my baby so I stopped dying my hair like 10 months ago. As you know my roots are horrible!!! I was thinking of actually doing my own hair. I feel I could do a good job, so I should practice on my own. What would be a good tip on doing my own hair? And I want to stick to a budget for now. Please give me a tip, great recommendation for me. I also have damaged hair, not so bad but I have some split ends."
LL: My biggest tip is to GO TO A PROFESSIONAL! Do not try to attempt to do your own hair. I understand you're on a budget, but you get what you pay for. Hair is a luxury, and at times we must save up for a luxury experience to have great hair. Xo