THREE THINGS GREAT HAIR & MARKETING HAVE IN COMMON
I am a woman of many hair styles. Blonde, brunette, short, shorter, curly, straight: the list goes on. As such, in the last year alone, I have had my hair cut and/or at Great Clips, Ulta, in my own bathroom and most recently, when I modeled for a class taught by the innumerable Oscar Bond.
In addition to giving me the haircut I’ve dreamt of since age 12, I found myself applying his excellent hair styling tips to the world of digital marketing. Here are some of the top takeaways I found.
First, Get A Read for Your Client's Personality.
The ONLY question Oscar asked me before cutting my hair was, "tell me about your personality, love." It’s a simple, almost undefinable question I have craved from a hair stylist since forever. I can create a million photo collages of pixie cuts, but there’s no way for a photo to tell him what sets me apart from the Anne Hathaway pic that 200 other women have brought to him.
The same goes for your brand. You may be one of 15,000 people selling jewelry on Etsy and Shopify. What you’re selling is not important. It’s WHY you’re selling it. What brought you to this line of work? If your answer is the money, that doesn’t cut it in marketing anymore. That’s basically like saying that you’re a good person.
Always ask yourself the why and the how. The tenets you hold yourself to in your personal life should motivate your business choices, and by extension the story you tell about yourself.
Get in the Trenches.
At 14, Oscar entered an apprenticeship with Vidal Sassoon. Every day for three years, he had to find a woman on the street who would model for him as he learned to cut hair. He couldn’t miss two days in a row or else he’d be fired.
That’s over 1,000 different women with different personalities and different hair textures, colors and lengths. Have you met 1,000 people who would take a chance on your product? What do you do to learn the various decisions, quirks and factors that go into a purchase? Marketing should always start with a deep dive into the audience you’re trying to sell to and what the bottom line of catering to that audience would be. Social media can help you connect with those people, but at the end of the day, you need the impetus to reach out and ask what they really want and need.
Don’t Use New Tools for New Tools Sake.
Oscar had three pairs of scissors with teeth, designed to add texture to a hair cut. He reviewed all 3 with the stylists watching, and noted that even though the one with the smallest teeth looked like it wouldn’t do that much damage, it could take out massive chunks. And thank GOD he didn’t do that, because as he had noted at the beginning of our consultation, I have very very thick hair- too much texture and it’ll balloon into a garden-hedge pouf ball.
Just because Facebook re-introduces 3-D VR ads or Twitter extends their character count, it doesn’t mean you should hop on a new tool. Consider the vibrant makeup of your clientele that you just carefully examined. Are they even on Twitter? If you work B2B, social media marketing may not be very effective, or it may take a lot of content marketing to make it worth your while.
That being said, like a stylist should have a good blow dryer, brush and shears, a beginning marketer should have a good e-mail strategy, website and one to three relevant channels to share news and chat with customers. Any more and you’ll be in over your head.
There were so many other wonderful things that Oscar noted and I’m sure I’ll return to them on various projects, but the biggest thing is this: it takes a lot of effort to make a haircut or a marketing campaign look effortless.