The Mane Objective | by Marco Pelusi
Building business via virtual networking costs next to nothing, but involves a little effort and time on the part of a business owner, manager, or hairdresser. All the tools are literally right at your fingertips – you've just got to click your way to success.
Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and Linkedin are four major online social and professional powerhouses that are ready and available at a moment's notice. Additionally, there are social and professional sites specifically designed for the industry such as www.hairbrained.me.
Take a look at what's out there. Here are some easy ways to jump start and/or enhance what you've got going on with Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin:
Start with what you have. If you've got a profile – use it. Check in daily (weekly at the most) to post something new, show off your work, make announcements, and build your friends and/or likes.
Get down to business. Add a business profile page to any of these venues and increase your exposure and potential clients. You can also connect with industry-specific people that may need you as much as you need them… and, reach people outside of the country that you never imagined existed.
Promote your website. If you've got a website – tout it. At least once a week, tweet or post or share something that directs fans and friends back to your salon site. A new location, new product, new design work… perhaps you're hiring and need staff?
Network 'til the cows come home. Which means… always network. Relationship-building has never been made easier. They say now if Facebook was a country, it would be the third largest country in existence. Word-of-mouth has never had such opportunity.
Connect the dots. After your profiles are fresh and ready – connect your Facebook messages to Twitter and/or visa versa. You can do this with most major networking social media sites. Also, there are websites like TweetDeck, a "social media dashboard application for management of Twitter and Facebook accounts," (Wikipedia) that offer social media connection management tools.
Hit the road, but stay mobile. Be sure to baby-sit and nurture your social media efforts through your cell phone, laptop, notebook – any electronic vehicle that allows you to stay connected and stay tuned in.
Did you know that people are looking for what they need (i.e. salons, spas, etc.) through social media sites more than internet searches? There are really no limitations to what you can do and how it can affect your bottom line. Grab hold of what these social forums have to offer at nearly no cost, except your time and effort. Keep your profiles fresh, constantly post updates and announcements, and always, always mention your website or where you work.
I like to work with people, and it shows (and grows) on my Facebook page. As professionals in the beauty industry, we have to treasure relationships, or we wouldn't have become involved in the first place, right? Friends, family, colleagues, coworkers, employees, clients – all of them can become connected.
Networking used to happen in person or even on the phone. But, now networking primarily begins electronically, both business and personal. (I have clients who have gotten married as a result of social media).
Create a presence for yourself online. You can invite a client to become friends with you every time you meet one. Your online worlds can create and lead to more opportunities and learning experiences for you, your book, and your business.