The Mistake Stylists are Making on Instagram and Jamie Dana’s Secret to Creating Content


At the beginning of the COVID-19 closings, it was OK for salons and stylists to take a step back on social media. Now that salons are opening back up, and the coronavirus closings have gone on for a little longer, Jamie Dana, Stylist, Salon Owner, and Social Media Expert, said it’s crucial now more than ever, to show up on social media.

Josh Hafetz, Art of Business President, had the chance to sit down with Jamie for a new Happy Hour, our weekly series where we unpack what’s going on in the industry over a round of drinks. Read on to see how Jamie is tackling the most critical questions about social media in the beauty industry, as salons begin to reopen after the coronavirus closings.

I have no content. How do I show up for my clients on social media?

Don’t stop posting! This is the time to experiment with content. For the last couple of years, being on Instagram has felt like you have to have perfect content. Show a little bit more than your business side. Experiment and figure out what your audience wants to see.

• Show a video tutorial curling your hair, trimming bangs, and cutting your son’s hair.
• Show a personal side—share what you’re doing.
• Share photos of your pets, partners, and kids.
• Share photos of hobbies, like painting and cooking.

People don’t want to see only hair photos and product photos. Your clients have a relationship with you—how can you continue that on social media? You might find that your audience likes this more than your regular photos!

I don’t want to post another curling tutorial because everyone else is doing that. What should I post?

Nobody else is doing that—you only see that because you follow other hairstylists, but our clients aren’t following a ton of hairstylists and salons. Your audience—your clients—want to see it from you. And you’re probably the only one sharing that content that they will see.

The same goes for salon policies—I’ve seen so many salons sharing their policies and showing what they’re doing. We have to remember that our clients don’t see that from everyone else, so if you only share it once, your audience will miss it. We think we’re being annoying and bombarding them, but in reality, they’re just not seeing it as much.

How did you build your following?

I’ve been building my following since 2014. From 2014 to 2015, I wasn’t very strategic because I was trying to learn things. In 2015 and 2016, I invested time in learning about the Instagram algorithm, who I was speaking to, and my brand. That’s when I started to see strategic growth.

One of the first questions I ask anybody who asks me, “How do I get more followers?” is “Why?” What’s so important about more followers? Many times, they’ll tell me they want more clients. I think we’ve probably all thought that at one point. In reality, it’s not true.

For those stylists looking to grow their business behind the chair and salon owners trying to get more clients and stylists at their salon, you don’t necessarily have to have a big follower count.

Once I hit 15,000 followers, I stopped trying to grow my following and poured into the followers who were already there. Because I got targeted with who I was speaking to and the content I was creating and serving the people who were there, my following grew more.

In other words, my big thing for you is this—why do you want to grow your following? If you think it’s because you want more clients and want to grow your books, know that you don’t necessarily have to build your audience.

Say people want to grow their salon. What would be your suggestion?

The biggest thing I always say is to figure out precisely who you’re speaking to. Maybe you’ve heard the term client avatar or ideal client. Maybe you’ve even done an exercise with a target market. I like to take a step more in-depth, and instead of having them create a target market, I have them speak to a dream client.

So, they’re speaking specifically to one person; this has been a game-changer. When that person lands on your page, and they see the way your Instagram page looks, they say, “This is the person for me,” and they hit the follow button. They start to know you, like you, trust you, and they turn into a client.

Talk about hashtags.

I don’t place as much weight on them as I used to. They’re important, and there’s a strategy behind it, but there’s also so much more that goes into success on Instagram than just hashtags. Five years ago, the hot topic was hashtags. It’s a big question that people ask. That was one of the only ways to get people to find your page. Now, there’s so much that goes into your Instagram in general, including:
• Types of Photos.
• Captions.
• Time of Day.
• Type of Content—Video, Photo, or Carousel.

What are some common mistakes hairstylists and owners are making?

The biggest thing I see is stylists and salon owners not sharing is their personality behind the page. I know it can feel intimidating to share a selfie or an Instagram Story but think about the people you follow and think about the people you’re most connected with to make yourself more comfortable when making the content.

I talk a lot to the camera, and I post a lot of photos of myself because I want to connect with my audience. In captions, I act like I’m writing to one person, in Stories, I talk to my audience like I’m talking to my friend. Sometimes, I’ll even do goofy stuff on my stories now. It makes it easier for me to do.

What’s your biggest secret for creating content?

Ask people what they want to see, whether that’s hair curling, nighttime hairstyles, or bang trims. I rarely come up with my content: That is one of my biggest secrets. It’s usually asking my audience what they want to see, and that’s how I create my content.

At Art of Business, we appreciate what Jamie Dana is doing to help stylists and salons across the country. Get more education on her website and YouTube channel.

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