Here’s how to create makeovers that get buzz and bring in new clients fast.
Everyone thinks dramatic makeovers get the most attention but the best ones for your business show the type of clients you’d like to attract. As a bread-and-butter service, gray coverage is a given. Here are the four next-best types of makeovers that build business, plus tips on using the photos.
Whether it’s a botched home-color job or a snafu from another stylist, when the “before” is off-tone and terrible, and the “after” is awesome, your work is bound to go viral. Tanya Ramirez, whose Untamed Instincts suite is within Salon Republic in West Hollywood, CA, has been in the before-and-after business for so long, she has over 5,500 Instagram followers and has had her work featured in numerous trade magazines.
“Makeovers that get the most attention tend to be dramatic,” says Ramirez. “Try a big shift in color or a dramatic change in texture. Anything that goes from drab to colorful catches the eye—white blondes and purples are always favorites.”
For her lavender-licious look shown in this blog, Ramirez got the mother-of-all makeovers: a color correction with a cautionary tale about getting what you pay for.
“I had previously colored this client; months later, she said couldn’t afford me, so she went somewhere else to get her hair done,” says Ramirez. “Then I got a message from her requesting a color correction.”
To take dark roots, dishwater blonde and faded lavender back to beautiful, Ramirez, pre-lightened the hair, except for the natural base. Then she overlaid the new colors to create a deep lavender tone. With her natural roots blended, Ramirez’s client can now go a little longer between appointments to save money and still see the colorist she loves.
Adds Ramirez, “Now that Instagram has a carousel feature, it’s the perfect place to show off a before-during-after process. Be sure to tag the major hair magazines and brands you used. Keep your hashtags relevant to your local area. Also, reach out to hair magazines directly and submit your makeover via email.”
You wouldn’t know it but just 2% of the world’s population is naturally blonde. That’s because in salons, blonde is the most popular color-change choice. Judit Hillman whose Hair Design by Judit is located in Phenix Suites, Colorado Springs, CO, excels at incredible blondes, so it’s probably no accident that she isn’t even taking new clients. She does keep a cancellation list.Hillman knows what blondes hate most: brass. To beat it in makeovers, she often carefully times bleached highlights and tones in-between with a cool ash blonde.
“As far as social media, Yelp has been a big factor in my becoming fully booked,” says Hillman. “On Instagram, I use the hashtags #hairdesignbyjudit #phenixsalonsuites #coloradosprings #denver and #beforeandafter. If I am friends with a client on Facebook, I will also tag her.”
Guy Tang became a coloring sensation over just one thing: ombré. If you want edgier clients, show your trendiest work and let everyone know you can always tone it down. Or, make it a brand.
“My creative makeovers attract the most attention on social media because they are fueled 100% by my own mind and creativity rather than the client’s request,” says White. “We obviously need to please clients and listen to their wants and needs but when I have complete control, it really shows in my work.”
When doing creative makeovers, like going from blonde to purple and teal, she chooses a friend with the right lifestyle for an eccentric color and always “preps the canvas” first, so she can create a perfectly vivid new palette.
While local tags bring in business, White says that by tagging the product line you use and all of the beauty social channels and publications, you are more likely to get recognized on a larger scale.
“If you are in a popular area or if the new look is for a special event, include those concepts in hashtags,” she says. “However, avoid extremely common ones like #blue. Put yourself in a potential client’s shoes and search for what you would like to find when you are looking for a hair color change.”
Problem Solvers with Intent
When you can solve a real problem, you’ll have a life-long client who never stops talking about you. And, your makeovers will have many uses beyond social media.
“A makeover doesn’t always have to involve cutting off a foot of hair or a drastic color change,” says Paul Orlandi, owner of Meraki Hair Studio at Salon Lofts, Mayfield Heights, OH. “Sometimes, the best makeover is accentuating what’s already there.”
For instance, Orlandi does career-ready makeovers that transition clients from high school to college or a first job, the ever-in-demand “take years off” makeover that makes a woman look younger and attention-grabbing hair extension makeovers.
Says Orlandi of the hair-extension makeover shown in this blog, “It wasn’t much of anything that might get a second look from someone walking down the street but was significant to the client. Her hair was fine and she had a good amount of it, but once it reached shoulder length, it started to look stringy and unhealthy.”
Go beyond social media uses, advises Orlandi: “Put a couple of your favorite makeovers on your business card or on postcards you can pass out.”
For decades, the direct mail post card that got salons the most new business has featured a hair color makeover. Now, you just have more ways than ever to use those jaw-dropping before and afters.