How To Get Your Beauty Business Noticed Online
You work in the beauty industry. You love what you do for a living, and you would say that beauty is not just your job, but also your passion. This post is for you.
If you’re reading this, I assume you are either:
A beauty industry professional who wants to step up their online presence, increase brand awareness, and increase sales
Dreaming of starting a beauty business and you want to know where to begin.
Either way, I am very excited for you, because you are one step closer to elevating your beauty brand and taking your online presence to the NEXT LEVEL. Girl, do I have some awesome advice for you!
Here’s the good news. The beauty industry is thriving more than ever, and you don’t have to take my word for it. (Read this article from Forbes.) The bad news is, working in an increasingly popular industry means you have A LOT of competition. In any oversaturated market, in order to be successful, you have to stand out.
I’m sure you already know that people are turning to the internet to find new beauty products and service providers. Social media is playing a larger role than ever before. With so many platforms and digital marketing options, getting started online can be overwhelming and confusing. Plus many of my beauty industry clients say they are not very tech savvy. Don’t worry though! Because in the next few minutes, I am going to GET SPECIFIC and tell you the 5 things you MUST HAVE for a strong online presence as a beauty industry professional.
Sidebar: If you’re thinking, “You’re a graphic designer, what do you know about running a successful beauty business?” GREAT QUESTION. I am an authority on this subject because beauty industry professionals make up over 50% of my clients. I have been helping estheticians, hair stylists, lash and brow artists, spa owners, and cosmetic tattoo artists brand, market and grow their beauty businesses online since 2013. In the last five years, I have given countless beauty industry clients advice on how to strengthen their online presence, so I figured, why not share that valuable information with the world?
Okay ladies (and gents), it’s time to get down to the nitty gritty.
1. Brand Identity
The first thing you need to set yourself apart from your competition is a strong and professional brand identity that reflects you and your business. I know it can be tempting to make a logo yourself on Canva or buy something pre-made from Etsy, but I strongly discourage you from doing this. I cannot tell you how many logos I’ve designed for clients who did a DIY logo first, and then went on to wish they had hired a professional designer from the beginning. It can be awkward to announce that you’ve rebranded a relatively new business, especially when clients have already gotten used to the original branding. But more importantly, remember you only get ONE CHANCE to make a first impression. You need it to be a really good one, or you could be hurting your reputation—and losing potential clients—forever.
I love designing brand identities for beauty business clients because it’s an industry where you can get as creative and feminine as you want.
What should your brand identity include? Before you hire an agency or designer, make sure their brand identity package includes ALL of the following:
A timeless logo that reflects you and your business, and will appeal to your target market. As a general rule of thumb with logos, less is more. Don’t get too crazy with details, you will have opportunities for that elsewhere within your brand. Your logo must work in black and white as well as in color. Stay away from designs that are too trendy, because what’s trending right now will feel very outdated in a few short years. I can’t reiterate enough that you can’t go wrong with something classic and simple. Also, if you choose a script or calligraphy style logo, make sure it is easy to read. You don’t people to be unable to decipher what your business name is.
A color palette that you can use both in your online presence as well as your physical space. Light blush pinks are very popular right now for beauty brands. I love that look, but don’t be afraid to be different. Different will make you stand out. Also, keep in mind that your favorite color might not be the best color for your brand. Remember, you want your brand identity to reflect you, but you also want it to attract your target clients. If your target audience is mostly men, don’t use baby pink. Ya know?
Additional brand elements or accents, such as patterns, textures, and icons. These elements will work hand in hand with the logo and color palette to further convey your brand’s personality. Check out Creative Market and filter by graphics or patterns to get ideas and inspiration. Some accents will convey playfulness and youth, while others will convey maturity and eliteness. Everything in between and we always customize our patterns and textures so that they are uniquely our clients’. PRO TIP: Think about how you can tie your online brand identity to your physical space. They should feel like one and the same. You want to use your online presence to tell people what they can expect when they come in for a service. Icons are great for Instagram story highlight covers.
Supplemental brand fonts, which should be different from your logo font(s). You will use them on all branded collateral to keep everything consistent. Brand consistency will make you look like a pro who knows what you’re doing. We typically include a font for headers, a font for body copy, and often a script or calligraphy style font to use sparingly.
Business cards that include the following:
• Your first & last name
• Your job title (such as “Founder & Esthetician”)
• Your business location
• Your contact info, including phone number & email address
• Instructions on how you want clients to book appointments (preferably online!)
• Your social media handle so clients can follow and interact with you on Instagram and whatever other platforms you are using to promote your business
Here are some of my favorite logos I have designed for clients in the beauty industry… see how because of their simplicity, it’s hard to imagine them going out of style?
2. Brand Photography
Brand Photography is one of the BEST investments you can make in your beauty business, whether you have been making people look and feel beautiful for 30 years or you are just starting out.
What is it and why do you need it? Brand photography simply refers to professionally taken, high quality images of you and your business. Ideally this will include headshot style portraits of you, images of your physical space, such as your spa’s lobby or a treatment room, and action shots of you working on a client. It’s totally okay to stage the shots of you working on a client and I actually recommend it. Doing brand photoshoots regularly is ideal if you can afford it, but do AT LEAST ONE so that you have great imagery for your website. (I do a photoshoot every 6 to 8 weeks so that I always have fresh content for Instagram, since many of my clients find me on there.)
Why is brand photography so important? Imagine you are shopping around online for a new lash artist. You come across two websites. Website #1 has lots of information about lash extensions, but the only photo on the website is a selfie on the About Me page that was clearly taken with an iPhone. Then you go to Website #2. The first thing you see is a large, professional image of a woman standing proudly in the lobby of her lash studio, dressed nicely, smiling at the camera. You click on the services page and there she is again, applying lash extensions on a client. You click around some more and you keep finding more beautiful images of her working on clients or smiling at her front desk. Which lash artist would you go to? I would go to the second one, even if she is more expensive.
Brand photography does an amazing job of painting a clear picture for your potential clients of what they can expect. Leave nothing to the imagination. If they see images of you, smiling and friendly, your treatment room looking clean and relaxing, and a happy client receiving services, they can imagine exactly what it will be like when they come in for a service. You don’t want to be the mystery beautician online, trust me. Brand photography also shows that you take your business seriously and have invested in it. Not to mention it can make or break a website or Instagram account. Click here to view my Pinterest board of brand photography examples by Gretchen Kamp & Co.
Once you have your brand identity and brand photography ready to go, the next thing that should be on your list is a professional website. It can be simple and informative, or you can get more elaborate and sell products. (Who doesn’t love earning passive income!?) Some people think it’s okay to just use Instagram instead of a website, and it would be great if that were the case. Unfortunately though, we don’t ever truly OWN our content on social media. Although it’s unlikely, Instagram could disappear tomorrow. All your content would be gone, and you would no longer exist online. You need a home online where information about your business can live forever that YOU OWN and have complete control over. Fortunately, websites are not nearly as expensive as they used to be, and thanks to Squarespace, they can be very easy to create and maintain yourself. If you don’t have time for that and you need help setting up a Squarespace website, let’s talk after class.
Here’s what your website should include:
All the basic information about your business including location, hours, and phone number. Make sure that information is prominent and easy to find.
An easy-to-find button or link to book an appointment online. Booker is the most popular tool for this among my clients.
An About Me page where you tell your audience who you are, what your credentials are, including licenses and relevant experience, plus a fun fact or two about yourself so people can relate to you. (I love this blog post from Jenna Kutcher about how to write a better bio page.)
A Services page that lists all your services and includes descriptions. (It’s up to you whether or not you want to include pricing here.)
Brand photography showcasing you and your physical space, plus images of you working on clients. We already talked about why this is so important.
Links to your social media profiles.
A map showing your business location, so new clients can easily look it up ahead of time or from their phone on the way to their appointment.
An easy way for people to purchase a gift card online.
Email list opt-ins, and put them in a few locations because people won’t always scroll down to the footer area!
4. Email Marketing
Email marketing isn’t the most sexy sounding thing, but it is the most powerful digital marketing tool. If you already have an email list, you go girl!
If not, getting this set up is pretty easy. For an additional fee, you can use Squarespace’s super convenient built in email marketing tools. I will write a blog post on that soon. If you want to go the free route, create an account on Mailchimp.com. Link the Mailchimp account to your Squarespace website. Make sure it’s easy for people who visit your website to find and sign up for your email list. Put a newsletter sign up form in a few locations on your website, not just in the footer. PRO TIP: The About Me page is the most visited page on most websites, so make sure you include it there.
Start collecting email addresses in person too, and add them to your Squarespace or Mailchimp email list manually. If you’re already providing beauty services to clients, ask for their email address next time they come in for an appointment. Make sure you ask them if it’s okay if you put them on your list. Make it enticing by telling them the emails will include special promotions or discounts.
If you want to take this a step further, the best way to get people to sign up for your newsletter is to offer them a discount or downloadable freebie in exchange for their email address. What sort of a promotion could you use for this? Get creative!
Once you have an email list, you will want to send out 1-2 emails per month with content that your audience will find valuable.
Now we get to the most fun part. Instagram is a great social media platform for beauty industry professionals because it is so visually focused.
With Instagram, you can (and should) showcase the following:
Images of you
Your spa, salon, lobby or treatment room
Your clients receiving treatments or services from you
Before and afters
Products you recommend or sell
Specials, promotions, and seasonal offerings
If you don’t have images like this, go back up and re-read the section called Brand Photography, then click here to book a brand photoshoot.
Don’t forget to write meaningful, thought out captions on your Instagram posts, use appropriate hashtags, and engage with other accounts regularly to maximize engagement.
Well guys, I think that’s it. If you have any questions don’t hesitate to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Best of luck with your beauty business and let us know what we can do to help you with any of the above.
Hey you! I’m Gretchen.
I'm a graphic designer turned branding specialist & business owner who lives in yoga pants and is fueled by pizza and red wine. I will use any excuse to travel and I LOVE teaching other female entrepreneurs everything I've learned about branding and digital marketing in the last four years of full-time self-employment. When I'm not in my design studio, you can find me cooking, sipping on red wine, listening to jazz, and spending quality time with family & friends.