Marketing & Promotions

A Walk Down Blog Avenue

Blogs can be a wonderful outlet for personal creativity, as well as powerful business tools to help build a loyal clientele. Here are some things to remember if you decide to start your own blog.

 

Mani Pedi Cutie! in Hermosa Beach, Calif., has hosted a blog since it opened in March of 2008. Owner Ally Conley regularly posts about little salon details that clients can use, like a specific tech’s proficiency at toe waxing or a new seasonal service with a discounted price.

 

The Nail Artist’s Calling Card

There are many highly skilled nail technicians using blogs to promote their work and write about their travels. Many are educators and competitors and they use blogs almost as an extension of their digital resume or portfolio.

Catherine Wong is a top nail tech competitor who has been posting on her current blog, The Nail Queen (ecsalonce.blogspot.com), for three years now. She has written about her experiences in international travel and competitions as well as posting details about her more intricate nail designs.

The tone of this type of blog is professional and technical in nature, and topics of personal matters are not prominent. But it can be a great way for you to let your personality shine while writing about a topic you love, and a great-looking blog with photos of awesome sets can really help business.

If you’re an experienced tech who’d like to showcase her skills online, here are some things to remember about starting your blog.

Make it look as professional as possible. If you’re proud of the work and time you put into your acrylics and gels, you’ll want to be equally as proud of the platform on which they are presented — your blog.

Distinguish your blog as nail focused. It’s best not to mention personal topics like a recent fight with an ex or a child’s youthful indiscretions. Keep those for personal pages where you aren’t promoting your work and strive to keep the majority of the content strictly about nails.

Put time into the photos. The cyber world deserves to see your work in clear, crisp photos, so try to get the best shots you can. And don’t be afraid to ask for help from more tech-savvy members of the family.

Include contact info. Have a short biography of who you are and what your aim is (whether it’s to attract more clients, get celebrity nail gigs, or just share your work). And don’t forget to include an e-mail address and phone number if you want readers to contact you. If you’re looking to promote your salon, make sure to list the salon’s name and physical address as well.

Personal blogs can be great outlets too. Nail tech Cari Vegas’ blog, Diary of a Manicurist, is both a personal and professional account of her life adventures. Vegas started the blog in 2007 and paints vivid memoirs of her life growing up in Michigan with a passion for nails and rock and roll.

 

This Salon’s Life

A blog can also be a great way for salon owners to stay connected to their client base and strengthen bonds that turn casual customers into loyal patrons. Owners can alert customers to special discounts and one-day promotional events, and they can blog about salon life and personalize the ambience to give customers a real feel for what the salon is like.

Mani Pedi Cutie! salon in Hermosa Beach, Calif., has a blog (mpcmemoirs.blogspot.com) overseen by Ally Conley, the founder and owner. Conley uses the blog to convey a more personal side of Mani Pedi Cutie!, sharing news about personnel changes, longtime customers, and alerts on day specials and coupon events. This gives readers a window into the salon and by offering special discounts to blog readers, owners can help strengthen customer relations by rewarding them for their interest and support.

Salon blogs can also be treated as projects, with definitive starts and sometimes definitive ends. There are a number of blogs chronicling the process of opening and starting a salon, many of which cease blogging after a certain time period. Setting a timeframe on how long you intend to blog can help you stay motivated to follow through and post regularly.

Parlor Games (parlorgames.blogspot.com) is a blog started by salon owner Jane Park, detailing how she opened her salon Julep Nail Parlor in Seattle in 2007. She blogged about the construction, staffing, training, and grand opening, and then did it all again when she opened a second location.

 

Catherine Wong is a top nail tech competitor who has been posting on her current blog, The Nail Queen (ecsalonce.blogspot.com), for three years now. She has written about her experiences in international travel and competitions as well as posting details about her more intricate nail designs.

 

Here are some tips on  operating a successful salon blog.

Offer special discounts for blog readers. This is a sure-fire way to get your customers in the habit of checking your blog. Offer a discount and have them print out the coupon or say a secret word only blog readers will know. It will immediately make your cyber clients feel special and a part of your salon community.

Include some information about staff. This is great for both new and regular clients because it allows them to see faces and names of techs at the salon. A personal touch like this can go a long way, and may actually be the difference between someone choosing to come to your salon or moving on to their next Google hit on the local salon search.

Create other social media and link them to the blog. It may seem like a lot of work, but starting a Facebook, MySpace, and Twitter account, and then linking them together triples the potential for clients to find out about your salon. As a business, it will pay to learn your way around social networking sites because it will come to play an invaluable role in bringing business to customers as the web becomes further imbedded into everyday life.

Be consistent with posts. No one visits blogs unless they are updated regularly. So stay committed and try to post at least once a week to keep the site fresh.

Have fun. The most important part of this blog should be that you enjoy it. Whether you’re writing to share the latest, greatest news of a long-term customer or posting a one-day special, remember to stay excited about blogging. It can be difficult to learn and get used to at first, but hopefully the excitement of using such an instant form of communication will keep you posting and seeing just how far a tech-savvy nail tech can go.   

 

Blog Time

Starting a blog has never been easier. There are several ­options of blogging software online that allow you to create blogs free of charge. Uploading photos is a snap for these and so is customizing your page to colors and fonts of your liking. If you have questions, most blogger websites have detailed tutorials to help keep you on your blogging way. Here are a few of the more popular blogging sites:

> Blogger (blogger.com)

> Wordpress (wordpress.org)

>Typepad (typepad.com)

 

Blogger Advice

Now that you’ve got your blog all set up, here’s some quick advice on cultivating a healthy readership and avoiding blogging nightmare stories.

> Join a blogging community by linking your blog to other blogs you like. Then leave tasteful and interesting comments on blogs in your network. This can help get other bloggers to visit your site and spur interesting comment threads on your own blog.

> Make sure to respond to comments left on your own blog as soon as possible. Taking a long time to respond to a reader or completely ignoring them will turn them off and make them less likely to follow your blog.

> Never take any comments to heart. Unfortunately, the anonymity of the web allows many to release their more negative opinions in a not-so-constructive way. Delete or block any negative comments and then put them out of your mind. Let the poster dwell in that negative energy, not you.

> Don’t plagiarize on your blog. It is so easy to find duplicated ­material and the original source will likely contact you and be less than flattered with the un-sourced reprint.

> Write for the good, and avoid gossiping, naming names, or demeaning anyone. A blog will be in the public domain and things like that eventually lead to awkward confrontations. Be proud of your blogs as you are of yourself and profession, and help make it the best, most entertaining, and helpful blog it can be. 

Keywords:   blogs     business tools     networking     social media     web marketing  

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