Marketing Tips: ONE
What is this?
This blog is a free resource for all Semi Permanent Makeup Technicians in the UK and beyond. My aim is to share with you some of the techniques and methods I've used over the years to promote and feature new businesses. Online marketing can seem like a bit of a minefield, and there are plenty of companies out there that want you to feel that way - however, once the smoke and mirrors have cleared away, you'll come to realise it's actually pretty easy to get your head around.
Why am I doing it?
In short: for the good of our industry. Too many talented technicians are missing out on treatments because they just don't have a good understanding of how to get themselves "out there". There are also a lot of self-styled "masters" that are anything but! However, they do know how to promote themselves and create a following. Armed with the proper training, you'll be flying in no time!
My commitment to our trainees at Dermace is support them throughout their career. I'm very keen to teach skills to those that are keen to make a difference tho their own future.
What's in it for you?
Maybe nothing. Maybe everything. I hope I can provide decent information in chunks that makes it easy to master. You might already be an expert, you may be paying someone else to "manage" your site, or you may be a complete novice. Hopefully, this blog will help you.
Do I Even Need a Website?
5 years ago, I wouldn't even need to answer this question. It would have been a given that you'd need a website to showcase your business. However, times change and customers demand new and simple ways to purchase, contact, and get information from you. How many businesses do you interact with on your phone that don't have physical shop locations? Amazon? ASOS? Ocado? The list goes on and on.
A website is a little like a shop front. People see it if they're looking for it, but without advertising or recommendation, your audience is pretty limited. Obviously, with a website you can fix this by working on your SEO (Search Engine Optimisation), or use PPC (Pap Per Click) to have your website appear in adverts and promotions - but this can ne expensive. (Don't worry, we're covering this in a future post).
I would imagine there are quite a few Semi Permanent Makeup Technicians out there who operate quite happily without an official website - but you do need some kind of presence on the web for your customers to get a flavour of what you offer, your prices, your gallery of work, and just to feel assured that you're a professional. You'd have your location, contact details, and maybe some reviews on there - it gives confidence.
Lots of people will make do with Facebook, Instagram, Twitter (or a combination of all three) to get their brand across to the public. While this is fine if you're very active on social media, I still think it's a great idea to have a professional website where you can control your content and the message you're trying to convey. Social media can be quite an "in the moment" medium, meaning that if you have important information that you'd like to stay in your customer's focus (like Pricing, Treatments, Certificates, New skill updates) it disappears down your timeline pretty quickly. A website can solve this problem.
There are lots of free options for building a website these days, but I prefer to use a platform called Squarespace. It's what the Dermace site is built on, and it's what I use for all my technicians who want me to build them a site (feel free to get in touch if you're interested in chatting about this).
It's quite cheap, and there are offer codes out there to get 10% off your first year (contact me if you need one). If you pay for a year, you also get a free domain* name too (www.yoursite.com). There are apps for iPhone, iPad, and Android so you can update and Blog on the go. Anyway, this is not an advert for a website - just contact me if you'd like some pointers on how to get started. There are plenty of other options out there - just be cautious of "free" site builders. You can often lose a little too much control of your content, or find adverts have been added into your site.
In future posts, I'll be covering the 'secrets' of how to rank your website highly on Google (tip: they're not really secrets - just common sense) - and how to lay out your site for your customers needs. Most people have a tendency to fill the fist page with information about themselves and who they are. While this is useful stuff, it DOESN'T belong on the homepage and shouldn't be what the customer sees first.
So: Do you still need a website? Yes, I think you do. It's a great chance to get your brand across, and your logo and colours etc. Why let Facebook dictate your business identity? Use your website to the information across that YOU feel is important - let Social Media handle the ongoing conversations. Horses for Courses.
* - A "Domain" is an address on the internet. You can purchase and use any domain you like, so long as it's available.