3 powerful ways to build your personal brand as a beauty-preneur

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If you’re a beauty professional, there’s a good chance you haven’t given much thought to your personal brand. You might subtly believe that it’s just reserved for celebrities, influencers, and salon educators.

But if you are serious about growing your career, and especially if you own your own business, it’s extremely important to take serious care of your personal brand.

You personal brand is how you communicate who you are, who you’re for, and what value you can provide to people, even when they’re not paying you (and even if they’ve never been your client!)

Any time you communicate with your clients and audience, whether it’s in-person, on Instagram/Facebook, through email, in videos, etc, you are building your personal brand. However, many of us aren’t being intentional about what we’re communicating, so our personal brands don’t shine through and don’t help to build careers.

More than ever, we want to connect with the person behind the business. And one of the most important ways to build your personal brand is communicating online.

People will do their research, they do want to get familiar with you as a person before booking. Also, current clients want to feel assured that they’re in the hands of an expert.

Plus, if you feel like your social media is weak, with little engagement, no one is paying attention to your marketing, it’s probably because you haven’t put enough effort into your personal brand. Because that’s what your audience really wants to see!

Before I get into the most important things you can do to cultivate and strengthen your personal brand, here are 3 beauty industry experts who’ve done an amazing job of it.

I think they’ll get you inspired as to what exactly a personal brand is, and how it can help you as a beauty professional.

3 beauty industry experts who have developed their unique personal brand

Sophia Hilton

Sophia is the outspoken owner of Not Another Salon in London, and owner of the coveted Not Another Academy.

And she has done a killer job of developing a strong personal brand, especially on Instagram. She keeps her personal account separate from the salon’s account, but her personal account is where she goes to express her style, her thoughts, and to talk real talk.

She talks about being a salon owner, her family life, her personal issues, and her business wins.

Sofia has also discovered an easy but important way of creating her unique brand: she has signature yellow hair that never changes. It’s “her” color, and she’s recognized by it now.

The fact that she’s grown such a following on her personal account makes both of her businesses more successful. It helps people to put a face to the name of “Not Another Salon”, and to know that they are supporting the business of a true style icon.

Lisa Dihn

Lisa Dihn is the owner of Lisa Dihn hair studio in Toronto. She’s 30 years old and has built an incredibly successful business, fighting adversity and finding success at a young age.

On her social media, Lisa shares her business story of how she got here, as well as some of the obstacles she’s faced such as poverty and depression.

She is the face and name of the business, and she’s recognized how important it is to cultivate a loyal following of her own that focusses on her personality.

Through professional photos and behind-the-scenes snaps, she shows us that being a real human being as a business owner, and being vulnerable, is the best way to build up loyalty and respect from your clientele.

Kasey Boone

Kasey is the owner of Glow Skincare studio (which has its own product line) in LA. What I love about her Instagram is that she mixes the personal with the professional. She uses her studio’s Instagram account as her personal account too, and shows up regularly with tutorials, promotions, stories, and more.

Because there is such an opportunity to educate in the skincare space, Kasey has done just this with almost all of her posts.

By making the studio’s Instagram account a place to share her personal brand, she creates a deeper connection with her followers on a personal level, and gets more engagement as well!

So, are you starting to feel inspired about how to promote your own brand to grow your business? Keep reading to learn 3 powerful but easy ways to find your unique voice as a beauty-preneur and share it with the world.

Organize a personal brand photoshoot

Photos speak a thousand words. This is not just a saying; it’s something you should apply to your business regularly! As a beauty pro, you should be regularly sharing photos of yourself on social media, in your emails, on your website, etc. You’re probably already aware of this, so you’ll snap a random selfie once in a while.

While those raw photos are so important to share, you’ll also want to have some high quality photos of yourself to elevate your brand. That’s why you should also invest in a professional photoshoot.

When I first started out in my business, I didn’t have much money to put into my photos, so I took them all myself. They looked okay. They were dark and blurry at times, but they did the trick.

Now as my business grows, I’ve been put more funds into my photography, because having high quality photos is so useful in my marketing. I ended up using these photos way more often than I thought I would.

For my first “not quite professional” photoshoot, I rented an Airbnb for one day and night. I searched for entire apartments nearby, and chose the one with the prettiest decor. It looked like this:

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I had my boyfriend come with me and for several hours, he just shot photos of me. Poor guy, he didn’t know much about photography but he did a great job anyway. I chose around 30 of the best ones and edited them with Lightroom to make for some pretty shots:

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This was a pretty inexpensive photoshoot: The total cost was about $120 for the Airbnb.

Instead, last weekend I finally invested in a professional photoshoot, and I’m sooo glad I did! First, I searched on Instagram for photographers in Ottawa with the hashtag #ottawaphotographer

I looked through hundreds of photos of brides and babies to find portrait-style photos that looked high quality and with a style that I was looking for.

I made a shortlist and ended up choosing a wonderful photographer, Ina Soulis. She suggested that I rent an office space near my apartment called Breather (they’re all around USA and Canada). It’s a gorgeous space with brick walls and wood beamed ceilings:

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I’m keeping most of these photos top secret for the launch of my course, The Facebook Formula For Salons next month, but here’s a sneak peek of one:

The total cost of this was $300 for the photographer and $110 for the office space rental.

My point is this: photography is an investment, but if you’re serious about building up your personal brand, it will make things so much easier for you when promoting yourself, and it will give you a polished edge.

Here are some ideas for your personal branding shoot:

  • If possible, get some photos of you in your salon and working on clients

  • It also helps to have photos of you in a different setting, like your home, or a rented space like I did

  • Schedule a photoshoot “day” and treat it like a project that you plan for

  • Plan out your photoshoot with a Pinterest board of photos you’d like taken, especially with different poses

  • Working with a professional photographer is a small investment, but they know different poses and ideas that you wouldn’t have thought of

  • Bring changes of clothes to your shoot, so you can have a wide range of shots to share in the future without getting too repetitive

  • If you’re editing your own photos, try downloading Lightroom on your phone, it will make your photos pop!

  • Don’t share all your professional photos all at once. Drip them out in the coming months to make them last

If you want some more ideas for setting up a DIY photoshoot, check out my blog post here.


Create educational content that puts you as the expert


Here’s the problem that most business owners have about being the expert: especially when you’re first starting out, you often don’t feel qualified to be an expert. You feel like you haven’t done enough training, that there are other experts much more knowledgable than you, and that your industry peers will judge you for the information you’re putting out.

Are you familiar with those feelings? If so, you are absolutely normal, and I have been there myself many times.

It takes some courage to show up and tell the world “Hey, I know something that you don’t, and I’d like to share it with you. Hopefully it’ll help you!”

But I promise, you have so much great info to share as a beauty professional, and when you do this, your clients and followers will start looking at you differently. They’ll see you as someone who has opinions, value, and that you’re truly passionate about what you do.

If you look at the Instagram profiles above of Lisa, Sophia, and Kasey like I showed before, educational content is one of the big things they really focus on. Being pretty, entertaining, or having great skill in your craft isn’t enough anymore.

People are looking for something more, something that will help them.

So start looking at yourself as a source of knowledge, and start sharing that knowledge to build up your personal brand!

To do this, you can start with some tutorial videos on Facebook or IGTV.

You can use every single Instagram caption as a place to not only share your work, but explain how you did it, what products you used, why it’s important etc.

And, if you’ve ever wanted to get serious about email marketing to your client list (something I highly recommend to keep them engaged and booking more often), sharing educational content is 100% what will keep them opening up your emails and reading them.

Education is how I’ve built my business, and I understand completely how intimidating that is at the beginning. But I promise you that the more you position yourself as a beauty expert, the more your business will thrive.

If you want more ideas for educational videos to share, read my blog post here.

Be extremely personal in your marketing (even when it’s uncomfortable)

Think about your favourite person you follow on Instagram, whose posts you adore. Maybe it’s a celebrity hairdresser, a travel blogger, or a seriously stylish business owner.

Do you have them in your head?

I’m going to guess that this person shares a lot of their personal life and personality on their Instagram. Am I right?

They probably give their opinions about hot topics. They probably share what their family is up to, what are some of the hard things they’re dealing with right now, or their story of how they got to where they are.

Anyone with a strong personal brand online knows that it’s absolutely crucial to be vulnerable, real, and transparent with their audience. It’s the only way to get your followers to actually connect with you as a person.

And this is something you’ll need to do for your personal brand as well. This can be difficult for most of us, especially if you’re posting from a business account and not a personal account.

But like I said before, on social media people really want to connect with the person behind the business. And the best way to do that is share your real personality, opinions and yes even “messy life stuff” with your followers.

Just look at Sophia from Not Another Salon: She’s got a strong personality and a bunch of opinions, and that’s what people love about her.

Or Lisa Dihn from Lisa Dihn Salon: She’s talked openly about her mental health struggles and the stressors of being a business owner.

How can you start to do this yourself? Here are some easy ways:

  • Write in the first person (saying “I” instead of “we”, even on your business page)

  • More than just describing a photo or the client work you’ve done, describe how the client felt, what you loved about the interaction, or what you learned

  • Don’t be afraid to give your opinion on things you love and don’t love! Putting a line in the sand gives something for people to pay attention to, even if they don’t fully agree

  • Talk about the amazing things happening in your life, don’t worry it’s not bragging people want to cheer for you!

  • Write about some of the harder things or challenges you’ve faced, and how you overcame them

  • Don’t be afraid to laugh, goof off, or be completely random in your photos and videos! You don’t always need to be a buttoned-up professional. We love seeing the silly side of you, too!

Writing as a person and showing your personality is not self-indulgent. It’s literally what people want to see on social media. So don’t hide!

In conclusion

Whether you’re a nail tech, a hair stylist, an esthetician, a spray tanner or any type of beauty professional, you absolutely need a personal brand. It will help you to stand out among your competition, help your audience to connect with you on a deeper level, and it will position you as an expert in your field.

If you follow along with the three ideas in this blog, you’ll be miles ahead in building your own unique personal brand in a way that’s honest and authentic.

And hey, if you want some more ideas for how to build your beauty business, download my free ebook below, “How to get 7 new salon clients this week”!