- Marcel Wanders, Dutch Designer and Art Director
On our recent trip to The Netherlands, ProNail Magazine had some great questions for us. A great Q&A session, here are a few takeaways from the discussion that will bring a ton of value plus a strong understanding of the direct relationship between social media and a happy life in nails.
EXCITED TO LEARN
We’ve been having a great time here in The Netherlands, a country that is no stranger to the spirit of creativity, icons of great design and often cited as one of the top ten happiest places on earth. We’ve been so impressed by our visit and the overwhelming appetite for learning. The Dutch nail artists have been so warm and welcoming not only to us but to our ideas on how to transform their salon business through education: the art of nail sculpting techniques and the theory of business building through social media.
WELCOME TO THE 21ST CENTURY
The hardest hitting question asked by ProNail Magazine, “Can a nail professional live without social media?” The simple answer is NO, absolutely not. It’s not possible for anyone to be in business and proceed without a presence on social media. It is today’s marketing. How did small business promote themselves in the time before social media? This could almost be a meme. Flashback to the guy on the corner with an oversized bill board and flyers, the junk mail post cards, tv/radio/newspaper/magazine ads or the yellow pages. Can the nail pro live without marketing their business? Again, the answer is NO. You need to put yourself out there where the potential market is, that is undoubtedly on social media. If you don’t believe us, count how many times in the day you are reaching for your phone. What apps are you getting lost in, tagging and sharing? Social media is where it’s at.
If you want to build your business and acquire more customers, you have to create content to engage your social media followers. There is a massive connection between posting content and the effect it has on growing your circle of potential clients. It’s a cause and effect relationship. You have to prioritize your social media activity and assign it a value in your marketing budget and work hours. How you “do” social media matters. Make it an essential part of your business. Leaving your social media account unattended is the equivalent of ignoring someone that walked into your salon. Just because you post doesn’t mean that it’s an instant fix. You must continue to create content and then you have to tend to it like a houseplant. What do you have to do to keep this thing alive? You have to experiment and evaluate the impact of your content. What is working? What is not? Switch things up a bit and adjust along the way.
POST WHERE THE EYES ARE
For nails, there are currently three essential platforms out there: Instagram, FaceBook, and TikTok. Instagram needs no introduction, it is our #1 platform pick for the nail pro. The consumers dialed into to IG are the 18-34 year olds. FaceBook is our second best, whose audience is trending a little older think late 30s-40s-50s with an average income, it is stated, around $75,000 (USD). Looking for the next rising demographic with disposable cash for nails? Consider exploring the audience of tweens, teens, and college students on TikTok. A short-form video app that is vastly entertaining.
HOW TO KICK IT ALL OFF
The most important first step for building your business through social media is a consistent routine of posting. Ideally we recommend every single day, a couple times a day, seven days a week. A lot of people think that the first step is more complicated but it is not. We have seen first hand that when we post content regularly (and optimistically several times a day), that is what makes people notice you and then connect with you. Shockingly, it is not about sculpting a perfect nail or the most professionally beautiful nail shot. We’ve run both those experiments and that isn’t what people are looking for on social media. Those images by the hippest editorial photographer don’t get nearly as much interaction. What’s there to connect you beyond the idea of perfection? We think the connection and community engagement begins with the imperfect and attainable. The most important thing you can do with business building through social media is discipline and dedication to post content daily. If you can train yourself in this mindset of sharing smaller simpler more authentic posts; everything else is going to be easy. Just start posting. Get into the habit and then you can improve the content as you go along. Our experience has taught us to not be afraid to try out a bunch of different things. We take the time to step back and see what’s working and what’s not and then jump right back in.
WHAT’S THE BARE MINIMUM?
Here is a cheat sheet of how to get started as a beginner on social media. The basics is to post the obvious, nail pictures or videos. If you can layer in more, try to show off a little of your personality and talk about your salon. We aren’t asking you to do a crazy set up and hire a camera crew. We are only asking you to document your life in nails. What you are already doing. The clients who are already your bread and butter. People need to see your work. It acts like a lookbook or visual menu your customers can use for inspiration. In our experience, people want to learn a little something technical from you and something a little behind the scenes about who you are. Why nails? Share your real self and stories, the person they will meet when they come in for a service. Please promise that you’ll be kind to yourself when posting. The best strategy is to try to silence that harsh inner bully that finds it easier to criticize instead of celebrating the good enough, real moments and happy accidents. So let go and get excited, there is no way to predict what will go viral.
Why is it so important for a nail pro to work with a distributor who supports them with business and marketing advice? At the core, our YN business model is based on a true partnership with nail techs. We want to offer support to nail techs everywhere beyond just what started out as product support. It’s about the products, but it’s not about the products. Products are just one piece of the puzzle. We want to be a company that goes above and beyond a retail transaction. It’s important to us to provide something of more value to the customer and that is sharing what is working for us from a technical standpoint and an educational one. We want to partner with nail techs and salons to help them grow into something healthy and amazing. All our knowledge on how to get ahead in the nail industry is offered free and online. Providing education for no other reason than to support nail techs is our idea of a real partnership. If you use our products, great. Of course, we hope you do. But even if you don’t, we will still be here to help you grow. We want to have a connection with nail techs, one that builds trust and loyalty in the long term. We’re all in this together. Everything else is just an extra benefit. Every business out there needs to do that; give more to their customers and give back in some way.
**This is an adaption from our YN Biz Talk playlist on YouTube, “Nails and Social Media Interview for ProNail Magazine | Netherlands”.
Follow our YN YouTube Channel and click here to watch the full discussion here:
- Marcel Wanders, Dutch Designer and Art Director