4 Ways Blogging Can Help You Build A Clientele

Salon Success Academy and SpaI was featured on Salon Success Academy’s blog, Beauty Buzz recently. They wanted to know, based on my own professional experience and expertise, what sort of advice I’d have for their readers. Since blogging and skincare are my specialty, I talk about how I used my own blog to build up my business and professional experience over the last four years. Even though my career path isn’t a traditional one for an esthetician, I still consider myself successful because I’m doing exactly what I love to do in an industry that I find exciting and truly enjoy to the core.

Be sure to check out the 4 Ways Blogging Can Help You Build A Clientele. Trust me, it’s probably a whole lot easier than you think. Hope you enjoy the post!

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What’s Your Greatest Strength and Biggest Weakness?

interviewI think the toughest thing for me in any job interview is having to talk about myself. I’m pretty comfortable with talking about myself to my own friends and family members. Who isn’t? It can be challenging when you’re trying to convince someone you don”t know why they should give you the job over someone else. It can be even tougher when trying to convince an interviewer how awesome and skilled you are when you’re in the midst of making a career change.

Job interviews are stressful, no matter how you dice it. Half the battle is being prepared. Once you’ve done your research on the company you’re interviewing with and the position you’re interviewing for, it’s important to think about the types of questions you could be asked during the interview. You don’t want to memorize your answers, but you should have an idea on how you would answer certain questions, before the interview.

One of my favorite questions to ask job candidates during an interview is:

What is your greatest strength? What’s your greatest weakness?

Your greatest strengths should consist of skills and previous job experiences you have that qualify you for the position you’re interviewing for. This is your chance to shine in the interview and tell them how amazing of an employee you are.

Your greatest weaknesses should showcase skills you’ve improved upon in either your current or previous job. You could also discuss how you managed to turn a negative situation into a positive one. Always focus on the positive during an interview. You want to show the interviewer how you are able to save the day with your positive solutions and forward-focused thinking!

When I went from bartending to working for Sephora, I didn’t have any professional beauty industry experience other than my four months in beauty school. My lack of professional experience was a weakness. How was I going to convince this huge corporation that I would be an amazing Beauty Advisor? I made a list of tasks and skill sets that I had acquired from bartending and applied them to the Beauty Advisor position. Turns out I already had a number of strengths from bartending that qualified me to be a Beauty Advisor. I came up with three key areas that I would focus on during my interview: sales, customer service and flexibility.

Sales
I knew being a Beauty Advisor would involve sales. I would be paid to talk to clients all day long, answering questions about products and helping them place their order over the phone. No problem! As a bartender, I was responsible for selling drinks all night long. The more drinks I sold, the more tips I’d make. I learned and perfected the art of up-selling a drink to anyone who sat at my bar, which ultimately translated into higher sales in the register and more tips in my tip jar.

Customer Service
Proving my customer service skills was easy. It doesn’t matter what industry you’re in, customer service is customer service. Being a bartender for eight years, I was in the people business. I learned how to have a conversation with anyone who was drunk or sober. I figured out how to handle sticky situations with intoxicated customers like a pro. My personality helped me build up a repeat clientele in the bars I worked at. My patience level helped me keep my cool when dealing with some of the crazies that would come in every now and then.

Flexibility
Since the Beauty Advisor position was designed to be a seasonal position, I had to be very flexible with my schedule. That meant being able to adapt to whatever start time they might need me to work: 5am, 6am, 7:30am or 11am. It also meant being willing to work weekends and holidays. This wasn’t a problem for me. When you bartend, there are no holidays or weekends. There also aren’t any sick days or paid vacations. I was already used to not having Saturdays and Sundays off and I almost always had to work on holidays, even Christmas.

Even though I lacked professional experience in the beauty industry, it didn’t mean that I wasn’t qualified to be a Beauty Advisor. I was able to show the good folks at Sephora that even though I was fresh out of beauty school, my passion for the industry along with my experience as a bartender for the past eight years would make me a great asset to their team.

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What Do You Like Most About Your Current Job?

Job_SatisfactionDuring any job search, it’s important to consider the interviewing process and the questions employers love to ask job candidates during an interview. Some of you out there might be in the process of interviewing for your dream job or trying to land your first job in the beauty industry so you might find this information very helpful.

Acing an interview is the key to landing any job. You only have a small amount of time to introduce yourself, show off your skill set and convince the employer why they should hire you for the position. There are lots of factors that go into how an employer decides on who they hire. It’s not just about first impressions (were you on time?), but also about how you handle yourself during the interview. Did you do your research on the company you’re interviewing for? Did you come prepared with questions to ask about the company or the position? Did you look the part? How did you answer the questions asked? Were your answers well-thought out or did you sweat your way through them with a lot of “I don’t knows” or “I’d never really thought about thats”?

For me, I’ve come up with a list of ten questions or so that I like to ask job candidates during an interview. It’s not that there is anything special about asking ten questions. I just feel that when I ask my list of questions, I can get a good read on the type of professional experience the person has had, the skills they’ve picked up along the way, what type of employee they might be and how they will mesh with the rest of the team and the business’s culture. I’ve also found that having a set list of questions provides telling information about the candidate and shows them how they respond under pressure.

One of the questions I like to ask an applicant during any job interview is:

What do you like the most about your current job…and what do you like the least?

When I ask this question, I always get the most interesting answers. I think its why I love asking it so much. Sometimes, applicants answer right away with things like their co-workers, stability within the position, location and their clients. I’ve also had applicants respond right away with answers like being employed or having a steady paycheck. For this question, I want an applicant to give their answer some serious thought. Their answer is going to tell me what their biggest work priority is. When someone says that the favorite part about their current job is having a steady paycheck, it tells me that they really don’t care about their job. There’s no passion, no desire for growth and the only thing really keeping them there is that they get paid every two weeks. I want a job candidate who’s hungry for the position. Someone who is going to make a positive difference on the team. A team player who’s excited to come into work everyday. I can train someone to do a set of tasks, but I can’t train someone to be passionate about their job.

Asking a job candidate what they like least about their current job always throws them for a loop. This question is one that people will usually take their time to answer. You have to be careful. You want to impress the job interviewer with your experience and industry knowledge, but you also don’t want to be negative. It’s important to be honest when answering this question, but it’s imperative that you also remain forward focused in your answer. Going through a list of excuses on why you were fired from previous jobs is not the answer you ever want to give to a potential employer. The best answer to give to this question would be one where you were able to identify a problem in a previous position and how you came up with an effective and positive way to solve it. No job is ever perfect. Employers know that, but if you can prove to them that you are a problem solver, you’ll certainly catch their interest.

Let’s face it, interviewing for a job is stressful. Preparation is key! The more you prepare yourself with having an idea of the types of questions that can be asked during an interview and knowing how to answer them, you’re more likely to ace the job interview and land the job.

 

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What Are You Looking for in Your Next Job?

CareerThis week, I added on the task of interviewing job candidates for the service desk. We have such a dynamic team at the desk already. We’re in search of another exceptional person to join the team, someone who will fit perfectly. The quest has begun to find an amazing individual who’s responsible, a true professional, loves the industry, can multitask, be proactive, has an upbeat, positive energy, loves people and is fun to work with.

To help find the missing link to our already dynamic service desk team, I have created a list of my own top job interview questions I like to ask each applicant. These questions give me an overall sense of who a person is, what type of worker they are, what type of worker they will be and how they might or might not fit in with our team.

Another question I always like to ask any applicant is:

What are you looking for in your next job that you aren’t getting now?

The answer to this question gives me an idea of what this person is striving to achieve in their next career move. The answer to this question will give me an idea of what their passions and strengths are. It will also give me an indication of how serious they are about this position and how long they might want to be part of the team.

If I’m really interested in the applicant, I’m already thinking about how I can grow their role at the business in the future. For these types of applicants, I want to have a sense for all of the different types of tasks and projects I can potentially give them. This is the main reason why I like to ask this question.

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What Would Your Manager Say About You?

ManagerThis week, I added on the task of interviewing job candidates for the service desk. Yes, we’re hiring! We have such a dynamic team at the desk already. We’re in search of another exceptional person to join the team, someone who will fit perfectly. The quest has begun to find an amazing individual who’s responsible, a true professional, loves the industry, can multitask, be proactive, has an upbeat, positive energy, loves people and is fun to work with.

To help find the missing link to our already dynamic service desk team, I have created a list of my own top job interview questions I like to ask each applicant. These questions give me an overall sense of who a person is, what type of worker they are, what type of worker they will be and how they might or might not fit in with our team.

One question I always like to ask any applicant is:

If I were to ask your manager about you, what would they say?

I’m basically giving the applicant a chance to give me a preview as to what their references would say about them. Hopefully they’re such an amazing professional that they’ve included a few, previous managers as their references that I can call on later. This answer gives me an idea of what the candidate thinks is important in terms of job skills and experience. The answer to this question also gives me the applicant’s impression of what they think someone whom they worked for previously would say about them.

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How Did You Handle a Difficult Experience With a Client?

Upset_ClientThis week, I added on the task of interviewing job candidates for the service desk. Yes, we’re hiring! We have such a dynamic team at the desk already. We’re in search of another exceptional person to join the team, someone who will fit perfectly. The quest has begun to find an amazing individual who’s responsible, a true professional, loves the industry, can multitask, be proactive, has an upbeat, positive energy, loves people and is fun to work with.

To help find the missing link to our already dynamic service desk team, I have created a list of my own top job interview questions I like to ask each applicant. These questions give me an overall sense of who a person is, what type of worker they are, what type of worker they will be and how they might or might not fit in with our team.

The second question I always like to ask any applicant is:

Explain a difficult experience you had with a client. How did you handle it?

Obviously, providing exceptional customer service is the ultimate goal at the service desk. Sometimes clients can be challenging. Those situations then become all about turning that client around and winning them over. I know I’ve had my share of difficult clients. When asking this question, I want to know how other people have handled these situations.

I love hearing these answers. Some of the people I’ve interviewed have been real heroes. Let’s be honest, if you aren’t a client advocate, then working at the desk of a spa or salon isn’t going to be the job for you.

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Have You Ever Worked in a Spa or Salon Before?

hair_salonWorking for a small business, I get to wear MANY hats. I can be anywhere in the building at any given time doing one of many things. Those things can include, but certainly aren’t limited to, being on the salon floor answering the phone, checking in/checking out clients for their salon floor appointments, booking appointments for clients, updating any one of the school’s social media platforms, refilling the candy and soda vending machine, sorting and delivering the mail, branding our retail space’s windows with the latest promotion or new product, teaching a guest services class to the Future Professionals, meeting with the members of the Social Media Team to show them tips and tricks on a particular social media platform, running a retail or service contest of some sort for the Future Professionals, strategizing upcoming promotions or acting as a guidance counselor answering questions, offering advice, an ear or even a hug to a Future Professional.

This week, I added on the task of interviewing job candidates for the service desk. We have such a dynamic team at the desk already. We’re in search of another exceptional person to join the team, someone who will fit perfectly. The quest has begun to find an amazing individual who’s responsible, a true professional, loves the industry, can multitask, be proactive, has an upbeat, positive energy, loves people and is fun to work with.

To help find the missing link to our already dynamic service desk team, I have created a list of my own top job interview questions I like to ask each applicant. These questions give me an overall sense of who a person is, what type of worker they are, what type of worker they will be and how they might or might not fit in with our team.

The first question I always like to ask any applicant is:

Have you worked in a spa or salon environment before?

It’s certainly not a deal breaker if an applicant has never worked in this type of environment before, but it’s a definite plus if they have! Some people might not understand how crazy working in a spa or salon can be. You’ve got the phones ringing, the doorbell buzzing, stylists needing product or having questions that only you can answer, scheduled clients coming in to check in or out for their service, people walking in off the street requesting a service, the UPS guy delivering packages, clients asking questions about the retail products on the shelf, etc. It’s not just about sitting at a desk. In fact, most salons don’t even have chairs at the desk. You’re standing on your feet for the entire shift!

Our service desk is very special in that we have two types of clients: salon floor clients who come in for services and our Future Professionals. Working at the service desk is all about managing both types of clients and striving to keep them happy at all times. If a candidate doesn’t understand the importance of satisfying both types of clients, they wont be a good fit for the position.

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How to Get Yourself Fired

Youre_FiredIn real life, life happens. People are late. People get sick. Kids get sick. Tires get flat. Cars break down. There’s traffic. Sometimes no matter how well you plan it, things happen that are out of your control and cause you to be late or absent. Employers understand when this type of stuff happens once in awhile. When it happens consistently on a regular basis though, employers start to question whether its really life or just a bad work ethic.

Beauty school is a test for students to practice for the real, professional beauty world. The beauty industry is fun. It’s also a business. Not only do students learn in beauty school the technical skills of performing certain services on clients, but they also learn the business side of things, stuff like writing a resume, networking with industry professionals, building a clientele, marketing their skills to potential employers and working with different personality types. Students should always be encouraged on how to apply themselves to get the job they really want at the spa or salon of their dreams. They should also be made aware of certain bad behaviors that can potentially be the road block between having the job of their dreams and not having a job at all.

Some of the behavior I’ve seen on the salon floor at school would easily be grounds for termination in a real salon. Aside from stealing, hurting someone physically or threatening someone with physical harm, here are a few things that could get a person fired.

Not showing up for work
If you aren’t coming in, you have to call. No ifs, ands or buts. Your employer has a right to know whether or not you’re coming in for the day to service the clients who are scheduled to see you.

Always being late
Clients don’t wait for an esthetician or stylist to show up whenever they feel like it for the appointment THEY’RE paying for. They’ll just find someone else at another spa or salon who will be there and be on time.

Calling out consistently
If you’re not there to take clients, if effects the spa or salon’s bottom line. No one wants to hire an unreliable, licensed professional. This industry is small. Business owners talk. Don’t make yourself un-hirable.

Asking to go home early when you already have clients scheduled
How awful is it for a client to show up on time for a scheduled appointment, only to find that their esthetician or stylist went home early. The client took time out of their day to show up for their appointment. Chances are slim that they’ll be back to reschedule.

Not being prepared for clients, on a regular basis
Borrowing tools from a co-worker once in awhile is ok. Tools break, get lost or might not get sanitized fast enough in-between clients. It’s the ones who never seem to have their act together that manage to get themselves fired. They never seem to have their tweezers. They always forget their shears at home. They’re almost always asking to use pens from the service desk. Part of being a responsible licensed professional is also always being prepared. Don’t have just one set of tools or a pen. Have multiple. That way you’re never without.

Having a negative attitude
Ever heard the term, “One bad apple always ruins the bunch.”? Negative attitudes in spas and salons can spread like wildfire. If you’re having a bad day, don’t vibe with your client or are experiencing beef with a co-worker, fake it until you make it. Strive to see the glass half full. A large part of the beauty industry is customer service. Clients can pick up on a sour puss vibe right away. Leave whatever outside drama is effecting you at the door when you walk in for your shift. You can always pick it up when you leave the building after your busy day full of back-to-back clients, if you want to.

It’s worth a student’s while to clean up their act professionally while they’re still in school. It will only help them to be more successful in the long run. Not addressing these bad behaviors or striving for a strong, positive work ethic early on in their career would only be doing the students a disservice in the real world.

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Create a Blog in 4 Easy Steps

blogIt was a little over two years that I started writing in my own blog, My Life as an Esthetician. By the time I decided to create a blog, I was half-way through my esthetics program. I decided to use my blog as a way to document the rest of my experience in beauty school as I slowly transitioned from bartending to becoming a licensed esthetician. Have you thought about creating a blog but didn’t know how to get started? Here’s how you can create and build a readership for your blog in four easy steps.


#1: Find Your Niche
This step is probably the most important step. Just like with any good term paper, you have to have a main point, a central focus. Having this focus will help you target the audience you write for and promote your blog to. Take my blog for example. When I first started my blog, I couldn’t find another blog out there like the one I wanted to create. I was in beauty school, making a major career change. I wanted to talk to someone like me who understood what I was going through. I wanted to be able to read about someone else’s journey. I wanted to hear their stories. I wanted to read about their career path. I wanted to ask them the questions I was too afraid to ask my teachers or the other girls in my class.

I wanted to write about the experiences I was having in beauty school and talk about all of the new information that was coming my way on a daily basis. I came up with “My Life as an Esthetician” because I wanted to document interesting information/products/experiences/people/special events that were pertaining to my new life. Due to the subject matter of my blog, I knew that my target audience would most likely be other esthetician students or licensed professionals already working in the industry. I had to make sure that when I posted something on my blog, I was always writing with these types of people in mind.

#2: Set It Up
It’s one thing to talk about creating a blog. It’s another thing to actually do it. Creating a blog is really easy. First, you have to decide which platform you want to host your blog on. There are many choices, but the two main blogging platforms are WordPress and Blogger. I have experience on both platforms, but I decided to go with Blogger just because it was the platform I had the most experience with. Each platform has its benefits. Each one is a little bit different. They both essentially do the same thing. You just have to decide which one is going to work best for you.

The second step to creating a blog is getting it set up. What do you want your blog to look like? Do you want to use a template or write your own HTML code? What do you want the format of your posts to look like? Do you plan on using images within your posts? Are you going to use multiple images per post or is your blog going to be more text heavy? Which profile picture are you going to use? What is your blog bio going to say?

Once you decide which platform you’re going to use, take the time to familiarize yourself with your blog’s settings. This will help you create the look and feel of your blog before you publish your first post. Don’t get too hung up on having the settings, template or colors of the layout exactly perfect. Your blog will always be a work in progress. You can always make minor adjustments or revamp the layout along the way, even after you’ve started posting. Just get something down that you’re happy with so that you can start posting.

#3: Content is King
What’s a blog without content? Now that you’ve gotten your blog all set up, it’s time to get to work. Start posting. Make sure that your posts are appealing, original and informing for your target audience. The first few posts on my blog were all about documenting the special experiences I had in beauty school. As I came across products or tools that I loved, I would review them and post those reviews on my blog. Anytime I attended a special class or read an interesting article in a magazine, I’d feature it in a post on my blog as well. Anything can be turned into a blog post. Just make sure that you’re always writing for your target audience. Keep your topics relevant so that you don’t forget what your blog’s main focus is.

Some other things to try? Write eye-catching headlines to reel readers in. Use relevant images or video within your posts. When starting out, aim to keep your posts precise with only 300 to 500 words per post. My posts tend to be a little longer now because I go into detail on a lot of subjects that my readers have specifically asked questions about. Until you’ve established your target audience and know what your readers want, keep posts short and to the point.

Always write your posts in your own voice. Only you can decide what that voice will be for your blog. For me, I like to use a conversational voice in all of my posts. I want my readers to feel as if they are sitting there with me, discussing the post topic in a face-to-face conversation.

Another important aspect of content is the frequency in which you post. The more you post on your blog, the more likely readers will come back and visit your blog more often. “Frequency” means something different to everyone. One blogger might post once a day. A brand or company might post multiple times a day. Some bloggers post three times a week. Others may post five times a week. There’s really no right or wrong when it comes to blog posting frequency. You just have to find what works for you and your schedule.

Life can easily get in the way of a consistent posting schedule. Trust me, I know this firsthand! For me, my biggest blogging challenge is trying to stick to my own posting schedule. My goal is always to post something new on my blog everyday. With one post a day, seven days a week, that’s anywhere from 28 to 31 posts a month. In addition to working a full-time day job 40-hours a week, my days are also filled with life’s day-to-day activities, managing what little social life I have and trying to get at least seven hours of sleep at night. I not only have a lofty goal of writing a new blog post everyday, but I also have the task of coming up with something to write about.

On the months that I’ve achieved my once-a-day post goal or have come close to achieving it was because I used an editorial calendar. I’ve found using a dry erase, blank calendar board works best for me. Each month, I fill in the month and dates. Then I fill in each day of the month with what I want to post on my blog for that given day. This way, I have 28 to 31 different ideas on what to post each day of the month. Be flexible with your editorial calendar. There will be timely topic ideas that come up during the month that you’ll want to write about, but hadn’t anticipated when putting together the calendar at the beginning of the month. Always give yourself the freedom and flexibility to change the blog post topic on any given day. I use the editorial calendar to make sure that I never run out of blog posting ideas each month.

#4: Increase Traffic and Build a Readership
You’ve defined your target audience, gotten your blog all set up and are posting on a regular basis, but no one is reading your amazing posts. Now what do you do? You have to let people out there know about your blog. Always start with the most intimate part of your circle of influence: your family and friends. Post a link to your blog on your Facebook page, inviting all of your friends to read your blog. If your friends aren’t on Facebook, find them on Twitter or send them an email with a link to your blog. When I first started posting in my blog, it took me a good six months before I started to build a readership and increased the traffic on my blog.

There are a few things you can do to help increase the amount of traffic your blog gets. Use keywords in your posts. If you talk about a company, brand or industry professional within a post, be sure to include a link back to their page in that post. Then follow up with the company, brand or individual with an email introducing yourself, your blog and a link to the post in which you linked to them in. A good example of this is when I wrote a review on the International Dermal Institute. After posting my review, I sent an email to IDI, introducing myself, my blog and included a link to the review on my blog. IDI sent me a very nice email back and also gave me a virtual high-five on their own blog. The link back from IDI was the start of creating some serious traffic on my blog. The more you do this in your posts, the more likely your traffic will grow.

In addition to turning keywords into links, be sure to name your images properly. Instead of leaving an image name as IMG_101.jpg, change the image name to what the image is about. For example, if I’m posting an image of makeup for a post on makeup alternatives for acneic skin, I want to make sure that image I use either has the word “makeup” or “acne” in it. By properly naming the images you use within your blog posts, you increase your chances of ranking higher in a Google search. Ranking higher in a Google search increases the chances of more people finding your blog on the internet.

Another way you can increase traffic to your blog is by commenting on other blogs within your niche. I love it when readers comment on the posts I write. It shows me that people reading my posts and are  interested in what I have to say. Be careful not to comment on blogs just for the sake of getting a link back to your own blog. If a person posts a comment on my blog with just a link back to their blog, I consider it spamming. I’ll delete spammy comments on my blog immediately. Don’t be spammy. Only leave genuine comments that pertain to the blog post. If you leave consistently leave genuine comments on a blog, a blogger will more than likely visit your blog.

These are just four basic steps on how to get your own blog started. If you have any questions about how to maintain a blog on a daily basis, come up with fresh, new blog post ideas or drive traffic to your blog, please feel free to leave me a comment below.

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Top 10 Social Media Dos and Don’ts

thumbs_upThis afternoon, I gave a presentation to over 70 cosmetology students. The topic was social media. It was called Social Media 101 For Future Professionals. I spent two hours talking about the importance of branding yourself and the need to keep things professional online while promoting yourself within the beauty industry.

One of my favorite parts of the presentation was my top ten list of Social Media Dos and Don’ts. It was so hard to just pick ten. Here is my list (in no particular order):

DON’T USE ALL CAPS
Online, when someone types in all caps, it usually means that someone is shouting or trying very strongly to get their point across. When I worked at Sephora in the Call Center, I used to answer over 100 emails a day. I would come across an email typed in all caps, multiple times a day. It was so hard to take emails like that seriously because I couldn’t understand why someone would intentionally like the Caps Lock button on for an entire email. It’s hard to sense tone in an email, in a Tweet, in a Facebook status or in a text. When someone types in all caps, you just automatically assume one of two things: that person is REALLY angry or they’re just an idiot. Either way, it’s not a good look or feel for your brand.

Don’t get too TMI
TMI = Too Much Information

Do you ever come across a a status update or tweet in your feed that makes you cringe? I don’t know about you, but I can really do without reading online lover quarrels, details about specific body functions, excessive pictures of the food you ate that day or numerous baby photos. I also am not interested in reading a person’s every thought. Food is delicious and babies are great, but if you are trying to promote yourself professionally, keep these types of photos and revelations to a minimum.

Do share content
When it comes to sharing information online, sharing is caring. RT on Twitter stands for Retweet. RTing is a great way to promote other people that you follow online. Did one of your Twitter followers posted a really interesting article? Retweet it! Did someone you know on Twitter post a funny quote or image? Retweet it! The more you share your followers fun and interesting content, the more likely they are to return the favor.

#Don’t #Overuse #Hashtags
I love #hashtags just as much as the next gal, but some people really overuse them or don’t know how to use them correctly. A #hashtag is a subject search tool on both Twitter and Instagram. For example, if you want to see who on Twitter is talking about donuts, type in the Search Field #donuts. Anyone whom has included #donuts in their tweets will show up in the search. I would recommend using only one or two #hashtags per Tweet or Instagram image. Anymore than that, you’re followers might find annoying and unfollow you.

Do complete your profile with a picture, bio and a link to your website or blog
First of all, you should always use a professional picture of yourself that shows a clear shot of your face, looking fierce with your makeup and hair done. You should also be dressed appropriately. If you have a logo for your brand, it’s ok to use that for your profile picture. Just make sure that you pick an appropriate picture that is going to represent you professionally. If you don’t include a profile picture, some followers might just assume that your profile is spam.

Your bio should be anywhere from 140 to 160 character. Keep it short and sweet. Sum up who you are, what you do and why you do it. Don’t be afraid to let your personality shine through. Use humor. Find adjectives that describe you as a person and what you’re passionate about. Just make sure that what you include in your bio stays relevant to your brand.

If you have a website or blog, always include it in your bio. Make it easy for followers to find you online. After all, isn’t that the point of being online in the first place?

Don’t put social media on auto-pilot
It’s fun to check your horoscope each day. It’s also a lot of fun to download music online. There’s no reason why this type of activity should ever be automated as a Facebook status or in your Twitter feed. No one really cares about reading your horoscope everyday and no one really cares what music you downloaded last night. The same goes for cross-posting of updates from one social media platform to another. In hindsight, it sounds like a great idea to link all of your social media outlets together so that way you only have to post once. But think about the person who follows you on multiple platforms. Do you think they want to read the same thing three times?

Do be engaging
People get so wrapped up in learning how to use social media that they forget the “social” aspect of it. If someone asks you a question, gives you a compliment, tweets or retweets you, be sure to respond back in a timely manner. If someone gave you a face-to-face compliment on your hair cut, would you ignore them? No. Then don’t ignore them online.

Do mix up your posts
Social media is awesome for self-promotion. Don’t let self-promotion be the only thing you do on social media. You’ll lose fans and followers fast. In addition to promoting your services and promotions, create your own content. Is there a new product on your shelves? Take a picture of it and post a review it. Take before and after pictures of your clients, with their permission of course. Don’t forget to let some of your personal side show through too. People love learning about the person behind the service. Give your followers some insight as to what motivates you on a daily basis.

Do keep your posts forward-focused
Always remember that anything you post online can come back to haunt you one day if you aren’t careful. Before I post anything on my blog, Twitter, Facebook Page, Instagram and even Yelp, I think to myself, “What would happen if my boss, potential future

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