With in-person marketing now a thing of the past, being authentic is more important than ever in the new era of online marketing. In essence, that means putting you back into the picture. “In the digital world, we’ve removed human communication,” says master lash artist and The Lashprenuer business coach Tara Walsh. “There are just words, pictures and graphics that must somehow come to life, jump off the screen and capture someone’s attention.”
Luckily, you only need to follow two rules: Provide value and humanize your marketing. Here, Walsh shares her do’s and don’ts on how to make these two rules work for your online marketing.
DO know your audience and provide value to the type of person you want to attract. “Providing value gives a potential client a reason to take action—to ‘like,’ give her email, go to your website or book an appointment,” says Walsh. Be inspiring, be educational, offer a behind-the-scenes glimpse she can relate to and make her feel like a part of your special community, suggests Walsh. If you do this, you’ll more easily establish your point of difference from the competitors in your area. “Most of your competition is just posting photos of their work or space without any thought or intention behind it; they’re trying to appeal to anybody and everybody,” she adds.
DON’T get too personal. Ditch inappropriate or offensive posts, skip ranting about your personal lives or problem clients, and make your message about your clients—not you, warns Walsh.
DO use your unique voice and throw in your personality. “If you start to build that comfort and trust, people can feel like they’re getting to know you before they’ve even met you,” says Walsh. “By integrating bits of your personality in your marketing people will know it’s not some big corporation and they’re not just a cog in the wheel.”
DON’T act like a salesman. Nix statements like, “Appointments Available,” “Specials Going On Now,” or “Call to Inquire.” “If you wouldn’t say it to the lady who’s asking if your lashes are real at Starbucks, then don’t say it online,” says Walsh.
DO identify your target clients’ struggles. Then, validate them and let them know you have a solution. “This is a great way to humanize your marketing and get the attention of your potential client,” says Walsh.
DON’T forget to check yourself. Afraid of over-sharing? Before you post, ask yourself if you’d feel comfortable if the post reached 10,000, 100,000 or even 1,000,000 followers, suggests Walsh. “Being authentic doesn’t necessarily mean being vulnerable or eccentric,” she adds. “It means bottling the magic you create within your lash studio and offering a taste of what it’s like to the online world where your target clients are spending their time.”
—by Molly Church