Tidy-up guru Marie Kondo exhorts people to toss the clothing, books, tools and toys that fail to spark joy in an effort to lead calm, focused, clutter-free lives. When it comes to your salon career, Redken ambassador, SalonCentric #ittakesapro Team Member and founder of the Hair Love Tribe Elizabeth Faye @heyelizabethfaye is on the same page. “You are a brand,” she explained recently in a Modern Salon webinar, “no matter where you work. You design your success. You control how people feel in your chair, your retention rate, your Instagram presence. And in order to build a brand that’s sustainable, that allows you to grow and grows with you, it must be authentic. It must flatter your gifts and your talents and make you happy.” In other words, it must spark joy. Here are Faye’s five steps to creating and sustaining a joy-driven brand.
1—FIND YOUR NICHE
Do you want to be good or do you want to be amazing? “Niching down means you don’t try to serve everyone well,” Faye explains. “You try to serve a few incredibly well. You offer them something they can’t get anywhere else, perfectly. For example, in my salon, the only people I served were women who wanted beautiful, natural-looking hair.” Placing yourself in a niche positions you as an expert and clarifies your calling. Don’t do men’s cuts if your heart belongs to balayage. Instead, joyfully brand yourself as a balayage expert.
2—SPEAK YOUR CLIENTS’ LANGUAGE
Once you identify your audience—in the salon, on social media—be sure to serve up what they want, and nothing else. “On Instagram,” says Faye, “don’t post things you don’t do. If you do men’s hair, don’t post a funny quote about being a mom. These aren’t your clients. If you do extensions, post your extension work, post a photo of yourself in a bikini with extensions looking hot. If you’re in the market for a nose job and you’re scrolling through before and afters on a doctor’s website and you come across a photo of his puppy, it doesn’t fit.”
3—DEFINE YOUR OFFERINGS AND SERVICES AS CLEAR AS GLASS
Ask yourself what services you offer and define the experience you sell and the lifestyle it caters to. Keep it simple and don’t stray. “When we do pricing menus, we use the In and Out method,” says Faye. “In and Out Burger restaurants offer a simple menu—there are three things you can order. We define our services that clearly and simply. Keep your menu simple and sell around those services. Streamlining your brand and your offerings is life-changing.”
For any brand or business, consistency is one of the main keys to success. “Your clients expect you to offer the same experience every time, in the salon, on your Instagram page, everywhere, even if you don’t feel like it,” says Faye. “It builds trust, and for clients trust is everything. Trust leads to the relationships that are your most valuable resource. So every day, no matter what you do, show up and glow up!”
5—STAY TRUE TO YOUR BRAND PROMISE
If you are known for providing a stress-melting scalp massage with every shampoo, and one day a client doesn’t receive that massage, the seeds of dissatisfaction are sown. People get upset when they’re promised a result that isn’t delivered. So don’t stray. “People come to my Instagram page for beautiful hair and motivation,” Faye explains. “If I posted something political, they would feel disappointed because that isn’t why they came. The last thing you want to do is surprise a client in the salon or a follower on your social platforms.”
Bottom line? Do a lot of soul searching to discover what ignites your passion, build your brand around it and stay the course. “If you’re doing something you don’t love or working with people you don’t love, take what you need, learn from it and let it go,” Faye advises. “I’ve done many things—run salons, owned salons, offered education and coaching, run events—and my brand and mission are always the same. Everything I do is built around what make me happy.”
Photography: Courtesy of Elizabeth Faye