You’ve made the grade and graduated from cosmetology school with verve, worked hard to perfect your skills, and now you are ready for the next leap – your own shop. After perfecting the physical site, you are ready to begin. Attracting new customers and alerting the community to your presence is an enormous part of success. In today’s digital society, there is no better way to do this than having your own website.
Creating a Website Begins With Branding
The first thing you need to do is to establish a vision of your business. Repairs are always harder than doing it right the first time, and that goes for branding too. Branding is more than a logo. It is a clear statement of what you are and what your business is. Think of companies like Coca-Cola and Amazon. Just say the name, and an image bursts into your mind’s eye. Make it that way for your business too.
Decide on an Essence
Decide on an essence for your business. For a hair styling salon, what words embody what you do? It might be trust, serenity, or confidence. But it is also vitality, creativity, and style. Projecting these elements is done in several ways.
- Use color: Different colors inspire different emotions. Blue, for instance, inspires trust and calm while red, yellow, and pink often exude excitement, happiness, and youth. Individualize your choice of colors to match the image you wish to project.
- Content: Content is an integral part of your brand’s message. Use it to describe who you are and define your services.
- Stay consistent: Once you set your brand, stay consistent across all aspects of your website and social media.
Building Your Website
After you have fashioned your vision of your hair salon, the next step is setting up a website. Having a website is an essential element of doing business today. In the past, businesses depended on word of mouth in a community. However, at present, the community boundaries have changed. According to BrightLocal.com, less than five percent of people do not use the internet to search for a business. If a hair salon does not have a website, it will lose a large portion of the market share.
In fact, clients expect to find a website. It gives them the ability to learn a little about you and your salon. They can check on prices and read testimonials written by other clients. Besides that, most salons allow customers to set up their appointments online. For busy people, this is a great advantage and one that is becoming popular. In some instances, you can see your hair stylist’s schedule for the week, and see when an appointment is convenient.
Selecting a Domain Name
A domain name is the address customers will use to get to your website. Just as in physical addresses, the more memorable address is remembered easier. A domain name gives your site a professional look. However, you must purchase a domain name that is not already taken by another business. This can sometimes take time since you may have to modify the one you want. Make sure to choose a name that:
- Is succinct and not difficult to type.
- Uses keywords if possible (more on keywords in our second installment).
- Avoids special characters such as an exclamation point or a hyphen.
- Does not include numbers.
- Uses the city you are in as part of the domain name.
- Is as memorable as possible.
- Uses the right extension such as .com or .net.
- Is not owned by another business or has a trademark.
Additional Name Pointers
If the name you chose is available with another extension such as .net, it is a good idea to purchase it too. This prevents other businesses from using a name similar to yours that might confuse customers. When you find a domain name you like that is available, buy it. Domain names sell quickly.
Finding an Affordable Web Host
A quick search for affordable web hosts on the internet will give you an idea what is available. Choose a web host company that is reliable. Read their reviews by simply typing “reviews web hosting companies.” This is an important part of setting up your website. The cost will vary depending on the amount of space on the internet you will get and the number of email addresses. Decide ahead of time what you need and stick to it. You can always make adjustments later on.
Stay Sharp With Continuing Education
You never stop learning after you graduate from cosmetology school. Taking online cosmetology courses keeps you sharp. You can stay up-to-date on new techniques and styles while fulfilling your state’s requirement for license renewal.
Beauty Academy offers convenient online and correspondent courses that fulfill the continuing education requirements for a number of different states. Our pre-approved courses are offered at attractive prices and are available for cosmetologists, massage therapists, barbers, estheticians, nail technicians, and others. Check out our courses to find out how Beauty Academy can help you reach your goals and improve your business.