The beauty industry has and always will be a hands-on career and that’s because creating unique hair styles and offering personalized skin care services works best when the customer is in the same space as their stylist or esthetician.
While it’s still the norm to work directly with a client, the COVID-19 pandemic forced many beauty professionals to step outside of their comfort zones and become more creative to meet the needs of loyal customers who were only available via Zoom calls, due to social distancing.
For Stephanie Blakley, a master colorist, hairstylist, and global skincare expert who runs her own salon, creativity is her specialty, so coming up with new ways to keep her customer base happy came naturally.
Keep reading to learn how Stephanie was able to use the Booksy platform to switch gears. Almost overnight, she went from providing innovative hair styles from inside a boutique-style loft to offering services online, while running her business from the comfort of her own home.
And even though Stephanie is making preparations to reopen the doors to her salon to new and returning clients, she now understands how to offer virtual services, which she can easily provide if there’s a second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Keeping Loyal Customers Happy
At age 45, Stephanie brings over two decades of experience to each one of her appointments, and she also manages two industry experts at her stylish salon loft named Salon1908, which is located in the upscale Lincoln Park neighborhood of Chicago.
The long list of specialties available at her one-stop-beauty shop include hair styling, coloring, nail treatments, eyebrow maintenance, and skin care. Because she’s such a well-rounded beauty professional, it was natural for her to provide services online when the pandemic hit.
“So, I got the idea to just turn on my camera and just share with people my morning face routine. I basically just turned on my camera and let people see me wash my face,” she said, adding that viewers watched every step of her facial routine.
Her first virtual skincare session aired online in April. Clients learned which natural oils and organic ingredients this industry expert used in her own daily skincare routine. But it didn’t take long for Stephanie to realize she was giving away free information that was in high demand.
The first virtual skincare session that she created sold out within 11 days. A total of 14 people participated in the session held on May 17th from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. Stephanie charged $10 per person, which covered costs. However, she quickly decided to bill her second session in May for $35 a person to generate a profit.
With the boost in confidence from her successful virtual skincare parties, Stephanie decided to continue offering services online. She created coloring kits and mailed them directly to clients and conducted virtual sessions, where she would walk customers through coloring treatments from home.
Using Booksy to Run a Business from Home
To help market her virtual sessions and coloring kits, Stephanie turned to Booksy. And she used a number of different tools available to business owners within the Booksy Biz app. She started by using Message Blasts designed to help spread the word about her work in just a few clicks.
Stephanie also decided to spend some time polishing her Instagram account by using the Social Post Creator to create digital flyers. To create those flyers, Stephanie selected a professionally designed template, an image, and then wrote text to keep clients engaged.
Another one of the Booksy Biz features that she used involved publishing the positive Reviews that clients wrote on her Booksy profile. She published those reviews on her Instagram account, which she described as “free advertising.” This tool is also in the Social Post Creator section of the Booksy Biz app.
Instead of stopping there, Stephanie took advantage of the Statistics and Reports feature to easily access the intricate financial details of her business. Having that information readily on hand helped her meet the requirements to apply for the Paycheck Protection Program loan, which was designed by the United States government to help small businesses stay afloat during the pandemic.
Finally, Stephanie also used the Tip Now, Book Now, Visit Later feature to bring in some additional income while the doors to her salon were closed to help put food on her table during such an unsure time. This tool let her accept pre-paid tips from clients, who wanted to show their appreciation.
Takeaways from This Journey
Despite the many different Booksy tools that Stephanie mastered and the unexpected revenue that she was able to receive from mailing coloring kits to clients and setting up virtual sessions, she still looks forward to the entire city of Chicago reopening and staying that way.
It’s important for Stephanie to safely get back behind the chair full-time. But she also wants to be able to continue to share her experiences with the young adults that she mentors. Last year, Stephanie made a series of presentations at an alternative high school. Her goal was to help youths learn the value of becoming beauty and wellness professionals.
“I teach from the heart. Not only am I going to teach them about salon life. But I’m also going to teach youths how to become good business owners and how to be successful,” she said.
Now that the day has finally arrived and Stephanie is able to open her doors and begin welcoming customers into the shop, she proudly states that Booksy has been and continues to be a valuable tool for helping her engage and retain loyal customers, by offering services online during the pandemic.
“As stylists, as service people, if the recommendation is to work from home—work from home. That’s the best thing for you, until we can figure this thing out,” Stephanie said. “To be able to make your business virtual as much as you can is what they were recommending. And I was able to use my Booksy subscription to do just that.”