Design Tips for Social Media Marketing

Despite there being a lots of information and apps which can help, a lot of digital marketers say that they find the design aspect of their work, and using design for social media marketing, quite challenging. If, like me, you struggle a little with this aspect of digital marketing and social media marketing, here are some tips and resources which might help you. 

Using Colour in Social Media Marketing

Colour is probably the most important and complicated aspect of any social media design. Did you know that there are 50 shades of blue? And 52 shades of white! Colour helps create the mood, atmosphere, and emotional reaction you want to convey. 

There is a lot of research and psychology attached to colour. For example, if you see a particular shade of green and you don’t like it, it could be something as random as the same colour being used on your dentist’s waiting room walls when you were a child. 

When using colour, think about who you want to appeal to and what you want to suggest with your theme. At a very basic level, social media advertising or a website which is predominantly pinks and pastels is going to appeal to women more than men. A lot of salon based professionals tend to choose calming neutrals such as shades of white to suggest cleanliness and relaxation, or fresh greens convey a sense of health and wellbeing.

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5 Skills you Need to be a Digital Marketer
Mary Donné Social Media
5 Skills to be a Digital Marketer
Photo by Christopher Gower on Unsplash

Now that most of us are under some sort of lockdown, this is a good time to be thinking about developing and expanding the skills needed to be a successful digital marketer.  

In my previous career in training and education, I spent a lot of time thinking and talking about the future of work, and trying to predict what sort of skills to invest in. This is how I became interested in technology, and in the last few years I have taught myself the digital marketing skill base which I now use every day. 

The Future of Marketing

Marketing generally is moving towards placing user experience (UX) at its centre. Old style sales funnels which suddenly drop off the minute our customer has made their purchase are starting to look dated. Post Google’s 2011 Pandas update, which started to penalise low value sites, there was and still is a renewed emphasis on producing quality content which sticks around (aka ‘long term discoverable content’). This has also led to the resurgence of the old-school blog which I am seeing more and more after years of being told the future was video, and only video. While Facebook and Instagram do indeed love video, audiences are more selective. Not everyone has the time or inclination to watch a video while scrolling on their phone at a bus stop or in their lunch break.  This shows us that while our industry constantly evolves, some skills such as writing will always be valuable. More widely though, we still need to keep learning and upskilling ourselves. 

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6 Ways you can use a Quiet Day to Grow your Beauty Business

When life gives us lemons we should try and make lemonade, right? The present situation is obviously worrying for the beauty industry but, trying to be positive for a moment, when times are bad people really need to feel good about themselves and as beauty professionals we are in a great place to provide that service! 

So while things are quiet, why not consider some of the following:

Get Smart with Google My Business

Now’s a great time to get your Google My Business Profile firing properly. Google is the first place that potential clients are going to look when they’re searching for someone to provide “lash in-fills in Nottingham” or similar. You can get started by going to

Doing this means you have a much better chance of showing up in Google maps, and searches generally. You can include info about your business, including opening hours. Make sure you use good pictures (see below about ‘branding’) and create an attractive interesting profile.
Pic credit: Unsplash

Create a Collaboration

Now’s your opportunity to really get creative with marketing events, and get networking with your fellow local businesses. They don’t just have to be  limited to fellow beauty service providers either. Lots of retailers are feeling the pinch at the moment and may welcome some new ideas.  

Is there a swimwear shop near you? Maybe they’d be interested in a mutual collab where they offer some swimwear, and you do a spray tan and pedi, all with a glass of Prosecco? Have you spoken to your local bridal shop about collab packages and mutual recommendations? 

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How to use Instagram Hashtags

How to use Instagram Hashtags
Social Media Management
Meet Moo #persian #ragdoll #mycat

Instagram hashtags work by organising and categorising photo and video content. Using relevant, targeted hashtags on your Instagram posts and stories is still one of the best ways to get discovered by new audiences on Instagram. Do it correctly, and you usually can expect to get more engagement, more followers, and more clicks to your business website. 


People search on #hashtags to discover content which they are interested in.  As such, the right hashtag can put you in front of the audience you want to see your stuff even if they don’t already know you or follow you. 

If you have a public Instagram account and add a hashtag to a post, that post will be visible on the corresponding hashtag page which is a collection of all the photos and videos that were tagged with that same hashtag.

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3 ways Birchbox can teach us how to Boost Retail Sales in the Salon

Do you want to boost retail sales in your beauty business? Well, here’s what the mighty Birchbox teach us about doing exactly this!

I very recently subscribed to Birchbox – yes, late to the party as ever! – and had delivery of my first one last week. It’s great and I can totally see why in ten years (it started in 2010) it’s been so successful. 

pic credit: @element5digital

At the around the time that Birchbox started, there was competition from Glossybox and Ipsy who were doing pretty much the same thing i.e. basically direct sales of cosmetics.  Why was Birchbox so successful and what can we learn from them in relation to selling our own products?

Birchbox’s success lies in the following, I think:

Choice of Products

Choice – while Birchbox sends you sample sizes of the products, if you like them is is really easy to go on to their e-commerce store – they even offer you a discount sometimes! – and buy a full size item.

Product Reviews

Reviews – this gives Birchbox invaluable FREE data which allows them to tailor products to customers so successfully.  Any of you who have heard me in real life will know that I am a little obsessed with data (and I talk about its importance in my beauty business growth training). This is a great example of how putting simple marketing data to good use can be crucial for business success.  

Business Growth

Growth – Birchbox is an American business which a couple of years after its creation took a leap of faith and began expanding in Europe.  This turned them into a global company. 

So what can we learn from this and apply to our own salon and business models?

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How to work with Influencers on Instagram

Why your brand should work with Influencers! How working with influencers can help reach your target audience and boost conversions. Influencer Marketing (IM) is a mixture of old and new marketing tools. It takes the idea of celebrity endorsement …

Photo by geo uc on Unsplash

What is Influencer Marketing?

Influencer Marketing (IM) and working with influencers on Instagram is a mixture of old and new marketing tools. It takes the idea of celebrity endorsement (which has been around forever!) and puts it in a modern day setting – usually Instagram.  

The main difference between IM and the traditional approach is that a modern campaign is usually a collaboration between the brand and the the influencer. Traditionally, the celebrity would just get paid for turning up and having their picture taken with a particular brand of toothpaste or face cream. These days, the brand (your business) will expect the influencer to be closely involved in actively marketing to their reach (their number of fans and followers), and the Influencer will expect you to do the same on their behalf. The outcome therefore is a campaign from which both parties benefit.   

Why use an Influencer?

Very simply they are usually regarded as experts in their field, and can sprinkle a bit of their particular ‘fairy dust’ onto your brand! Lash queen, Naomi Giannopoulos (@vegas_nay) has 7.3m followers on her Instagram. Just think for a moment of the kind of exposure your business could achieve if you had someone with that kind of following actively promoting your service? 

@vegas_nay #vegasnaylashes

But you don’t necessarily need someone with Naomi’s massive following. A ‘micro-influencer’ with a smaller but very engaged following can be just as beneficial, particularly if you yourself are just starting out. A micro-influencer is usually locally based (i.e. in the same country as your business) and will promote your beauty business and services to their followers in exchange for a small fee or possibly free treatments or products.  A micro-influencer is usually defined as someone with between 1,000 and 100,000 followers. That’s still a pretty good reach, right?!

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How to Learn Something New!

How can you learn new things? What is the best way to learn? 5 tips for making your learning stick!

Photo by Thought Catalog on Unsplash

5 Reasons your Learning just Won’t Stick

We’ve all tried at some point.  Whether it was revising for exams at school, or attempting to learn Spanish by attending evening classes or downloading language podcasts.  Somehow, however, it just didn’t work. Despite trying our very hardest, we struggled to retain anything beyond the first few sentences – and then promptly forgot those as we got up to fetch a cup of tea. 

Why is this?  Why is it that sometimes, despite trying as hard as we possibly can, learning just won’t stick? 

And why is it just so easy for other people? 

We all know that young children can naturally just become bilingual (or can they?..See below for more on this).  And we all knew one clever-clogs at school or university who just sailed through their exams without appearing to break a sweat or miss an episode of EastEnders.  So what do they all know, that the rest of us don’t?

Let’s have a look and find out:

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Guide to Facebook Ads

Are Facebook ads worth it? How to ads work on Facebook? My guide to Facebook ads will help you get started.

Photo by NeONBRAND on Unsplash

Are Facebook ads worth it?

Facebook ads are one of the most effective ways of increasing awareness of your service and products. So much so that they’re a part of nearly every marketing team’s strategy.  You have to pay for them (which can be off-putting) and, as most of use who’ve worked with them will confirm, it is very easy to burn through money with Facebook ads without a clear and well thought out strategy. 

How do Ads work on Facebook?

First of all, who are you trying to attract to your salon or business? One of the fantastic things about Facebook ads (and the reason marketers love them so much) is that you can pinpoint exactly the type of customer you want to attract and ensure it’s only people who might seriously use your service who see your ads. As such, it’s worth spending some time thinking about who your ideal customer is. 

If you’re a lash technician your service is probably of less interest to e.g. men over the age of 55, so instead may wish to focus on women aged between 18 – 55.  If you’re mobile, maybe you want to start branching out to the next big town to where you live, so you could think of setting your advertising reach to ‘women aged between 18 – 55, living in [name of the town].’  Another reason why it pays to be very clear here too is when you are paying per click which you will be with Facebook ads, you only want potentially serious leads clicking. Your advert may be really interesting and eye catching but if it’s just attracting clicks which have no real prospect of converting then you are simply burning money. 

All of Facebook’s ad campaigns are accessed through the Facebook Ads Manager too. You will see this by clicking “Manage Ads” in the drop-down menu on your Facebook account.

Once you’re in there, you can use the menu on the left hand side of the page to navigate. It’s worth setting aside some time to have a little play and familiarise yourself with it if it’s completely new to you (don’t worry – it’s very hard to accidentally spend money by clicking the ‘wrong thing’!) 

What are the Different Types of Ad on Facebook?

When you click to create a Facebook ad, you’ll go to a page where you choose the objective for your campaign. Now there are 15 different options here but for most new beauty businesses they can be summarised as either ‘awareness’ or ‘conversion’.

Increasing awareness of your service might include boosting your own Facebook posts, promoting your Facebook business page, reaching people near your business to let them know you’re there, or just increasing awareness of your brand (perhaps if you’re a wannabe influencer). Increasing awareness can be a good tool for those on a small budget as you cheaply grow your audience very quickly with Facebook’s massive reach. 

Conversion is encouraging people who have already expressed an interested in your service to actually buy something. This might include advertising a special offer (perhaps a % discounted service), or advertising a special event taking place at your premises (maybe a glass of Prosecco and a small gift for the first 100 people to turn up at a given date and time). 

After you’ve selected your objective you will then need to think very carefully about who might be interested in your advert. As above, this is crucial as without a clear and accurate targeting, you might as well just print a lot of leaflets and throw them up in the air hoping one falls in the lap of a potential customer! 

Think about: location, age, gender, and hobbies and interests. The last one is important as FB can specifically target any user who has looked at pages which relate to your own business (e.g. perhaps they have looked at other pages to do with lash extensions, or hot stone massage). If you need some help with this please grab a copy of my FREE ‘Marketing Cheatsheet’ which will help you with this. 

How much do Facebook Ads cost?

Once you’ve set your objective and who you want to target, Facebook will ask you to set a budget.  You can set a Daily Budget (the amount you’ll spend each day before Facebook stops showing your ad), or a Lifetime Budget (the maximum amount you’ll spend during the lifetime of your ad). Think about this carefully (my FREE ‘Marketing Cheatsheet’ also has a handy formula for working out your marketing budget) as it can be a little too easy to get carried away the number of clicks and likes your advert is getting without considering whether it’s achieving its objective. A budget will help you focus here. 

 Most people tend to start off with a few pounds a day and tweak accordingly as the ad runs. Generally, the more you spend the more success you will have.  It is very unusual for a low budget FB to start massively converting immediately (trust me!) Various marketing surveys have established that, assuming you have a good advert, you will need to spend about £18 a day to see real results – though I do not know any small beauty business that has ever spent that!

Finally, you will be asked to choose images or video to go with your advert, plus some text.  The text is limited to 90 characters. Video tends to convert better than pictures as Facebook is showing a preference for its use in ads at the moment.  You can also potentially retarget a video ad at a later date to anyone who has clicked on it the first time around. It’s harder to do this with non-video ads as Facebook won’t always give you the data (y’see – this stuff can get a little intricate!)

And that’s more or less it! Click  the ‘Place Order’ button at the bottom right-hand corner of the page. Once your ad is submitted, it’ll be reviewed by Facebook before it’s put live and you’ll receive a confirmation email from Facebook once the ad is live.

So is it worth having a go at doing your own Facebook ads? Possibly, it can be worth putting a few pounds aside and seeing how you get on. If you have a straightforward product and you target well then you may achieve great results. More often though, it can be hard to pinpoint the client you both want and who will realistically buy your product. The video and wording you use are important and need to grab attention very very quickly in a ‘noisy’ world. With that in mind, if your budget permits it and you are serious about your marketing, then it may be worth investing in the service of a professional marketer just for this element of your marketing.  

I hope this is helpful and please let me know how you get on!