A Typical Week of a Freelancer in Lockdown - With L'Oreal Professionnel
With lockdown still without a specified end, we spoke to L’Oréal Professionnel Education Manager Nicola Chamberlain about how to make the most of your days and make sure your ready for reopening.
"Life as a stylist may look a little different these days, but that’s no reason to fall behind on productivity... But first - let me introduce myself and give you an insight into my career as an Education Manager for L’Oréal Professionnel.
My obsession for doing hair started in the early ‘80s, where I cut and styled fellow students’ hair. I loved it so much that I quit school and started working in a salon. At the age of just 17, I had the opportunity to buy the salon I was training in. Unqualified and seeing myself as a young entrepreneur, there was no way I would let this chance pass me by. I was successful in my goal and had this business for 18 years. 5 years in, I was hungry to get a second salon and bought one close to where I lived. I ran both salons side by side for 13 years and loved every minute.
During my time as a salon owner, I was approached by a product company to freelance for them. This led me to start educating like-minded stylists on understanding and using the products I used (and loved) for years. I enjoyed this role so much that I then enhanced my skills to the point the company approached me to go full-time. I decided to take on the challenge and after selling both of my businesses, I accepted the job role and continued my career at L’Oréal. My passion in Hairdressing Education for the freelance indirect market has led me to become the Education Manager for L’Oréal Professionnel that I am today.
Now that you’ve got to know me a little more, I’m going to share some tips on how you can structure your week during lockdown. It’s a difficult time for our industry, but if you are savvy and utilise the time wisely, you’ll be more than ready for re-opening.
Start the week on a positive note and connect with your clients to let them know that you are still thinking about them. Communication remains key and now, more than ever, clients are looking to social media for updates and connection - not to mention inspo for a post-lockdown hair appointment!
Virtual Consultations: maintaining a professional relationship with your clients may seem difficult in these times, but it’s not impossible. The best way to do that during lockdown? Virtual consultations. Prepare your questions ahead of your consultation to get an idea of how you can help your clients. Here are some questions you could ask:
- What do you love about your hair?
- What do you want to change?
- Could you please send me photos of the front and back of your hair?
- These questions are sure to provide you plenty of opportunities to exercise your expertise and get your clients excited to see you again.
Go Live: take to Instagram or Facebook and stream tutorials/how-to videos for your clients, asking them what you should cover next and keeping them engaged. This is a great way to tailor your content to what clients are personally seeking advice on.
Keeping Connected: keep updating your clients on your reopening date, how they can pre-book and reminding them of all the care measures you have in place to prioritise hygiene and safety. And for your best clients, send them a DM to see how they (and their hair) are doing, and remind them to come see you when they can!
Revamp Your Workspace: is there anything you could do to improve it? Perhaps a fresh new coat of paint or new chairs would make your working environment more inviting to clients when you re-open. Even the addition of a house plant can upgrade the ambiance.
Update Your Menu & Inform Your Clients: use this time to create new service packages and enhance your menu so that you are organised for when lockdown measures are eased, and your clients are back in the chair. Keep your clients updated on any new services, perhaps express services that reduce the amount of time they need to spend in the salon if you are open, or any special offers you have coming up. You might want to encourage clients to book a package of services, such as multiple haircuts for a special price/added value or a ‘Welcome Back’ package.
Trends: tell your clients about the latest looks for the season. You can do this by sending bespoke hair colour ideas that you think they would crush- clients love a personalised recommendation!
Take “A Day Off”: remember, it’s okay to take time out for yourself so you don’t have to work every day of the week if you don’t want to. It’s important to look after your mental health during these uncertain times when you are out of work, so make sure you do this by exercising, taking a luxurious bubble bath or talking to your loved ones regularly.
Admin Day: no one likes doing admin, but the books don’t do themselves! Use this time to do admin tasks that you normally wouldn’t be able to easily fit into your busy schedule… or perhaps you even avoid! Organise your accounts so that they are up to date and you are prepared for when you can re-open again. You could even browse different payment platforms to find the most user-friendly or best value - will you ever have time to do this again? Take advantage!
It’s nearly the weekend! Take this time to brush up on new skills, from social media to learning a new hair technique and work on your digital strategy. Here are our 5 top tips for staying digitally relevant:
- Make sure you have your Instagram account set up as a business account. This unlocks different features on Instagram and reassures clients that you are a professional;
- Use at least 10 hashtags in your Instagram feed posts to increase your visibility (using local hashtags will attract more local followers). Disguise your hashtags by doing them in the comment section- this makes for a more aesthetically pleasing IG feed;
- Try to use Instagram Stories every day or as often as you can to remain consistent and present. You will remind clients to get in touch/book in and build stronger connections;
- Write captions that give value, are emotive or informative - encourage engagement by asking questions and starting conversations;
- Use the Instagram Highlights sections to showcase your work. The best way to impress future clients is by showing off your biggest hair transformations!
I hope that these tips have provided you with some areas to focus on so that you can structure your days and form a weekly routine for yourself. There is light at the end of the tunnel, and it won’t be long until you can get back to work and do what you love once again.
Wishing you all the best x"
For more tips on how to survive during these difficult times, take a look at our other blogs. Unwind and manage anxiety with these apps designed to look after your mental health. Or learn from the best in the business how to thrive with your business in 2021. We also have advice for financial support here.