Do you Really Need a PR if You’re Freelance Hairdresser?
As a freelance hairdresser your time is money so what you put your hours into needs to be worthwhile and cost effective, even more so than when you are employed.
While it’s a crucial part of establishing yourself as a brand and a reputable hairdresser, self-promotion can be a tiresome and time-consuming process which is why many turn to the help of a PR to help with promoting their services. There are a few pros and cons of working with a PR to promote your freelance brand.
Time vs Money
This is the age old question that can be easily applied to many facets of freelancing – what’s more important time or money? Do you want to free up time that you would spend promoting yourself to the press, prospective clients and influencers by paying a PR to do this for you? Or would you rather save that money and build your name yourself by designating time to reaching out to people yourself? This is what Freelance session stylist and hairdresser Laura Chadwick has done to build her profile, “Social media has been an invaluable tool for independently promoting myself. I don’t think I’ve got it down perfectly yet, but I’m slowly growing and learning the ways to get optimum reach.”
Who knows you best?
Something that’s a sacred part of working for yourself is being in control with your image and branding. You decide the format of your day, the brands that you use and the clients that you say ‘yes’ to. Working with a PR means that you are trusting a company to execute your vision of your own brand and manage your reputation. If you do opt to work with a PR then make sure that they are the right fit for where you see yourself in the market so you are growing in the right direction – doing so could propel your reach further than you might have ever been able to.
Choosing not to work with a PR for your own brand doesn’t mean you can’t benefit from PR services. Aligning yourself with a brand that has a similar following to you means that you might be able to benefit from their PR branding. For instance, Ky Wilson is known for his solo styling and authentic attitude with a following that he has built himself. However he is keen to acknowledge the way in which working with the PR of brands he works closely with, has aided his accession. Speaking of the work he does with BaByliss PRO, Ky told HJ exclusively, “I feel like PR companies are really important because they’re the ones who are generally getting the best work out there [for brands], I would say.” Making yourself available for opportunities with brands could open doors for collaboration and promotion through their own networks.
Pick your platform
Instagram is the most visual platform and the space where potential clients will be looking for inspiration. If you are working on promoting yourself this is the platform that is worth investing most of your time in for self-branding. You can treat your grid like an online portfolio showing your work and capability. Keeping personal posts to a minimum is vital so that your work shines through, in fact it might be worth setting up a completely new profile specifically for your work like many celebrities do, keeping your public/work life and your private home life in different spaces.
This is a step that Laura made to have her work shine through; “I’ve really refined my posts to mainly professional work, so I can use it as a quick portfolio link and so that anyone looking at my page is clear as to what I do and what my aesthetic is, with links to my website and email.” Doing this has paid off for her in the long run, with Laura adding, “I’ve had a fair amount of job offers through Instagram, so it is crucial to use it to your advantage, especially as it costs nothing!”
HJ’s Freelance Week is sponsored by Wella Professionals