How To Help Beauty School Students Achieve Future Success Through Instagram

Since 2016, Jamie Dana has taught tens of thousands of hairstylists how to use Instagram to grow and scale their businesses. Through her online programs, Instagram, YouTube channel, and speaking engagements all over the world, Jamie loves helping stylists see their full potential not only as a hairstylist, but also as a business owner. Her goal is to help stylists build a business that supports a life they absolutely love without feeling burnt out or overwhelmed.

If you want to learn more about what your beauty school’s students should absolutely know about Instagram, watch this replay from The Beauty School Summit 2022.

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Jamie Dana:

Oh my gosh. Like I said, I am just so excited to be here. This has been something when I was asked to speak at this event, I was so excited because so often I get to teach hairstylists. So, I get to teach the people who are already in the industry, who are already stylists, and I do teach a lot of cosmetology students as well, but being able to teach and being able to speak and being able to be in a room with the leaders who are literally at the beginning of stylist’s journey, it just makes me so happy and so excited.

So, we’re going to be diving into a lot today, and I’m going to share my screen real quick here so that we can see my slides. Hopefully you guys can see it. Let me know in the chat if you guys can see it, I’m going to open up the chat too, just so that I can see everything here. Awesome. Yes, yes, yes. Awesome, Sherry and Maria. Great. I love it.

So, today we’re going to be talking about Instagram. That is what I specialize in, and that is what I help stylists with, but like I said, so often I don’t get to teach and speak to the people who are at the beginning of stylist’s career. So, I’m just so grateful that you are here, that you showed up today, and that you poured time and investment to really help your students and to market your school.

So, we’re going to talk about how to help your beauty school students achieve future success through Instagram, and I think one of the big key things here is future success, and I’m going to share with you a couple stories today of stylists who were my students, and they started to learn Instagram and to learn how to use Instagram in the beginning of their careers and the impact that it made in their careers throughout their entire career.

We’re going to walk through how important social media, specifically Instagram, is to helping students grow their business as future professionals. And, I’m going to give you some tips and tricks that you can use to help your students have success and learn how to market themselves.

So, I’m actually going to be giving you tips and things that you can take back into the schools and just ways to really get people excited about social media.

Specifically, Instagram is so important in our industry, and obviously, there’s a lot of different social media platforms all over the world, right? We’ve got Facebook, we got LinkedIn, we’ve got Twitter, we’ve got TikTok now, and I know you guys are going to be learning a little bit more about TikTok later, but basically,

Instagram to me is the best and fastest way to grow your business as a hairstylist

and so I believe that it is so important to be teaching and talking about Instagram in the beginning of stylists’ careers. And, I’m going to share some stories later, like I said, but the stylists that I’ve seen that have had massive success in our industry are the ones that knew how to market themselves through Instagram, because Instagram is such a platform that clients are going to, to search for stylists. The fact that Instagram is so easy to use, it might feel complicated, but it is really easy to use, allows stylists to be able to have a place where they can market themselves for free and to be able to share this information.

Who Is Jamie Dana?

So, if this is our first time meeting, I just want to say, “Hey, my name’s Jamie Dana.” Like he mentioned, I have been teaching stylists for the last six years how to use Instagram to really grow and scale their businesses.

I wanted to share this photo of me. This was me the first day of beauty school. So, this is baby Jamie back in, gosh, I think 2011, 2010. It was a long time ago, and I was so excited to start beauty school. This is something that I knew I wanted to do since I was very young, and I jumped into beauty school. I actually went to beauty school when I was 16 to 17, and I started out really early on in the industry.

So, again, this is baby Jamie, me at 16 years old, so cute and little, but I jumped into the industry, and what I didn’t know then, this first day of beauty school, was I just thought you become a hairstylist, you start to build your clientele, and you have a successful business. And I was told that you can make lots of money, you can have a time schedule, you can have kids, and a family, and really build your own schedule. And what I didn’t realize in that moment was I was actually starting a business. And so often, I think we come into the industry thinking, “Oh, my gosh, I’m just going to be a hairstylist. I’m going to get clients. I don’t know. Salons helped me build my clientele, or I’m going to get walk-ins,” or things like that.

And so often I think stylists don’t realize or brand new cosmetology students don’t realize that they’re actually building a business.

This has been a mindset shift that I have really wanted to bring to our industry in the last couple years of “we’re starting a business,” “we’re building a business.” If you can come into the industry knowing, “Oh my gosh, this is a business,” and look at it through that lens, things are going to dramatically transform versus just feeling like I’m just a hairstylist. I’m just another beauty professional. I’m just an esthetician.

No, you’re starting a business that can truly impact and transform not only your life, but the life of so many around you, the life of your family, the life of your friends, the life of your clients.

I think what’s so special about our industry is we do get to impact people so much throughout our entire day, that hairstylists get to go and they get to sit with their clients and interact with their clients, and then those clients go home to their family and then to their friends and the impact that they get to make. And I truly believe that as a hairstylist and beauty professional, we have a ripple effect that we get to impact so many people throughout our career, and that is something that is truly special and something unlike so many other careers out there.

And so, I think one of the biggest things for me is helping hairstylists really have a business that they love, that they are inspired by, that they’re excited, and have a career that they absolutely love. And so, like they mentioned, I love helping hairstylists not feel overwhelmed, not feel burnt out, and truly have a business that they love. And so, we’re going to talk about how we can really help stylists through Instagram be able to do that.

Beauty School Often Only Focuses on Hair Techniques

And so, one of the things that I’ve noticed over the last six years of teaching Instagram, but specifically over the last 12 years of me being in the hair industry,

I noticed that there is a lot of emphasis on learning hair techniques and having cosmetology students practice those techniques over and over and over again.

Of course, we know that’s so important, right? We need our students to pass state board. We need them to know how to do hair, right? In order to be able to go in the industry, we need them to be able to have these techniques, but I feel like so much emphasis is on hair technique, hair technique, hair technique.

When I started to go into education, I actually didn’t focus on hair techniques at all. I focused on the business and marketing side for hairstylists, because at the time in 2016, literally no one was teaching that. There were a few people here and there, and we have some classic people who were teaching that, but other than that, it just wasn’t a subject that was talked about.

In fact, the only online courses or online education that was out there at the time was hair, hair, hair, hair, hair, or technique-based education, and so often I feel like there isn’t a lot taught about how to market yourself as a stylist or beauty professional in the real world, specifically in 2022.

When I was in beauty school, and even when I got out of beauty school and graduated and went into the industry, so much of what was taught to me of how to market yourself was “go pass out your business card,” or “go door to door,” or “go reach out to the other businesses in your area,” and while those techniques can still work, absolutely, I do believe that face to face is a great marketing strategy, at the end of the day, we’re in 2022, right?

The internet, the social media world is so important, and so we need to make sure that we’re able to reach out to people and be able to meet them where they’re looking, and that’s why I believe that Instagram is truly the best and fastest way to grow your business as a hairstylist, specifically in 2022. So, we’re going to talk more about that.

The Importance of Using Instagram in a Stylist’s Career

But the importance of using Instagram in a stylist career, there are so many important reasons as to why Instagram is incredibly important for our stylists.

And so, I wanted to share with you two stories of stylists that I have personally coached and taught, who started to use Instagram in the beginning of their career. I have personally taught thousands of stylists through my courses and online programs how to use Instagram to grow their business, and one of the things that I found is that

the hairstylists who start out with this knowledge of Instagram and marketing in the beginning are the ones who grow their businesses, not only the fastest, but they have a career in business they actually love.

To me, that’s important because at the end of the day, of course, it’s really great to have our stylist have really successful businesses out the gate, or have a ton of clients, or be really booked out, that’s important. But at the end of the day, I want the stylists who I coach and teach to have a career and business they love, because so often as hairstylists or beauty professionals, we’re taught to just get clients, get clients quickly, and do whatever it takes to get clients, and I truly don’t believe that.

Yes, we want to build a business and we obviously need clients to do that, we need to make money to do that, but at the same time, I want to make sure that stylists have a business they love, and that looks like doing clients that they love, doing the type of services that they love, specializing in the things that they want to specialize in.

And so, I would just love to hear in the chat real quick if that’s something that resonates with you. I think so often, again, we’re teaching our stylists just to build, build, build, build, build, and build quickly. And I would love to just see, you can just type a “yes” in the chat if you want to have your stylists and your students have a career they absolutely love.

Yes, yes, yes. I’m seeing Danielle saying yes, Julie saying yes. Oh, my gosh. So good. Oh, my gosh. Yes, great. I’ve seen so many yeses. The chat is just flying by, and by the way, I love to chat back and forth with you guys. So, I will definitely be coming to you in between for a little interaction because I think it’s so important. Yes. So good. Okay, cool. So, I think, again, that’s something to me that’s so, so important, and that’s why I wanted to share this with you.

Story of Karen Hoopes

So, I wanted to share with you a story about Karen. She was one of my students inside of my RISE Social Academy program, and she came to me when she was in cosmetology school. I want to say she was like two to three months in. She didn’t have very many hours, and she sent me this post in our Facebook group, and she said, “Jamie, I just wanted to let you know I’m so stoked, and my page is looking more feeling like my brand, and even though I have a small following,” I think at the time she had 150 followers, she said, “I’ve gotten so many appointment inquiries, which is and kind of overwhelming because I’m still in school, and I’ve gotten three different job opportunities from dream salons when I graduate, which I didn’t even mean to do, but I’ll take it. I can’t wait to see my future growth.”

This was her Instagram page, guys. This is her Instagram page when she had shared this story with me, and to me, that made such an impact in my life to be able to know that stylists were getting inquiries, getting the appointment inquiries. She was doing weddings on the side. She was taking clients at the school, and because of her Instagram, she was able to get three different job opportunities from dream salons, not just any salon that she applied at, she was actually having salons reach out to her.

After she graduated, this is what she shared in our Facebook group, and she’s like, “I landed the job at my dream salon, and I got a couple dream clients along the way, so that I also might have developed a slight Instagram obsession.”

I just love it. This is her current page right now. She has over 4,000 followers, and to me, the thing that makes me the most excited is it’s not about the follower count, it’s not about getting more followers or having that vanity metric, to me, it’s about the clients that she’s doing. She’s truly doing the kind of hair that she loves to do. She’s getting to do the kind of clients that she wants, and now, just a few years later, she’s fully booked out. I mean, this girl has a wait-list.

You can see this was a date in 2019, and as of now, she’s totally booked out. She’s doing the dream clients that she wants to do. She’s charging very high-end premium services, and it just makes me so excited to see how much growth she’s had in such a short amount of time.

I think what makes the most impact to me is this has been less than three years ago, or just about three years ago. Oh, my gosh, April 17th 2019 which was literally three years ago. That’s so crazy.

But one of the things that I think makes me so excited about this and why I’m so passionate about teaching Instagram to brand new professionals is because when I was building my clientele, when I was building my business, it took me almost five full years to get fully booked out doing traditional marketing techniques, doing things like passing out business cards, giving discounts on services, doing Groupon, waiting for walk-ins, having the salon build my clientele.

Literally, in a matter of six months, when I started to utilize Instagram to grow my business, I went from not that booked out, I mean, having gaps in my schedule, having holes in my books, to booked out two to three months in advance, charging high-end premium prices in a matter of six months.

And so, I know the impact that Instagram has made in my business and in my career, but also, I can see the impact that it’s made in students and stylists as well.

Jessi Bennet’s Story

I just want to share with you another story from Jessi. Jessi’s actually in our membership called Social Suite, but she says, “Since joining, I built my pro hair Instagram page with an aesthetically cool flow, fun captions, some beautiful photos, great engagement, and a following of over 450 people,” and this is the kicker and this is my favorite part, “that’s without posting more than two client photos.”

So, she literally was building her Instagram. She didn’t have a lot of clients. She was a student in school doing clients as a student, but she didn’t have very many clients, but she was able to utilize Instagram and able to build out, excuse me, her Instagram by just posting the different types of content that we’re going to talk about today.

She said, “Learning Instagram was the best decision I could have made to get my career started on the right track.”

And this is Jessi now. She has almost 2,000 followers. But again, she’s building a business that she loves, and this is just about a year ago. Jessi’s graduated. She’s killing it on Instagram. She’s killing it on TikTok, and I think that’s something that just makes me, again, so excited to be able to see how booked out she is doing the kind of clients and services that she wants.

So, I just, hopefully hearing Karen’s story and hearing Jessi’s story gets you inspired and helps you realize the impact that such a small thing can make throughout a stylist’s career and how it can build and grow as they continue to grow, and that’s why that future success element is so important.

How to Encourage Success With Your Cosmetology Students and Future Professionals

So, I wanted to talk to you today about how to encourage success with your cosmetology students and future beauty professionals. So, if you have a notebook and pen, I’m going to have you grab that right now. I know you guys are going to take a lot of notes today, but we’re going to dive into some really practical and tactical things that you can take back to your students and take back to the leaders in your schools and things that you can do.

1. Help Them Set Up Their Instagram Foundation and Basics

1. Create an Instagram Page Right Away

So, step number one, I want you to think about how we can help set up their Instagram foundation and basics. So, I’m going to walk you through how you can help your stylists and students, future professionals, set up their Instagram foundation and the basics.

So, what we want to do is, number one, we want to encourage students to create an Instagram page right off the bat, specifically for their work and future business. So, a lot of times, students will go to cosmetology school, and they might want to share some of their work on their personal Instagram or an Instagram page that they already have, but I really want you to encourage your students to create an Instagram page specifically for their future business.

The reason why I think that this is so important, and this is a question I get asked all the time, “As a cosmetology student, do I need my own Instagram? Should I have an Instagram?” and I say, yes. This is going to allow them to start practicing getting content, start practicing taking photos, start practicing making videos.

The cool thing about this is this is allowing them to literally start from scratch, and they can practice. In the same way that they practice on a mannequin head, or in the same way that they’re practicing on discount services on clients, they are able to practice in a way that feels like less pressure.

And so, an Instagram page that’s starting from complete scratch, it allows them to start with less pressure to actually practice this stuff, but also gives them an opportunity to really focus and be intentional with their Instagram page. So, this is something that I encourage every cosmetology student to do, but I would encourage this to be part of your onboarding, to be part of your curriculum with your students, to be part of whatever social media training you have.

Actually, real quick in the chat, I would love to do just a quick, just to see where people are at, I would love to know, do you in your school right now, do you offer social media or Instagram education and training? Just type a yes or no, and again, this doesn’t need to be… You can say yes. You can say no. It’s okay if you don’t. That’s all right. Okay, cool. I’m seeing a lot of yeses, a couple different nos. Yes, yes, yes. Awesome. Cool.

So, for those of you who are already teaching and talking about education around social media, this is going to be super helpful, and for those of you who aren’t yet, I hope that this kind of opens up your eyes of how easy it can be to introduce this to your students, and I think a lot of times, social media can feel so overwhelming, especially with Instagram. It’s like where do we even start?

And so, this is going to be hopefully really, really helpful for you. So, cool. Awesome. Danielle says, “We love our students to be able to see their growth through the program.” Yes, Danielle, I’m so glad that you mentioned that because so often too with Instagram, it is like a journal. It is like a journey, and I love to be able to see that progress, right? To be able to see my first haircut that I did, or my first color correction that I did, and now to be able to see where I’m at now as a stylist and as a professional, I think that is so important. So, Danielle, I’m super glad that you mentioned that. So, great.

So, number one, encourage your students to create an Instagram page specifically for their business.

2. Teach Them How To Set Up the Basics of Their Instagram Page To Start Creating and Posting Content

Number two, teach them how to set up the basics of that Instagram page to start creating and posting for content. So, you might be asking, “Okay, well, what are the basics?” So, let’s break this down and make this just even super simple for you.

Pick the Right Username

So, the basics include, number one, a clear username. So, for instance, my username is jamiedanahairstylist. Super simple. It doesn’t need to be complicated, and I recommend having it be a really clear, simple username. I definitely recommend names are really great. Sometimes people want to get really creative with it, and they want to do like jamiehair.125, right? Those kind of things are a lot more complicated, and it’s going to be harder for people to find them on Instagram.

So, I recommend having it just be a clear, simple username that either shares their name or something what they specialize in. So, jamiedanahairstylist, pretty simple. One thing I don’t recommend is hairbyjamie, hairbyjamiedana.

The reason why is everyone, every hairstylist starts out with hairbyblank, and if you’re typing it in on Instagram, a lot of pages are going to come up. So, I usually recommend first name first, then last name, then whatever hair or beauty or whatever that might look like. Of course, you can encourage your students in whatever, but I definitely recommend a clear username that is simple.

Take a Professional Profile Photo

Next step is a profile photo. So, this is actually something that you can help your students do as well. Of course, they can go take their own profile photo. Maybe it’s a photo they already have, it could be a selfie, but this could even be something where part of your curriculum, you actually have them take their profile photo in the same way you would do this for like a salon photo or a salon website headshot. This could be a service that you guys offer. This could be something that you guys just do. It doesn’t need to be fancy. Our phones are incredible nowadays. You don’t have to have a fancy camera and a setup, but even just something taken outside with natural light in a photo.

This could be something that you do, and maybe this is part of your curriculum where you set up the basics with your students, and you all go take the profile photo together. So, that is something that I highly recommend and encourage.

Write a Complete Bio

And lastly, a complete bio. So, this would include who they are, what they specialize in, and location. So, obviously, as a cosmetology student, the world of beauty is brand new to them. So, maybe they don’t have something that they specifically specialize in because they’re learning all the things, but are there a couple different services that they want to do more of.

So, for me when I was in beauty school, one of the things that I loved to do was updos and bridal styling and freelance work. So, this was something that I would’ve put in my bio back then. Now, they didn’t even have Instagram when I was going to beauty school, but if I was, this is something that I would put in my bio. So, I could say something like specializing in formal wedding hair, or wedding specialist, something like that. So, anything that they specialize in, who they are.

So, for me, I talk about helping hairstylists use Instagram to attract dream clients, but who they are, share a little bit about who they are, why somebody would be interested in wanting to come to them. They could even put something as simple as cosmetology student and school name, right? So, things like that are really helpful.

And then location. Location is super important. So, wherever they’re located, also super important. Again, if they want to put the beauty school information in there as well, that is super helpful, but a complete bio is something that’s really, really important.

David shared in the chat, he said, “Some of our students have been featured on professional companies’ Instagram and are being picked up by brands.” That is insane. And again, I hope that just hearing these little stories help you realize the impact that Instagram and social media can truly have as they grow and as they build their future businesses. So, these are the basics.

We need a username, a clear username, a profile photo, and a complete bio.

Create Optimized Content, Including Captions, Videos, Reels, and Stories

Next up, we want to talk about content. So, content is the things that are posted on Instagram. So, this includes, obviously, photos, but one of the things that I don’t think we remember as content is captions. So, this is the description that’s written under the photo or video, and captions are a really important way to share a little bit more about what you do as a hairstylist, to explain the service, to share a little bit more about what that might look like.

So, captions are really important, and we want to encourage our stylists to share a little bit more than just something like blonde balayage or a bunch of hashtags. So, we want to encourage our stylists and future professionals to tell a little bit more about the caption, and get used to writing out and explaining and talking more through about what those captions are.

Next up is videos and Reels and Instagram Stories. So, these are all the basic pieces of content. So, these are the four pieces of content that I would encourage you to encourage your students to start creating.

So, whether it’s taking photos, and we’re going to talk about photos in just a quick second here, writing different captions, filming and editing videos, and creating Instagram Stories. One of the things I love about Instagram Stories is it really shows off just a little sneak peek of what they’re doing, or a sneak peek of their day, or behind the scenes of what it’s like to be a cosmetology student.

So, all of these things are really great pieces of content to encourage your students just to start practicing.

3. Teach the Basics of Hair Photography

Number three is teach the basics of hair photography. So, we’re going to walk through this because this is so important.

The photography of how we take clients’ photos is so important, and so often I see a lot of different cosmetology students have not the best photos. And so, I want to share with you some easy tips and tricks and some resources that you can use to really help your students be able to start practicing and capturing their work, because as they grow and as they build, they’re going to get better.

But of course, in the beginning, when you first start cutting hair, or you first start coloring hair, you first start doing facials, you’re not that great at it. And so, it takes a little bit of time to practice and get better. In the same way, taking hair photos and capturing content, it takes practice too.

Dos and Don’ts of Hair Photography

So, I’m going to share with you some dos and don’ts of hair photography, and I really encourage you to bring these back to your students, and maybe even create some guidelines of things that they can use so that it doesn’t have bad hair photos. Instead, we’re able to show off their work in the best way possible.

Don’t take photos with a distracting or messy background.

So often I see a lot of cosmetology schools that have a lot of stuff going on in the background. And so, I would love to encourage you to maybe even set up an area where your students can take great photos that don’t have a messy or distracting background because photos like this, although individually, they might not look that bad, you’re able to see the hair. On a page on Instagram, it can feel really busy and it can feel really messy.

Do take photos against a clean, non-distracting background.

As you can see with both of these photos, there are things in the background. This one has plants in the background, but it’s blurred out. It’s non-distracting. And what are you focusing on? You’re focusing on the hair. So, do take photos against a clean, non-distracting background.

Don’t take photos with the client sitting in the chair or at the station with the cape on.

This is very common, especially in beauty school. I see this a lot of times where it’s just like quick snap of the client or mannequin head at the station. Don’t do this. Let’s get used to taking clients standing up at a natural pose. You could even have them, like this client had a jacket so we kind of draped it over her shoulder, right? So, having them get used to taking real photos of clients, standing up with a nice background, with really nice lighting versus at the station.

Don’t post blurry or out of focus photos.

So you can kind of see that both of these photos have like a haze on them. The reason why this is, is because the lens of the phone has some smudge marks on them. A lot of times when we’re playing with products or hairspray, or we’re picking up our phone, we’re doing this to it, right? And so often, there’s a ton of smudge on our camera lens. So, what you need to do is you have to wipe off your camera lens and then take the photos.

Do make sure that you set the focus point on your phone or camera and clean off the lens before you take a photo.

Getting in the habit of doing this and getting in the habit of doing this before you take photos and videos is super important.

Don’t, and this is a big one for me, is don’t take mugshot photos.

So, these are what I call mugshot photos where it’s the front, the side, the back, and these kind of just like blank stare faces, not a lot of emotion. Pages like this are just going to look very similar to everyone else.

Learning how to pose your clients are so important, and so do add a variety of different poses.

This is something that you could literally teach an entire class on and have them practice with each other. So, again, this is obviously for hair stylists, but you could do this with estheticians, for other type of beauty professionals as well, whether it’s nails, have them practice different poses so it’s not all the same.

A mugshot photo for eyelashes or for nails looks all the same. They all look like this, or they all just look like lashes with an eyeball really close up or whatever that might look like.

So, encourage your stylists and students to do a variety of different poses, and you could literally teach an entire workshop or class on different poses, and have them practice with each other, playing with their hair, or playing with different angles, and just trying out new things. This is a really big one. I think so often so many stylists tend to pick the same stuff.

And so, let’s see if we can get out of that box and add a variety of poses to our work.

Don’t take photos looking directly into a light source.

So, I have a window here you can see just next to me, and what you would not want to do is you would not want to have the client standing here and me shooting into the window. Same thing with these photos. I was standing and shooting into the window, and you can see that you’re just not able to see the hair color well at all.

Do take photos with the light behind you.

So, instead, what I would do is instead of having my client stand here, I would stand in the window and have my client stand here, and I would shoot this way.

Same thing with the photo with this. Literally look at the difference between this dark, hard to see, you can’t tell what even hair color these are, it’s a weird texture. Literally just turning the client 180, turning them a different direction, and having that natural light illuminate the client literally makes such a difference. So, keep this in mind too, if you do have a photo area that you’re setting up in the school where that is positioned. Somewhere near a window is super great for this to get that natural light in there. You just don’t want to have them shooting into the window. You want to have them shooting out of it.

Don’t take photos in direct sunlight or only partial shade.

So, I love taking photos outside, but we want to avoid that really harsh, bright light. So, do take photos in a fully shaded area that still gets illumination. So, where I went to beauty school, there was kind of an overhang just outside of the front door, and that was a spot that we ended up taking a lot of photos because it had this really natural light, but it’s not getting that really harsh sunlight or really harsh light, and you can kind of see, it looks like frizzy, things like that. You’re not even able to see the hair color.

Do take it in an area that gets good illumination.

Don’t take photos in odd, unnatural, indoor lighting, such as yellow lighting or fluorescent overhead lighting. This is a big one, and so often inside of buildings, most likely inside of your school or even inside salons, the overhead lighting that sits on top of that fluorescent lighting or just overhead salon lighting is never good.

You can see in both of these clients, they have kind of a shine light on the top of their head, and then this depth inside that does not show off the hair color well at all. So, we want to make sure that we’re avoiding that overhead lighting. And again, if you are setting up a photo area in your salon, be mindful of that so that you’re not having that overhead lighting directly above the client.

Do make sure clients aren’t standing underneath direct lighting above, and this is going to make a big, big difference.

The client, the blonde client here on the right-hand side, she was actually illuminated with a ring light to help kind of bring in and get rid of a lot of that depth. Her hair looks so much brighter and lighter versus the other photo.

So, just something to really keep in mind the difference of natural light versus that overhead lighting.

By having the foundation and the basics set up correctly… students are going to feel a lot more empowered to share their work and to start to practice marketing themselves on Instagram.

So, I would love to know in the chat real quick, how does that feel? Do those tips and tricks feel like something that you could take home and share with your students, and even maybe create a class or experience around these things? Yes, yes, yes. I love it. Michelle says, “It’s helpful to students to gain confidence in their progression throughout their program. They don’t realize how far they’ve come.” Yes, Michelle, I love that. Diana says, “I love that. That is super great.” Yes, yes, yes, definitely. Yes, Erin says, “We love getting our students involved in all social media. Yes, oh, my gosh. “So doable,” says Caitlin. Students love showing off their work and building their online portfolio. Yes, oh, my gosh. That is so great.

I think again too, not only is this content that the students are creating for themselves, but it’s literally content that you guys can now share on your social media as well. So, you’re literally, by teaching your students how to create content in this way, you are then able to utilize that content yourself.

So, it’s truly a win-win, and I say this to salon owners all the time that when you empower your stylists, you are then able to use that content for you. So, it’s a little selfish, but it also works. So, definitely a win-win situation in both ways.

2. Continue to Provide Education and Resources for Your Students

Okay. So now we’re going to go on to step number two is to continue to provide education and resources for your students. So, step number one was help them to build up those foundation and basics, and then continue to provide that education and resource for them.

I think that this is something that is so important because I know that it is so vitally important to provide that hair technique education, but so often, like I mentioned, social media and how to actually grow your business in 2022 is forgotten about. And so, how can we encourage that continued education, and it doesn’t always have to come in the form of paid education. There’s a ton of free education out there.

Get Free Education on YouTube

So, I just highlighted my YouTube channel, but there’s a ton of free YouTube education, and in fact, I get so many cosmetology students saying, “Hey, today in class, we’re literally watching one of your YouTube videos,” and by the way, I have a ton of hair education over there too, but I have a ton of Instagram education out there on YouTube for free.

And so, sometimes they will highlight this in a class or in a video or whatever that might look like. Especially for those that were doing distance learning for a long time during COVID, this was super helpful, and maybe there’s even an assignment where you tell your students, “Hey, go look this up on YouTube or go find some videos that you find are helpful for you.”

So, tons of free education out there on YouTube, and a ton of free education out there on Instagram, but I do feel like YouTube is a little bit easier to search and find that stuff. So, YouTube education, and maybe this is part of their homework or part of their program to go watch some of these videos because again, it’s so much free education out there.

Why aren’t we utilizing it even more?

Bring in Guest Educators

The next thing is bringing in guest educators, and this doesn’t have to look like someone like me coming to do your salon. This could look like anybody. There’s a ton of local stylists. Maybe there’s a local stylist in your area who’s killing it on Instagram. They have amazing photos. They are writing great captions. Their Instagram Stories are incredible. They make amazing videos.

Why don’t you reach out to someone like that and ask them to come in and speak and be a guest educator for your students? I think that this is so powerful to be able to have guest educators come in. I remember when I was in cosmetology school, getting to meet different educators or getting to meet other stylists in the area, these guest educators were so impactful for me in my career, and being able to learn from them was so cool.

Do Student Spotlights

Another one is a student spotlights. So, maybe you have a student who is absolutely killing it on Instagram, like Karen. She was, again, the stylist that I shared a little bit earlier, but she said, “My school’s director was so impressed with my page that she wants me to manage the school’s Instagram page.”

And so, if you have a stylist or student who is super passionate about this, who is learning a ton, who’s watching videos, who’s just killing it on Instagram or TikTok, or whatever that might look like, have them come teach a class, have them come teach a demonstration, and just truly promote them to your stylists.

By giving your students tools and resources to be successful, you’re taking away barriers that may prevent them from doing their best and trying new things.

So, obviously, education’s important, but also having the resources and tools is vitally important too, and so often, I have heard from cosmetology students or brand new stylist feeling like, “Well, I want to try this, but I don’t have the tools,” or “I want to try that, but I don’t know the resources.” So, I wanted to share with you just a couple of my favorite tips and resources that I recommend.

Have a Lighting Area in the School

So, again, we’ve mentioned this, but having a photo area in the school, this could be adding a lighting kit. So, this could be a ring light or an umbrella light, or a soft box light, one or two different ones. They’re super cheap on Amazon. It’s a great investment, and to me, having a lighting kit and having an area where students can take photos truly shows your students how much social media is important to you.

So, if this is something that you don’t already implement into your space, I definitely would recommend it because it shows them, “hey, my school is actually interested in teaching social media and is actually wanting me to grow and try these things.”

So, a lighting kit and photo area, super cheap. It doesn’t have to be expensive. It can be literally a couple hundred dollars, and it, to me, is such a great investment in the future of attracting new students to your school, but also the future success of your students.

App Recommendations for Students

And then app recommendations. So, feel free to screenshot this, but these are some of my favorite app recommendations. Most of these have free versions. Planoly is the only one, it does have a free version, but it’s very basic.

So, some of them do have paid versions as well, but all of these do have free versions, especially as cosmetology students, we’re on a budget for sure. So, definitely check out these app recommendations.

My favorite one for planning and scheduling content, this is the little video that you see here is Planoly. Photo editing is VSCOcam, Snapseed, and Facetune2.

For video editing, InShot is one of my favorite apps. It’s so great, so easy to use. And then for graphic design, so to create different graphics or different images or things for Instagram Stories, Canva is incredible. There’s a desktop version,, but there’s also an app version as well.

So, even this could be something that you recommend to your students when they come in and they get onboarded, of different apps for them to download and play around with. These are things that are super, super helpful for them to be able just to start playing around with Instagram, start getting familiar with the platform, and start getting familiar with editing and planning and creating graphics, and all of that stuff.

3. Get Excited About Social Media Along With Your Students

And last step, this is a quick one, but step number three is get excited about social media along with your students. So, students nowadays are wanting to learn so much more about social media, and they want to walk away from graduating feeling confident in how they market themselves and actually grow a business and clientele.

I just want to encourage you, the more excited you are as a school, the more excited that you are as leaders in the industry about social media, the more excited your students are going to get.

Not only, like I said, is this going to help you attract students to come to your school and help them enroll in your programs, but this is going to help your current students and the future students as you send them out into the world of being a hairstylist or being a beauty professional, helping them get excited about what they’re going to do.

Students want to learn.

They want to soak up so much more. In fact, when I talk to cosmetology students all the time, the ones that watch my YouTube videos, the ones that have been my students, the ones that reach out to me in DMs on Instagram, they want to soak up so much knowledge. In fact, so much more than I feel like my generation that went to beauty school 12 years ago, the students nowadays want to soak up so much.

And so, how do we empower them? How do we get them excited? How do we help them feel confident? It starts with us.

I just want to encourage you that if this isn’t something that you have in your school, or maybe it is but maybe there’s areas that you can improve in, I want you just to get excited with them.

I know it might feel scary and nervous and overwhelming, and Instagram feels like a lot, but take it step by step and just start asking yourselves how can we improve in this area in our programs, how can we add more in, what are some experts that we could bring in, what are some student spotlights we could think about, maybe what are some things that we can invest in for our space and what are ways that we can get excited.

Questions and Answers

So, this just makes me so happy for you guys. I wanted to jump into Q and A. I know we have a few minutes here. So, if you guys have any Q and As, or Qs for me, I have As, if you guys have any questions for me about anything, I would love to just to be able to share a little bit more.

You can also find me on Instagram, @jamiedanahairstylist, or on YouTube, just type in Jamie Dana, and you’ll be able to see all of my content there. I’m going to stop sharing my screen so I can go a little bit bigger with you here. I’m so grateful that this was helpful for you.

Amanda says, “This is so important with this new generation.” Absolutely, and like I said, I know today you’re going to learn a lot of new content. You’re going to learn more about TikTok, which is another social media platform which is so incredible and so helpful.

But again, just helping your students have these basics and giving them the confidence to be able to go out and be able to share this with the world is so, so important. Awesome. Let’s see here. Yes, I love it. Dominic says, “We need to come have you chat with future professionals in Tennessee.” Oh my gosh. I love it so much.

Okay. Karen asks,

“How to empower a male student, for example, who doesn’t feel like doing anything online?”

I love this question because this isn’t applied to just a certain gender or age, but there definitely will be students that come into your programs that are not interested in learning social media.

I want you to just ask yourself how can we encourage them in that way, how can we maybe even show them different things of, maybe it is students and studies, maybe you have a past student who was a little hesitant about posting on social media and then now the success that they have had.

But I think the biggest thing with this is how do we keep it simple for students like that? So, again, maybe it’s something simple, and usually asking the question of getting to the deeper root of the issue of, “Why do you not want to post on social media?” A lot of times it comes down to self confidence. So often, I have this a lot with some older students, students who came in and this is their second career as cosmetology students.

So often, so many of them didn’t grow up with Instagram, didn’t grow up with social media, didn’t grow up with taking selfies and photos and videos of yourself, and so that confidence in just technology in general is stressful or is something that is really hard to deal with.

And so, I actually have a student of mine, her name is Linda, and she is a salon owner technically, but she is 65 years old, and she was like, “I did not want to learn Instagram. I did not want to have to figure it out. I did not want to have to learn it. I was super resistant to it. But then I realized that it is so important to our business.” As a salon owner, as a stylist, as a cosmetology student, it is so important to learn those basics.

And so, she actually went through one of my programs, but she was saying that it was so helpful for her because she started with the basics, and just starting step by step by step. So, for those of you who feel like you have students in your programs who are just not on board with social media, how do we make it simple for them?

Again, breaking it down by just even the basics of starting an Instagram page, and also just to note, when they start an Instagram page, it doesn’t have to be public. It can literally be private. It could be a private page, and they could have no followers, but it’s their place to experiment, to try things out, to practice.

In the same way they practice on a mannequin head, they can practice on Instagram too.

So, I would encourage them in that way to have a private Instagram to test things out, to literally share the content with no one until they’re ready, and maybe even use that example of this is your mannequin-head Instagram.

This is your place for you to screw up, to practice, to mess up, to chop the hair off weird. That is your place to practice, and for your place to just get confident.

So, that would be what I would recommend for somebody who feels like they’re not wanting to do social media. And then, at the end of the day, it is their decision. It is their decision as a future professional. They might realize in three years that oh my gosh, I need to be on Instagram, but that is totally up to them as well. So, just empowering them to make the decision that feels right for them. Great question.

Let’s see here. Shori says, “Learning how to turn these tools within a nail school would be great.” Yes, absolutely. So, everything that I shared with you today, obviously I used examples of hair, but they absolutely work no matter what beauty professional you are out there.

So, whether it’s nails, esthetician, eyelashes, even tattooing, literally all of this work for no matter what kind of services are being offered. Things might just look a little different, right? So, instead of “client posing”, again for nails, this is the photo that I see all the time. This is the photo.

So, how do we get more unique photos with the nails? There are a ton of incredible nail accounts out there that you could start to look for and highlight different examples of “here’s some different examples of nails of different poses,” right? It doesn’t have to be this weird claw hand. So, how do we share those things and try out new stuff? So, yes, hopefully that is helpful.

Let’s see here. Cindy says,

“We do incorporate all of this with our students. However, we teach at the high school level, and inspiring motivation still remains extremely difficult. Any ideas?”

Yeah. So, I see, I think Cindy again, same question kind of what I was sharing a little bit earlier is “how do we get them excited along with us” and also get them excited to see the future of it because so often it can feel just like “I already post on Instagram, I already post on TikTok,” or they’re just not people who post on social media at all.

So, how to get them excited and to see that actual transformation? So, again, maybe it’s sharing a past student, maybe it’s sharing a page like mine, or sharing other educators’ pages, and just showing them what it can look like, their trajectory as a student. So, hopefully that kind of helps answer that question.

Let’s see here. Robin says,

“This is so great and so important for all stylists. What are your thoughts on Instagram safety once your numbers are up there follower wise? I’m getting so many spam messages these days from stylist pages that are sadly getting hacked.”

Yeah. So, this is really a big thing right now. A lot of accounts are getting hacked. My Facebook account is currently hacked, so that’s been fun to deal with. So, I feel you on that. I think, honestly, it’s one of those things with Instagram.

The biggest thing you can do is make sure to turn on two-factor authentication. So, that’s going to be in your settings. If you don’t know how to do that, you can just Google “how to turn on Instagram two-factor authentication”. That’s going to be the best way to keep your account safe, no matter what numbers you’re at. So, hopefully that helps answer that.

Jordan says,

“How do you help students start building an aesthetic?”

Yes, this is a great question. So, I actually have a YouTube video, and I’m not trying to promote all of my stuff, but I do have a free YouTube video all about how to create your own Instagram brand. It’s one of my latest videos that I’ve shared.

I would point them to that video, and again, maybe you create a class around how to create your brand, and in that video, I walk through how to create a mood board and how to build out all of this stuff. So, that could literally be an entire class or entire day’s worth of project for you guys. So, that would be what I would recommend. I’ll point you in that direction because it’s a little bit longer than what I can just share in the last few minutes that we have here.

What is Linda’s Instagram? Yes. So, Linda’s Instagram is @westcoasthairdesign, and she’s based out of Florida. She’s one of my amazing, incredible students. I love her so much, but you can check her out on Instagram.

Okay, cool. So, I know we have like one minute left. We’ll do this last question, and then we’ll pass it back over to the boys over at Oozle Media. But Sherry says,

“Would you recommend using Reels to help students tell a story and develop a connection with potential clients?”

And I love that we’re ending on this question because yes, Reels are so big and important, and when Instagram first came out, there wasn’t even video. I don’t know if you remember if you were on Instagram at that point, but when Instagram first came out, it was photos and captions. That was it. There were no Instagram Stories. There were no Reels, there were no videos. There was literally nothing on Instagram, and as Instagram has grown and transformed, there’s a lot more to do with Instagram than just have it be photos and captions.

And so, video is an incredible tool to help build that story, and so yes, I would encourage your students to practice video, whether it’s just a regular video, whether it’s an Instagram Reel, whether it’s Instagram Stories, for those of them who feel like editing Reels can feel a little bit cumbersome or hard to do, editing a Reel or even just Instagram Stories are super, super helpful. So, learning how to take video content, how to edit video content is vitally important, and it’s only going to get more important as time progresses.

So, yes, video’s so important. I would highly encourage that. And again, there’s tons of resources out there on YouTube, not just on my channel, but all over YouTube about how to edit videos, how to create Instagram Reels, and just fun ideas out there. So, definitely would recommend that as well.

So, as we close up, I just want to say, thank you guys for having me today. I’m so grateful that I could be here, and I’m just so grateful that you guys are investing in your businesses, in you as leaders. Thank you for letting me come share and speak, and I really hope that if you take even just one little thing away, just get excited about social media.

I think, again, students and stylists are so excited about this, and just to be able to see their passion for it makes me so excited, and to be able to share this with you as the leaders at the beginning of stylists’ career makes me so happy, and I’m excited to see all of the transformations to hear a little bit more. Feel free to reach out to me on DM. I would love to get to meet you and just thank you guys so much for having me.

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