Everybody’s doing it.
Dogs are doing it, your Nans doing it; your mates are doing it, and every barber under the suns most certainly doing it! They’re doing it on the bus. They’re doing it in the bath, in the café, in the bedroom and on the beach. They’re doing it in their own shop, doing it whilst ‘guest spotting’ in someone else’s shop or sitting the garden.
What is ‘it’?
Of course, its social media. Be it Facebook or Instagram, *adults over 35 are spending an average of 2 hours 53 minutes each day just on these platforms, whereas 15-34 year olds spend 3hours 45 minutes staring at a screen ‘creating’ the perfect image they want people to view.
*data analysis by IPA Touchpoint 2017
Can any of us go out for a meal without posting an image of it before tucking in? Can we drink a cocktail with posting a bragging ‘check in’ at a swanky cocktail bar? Nope!
I’m as guilty as the next person of doing both of these things. We’re all guilty of living our lives on social media in one way or another, and for many different reasons. To some, it’s a way of networking and self-promotion, to others it’s a way of staying or getting in touch with friends and relatives that live a distance away or may have lost touch with. To many, it’s simply a way be nosey and to see into each other’s lives. We’ve become a nation of voyeurs.
I know of barber shops that have been successful for 40 years in the same premises and have no facebook or Instagram. Imagine that! Not one of their barbers posts a picture of today’s cheeky fade or some dude with tattoos up his neck looking moody. Yet these barbers make good money and have a strong reputation, built on consistently good haircuts.
So, from a barber’s perspective, what does it all mean?
Say you cut someone’s hair and think to yourself I’m proud of that’. What do you do? You take a pic of course and upload it to Insta or FB with a barrage of hash tags. How many people (of importance) will you reach? How man ‘likes’ will you get? I guarantee my 15 year old daughter or any of her mates will upload a selfie and get way more likes.
So, if the average person is spending 3hours + on FB or Insta each day, think of what you could’ve achieved using just half of that time more productively. Instead of repping yourself during the working day, spend that hour with your junior. Show them the intrinsic details that create a good impression, starting with cleanliness. Too many times you’ll walk past a quiet barbers, and see him sitting on his phone. Not cleaning or tidying when the shop clearly needs it!
Keep your tools in excellent condition and your workstation as clean as a whistle. Showcase your staff’s skills or share your own skills. Teach each other, learn from each other. Inspire each other to be the best you can be.
Your online persona is rarely the same person your girlfriend or your mates see every day. It’s a posey, moody looking dude who you think will impress. Girls, even if you do have a body to die for, does posting yourself on social media in a bra & daisy dukes make you a better barber? The same goes for guys. Even if you spend hours in the gym (well done btw if you do) showing your 6 pack off while you stare moodily into a mirror hardly portrays your skills as a barber. None of it; however pleasing to the eye, has anything to do with how well you cut hair. You’re creating a persona, an image of what you think a barber looks like.
So, after all that posing and editing pics of yourself, your cuts and your car, or your dog, what do you reap? What benefit does it all bring to you personally?
Think about it.
If you get 10 new followers, does that equate to 10 new customers? If, during one week a pic of your newest tattoo gets 50 likes, does that equate to 50 haircuts paid for? £££’s in the till?
In reality, the answers got to be no.
So why are we bothering? Is it like dreaming of being famous or being footballer or a rock star? Is that what we’re chasing? Are we searching for fame?
Think of the barbers you see on stage at any one of the shows. Are they famous? Do you think they’re all amazing at what they do? How do they get up there? Why are they up there? Do any of these ‘educators’ actually have enough experience to be up there in the first place?
There are many excellent barbers out there, doing their thing day in day out. Not shouting about it, not posting or hash tagging. They’re successful local barbers, living their own dream. Supporting a family, and employing others. Not having to live up to a persona they’ve created.
Who’s got the right idea?
Sara Simmons Barberbible