Seize the PR Moment!

Cosmetology Leads Among Respected Professions.

Those of you that chose the career of ‘cosmetology’ can hold your heads up even higher these days.  We know you have often had to endure annoying public opinion, comment, and yes … even sarcasm about having chosen to be a hairdresser. Well, now there’s some solid career data to make a strong case for just how ‘smart’ a decision you made to those who would have preferred you became a doctor, a lawyer, or a teacher. Someone has taken a highly credible approach to analyzing careers that you can place on the table that makes you look pretty darn clever.

Now you can announce to disapproving family members, friends, or others in ‘other industries’ that being a cosmetologist today actually ranks higher than becoming an attorney, an architect, or even a newscaster!  In fact, when we first reviewed the analysis, we noticed that our job, ‘public relations executive’ ranked a notch below ‘cosmetologist’!  We have often joked that we should have gone to beauty school.  With what we know and the skills of a good stylist, we’d be rich 🙂 .

All of this is according to the latest ranking of jobs, from best to worst, by the respected job search portal CareerCast.com, whose 2010 Jobs Rated Section offers a comprehensive analysis of 200 jobs – from Actuary (#1)  to Roustabout (#200) – giving each a unique ranking based on the hard data of today.  The methodology of the research lends great credibility to the data so you should familiarize yourself with it.  You can find that here.

The Top Jobs study also ran in the Wall Street Journal recently, here and here.  Take a look. It’s fascinating … and reveals what many jobs are ‘really’ like.  So hold your heads up high – and tell the naysayers in your life to (ahem) … check it out.

Photo Credit: joeinfulleffect

What Should You Do With This Information?

1. Do Something ‘Local’ for Yourself

This is newsworthy information and local press likes national news pickup as it relates to a local business.  How to tie it in to you and your salon?  With such credible national media as the Wall Street Journal reporting on this latest ‘Best and Worst’ 2010 job survey, it makes perfect PR sense to share this perception of your work.  You might want to check out our blog post “Good PR in a Bad Economy – Catch the Wave“.

Here are a couple of lifestyle story ideas you could pitch to a local lifestyle editor:

  • A Good Time to Be a Salon Pro – The thrust of your pitch is that a down economy is a great time to be in the beauty industry because beauty is relatively recession-resistant.  Your salon (if you can show your business is doing OK) can be a great illustration for that fact; especially if you are looking to hire stylists when other industries are letting employees go. Don’t worry that the writer may want to interview other salons in the area for their take … you and your business are in the story … you pitched it and you tell a good story.
  • A Career for Any Economy – The thrust of your pitch is how you (and your salon business) have weathered several economic up and down turns because of your choice of career. You can share your experience with what beauty services clients are cutting out, cutting down and what services you have been providing that go the extra mile to bring clients back for me by meeting a consumer need.  Focus of this story is sharing what consumer trend is and how good salons and beauty pros are bringing even greater value to consumers.

2. Use the Information on your Facebook Fan Page, Website, and Blog.

What did the survey reveal?  Discuss misconceptions.  Use it to share your own stories of beauty school and how it wasn’t as easy as people might think.  Use it as a launching place to discuss how your salon has prospered by developing extra-value to the client services (not a discount story).  Have fun with looking at over-rated and under-rated jobs.

3. Create Fun Promotional Items for Your Staff

An example would be promotional tee shirts or buttons for your staff (and as client give-aways that says, “You Should Have Gone to Beauty School” or “Hair Designer: A Better Career Choice than Doctor, Lawyer or Newscaster – Wall Street Journal”

4. Dump Any Old “I’m Just a Hairdresser” Mentality”

If you’re one of those who ever answered the question “What do you do?” with an answer something like, “I’m just a hairdresser” … grab a copy of Vivienne’s “I’m Not Just a Hairdresser“.  Get inspired, proud and reminded of the passions that brought you to the career that you are in.  Your friends, clients and the media will certainly notice.

What Other Things Can You Think of?

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Comments

  1. Love this article! Thanks guys!

  2. Claudia Diesti says:

    Great article guys! When I graduated from high school, my father, a lawyer, said I had to pick a good profession. By that he meant a lawyer a doctor etc. I always loved the beauty industry but he said that it was for those without an education. I moved to the US 14yrs ago and my parents about 8. He saw me grow in this art but never really said too much. After he passed away 1yr ago my mother and I were going through his things and I found a small collection of articles from different magazines that had been done on me. It was then my mother told me how proud he was of all the things I had done and how I traveled all over the world for education even though my two sisters had collage degrees and I had to leave school after four years. Your story here really hit home! Thank you.

    Claudia Diesti

  3. When I graduated from high school my guidance counselor was adamant that I not attend beauty school because I was “smarter than that”. Unfortunately I listened, attended college for two years, and dropped out. Then worked in the field for a few years, with his words always echoing in my head. So I left the industry, went back to school, earned a bachelor’s and three master’s degrees and after 7 years as a teacher, I’m going back into the hair business. There isn’t anything like being a hairstylist! The creativity, the people you work with, the people you work on, the control over your destiny. I’m finally back where I belong!

  4. Sharon and I have heard it over and over again and we can’t hear it enough. The stories of individuals like the three of you who have achieved success, both financially and spiritually, and found great satisfaction in life in the beauty industry.

    I hope many more of you share your stories. I plan to make sure some of the beauty schools we know pick up on this post to bring to the attention of their students. So many students we meet deal with the issue of parents or friends who feel they have done ‘less’ than they could. Yours are the stories they need to hear. Thanks so much for commenting.

    Please let some of your friends know about this post and ask them to drop by and share their stories as well.

  5. I wish that I could agree with your conclusions regarding this business but I cannot.
    Firstly, it has been relatively recession-proof in the past but this recession is different for a number of reasonds.
    The aging-Baby-Boomers, a mainstay of the business for the past 30 years, has lost it’s money in the stock-market and is not spending the way it has preciously, this will not change as they need to save now, not spend. They are faced with old parents who need help and children who also need help.
    Those who retire will decide to save money by not coloring their hair any longer, or doing it at home with the multitude of Drugstore products now available.
    hair coloring was seriously down in salons in the past 2 years according to trade magazines.

    Salon retail products, a profit center in the past 25 years, heve dropped-off precipitously in the last year.
    The clients want cheaper products now.

    As to ‘hiring stylists when other industries are letting employees go’…

    The difference in hairstyling is that, for the most part, it’s easy to ‘hire’ because it’s all a commission-based trade’. In other words, the emoployee only earns a percentage of what they bring in, if they don’t bring in much they don’t earn much,the majority of stylists/barbers are struggling to get by on minimum wage, the average earnmings in the US for the trade is $30,000 according to the Labor Dept.The idea that many hairstylists are rich is also not borne-out by the Government’s statistics.

    The idea that hairstyling is a better career choice than medicine or law is so ridiculous that it doesn’t even deserve comment.

    As to Beauty school…My experience with them is that they are there for the benefit of the school-owner rather than the worker-to-be. A very high percentage of students fail to graduate, many fail to even take the State Boards if they do graduate and a very small percentage of those who go to beauty School actually go into the field. Among those that do, I have given the wages that they are earning above, it’s not a pretty picture.

    Do some become wealthy and famous? Yes, a few do, but the vast majority are working in low-paying jobs with no health or welfare benefits, no 401K or retirement benefits,no career-path, no guaranteed pay other than minimum-wage,no vacation pay,a toxic environment and many stress-related injuries.

    I’m sorry to burst bubbles but a ‘career’ in hairstyling is not a good choice.

    A Cosmetology license and many years experience in the field will open no doors for you anywhere but in a salon or other low-paying jobs, there is nowhere to go with it.

    I have heard those who suggest that there are ‘any number of career possibilities open to you with a Cosmetology license’, but it isn’t true, the possibilities open to you are extremely limited and so are the wages.
    Let’s examine a few…

    1) Platform Artist
    Most, if not all of these people actually wotk behind the chair in a salon all week and work the weekends as ‘Platform Artists’… without the salon work they would not be able to do the other. They are salon workers.

    2) Beauty sales consultants…

    Today, many salons buy on-line from major wholesalers, from Sally’s in their town, from the beauty supply houses locally.
    Chair-rental has taken the onus off of the salon-owner to the renter and there isn’t a living to be made in product sales in as small a quantity as a renter buys.
    Those product reps. that used to come to salons weekly are a dying breed, some young salon workers don’t even know what they are, or used to be.

    3) Celebtity hairstylist…
    Yeah well…good luck with that.

    As I said above, some people will achieve great success, fame and fortune in hairstyling, but the vast majority won’t…

    A Cosmetology license will get you a low-paying dead-end job in most cases.

    My advice?
    Get a college degree, a Master’s if possible, and secure your future in a broad variety of professional possibilities.

  6. Excuse the typo…I meant to say ‘previously’ not preciously…

  7. Zee Mathews says:

    Thank you very much for all these helpful information. Great content.

    Regards,

    Zee Mathews
    The Salon Mangers Academy

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