For Personal Stylists Considering Virtual Styling

I get it. Styling clients in person is ideal. You enjoy seeing and feeling the clothing that you suggest to your clients, being with them as they try on different outfits, and seeing the confident smile on their faces when you’ve hit the jackpot.

If you do offer virtual styling services, maybe it’s not panning out like you thought it would. You’re discovering that it’s difficult to get the word out about your virtual services and that most clients aren’t willing to pay $500 for a video call.

You may be avoiding virtual styling all together, because you prefer to work with people in person, you find it difficult to get the video chat thing set up, or you’re too busy to fit it into your schedule.

Yes, there are plenty of reasons not to try virtual styling. But there are many reasons you should give it a go (and there’s a platform that makes it easy).

Here are three reasons to consider going virtual:

To help people outside of your local area

When you style clients in person, you are limited to your geographical area– that is, unless your clients pay for your travel. Chances are that you’re marketing yourself to your city and meeting clients who live within close range.

Virtual styling will help you grow your business without boundaries. You can meet with clients who are thousands of miles away, give them advice in a live video chat, and send them links to the items you recommend for them to try or buy.

There is someone hundreds of miles away who wants to be styled by you, but currently has no way of receiving your services. It’s not only distance that stops them from meeting with you in person. Maybe they don’t have the means. Maybe they’re disabled or recovering from illness that keeps them at home. What if they’re nervous to meet with a stylist in person and would feel much more comfortable meeting in a live video chat?

It’s all great, but how in the world can you reach these people? You can advertise to different states using social media advertising platforms, like Facebook, Pinterest, or Instagram. Or, you can check out a marketplace of virtual style and beauty professionals that takes care of all the marketing for you.

Keep yourself safe

Do you ever avoid meeting inside a client’s home because you don’t know them well enough to feel completely safe? Safety is a concern anytime you are going somewhere unfamiliar to style somebody you don’t know.

Virtual styling is a safe way to organize the inside of somebody’s closet without having to be present. And when you style virtually, you don’t need to share yourlocation either!

Make extra money

The truth is that people are unlikely to pay your regular rate for a virtual appointment. Why? Because live video styling is new and unfamiliar. Your clients will learn how helpful a virtual styling appointment with you can be, but you may need to consider lowering your usual rate to encourage them to try it. As long as you deliver results, you can make a decent amount of extra money by styling virtually.

Virtual styling doesn’t replace in-person styling, but the beauty of virtual styling is that you can do it from anywhere, at anytime.

Virtual styling doesn’t replace in-person styling, but the beauty of virtual styling is that you can do it from anywhere, at anytime. Working virtually gives you the flexibility to set your own hours and work from the comfort of your laptop, tablet, or phone. You’ll save money that you would have spent traveling to your client.

You’ll also save time by saying goodbye to Skype, PayPal, and Google Calendar because you can use the only all-in-one virtual consulting app for style and beauty professionals. Launching in just a few short weeks, ExperChat will expose you to millions of people across the country and give you the chance to finally go virtual!

But first, you have to apply and be approved to use ExperChat. Click below to learn more.

Got a question about virtual styling through ExperChat? Let’s connect!

-Johannah Miller, Marketing Manager at ExperChat

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Visit us at ExperChat.com

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5 Powerful Ways Video Can Help Makeup Artists Reach Clients

These days, it seems like being a makeup artist is not enough. Social media influencers are vying for attention– and winning it with their entertaining, informative, and shareable photos and videos. Everyone is listening to beauty influencers… when they could be listening to you!

If a beauty influencer can use video to attract an audience, so can you. You’ve got the experience and first-hand knowledge of applying makeup to other people that makes you the ultimate beauty educator. Use what you already know and combine it with the power of video to engage your current clients and meet new ones!

Consider these five ideas to use video in your marketing strategy.

1. Do a makeup tutorial live on Facebook.

Do you want to attract more attention to your makeup artistry business? Use the power of Facebook Live. According to Facebook, people watch live video for 3x longer than if they were watching regular video. Live video is exciting to people because it’s in-the-moment and unedited. Anything can happen!

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Broadcasting a makeup tutorial live will help you get the most exposure for your business because Facebook gives live video top priority in the newsfeed, over regular video! That means your friends will see you at the top of their news feeds. If they comment, like, or share your video, their friends may see your video too.

Bonus: Your video won’t disappear (like on Instagram) so people can view it after it ends. Did you know that two-thirds of live video views happen after the live broadcast has ended?

Facebook Live will help you build a stronger connection with your growing audience. Focus on sharing helpful information, relating to your viewers, and letting your personality shine through! If you are consistently going live each week, you are staying top-of-mind for your audience. Here’s an easy step-by-step guide to going live and here is an iPhone tripod you’ll need to be hands-free!

2. Create 3 short videos of yourself sharing makeup tips, post them to your Facebook business page, and “boost” them!

If you aren’t a social media influencer with a huge following (not many people are!), meeting new clients on social media can be difficult to do without spending money. That being said, you don’t have to spend a lot of money. You can start with as little as a dollar a day per post!

To get in front of potential clients, create three short, helpful videos that highlight your talent with makeup. To create the videos, use bright natural lighting and a DSLR camera. Get the best tips for filming beauty videos from Shameless Maia here!

AAEAAQAAAAAAAAwDAAAAJDE2NDY0ZmM2LWI5NWItNGJlYS1iZTA3LTQ4YjIwOWI1NTBjNANext, press the blue button and boost them for a few dollars each. That means you’re advertising the posts to an audience that you choose! Here are the basic instructions from Facebook:

Go to a post you’ve created and click Boost Post in the lower-right corner.
Choose your audience and budget based on how many people you want to reach on Facebook and Instagram and how long you’d like your boost to run. You can also change your payment method.
Click Boost Post.

3. Share your morning makeup routine to your Instagram story.

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Try sharing your morning makeup routine. If you haven’t posted to your story at all, or it’s been quite a while, your followers may receive a notification of your post!

Don’t forget to tag brands that you’re using and summarize steps or tips using the text tool.

This is great way to keep your Instagram audience engaged with you and your business.

Other things to try: behind-the-scenes photos and videos of your work, a live Q&A, and quick photo tips!

4. Use live video to take your services online! #GoVirtual

Live video not only helps you engage with your current audience on social networks, but it can help you meet brand new clients. When you set up a virtual business in the ExperChat marketplace, virtual clients can find you and pay you to give them personalized advice and help with their makeup.

ExperChat is a virtual consulting platform for experienced beauty (that’s you!) and fashion professionals. If you are approved to be an Expert on ExperChat, you’ll be accessible by potential clients all over the country who can book a live video appointments with you.

It’s like a one-on-one Facebook Live video with a client who pays you for advice! To learn more about ExperChat and apply to join the Expert community, click below.

5. Host a live Q&A on Google Hangout, YouTube Live, or Facebook Live.

AAEAAQAAAAAAAAzPAAAAJDYwNDE4MjhlLWRlYTYtNDRkZi1iYjNjLTAzY2U3ZGI3YWYzZQYour friends and family members are always asking you for makeup advice. It’s a safe bet that everyone else in your network has questions about makeup, too!

Try hosting a live Q&A session to answer their burning cosmetic questions! This is a casual way to get exposure for your business.

Pro tip: If nobody has joined your live video yet, have some pre-decided questions to address so you aren’t left speechless!

If you want to see a professional makeup artist rock Facebook Live, see Mathias Alan’s videos here.

I hope this blog post inspired you to use video to boost your business. If you have any questions about using ExperChat to host live video appointments with clients nationwide, send me a message.

Which Dimension Will You Get Dolled Up In?

You may be giving yourself a virtual makeover by the end of the year, but in which dimension?

Modiface, a facial recognition company, presented its 3D Augmented-Reality Makeup and Anti-Aging Mirror at the 2014 International CES. The mirror simulates beauty products  in real time. You can try many shades and styles of makeup on your face and see your new look from multiple angles. The 3D Augmented-Reality Makeup and Anti-Aging Mirror also has the ability to show the effects of a skincare product with a before and after view.

CEO Parham Aarabi told Mashable that his goal is to partner with beauty brands and have the mirrors installed at beauty counters and available as a mobile application. He believes that his mirror will increase sales and provide a quicker way for women to try on products.

However, the tech-savvy method of trying on makeup today is 2D. Women upload photos and try out products on their pictures. ModiFace’s Lipstick Design Studio app has been crowned the “Best New Lifestyle iPhone/iPad App” by Apple. The app lets users create a lipstick color and then search for a match sold by popular beauty brands.

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ModiFace created a Virtual Makeover app sponsored by Olay, CoverGirl, and Herbal Essences for Seventeen Magazine that lets girls simulate skincare, makeup, and hair products on a realistic photo. The app even connects with Facebook to scan photos of the user in order to find the perfect shade of foundation!

Some beauty brands offer a virtual makeover on their websites. Mary Kay, a brand used by more than 3 million people worldwide, has a virtual makeover app online powered by MakoverSolutions. Users can choose a model’s face or upload a picture of their own face and “have fun playing with colors” by Mary Kay.

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Why are beauty companies using virtual makeovers? Because shopping for makeup online is not ideal. Customers can’t try the products online. With virtual makeovers, customers can see themselves wearing the products. If a customer can see the product on a photo of themselves, they may be more willing to purchase it.

A study conducted in 31 countries by Havas Worldwide found that 51% of women across the globe buy cosmetics online. This means beauty companies have to compete by creating an online presence to draw in customers. But growing online sales can be risky because creating an online store is a big investment, says VP of UNT Skincare Herman Chein in his article Building A Beauty Brand.

Companies who can afford to have an online shop are doing it. Great! Because according to Euromonitor International, 27% of women in the U.S. buy cosmetics online. There is a lot of money to be made online. The U.S. Census Bureau found that e-commerce sales totaled $263.3 billion in 2013 (a 16.9% increase from 2012).

Most recentlyLancome partnered with FaceCake Marketing Technologies Inc. to bring “Swivel Close Ups” to DreamDry salon in NYC. The virtual try-it on technology allowed users to get all dolled up with Lancome products and looks from Jason Wu’s fall 2014 #NYFW runway. When finished, users  share their new beauty looks on social media.

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Virtual makeovers may remind you of your Barbie Beauty Styler days, but with new technology these 2D and 3D ways to try on makeup are getting less cheesy. ModiFace’s 3D mirrors will be rolling out to retailers by the end of this year!