JAIME: Welcome to our first mini episode of the Outgrowth Podcast. I’m Jaime Schrabeck.
ASHLEY: And I’m Ashley Gregory.
JAIME: And we’re together in New York City.
ASHLEY: Aren’t we fancy? We actually usually record on opposite sides of the country. Me being in Chicago.
JAIME: And I’m usually at home in California.
ASHLEY: And today we are in the same room which is a special treat.
JAIME: Why we’re here, we’ll talk about in a bit.
ASHLEY: We will talk about in a little bit, and we will get into detail. But first of all, we want to thank you so much for your reception of Outgrowth as a podcast. And, of course, we also launched our social media at the same time last week. It has been seven days and we have gone on a wild ride the last week. I can’t even explain.
JAIME: We have set the bar really high with that first Facebook post. If we can even come close to that in the future, it would be amazing. You love insights on Facebook. Tell us the numbers.
ASHLEY: Yes. We posted about House Bill 5558 in Illinois, which we went over in detail in episode one, Deregulation, and the very first post with some shareable photos that you can add to your timeline to inform other people about what’s happening in Illinois. That post reached 262,000 people, with 324 comments, almost 2300 shares, and 900 link clicks. Those are astronomical results.
JAIME: And those were all done without boosting.
ASHLEY: No boosting, no, completely organic, which actually tripped some interesting things in our Facebook and it made us turn on two-factor authentication. We had to declare what country we’re in. Because our brand new page got so much reach, Facebook got a little bit protective and wanted to make sure we were real.
JAIME: We are not a bot.
ASHLEY: I am not a bot. Anyway, because of that warm reception, you helped us get the word out about 5558 and so many fun things have happened in the past week. We actually talked to the opponent of the sponsor of the bill. Carolyn Schofield is her name. She is on the ballot on March 17th in the Crystal Lake area of Illinois. So if you’re up there, give her a look.
JAIME: She’s the challenger.
ASHLEY: She is. Very exciting what’s happening with that entire race. Look into that if you’re interested at all about local politics. It is kind of insane.
JAIME: And the fact that you were able to get a response from someone who doesn’t know who we are.
JAIME: She just happens to be someone who has a vested interest in what the representative was doing.
ASHLEY: Totally, and the voice of reason in that district when it comes to what’s happening with this bill in particular. Just through that Facebook post, through our first episode, all of these things have started to happen and I can feel the momentum building and we can only thank you for that.
JAIME: In a future episode, we’ll follow up on this bill and give more information about the legislative process going forward, should it survive the week.
ASHLEY: Yes, it might not even survive the next couple of days. So it’s very exciting what we can do as an industry when we take on a cause and act quickly.
JAIME: Let’s talk about why we’re here in New York City.
ASHLEY: Let’s talk about it. It is such a luxury to be in the same room looking at each other while we record. I can’t even explain how fun it is to kind of play off of each other this way, but we are in New York City for what was to be the very first Beauty Experience.
JAIME: And the Beauty Experience is the rebranding of the International Beauty Show produced by Questex Media, which is based right here in New York.
ASHLEY: They are, and that show, unfortunately, was canceled rather last minute last night.
JAIME: It was supposed to start today, scheduled for Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday. I arrived on a red-eye Friday morning. I always like to come in early to a show, particularly when I’ve been contracted to educate, but there’s no one to teach because the show’s been canceled. The exhibitors who had spent many days setting up are breaking down, and anyone who got here is going home.
ASHLEY: They’re going home. And to be clear, the entire show was canceled due to the state of emergency declaration that happened yesterday by New York Governor Cuomo and unfortunately, because of COVID-19 or coronavirus or whatever you’d like to call it, they are looking out for the safety of the attendees, the exhibitors and it is just unfortunate, because this is a great show and I’m pretty sad that it’s not going to happen.
JAIME: It’s disappointing. The fact that we did get this notice so late. A lot of people weren’t able to receive that information before they boarded a plane, or a train, or drove long distances to get here.
ASHLEY: There’s a lot of beauty professionals in New York City right now just kind of waiting out the storm, so to speak, because they could not cancel their hotels. They could not change their airline tickets without incurring another fee and the show isn’t happening. Now, the response on social media has been negative, in a word. I’m not really sure how else I would phrase that. It’s been, it’s been, total.
JAIME: Part of the problem has been that not everyone found out about it at the same time and how the show makes contact with attendees and exhibitors varies depending on what information they have, whether they have your email address or your phone number to issue a text. Since the announcement was made, we’ve received several notifications as if to say, if you haven’t heard once, let’s tell you again, don’t come. If you’re already here, don’t show up. It’s not happening.
JAIME: And yet, as large as this venue is, and there are usually other shows happening simultaneously, there is, in fact, another show happening right now. It’s not a beauty show. It’s the restaurant show.
ASHLEY: The restaurant show is happening right now, which I think is how we are allowed to be in the building, being secret squirrels recording this. I know it was a very difficult decision that the show management had to make in order to make sure that everybody was safe. But there is another show in the same building happening at the same time. Now, of course, that show is managed by a different company, I would only assume, and yeah.
JAIME: Apparently the health and safety in the restaurant industry isn’t such a big deal.
ASHLEY: Okay. That’s painting with broad strokes but, whatever that means for the future of this show, what that means for the prices of the tickets paid by the attendees, then any potential refunds. There’s just a lot of questions and not a lot of answers at this point. We’re not entirely sure what’s going to happen, but of course we’ll keep you informed.
JAIME: You’re right, because this was something that might have been anticipated, but it is almost the worst case scenario.
ASHLEY: Agreed. It seems that the official position of the show, as of recording, is that everyone will hear within 14 business days, but there’s so many moving parts to something this large and whether it’s insurance policies that have to be scoured, or calls that have to be made, any attorneys potentially that have to be consulted. Nothing like this happens quickly. There was some mixed messaging between the initial press release coming from Questex and what was actually going to happen if there was going to be a rescheduled date happening.
JAIME: Don’t expect the show to get rescheduled later in the year. That’s not going to happen. This show is scheduled for next year, March 7th through 9th, 2021. That’ll likely be the next time that you have the opportunity to come to a show of this size in New York City.
ASHLEY: Now there are ways that you can be proactive and protect yourself as an attendee or an exhibitor at a show like this, in case something were to get canceled like this.
JAIME: That sounds like a great topic for a longer episode.
ASHLEY: I agree. We’ll look forward to next year, and of course we’ll keep you posted on anything we hear with regard to the final resolution of this show. We of course, are taking your questions at email@example.com so take it away, Jaime and Ashley from the past. .
ASHLEY: We thought we would answer some of your questions that you’ve sent to us through our email or social media in order to tackle the topics that you most want to hear about.
JAIME: Here’s our first question, Ashley. I often see posts on Facebook listing their Instagram accounts and asking for everyone to follow each other. Is this a good idea? What can be gained from doing follow for follow and should I be taking part in that when I see those posts?
ASHLEY: I love this question because it’s something that I get asked a lot, especially when I teach Instagram classes at beauty shows. Follow for follow is the old Instagram. It’s something that has really kind of left favor and the algorithm really does not love follow for follow because it counts as what we would refer to as manufactured engagement. I know exactly what you’re talking about when it comes to these follow for follow posts on Facebook, and then it’s just like comment after comment of people listing their Instagram account and saying, oh, I followed everybody. It’s like, okay. What exactly are you getting out of that if you go and follow a bunch of people who have really nothing to do with your business or your potential client base other than you feel like you’re supporting your fellow beauty professional? That’s really nice but, it’s not doing much to improve your own Instagram. If you do these engagement pods and these follow for follow, like for like, it’s just fake engagement and the algorithm, especially on Instagram, is getting much more savvy about what that is and kind of sussing it out. So, I don’t think follow for follow is a great idea unless you plan on being very engaged with that person’s account: commenting, liking, sharing, saving, doing all of those good engagement building activities. But let’s be honest. You’re probably not going to do that. You’re just going to each see a bump in your follower number, and unfortunately, that could in the long run, hurt you because what you’re doing is you’re just artificially inflating the number of people in your audience but, you are not at the same time raising the amount of people in your audience that are clapping for you. You could be like, let’s say an up and coming musician who should be and has been playing small clubs, and packing those small clubs with raving excited fans. That artist shouldn’t be playing arenas, because maybe they’re just not ready for it yet, and maybe they don’t have the name recognition to do an arena. When that person makes that jump and they start playing in arena, there’s a lot of empty seats, and there’s a lot of people who don’t really know who that artist is. What you’ve done is just artificially inflated the audience without inflating the fan base. And Instagram loves raving, cheering fans, and that’s what we call engagement. So I never think follow for follow is a good idea unless it’s like a friend or family member, or somebody that can really commit to engaging with your content every time you post: commenting, saving, liking, sharing. All of those things drive engagement on Instagram and really feed the algorithm, but an engagement pod, a follow for follow. It’s just not where it’s at. There’s so many more great strategies that you can use to get seen by more potential clients and really raise your Instagram game without having to do this like behind the scenes trickery. So this is a great question because it’s something that I see happen every single day. Everybody just dumping their Instagram into a comment base and hoping that somehow by getting five or six or 15 more followers, that that’s going to be the real secret. Instagram requires strategy, not tricks. So, definitely don’t recommend follow for follow, but thank you for writing in. That’s a fabulous question.
JAIME: Raving fans have a connection, just like you have a connection with your clients or your friends and your family, hopefully, and so I can understand where you feel like just making that connection initially might be the start of a relationship that is that passionate, but for the most part, it’s just like collecting people’s phone numbers. It’s not going to make them your best friend.
ASHLEY: Yeah. It’s just, it’s kind of fake, and it’s just artificial. You could spend your time much better on Instagram doing other things, which we can get into in future episodes for sure. We’ll be talking so much more about Instagram, so thank you for writing in about that. But ,Jaime, I have a question for you, and it reads like this: Does your salon menu have your prices listed, or do potential clients need to go online? I’m working on new ones and appreciate your thoughts.
JAIME: This is an excellent question because oftentimes in naming our price, letting clients know how much we charge for services, this is where we feel we’re being judged and that’s exactly what we should be judged on, in part, is how much we charge. The more information we can get in front of a potential client before they contact us, the better. Your menu is meant to communicate what it is that you offer, and you need to reduce as many barriers as possible so that clients can get the information they need to make a decision as to whether they’re going to contact your business. Otherwise, we’re going to be spending our time explaining what we charge, why we charge what we do, what’s included in the service, all those very same questions that could be answered in a brochure or on your website. You shouldn’t have to tell people over the phone, or respond to that in an email with that information. Let them do the research. Let them find the information as easily as possible so that you can move beyond that stage to actually negotiating when they can come in for an appointment. So I think your menu should not only include your prices, but a service description, the timing, and then the price. When you list those other two things first, the price usually makes more sense.
ASHLEY: I think this goes hand in hand with understanding from the client perspective that they need to have at least some sort of idea of what they’re walking into, but understanding that it’s not always a one size fits all solution. We have to kind of walk that line and, and really be our own best advocate while still communicating value.
JAIME: We’d love to answer more of your questions. So please send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
ASHLEY: And we will see you on our next episode. Bye.