Grow Your Instagram Following

Icon dark

The One Tribe Team

Published: 10 August 2017

Filed under: Interviews

Why Instagram is the most powerful marketing tool for people in the beauty industry

When it comes to running your business online, one of the most important things is to make sure you use the right tools to help you grow.

We spoke to Neha Vaish Hobson, an expert in the makeup industry who has grown her Instagram account to 130k followers in 10 months.

We get her expert advice so you too can use Instagram to grow your business.

If you are not online or don’t have a strong following, in this day and age, you do not exist. It’s harsh but unfortunately that’s where the world is at. A lot of artists don’t realise that their social media accounts are now much more important and valuable than their portfolios or professional experience alone. They may have good portfolios and get some referral work, but they don’t stand out online and are often overlooked for providers with a more professional online presence.

I know some phenomenal international makeup artists with distinguished careers, but without an active Instagram presence - and so no one has heard of them. Unfortunately a lot of what I see are extremely talented and hard working artists who virtually have no online presence, or really poorly managed social media accounts that don’t reflect their actual level of expertise. Look at the millions of youtube videos on how to create looks. Make-up is such a learnable skill that’s fairly dependent on practice rather than theory alone, and with the market itself being so saturated with artists keen to learn and succeed  - it’s harder than ever to find a way to stand out. So how do hair and make-up artists get work and stand out in a competitive market? Having an effective Instagram account.

If you’re in the beauty industry, Instagram is your most powerful digital marketing weapon!

And in the beauty world that means you need to be primarily on Instagram and Facebook to be found. Instagram means it’s easier to be found by potential local clients, as well as increase the branding and awareness of your business. It’s also easier to find influencers in your niche through this platform, connect with them, and collaborate with them to increase your reach.  

Engagement with brands is up to 10 times higher on Instagram than with Facebook, 54 times higher than Pinterest and 84 times higher than Twitter. For MUAs this can mean working with their dream brands and connecting with their idols.

Having a strong online presence will help you market yourself effectively to your target market, get more clients and business, have influence, and stand out from your competition. It doesn’t just put you on the map, it can open up a world of other opportunities for you (for example, partnerships and collaborations) that you wouldn’t otherwise be able to secure for yourself as easily. Instagram is THE most powerful platform out there for the beauty industry. And it’s free. How amazing is that?

And what about salons?

Salon owners I work with are getting frustrated with the reach on Facebook and trying to figure out Facebook ads, so using Instagram can mean working with influencers and celebrities that endorse their products and treatments.

Using LinkedIn as an online marketing platform is often underestimated in our industry. Salons really need to have a basic account on Google and an active business account on LinkedIN.

I grew my instagram following to 130k followers in less than 10 months.

Starting my Instagram account off as a hobby and creative outlet, however I wanted to learn more so I completed a course from Foundr Magazine I create my account and started showcasing amazing work from different MUAs around the world, alongside my own journey in the industry. How did I do it? In a nutshell - self-education, passion, persistence and hard work.

Consistency is key with Instagram so I started by posting 3 times a day

Instagram, like every social media platform rewards engagement and has a constantly changing algorithm, so I started by watching for beauty trends and looking for “unicorn” posts - these were posts that would massively outperform any others in terms of likes and comments.  Whenever I saw a unicorn post, I looked for commonalities between them.   > As a result of what I had observed and applied to my account many of my posts went viral, often receiving thousands, hundreds of thousands and in a few instances over a million views!   This created massive growth for me and the artists I featured on my account.  But I also realised very quickly that keeping people’s attention and loyalty means you need to put in the work! There isn’t a single day in the last year when I haven’t posted or shared something valuable, even if that’s just once a day when I’m on vacation.

My own success with Instagram has led me to become a successful Instagram marketing coach for HMUAs and salon owners.

Having a strong online presence is an area that so many in the beauty industry need help in. All of my years of account management and business coaching for salons has helped me shape my own consulting business specific for people in the industry. This includes salons, skincare and makeup companies and distributors, and the like. Having the beauty industry experience that I do gives me that extra edge when creating strategies or curating content, because I understand what resonates with their clients, and am comfortable with skin and makeup product knowledge, beauty industry jargon, etc.

I’d always had a natural skill with makeup and I have learnt from highly influential people in the industry such as Rae Morris and Napoleon Perdis who I learned from one-on-one.

I’ve been blessed to experience all aspects of the beauty industry from retail, to distribution, to fashion and editorial, as well as business coaching and makeup and product training.

About Neha

After studying Communications in Los Angeles and completing a Masters in Business from Monash Uni in Melbourne, Neha wanted to explore her more creative passions. After leaving a high paying corporate job for a career in beauty starting out in retail she has never looked back.

She has worked in the beauty and makeup industry professional for a number of years with international beauty houses like Chanel, Estée Lauder, backstage at the L’oreal Melbourne Fashion Festival, as well as the Toni & Guy fashion show at the Hair Expo. Neha has learnt directly from the likes of Rae Morris and has worked alongside her at the LMFF. Some of Neha’s biggest influences include Rae Morris, Napoleon Peirdis, Christina Sikalias and Jenny Do.

You really have to give it your best shot when you’re doing what you love, and always believe that an unforeseen blessing is around the corner. I met Rae Morris on a few occasions where she shared her story of how she became a celebrity makeup artist and I remember thinking, “anything is possible”.