Weird Instagram Marketing Ideas for Independent Hairstylists that actually work (Pro Edition)

I'm going to start with the most obvious and work my way to the weirdest tips I have to offer. Here's the thing. There are a lot of Hairstylists out there that are still living in the cosmetic dark ages. Are you still writing your appointments down in a day planner? You are not alone. Lots of stylists out there are afraid of technology.

If you are an independent hairstylist, lash technician, or esthetician, you need an active Instagram account that advertises your business.

I receive the majority of my new clients from my Instagram account. The best part is that it's free. So how do you get your Instagram working for you?

First you need to curate a beautiful Instagram page. Each of your photos should be chosen to best represent your work, your life, and your brand.


If you don't pause to think about whether each photo will compliment your profile then it will look like a haphazard mess.

Pick a color and stick to it. At least for a few photos. The photos around it should feature similar or complimentary colors.

If the photo you want to use clashes with the photos around it, then try playing with filters or post it in black and white.


Filters are a great way to make your profile look cohesive. I like to use Preview app to give all my photos a similar feel. However, I never recommend editing photos that display your work with heavy filters. People will notice and it just cheapens your work. The only editing that is acceptable for examples of your work is to change the lighting and exposure in order to allow work shot in the evening or a dark place to become more visible. If you are showcasing a cut instead of the color it can be appropriate to play with a very gentle filter. NEVER use a straight filter. Always turn the volume down by at least half.


Hastags. They aren't just so that people can find you. They work in reverse as well. I search the hastags in my area to shop for potential clients.

I search my #city and then swipe through and look for people I would like to follow or who's hair looks like something I would like to do. Then I follow them and like the picture that drew me to their profile. I then will leave a genuine comment on their picture I liked, telling them what I liked about it. The trick is, that there isn't a trick. It has to be someone you genuinely would like to follow or it will come off as fake. However, statistically, you will get one follow back for every five follows. Those people will see your photos in their feed and a portion of them will need a new hairstylist voila! You just shopped for your clients on Instagram! Be sure to make a note of everyone you followed so that you can check to see if what you are doing is working.

It's important to note that you can only follow so many people per hour. Instagram doesn't tell us that number but it's safe to say that you should take your time looking for profiles that you will enjoy seeing in your feed. If you just add everyone your feed will become a nightmare and you will hate my next tip.

Spend a certain amount of time in your feed getting to know the people you follow. Like and comment on their posts. The more active you are the more engagement you will have on your own profile and that's what Instagram likes to see. Engagement.

After about a week go through the list of people you followed and check to see if they followed you back. This will give you data to understand if your approach is working. If it's not. It is probably because you are not posting pictures that cater to the type of person that you are following.

Get really clear about who your ideal client is. Then have a look at the kind of accounts your ideal client is following. Does your work match their standard? How can you improve?


Let's talk a little more about hastags. You want to choose hastags that are relevant and popular but not over saturated. The goldilocks sweet spot is between 10000 and 50000. Less than 10000 means not enough people are searching your term. More than 50000 and you will be bumped out of the top spot too fast for anyone to search you.

Choose anywhere between 5 and 15 hastags. If you are during more than 7 hastags, post them in the comments section so as not to disrupt the look and feel of your post. 7 or less can live in the post description. If you post in the comments do it immediately if you want your post to rank for those hastags.

Always add posts to your story. About 50% of instagramers are spending all their time in IG Stories. Do it immediately after posting to your feed.

At you asking questions? One of the best ways to encourage organic engagement is to ask questions in your post. Be sure to respond to every comment in kind. If they comment with an emoji they sending them a thumbs up is fine. But if they send you three sentences responding to a question or complimenting your profile then you will want to be as thoughtful with your response.

If you have any other questions you are welcome to dm me @cclanzhair on IG. Or if you live in the Phoenix metro Area. I work at Leidan Mitchell a Hair salon in Phoenix. I would be happy to schedule a consultation with you to discuss your needs. Check out my website for more details at and sign up for my email list to stay in touch.