What really happens when you share your content.

Content is the marketing buzzword of the millennium. If Jan Brady was alive today, (and was a marketing expert), she would be exclaiming, ‘Content, content content!’ instead of, ‘Marsha, Marsha, Marsha!’

Experts say that both personal brands and business brands need to put out content to draw more attention. It’s easy to understand why Netflix, Hulu and HBO need content. It is the product they sell. But why do non-entertainment brands and individuals need content? Inquiring minds want to know.

Connect The Dots

Think of life like a giant game of connect-the-dots. When you share your content you are enabling others to connect to your dots. Your dots may be your ideas, products, services, advice, knowledge, experience, expertise or friendship. All of those things have value in this epic game of connect-the-dots we are all playing.

A Recent Example

Last weekend Angie Eger from Columbus, Ohio posted a picture of her son on Instagram. And when she did, a curious chain of events happened.

I thought about Angie for the first time in quite a while. Angie cut my hair from 2009 to 2014 when I lived in Columbus. Then I remembered that I have a problem. I need a haircut. However, I have a bigger problem, which is that my hair person in Milwaukee, Sara Holzem, moved to Naples during the pandemic. And I have only had my hair cut once since. The cranky woman who cut my hair did a good job, but the experience was poor. And by the looks of it, she has been fired by the hair place where I saw her. It’s likely because her cranky pants were a violation of the salon’s dress code.

As I read Angie’s Instagram post I realized that I would be in Columbus, Ohio the following Friday. So I sent Angie a note through Instagram asking her if she had any spare hair time on Friday. Luckily for me, she did.

This is Angie, with a mask, for safety.

So last Friday morning I got my hair cut by Angie for the first time in 7 years. It was a major win-win. Angie offered a great solution to a problem I was struggling to solve. My fresh new hairdo looks a lot better than my expired one. I got to start my Friday morning catching up with an old friend. And Angie increased her business last week, by re-attracting a lapsed customer. As a result, she made money doing something she loves.

Share Your Content

This transaction only happened because Angie posted a picture of her son on Instagram. I was connecting dots, and she put her dot right where I needed it. Which meant that I connected Angie’s Instagram-post dot to my hair-problem dot to my trip- to-Columbus dot. Problem solved.

This is the image of Angie’s son on Instagram that started it all. Happy Birthday Cole!

Key Takeaway

Keep sharing your world with others. Every piece of content you share has the potential to help someone. It makes you or your organization top of mind when others are trying to solve a problem. We are all playing a giant game of connect-the-dots every day. So add your dots. And help others win.

*If you know someone who could benefit from this message, please share it with them.

5 reasons you should be mentored by a hairdresser. 

I am trying to become a better businessman. As Founder of the advertising agency The Weaponry, I look for any advantages, advice and examples I can get. To help my cause I regularly read books, blogs and magazines. I listen to podcasts and audiobooks. I meet with other business Founders, CEOs and CFOs. But lately I’ve been studying the tricks and techniques of a profession where many of the industry’s best never went to college. Of course I am talking about hairdressers. (I say ‘of course’ because it’s in the title of the post).

Hair and Me

Since I was a teenager I believed I would go bald. I wasn’t afraid of it. I just believed it would happen based on the extensive foreheads of my forefathers. For 15 years I prepared for the inevitable by shaving my head each year from March until September. Then a funny thing happened. When I turned 35 my doctor told me my hair wasn’t going anywhere. After my ‘Whatchutalkinbout Willis?’ reaction, I celebrated by letting my hair grow for an entire year. (I really know how to party, right?) At the end of that year I had to clean up my new mop.  It was then that I met Angie.

Angie Eger in Columbus, Ohio is an amazing hair-ess. She cut and styled my hair well. She was really fun to be around. But she also had tough conversations with me. Everything she suggested, that I initially resisted, I eventually did.  She was right about everything from long layers, to leave-in conditioner, to eyebrow taming. As I studied  Angie’s approach, I recognized that our businesses are a lot alike (aside from the ear trimming).  And I started using a hairdresser’s model for service with my business.

5 things great hairdressers and barbers do that you can apply to your  career.

1. They listen well.  

This is an essential skill in the hair game. You must listen to what your client or customer is looking for. Once you start cutting hair it is really hard to glue it back together.  Make sure you are clear on the objectives and the vision up front.  At Red’s Classic Barbershop in Indianapolis and Nashville, they take notes on each customer. This helps them accumulate knowledge about individual preferences, products, clippers, shave notes, and general do’s and don’ts.

Any profession can do this with their clients. Do you?

2. They always offer their professional advice.

Hair is too important to get wrong.  So when the customer makes a clearly flawed request, the hairdresser must explain the downside to the ask.  Or the upside to other options. Unlike missteps in many other industries, you can’t quickly recover from a bad haircut.  Alexandra ‘Red’ Ridgway of Red’s says,

 The customer is not always right or reasonable, and they need to know that we have a vested interest in making them look their best.”  

Do you have the fortitude to tell your clients they have asked for a mullet, and that it is no longer 1989?

3. They make you look and feel more attractive. This is the whole point of the profession.  To make you look and feel great. Advertising and marketing works exactly the same way.  At The Weaponry our mission is to make our clients more attractive to their most important audience.  If they don’t look good, we don’t look good. Vidal Sassoon taught me that. Your happy customer is the best marketer of your work.

4. They are trustworthy.  When you get your hair cut you put your self-image in the hands of another person.  This can be very scary.  Alexandra said,

“The sense of self related to image is precious and requires great trust. The major transformations that happen when people shave their beards, cut off a ponytail or dreadlocks are very personal. The trust involved in helping a customer through those transitions is huge.’

Do your clients have a metaphorical beard, ponytail or dreadlocks? If so, the necessary changes they must make to cut them off can be very personal.  Not any old hairdresser will do.

5. You enjoy spending time with them.  Above all else, I looked forward to seeing Angie.  Getting my haircut with her was fun. We talked. We laughed. We developed a great relationship. This is a what separates the pros from the amateurs. You can get all of the other points right and still starve if you don’t nail this. It’s a simple fact that getting your haircut is an intimate act. The hair professional washes your hair. Touches your hair, your ears, your neck. And maybe the top of your toes (we all have issues). If you don’t have great interpersonal skills this becomes a super awkward interaction. If you have great skills in this arena you will book all the hours you are willing to work.

I will continue to encourage the team at The Weaponry to study great advertising minds like David Ogilvy, and great marketers like Richard Branson.  But they will also learn lessons from Angie Eger and other great hair people. If your hair professional does something great that others could learn from, let me know in the comment section.  If you are a hair professional I would love to hear from you too. If you are Angie Eger, I would love for you to set up shop in my new hometown.  Because my hairdo is overdue for a redo.