Waxing poetic on social media helps business grow

NEW YORK (AP) — Business didn't pick up at Tiffany Piggee-Taylor's waxing and skincare business until she went social with what most people consider a private matter.

After working on commission at a salon waxing bikini lines and offering facials, Piggee-Taylor decided to strike out on her own by renting a booth at another salon. But she had so few clients that she wasn't sure how she was going to be able to continue paying her booth-rental fees. Making matters worse, her husband was out of work and she needed more income to help support her family.

It was 2006, when many of the social media options available now didn't exist or weren't as popular. But Piggee-Taylor got the idea to start connecting with potential clients by advertising same-day services on the Craigslist website. She didn't have a computer at the salon, so she would go to a public library 10 minutes away, place a Craigslist post and then wait for potential customers to respond. When they did, she made appointments to meet them at the salon.

"Social media gave life to my business," says Piggee-Taylor.

The biggest issue for business owners— small or large — is building a big enough clientele so that revenue will grow. Small businesses especially have little to no money to spend on advertising. Piggee-Taylor's story illustrates how a little social media savvy can help a small business get customers in the door without breaking the bank.

Today, ME Beauty, her salon located in the Detroit suburb of Rochester, Mich., has a presence on Facebook and Twitter as well as its own website, waxmybikini.com. Piggee-Taylor's online persona, Ms. Esthetician, pens a blog titled "Body Waxing Saved My Life" that covers everything from staying beautiful on a budget to issues she's faced as a small business owner. In segments from her YouTube video series, Ms Esthy TV, Piggee-Taylor talks about how to recognize when your technician's sanitary practices aren't good enough and describes her own personal experience getting a body wrap treatment.

Eventually, Piggee-Taylor was able to attract enough customers to not only support her family, but also save the $15,000 she needed to open her own salon in June 2011. In addition to waxing, she offers skincare services such as anti-aging and acne-fighting facials.

Social media helped bring in clients, but Piggee-Taylor believes that it's not about just being 'out there.' She knows that for most people, taking their clothes off and letting a stranger strip off unwanted body hair with hot wax is kind of personal. So Piggee-Taylor purposely lets her personality shine through on her blog by writing with a fun, straight-forward tone that she says helps to break the ice with customers.

"People are here with no clothes on. I have an ability to put them at ease," she says.

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Online:

ME Beauty's website: http://waxmybikini.com

Ms Esthy TV: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ux04pgI73rc

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