Barber Hacks: How Has Social Media Changed Your Life?
HAS SOCIAL MEDIA CHANGED YOUR LIFE?
I’m sitting at a typewriter, writing a blog, (actually a tablet with a keyboard, but allow me my little fantasy) thinking about what social media actually does for me.
When was the last time social media changed your life as a barber?
If I ask myself that question...never.
There is nothing that social media has ever done that has changed my life as a barber.
I’ve hit the social media scene pretty hard. I blog, I have a YouTube channel, I have dallied with the ‘gram, I have Vero on my phone.
At one point I was a hardcore Instagram user. Logged a lot of hours, learned a lot about how the site ran, picked up a ‘real’ camera and started taking some pictures, took photos and videos of every cut that came into my chair.
I played that game, racked up some followers (tipped just above 2 grand), and I still dabble.
INSTA-FAMOUSI’m thinking lately about hours logged, and how I have used my time, and whether that time has been productive for my career as a barber, or not.
If you’re like me, you’ve seen and follow Instagram famous barbers. Looks like a fun gig. Roll out, cut some hair, travel. You can almost imagine yourself attempting to do the same thing.
This is what I find interesting; that Instagram, YouTube, and the like, promote the idea that you to, can become an influencer of great repute.
And you can. There are plenty of amazing barbers that are doing it every day, in a lot of different ways, and I applaud them.
Hell, I still haven’t stopped with my Instagram feed (in fact I just checked it now), I have just changed how I approach it.
WHAT HAS IT DONE FOR ME?
But it brings me back to a version of my original question, “What has Instagram done for me today?”
Well, it has provided me with an online portfolio, potential employers and potential clients can take a look at my work and judge me based on the photos and video that I have provided for them.
That is a great appeal.
Instagram has made me a better photographer.
I have always been interested in visual arts, and photography and me go as far back as high school. I remember developing film in the school dark room (I’m that old), learning to dodge and burn to create special effects in my shots.
I took a long break from photography, but have always had that in me, that desire to capture an image, frozen in time, of an interesting subject.
Now with barbering, I can freeze my creations in time and have something to show for all the work that I have put in.
I love how Instagram connects me to some of the best barbers around the world (the ones that are taking photos anyway).
I have learned small techniques from Insta that have changed the way that I barber.
I’ve recently culled most of the people that I was following that aren’t inspiring to me. If I am going to spend time on the app, I would like to come away with new ideas for photos, new ideas for haircuts, new visual information that I can apply to my everyday.
I chased followers for awhile, I’ll admit it, but I found it to be empty. Virtual numbers can add up, but the time spent was never going to be gained back.
So I changed the way that I approach Instagram. I made it a place to share, and consume choice cuts, but not the means to an end. I am not using the platform in an attempt to become insta-famous (although I can’t say that I wasn’t attempting that at one point), instead I am using it recreationally, and that is so much of a better place to approach a platform such as this.
THE YOUTUBE BEASTYouTube is a whole other beast for me.
I’ve been in the hair industry for sixteen years now, and to me, this is an incredibly long time to have been around.
I remember what it was like to try and find good mentors in this industry without putting myself into a great deal of debt. I had to fight for the knowledge in my head and the talent in my hands, and I still fight to learn new techniques every single day.
YouTube is a venue that I can use to share that knowledge with others.
Once again, I’ve always had a love for film, and while I had never made a film up until the day that I started my YouTube channel, I am one of those people that has studied screenwriting (writing is another passion) and film in general.
HOW ARE YOU GOING TO STAY BUSY?I had some health issues recently that slowed me down, and when that happened, I asked myself, “How can you combine what you know, and what you would like to know into something that will keep your mind busy?”
Barberhacks happened out of that, the blog and the YouTube channel.
I would love for them to have followers, loyal readers and watchers, because I put a lot of heart and hard work into them. I think that both venues have made me better at barbering and more passionate about the work that I do, and I love sharing that with others.
I want to make if easier for people to have access to knowledge that will make them better at barbering. Simple.
To be transparent, if one day I could make a couple of dollars off of it, I wouldn’t be adverse to that, but that isn’t the reason why I do it. I do it for the people that were like me when I was their age, struggling to try and be better at their job.
And, maybe, after sixteen years I have a couple of nuggets of wisdom that I can pass along.
So, when I ask myself what social media has done for me, what is the answer?
It has enriched my life by providing me an outlet in which I can create and share content with those with similar interests.
It has made me an artist in more than one way.
Is it worth the time I put into it?
When I read the feedback of readers of the blog and watchers on the channel, when I get a great comment on one of my Instagram pictures, yeah, I really do think it is.
Has it put money into my pocket? No.
Has it put new clients into my chair? No, not really.
Has it provided me with inspiration and learning opportunities? Yeah
Does it provide me with some satisfaction? Yes, totally.
What do you think that social media has added to your life?
Thanks for reading,