The Power of Social: Lady Gaga

“I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples.”  Mother Teresa

NOTE: This post was originally shared on April 1, 2012 which is significant as it was nearly 5 years ago yet it is as relevant today as it was then.

(via YouTube)
Lady Gaga builds one of the world’s largest fan bases by using the web to talk directly and openly to her community. This film celebrates Lady Gaga’s special and unmediated relationship with her fans, the Little Monsters. The making of this film is a demonstration of the power of the web in its own right. The entire project, beginning with Lady Gaga’s shoot in NYC on May 8th 2011, to shipping materials to the television networks for air, took 10 days.

Within hours of the release of her new single “Edge of Glory” on May 9th, fans began uploading videos on YouTube, making the song their own by dancing to it, singing it and playing it on all kinds of instruments. Lady Gaga then posted a message on her website asking for more videos to be used in the film project. Fans responded within minutes and uploaded hundreds more videos. Back in the editing room, in real time as fan videos streamed in, editors were putting them into the film.

The film was completed on May 18th in time to air during Lady Gaga’s performance on the season finale of Saturday Night Live, and to also live on the web and turned into a commercial for the launch of Google Chrome. Wow.


We love Lady Gaga; we love the social web; we love you and hope that you will take this video as a lesson from Gaga on the power to use the web to transform your relationships with your own “little monsters’ in a way that will propel your business, brand, career (and life) forward!

Love + Awesomeness-
Nina xo

Your Content Is Your Marketing.header

Your Content Is Your Marketing

“Our job is to connect to people, to interact with them in a way that leaves them better than we found them, more able to get where they’d like to go.”  Seth Godin

Your Content Is Your Marketing

About every other day, I get asked “Nina, where do I find content for my social pages?” And my answer is always the same, what is your brand story, promise, purpose and objective. When you know this, then, and only then, will you begin to find inspiration to create or curate (share other peoples) content.

This past week, I was inundated with posts on Facebook and Instagram about the hair transformations of Kim Kardashian and Jared Leto. Now let me get something very clear, this has nothing to do with whether I am a fan of either of them. But for those that follow me, you know I am obsessed with one of them. #teamjared

What I witnessed were so many hairdressers and trade publications I love bashing their hair (and hairdressers) and even posting a message to clients to NOT come (pictured above) into the salon and ask for a certain color. OMG, are you kidding me? I am confident most had no idea the impact these posts were having on their brand. Thus, my intense need to write this post.

Now, onto my point. Your content is your marketing. It is your story. Your brand. Your promise. And if you are using your Facebook and Instagram pages to help grow your business, then why in the world would you post anything that tells clients NOT to come in to see you or ask for a certain look?

Each day I work with passionate humans looking to learn how to engage authentically and effectively on social platforms to help grow their business.

In my lifetime, I have NEVER seen anything like the empowering opportunities the social web gives to creative small businesses. It is astounding. If used properly, of course.

The beauty of our world is that we are free to believe, share and post anything we want. All I am asking is that you understand the effects of your posts and are clear on your objectives for the platforms you choose to engage on.

Remember, your content is your marketing. Every post, share, comment, like (even what you are liking and commenting on other peoples pages)… Each moment is telling your brand story to your current and future clients.

What does your content say about your marketing? It matters.

Love + Awesomeness-


PS: A big shout out to @jasonbacke of @tedgibsonbeauty for being an awesome model of content that supports his brand. Well done!

The Standoff.1

The Standoff

“News doesn’t break, it tweets.”

 Paul Saffo

The Standoff.1Here is the audio version of this post. Thank you so much for listening.

So let me set the scene. It’s a Tuesday morning. I am just returning home from my early morning Pilates class. I see cops. A crew of them, in the lobby of my building.

Nothing seems strange, so I go about my morning. Walk the dogs, make myself another Americano, and catch up on Facebook and Instagram.

Having just hired Ashely, my newest awesomeness creator, she was to meet me at the Passion Squared Loft at 9am. I get a text at 8:50 (love people who are on time, and by on time I mean early) saying “I am here, but the cops just escorted me out of the lobby.” OMG I said, I will be right down. Thinking we can grab a quick ice tea at Coffee Bean (yes, I am cheating on Starbucks cause I am obsessed with Coffee Bean’s ice and their straws match my hair color). But to my surprise, as I walked out to get her, I saw cops, and my street being closed down. The cop said, “you can go to Coffee Bean, but you will not be able to come back.” So we headed back upstairs and got to work.

The Standoff

This is when things got nuts. We heard siren after siren, and started looking out the window of my 9th floor loft. Still having NO idea WTF was happening in my building.

So what did we do? What everyone does today, we took to Twitter. And Instagram. And sure enough, we found out exactly what was happening. There was an alleged felony fugitive on the 5th floor. A resident. Who may or may not have been armed. Who was served with a warrant and refused to surrender. So for 8 hours, we waited, with the SWAT team, Bomb Squad, LAPD and LAFD. It was a real life standoff. Like on TV. IN MY BUILDING!

But that is not the point of this blog. The point is where we went for information. How much we relied on the social web, and not news stations (online or off), no, they knew pretty much noting.

It was Twitter, and Instagram, connecting with both official and unofficial tweets and Instagrams. It was about finding and sharing experiences using hashtags such as #DTLA and #LAPD. That’s how it works now. We have access to 24/7 LIVE information, as it happens, thanks to the social web.

So what does that mean for your business? A few things. You can continue to have a “standoff” with the social + digital web. Choosing not to engage on YELP because there are crazy’s on there, or choosing not to engage with an online booking platform like Schedulicity because of fear of losing control of your schedule (which you don’t BTW), or choosing not to find time to Instagram, or Facebook for your business. You can choose to not do any of those things, just as long as you know, each day you wait is a day closer to becoming an irrelevant, un-discoverable business.

Johnny_snips is booked a month out, he’s young and just getting started. AndrewDoesHair delivers a ton of awesome education and launched an awesome product ADH Dry. Larisadoll is passionate about sharing her beautiful, creative colors and can’t take a new client until August 2015. These are just three of several examples of incredibly talented & focused hairdressers who are passionate about building community and engaging on  Instagram. They create a ton of value. They care.

The world has changed. Business has changed. The choice you need to make is if you will change too. The choice, as always, is yours.

PS: A BIG shout out of thanks to the LAPD and LAFD, they were amazing. The suspect surrendered peacefully and all is well in the world. And to my new awesomeness creator at Passion Squared, Ashley, thank you for being so amazing on your first day. You rock!

Love + Awesomeness-


My tribe

The Tribe

“A group needs only two things to be a tribe: a shared interest and a way to communicate.”

Seth Godin


My tribePictured: Erin + Carrie of The Hair Nerds, Josh XO and Douglas McCoy of The House of POp

Here is the audio version of this post. Thanks so much for listening. Enjoy.

As I write this post, I am preparing for the ISSE show, which is, if you don’t know, the kick-off of the annual hair show season for hairdressers. And it’s pretty awesome.

One of the most exciting parts of this weekend, is connecting with my tribe, offline. What is even more amazing to me, is that most of my tribe I have only met in the last 1 1/2 years. Ahhhhh, the power of the social web. Shared interests and empowering platforms such as Hairbrained, Facebook, Instagram and blogs like The Hair Nerds brought us together. And now, you cannot keep us apart.

So many people complain that social platforms are making us less connected, I say, it is what you make it. This goes for both our business and private lives. We can see these platforms as empowering connectors, or time sucks. The choice is ours.

Where the real magic happens, is when those online relationships go offline. Because in the end, we all crave good ol’ fashion face to face connection and a sense of belonging. There is nothing like a big, tight hug from someone you admire and respect. It just seems to make everything better.

If  you are one who is not sold on social and how it can empower your business, I challenge you to take a step back and think about how you are using the Internet. Are you using it as a tool to build relationships? To engage and provide value? Because in the end, that is why we are here. To connect, to share, to love, to provide value and to serve.

I hope to see you online or on the road. And give you a big hug.

(shared with LOVE from Nina)


6 Ways To Share Your Story On The Web

“If history were taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten.”

 Rudyard Kipling


Here is the audio version of the post if reading is not your thing. Enjoy!
6 Ways To Share Your Story On The Web

One of the most common questions I am asked by salon owners and artists is “what” they should be posting on their social platforms. My question back is almost always “why” are you posting in the first place.

When we start with why (thank you Simon Sinek), the what and how begins to flow so much more naturally.

Think of your content as your marketing, your story, your voice and your experience and all of a sudden, content creation becomes a creative and fun process, not a daunting one as many have told me it is.

Here are 6 ways to share your story on the Web…

1. About Section
The very overlooked yet super important area to share your story.

2. Before’s & After’s
One of the most engaging ways to share your work, tell a hair story and recognize your team & clients.

3. Behind The Scenes
We all have this incredible desire to see what goes on behind the scenes of our fave brands.

4. Education
If part of your why is your passion for technical excellence, share the hair shows, workshops and advanced education stories with me.

5. Giving Back
Is giving back part of your story? Sharing your charitable events is a great way to show me.

6. Shout Outs
One of our most basic human needs is the need to be recognized. Saying thank you to clients, recognizing a milestone in a team members life or career, or featuring another local business is one of the most powerful ways to engage.

So remember, always start with why. When you have that down, you can begin to create compelling, authentic and powerful content for your social pages.

Have questions? Want to share your story with me? I’m listening.

(shared with LOVE from Nina)