People Don’t Buy What You Do, They Buy Why You Do It


With the rise of social media, it is increasingly more difficult to market yourself as a hairstylist. With a market that is so saturated, how do you stand out?

People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.

What exactly does this mean? Your clients know WHAT you do. You do hair (duh). But do they know WHY you do it? What drives you? What your purpose is? Why you are passionate about doing hair?



This diagram was created by Simon Sinek, a brilliant speaker who codified why we love the businesses / people we love and how they communicate.

Usually, marketing goes from the outside in. Brands or stylists will communicate what they do and how they do it. (i.e. I am a trained hairstylist specializing in blondes.) But the special brands, the ones that you hold close to your heart, are communicating totally differently. They start with why.

“Let me give you an example. I use Apple because they’re easy to understand and everybody gets it. If Apple were like everyone else, a marketing message from them might sound like this: “We make great computers. They’re beautifully designed, simple to use and user friendly. Want to buy one?” “Meh.” That’s how most of us communicate. That’s how most marketing and sales are done, that’s how we communicate interpersonally. We say what we do, we say how we’re different or better and we expect some sort of a behavior, a purchase, a vote, something like that. Here’s our new law firm: We have the best lawyers with the biggest clients, we always perform for our clients. Here’s our new car: It gets great gas mileage, it has leather seats. Buy our car. But it’s uninspiring.

Here’s how Apple actually communicates. “Everything we do, we believe in challenging the status quo. We believe in thinking differently. The way we challenge the status quo is by making our products beautifully designed, simple to use and user friendly. We just happen to make great computers. Want to buy one?” Totally different, right? You’re ready to buy a computer from me. I just reversed the order of the information. What it proves to us is that people don’t buy what you do; people buy why you do it.” -Simon Sinek

We are communicating backwards.

Why has the “why” been lost in translation? In the growth of social media, we have become more obsessed with CONTENT over CONTEXT.

“The goal is not to do business with everyone who needs what you have, the goal is to do business with people who believe what you believe.” – Simon Sinek


I remember having a conversation with my Cosmetology school teacher, and he told me something that I will never forget. He said “It’s only 50% about hair. The other 50% is about how you make them feel.”

We all have those couple clients that you just adore servicing. You feel motivated to do their hair, the session goes flawlessly, the conversation flows like they are an old friend, and when you’re finished, you feel so grateful to have chosen this career. These clients come to you because they have seen WHY you do hair, not just the end result. They connect with you on a level that is deeper than hair- isn’t this the clientele you want booked out for the year?

Start with WHY everyday…

and watch how it changes who you are surrounded by. We are in the art world, we are passionate as hell by nature. Chances are you got into this industry for your need to want to make people feel good about themselves. Or to show them how to embrace change. Whatever drives you, whatever your cause, whatever wakes you up in the morning, share it with everyone. We follow leaders not because we have to, but because we want to.

“If you talk about what you believe, you will attract people who believe what you believe.” -Simon Sinek



@salon_sessions | #salonsessions



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