Award-winning duo Darren and Jackie Ambrose are renowned for their show-stopping photography and stunning stage work, but how are they capitalising on this to communicate their brand? Here they talk to us about getting every penny's worth out of your creative budget.
We've been working in the creative side of hairdressing and image making for over 20 years now and things have never changed so quickly as with the growth of social media. There are so many ways to communicate your brand now, but how can you do it without spending a fortune?
For us, making each creative opportunity work hard is the key. We recently went on stage for Wella at the International Trend Vision Final where we presented three models in the Best of British show. The models looked fabulous and we spent a lot of time getting them exactly right from the hair and make-up to the styling, so as well as them being on stage we took them outside afterwards and took some shots against a great background and boomerang footage to use after the show. Using that imagery, we've secured features in the press around the '70s trends and techniques we used and we've had a huge response to them on Instagram. We've used them to illustrate features on our own website and Facebook page, not just about the '70s trend but around blonde hair for example.
We took a boomerang video of a model with black/blue hair on stage with the hair being blown by Darren, and by using local area tags on Instagram, we had potential local clients asking us how it was done and booking into the salon for a colour consultation.
Total image is really important to us as a brand, so we make sure the models are on message from top to toe - the shoes are as vital to us as the hair. What’s really exciting about these opportunities is that little impromptu shots and videos can really bring your brand to life and mix up the photoshoot images that we do – they're a totally different vibe to a studio shot and they can allow you to have some fun with it. Whereas we used to shoot once or twice a year for those images to be used in print and online to some extent, now we all want to be producing enough fresh content to share on an almost continuous basis.
We've used imagery and videos to promote stylists to our clients through their get-the-look tips or advice on how to choose and look after colour for example, so although the footage is from a hair show we can stretch it further to communicate a consumer message and link it with a call to action to book in with a specific stylist at the salon.
The best thing about social media is that it allows you to control your own message, and share that with your tribe, whether that's fellow hairdressers or clients (and potential clients). You can be spontaneous and promote whatever message you need to at that time, and by making sure you've gathered lots of assets to use whenever you do a show or shoot, you'll always have an appropriate image to carry that message.
Learn to get in the habit of documenting your show work, from a moody shot of your products laid out on the table to a hint at the clothes on the styling rail, or if there's a clever trick you use make a little video of that - just something like you spraying hairspray while using the hairdryer, or a special way to use your brush. You don't need to be as strict as you are with collection images - producing content can have an element of spontaneity as that's how it's generally consumed - people are scrolling and liking rather than scrutinising. Stay true to your brand but by thinking about all of these little artistic opportunities you'll know you're getting the best from your creative budget.