We are ecstatic to welcome the one and only Chico Boom as a BarberEVO columnist for 2024. He’s been on the cover and now he’ll be on the pages for every issue. This globally celebrated barber and motivation speaker is also an author, educator, presenter, and go-to guy for Rolda, JRL, and Squire. His first column tells you how to design your personal brand.
“Once you define your goals, you can build relationships that fuel your personal brand and take you into the rooms, onto the stages, and even into the boardrooms that you want to be.”
You want to build your personal brand in 2024? Let’s get into it…
Find your niche: Specialize in a specific industry niche.
Look introspectively to define your goals. Who do you want to be? What do you want people to come to you for? Once you define your goals, you can build relationships that fuel your personal brand and take you into the rooms, onto the stages, and even into the boardrooms that you want to be.
When I started, I didn’t want to just be a barber, I wanted to be a motivational speaker and educator. So, I designed my personal brand around that. You can design your brand around the clients you want to serve – maybe you want the creative, younger people in your chair, so start posting content online that reflects that ideal candidate.
Want to be known as a top tier barber? Create some guru content – utilize your social media to share advice and facts, maybe promote a couple brands. The internet is yours to play with.
Network: Go to tradeshows and events like the CT Barber Expo, which is by far the number-one show out there for barbers in North America. It is here that you find the brand contacts that you need to get a foot in the door with the biggest names in the industry – or even just to find likeminded people who might want to create with you, whether that’s online content, collections, or academies.
I am always at events scouting talent and education opportunities for JRL. If you come speak to me and you’re articulate, well-presented, and attentive then I’ll give you the chance – I’ll hear you out. Being put together is a huge part of professionalism and of boosting that personal brand.
Maximize social media: In today’s digital age, having a strong online presence is essential for developing a personal brand.
We can all agree that a barber can leverage social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, and YouTube to showcase their work. This is your direct line to clients and your direct selling platform – selling your work and selling your personal brand.
By creating eye-catching content and consistently posting updates – which, honestly, is something that I need to work on too – that showcase your craft builds you a following and attract new clients. Once you master that, you’re opening yourself to not just new clients, but new opportunities with brands and even getting featured in magazines like BarberEVO.
Don’t forget about websites, too. You want people to find you everywhere – they shouldn’t have to investigate the internet to find you. You must maintain a professional website that features information about your service pricing and contact details to further enhance your credibility and visibility online.
Get headshots and a résumé: Identify who you are and capture that in a headshot. I wanted to present myself as a public speaker, so I wore a suit.
Also create a bio about yourself; something short and snappy that says what you’re about. Also write out a résumé and always have it on hand, so when opportunities do present themselves for work, presenting gigs, or someone contracts you for something, you have a resume to submit that shows all your qualifications.
To summarize: a bio is just a short description of your accomplishments and things like that, but the resume goes more extensive into the work field. Make sure to put your website and social handles on there so they know where to see your practical skills.
Learn how to talk: this is essential if you want to be a platform artist/educator, which I think is the ultimate goal for most ambitious barbers.
I won’t take people seriously who come to events and tradeshows who aren’t well presented in their clothing, or who talk casually. I want you to be eloquent, driven, and professional – not too many ‘uum’ or ‘you know what I’m saying’.
To be successful in the professional field, communication needs to be mastered. You do that by taking speaking courses.
I recommend Toastmasters International. They’re a public speaking and communication skills educator that teach all over the globe. This is where you learn how to develop your communication skills and gain coping mechanisms that help you manage nerves or anxieties about speaking on stage.