Browsing Tag

zane hagy

perception and reality

Reality is fluid, based on perception

Reality is fluid. The closest we will ever have to grasping it is our current impression of the facts, our perception, which we will readily accept as reality.

In most cases there is no reality that we can comprehend, there are simply millions of variations of how reality is perceived. True, there are ample examples where reality is black and white. Is 2+2=4? Yes, it is. But looking beyond numerics, things are never what they seem. If someone explains what they perceive as facts, they’re only explaining them in the best way they know how – they can’t convey the essence of all that is. If you assume that you have all the facts, you only have a snapshot in time that is the culmination of all things building up to how you will perceive them in that exact moment.

What the fuck is this doing on a mostly business-oriented blog that is mostly PR-related? Walking that line of perception and reality is my career, often for 16 hours each day. Framing realities that people will accept is my niche, what I’m quite good at.

I write this only as a way to commit myself to a draft of a much longer article, one that has been living in my mind for many years now. Reality is fluid, and that’s part of the magic that keeps our time on Earth livable. There’s nothing wrong with changing our perception of how we view fact, in fact, that’s what keeps us from simply giving up and letting go.

general business reputation management

A quick testimonial – Adam Brown / Tennessee School of Beauty

“My  name is Adam Brown and I am a 4th generation Cosmetology School owner. Our school basically had a monopoly in the city of Knoxville until 4 corporate schools moved into the area about 3 years ago.  When they came in, I knew we would have to do things a little differently than we had done in previous years, especially in terms of marketing.  After researching and interviewing many marketing/public relations firm, I realized that Zane Hagy would owned the perfect firm to keep us as the leader in the market.

Zane made me look at things differently than I had before. I went from spending more than $100,000 on radio ads to updating our web and internet presence (all for much less than we were spending on radio).  In addition to updating our logo and catalog, he also suggested we spend money doing events—a great and successful idea.  Then he suggested we spend our energies going out in the public and doing tons of free services for various charities—-again, very successful and great for name recognition and p.r..  Then he suggested we doing a video campaign with lots of testimonials (TSB4me).  I am pleased to say that by consistently changing up what we were doing and moving on to the next big thing, we have been able to increase our enrollment and stay at the top of the market.

Zane works with my ideas and always listens, but he also knows that I have 100% confidence that his marketing ideas will work.  I guess one of my strengths is letting the experts do what they do best while I focus on running my school.  My advice for anyone considering using Zane for their school or salon is to do two things: 1) hire them, and 2) listen to them. It’s very difficult sometimes to get away from what just worked, but because we’ve been willing to keep changing things up, we’ve been able to remain fresh in the public’s eye.”

Adam Brown, President
TENNESSEE SCHOOL OF BEAUTY
“Where Future Salon Owners are Born”

advertising branding marketing rants and ramblings reputation management social media

Millennial with a mobile phone doesn’t necessarily equate to social media marketer

You’ve worked for years on your brand. You’ve carefully crafted a look and feel for your company. You have that elevator speech down to an actual fucking art, you can make someone want to hand you money if you have 3 minutes alone with them.

Things have changed in the past few years. Now it appears that every business has to be on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram if they want reach consumers. You don’t want to spend time every day trying to monitor online activities and posting narcissistic images, but you have several staff members or family members or family members of staff members that seem to love to use social media. These odd acquaintances have 1000s of followers and can talk all day long about social media and absolutely love to post pictures of their hair and the food they just ate. It seems natural to hand social media activities over to these little online zombies and let them use these ‘skills’ to build your brand and keep you in front of the public eye.

I see this happen almost daily. Brands handed over to people without backgrounds and education and experience in branding. Suddenly the online brands look very different than the brand that has been carefully crafted. The look and feel of your company that exists online would have made you cringe a few years ago. Logos are suddenly pink because it was more visible on the image that was stolen via a Google image search. Likes are counted as important when they have nothing to do with influence – quite often, the type of people that like the new online presence are not the least bit like your actual demographic, they just find the headline funny and notice that one of their ‘friends’ liked the post.

If your online branding is in the hands of someone that doesn’t handle branding for a living, take a look at it. Scour through every post with a new eye. Is this really how you want to be seen? Do the posts fit the carefully crafted messages you are putting forth elsewhere? You’ve been warned, your brand is crumbling in front of your eyes.

rants and ramblings

Don’t stagnate in your comfort zone

Don’t stand still. We stop growing when we stop moving. We stop experiencing new things when we stop moving. Standing still means recycling what we’ve already done and what we already know. This only works so long, then the rewards diminish.

It’s hard to move outside the comfort zone, and it’s easy to come up with 1000 reasons to stay in one. Basically, regardless of how the reasons are phrased, they all boil down to one thing. Nobody dies a quick death or experiences intense pain in a comfort zone. However, nobody experiences dramatic growth or euphoria in a comfort zone either.

I found myself breaking new ground recently, then going back to an area not of ‘comfort’ but of known outcomes. It’s the same thing.

If you find yourself standing still in a place you shouldn’t be, maybe it’s time to light the bridge on fire directly behind you. Force yourself forward, or find that you can experience intense pain in your comfort zone as you burn.

rants and ramblings

One step at a time

I’ve fucked a lot of stuff up lately. I’ve also been very lucky, all things considered – even had a few apparently unnecessary things extracted from my body with no visible negative side-effects and a lot of benefit.

I can’t undo anything. I can’t forget anything, at least not on purpose. I can’t forgive myself for errors.

I can take one step at a time and move forward again.

It’s time to print the task list that has been growing longer and longer for as long as I can remember. By starting with the items I’ve been putting off because I simply didn’t know how to tackle them, I’ll suddenly find myself pushing back and heading into the future. It’s time to do for me what I’ve been doing for my clients…putting things in order and kicking ass.

branding rants and ramblings wtf

Notes to self, on self

Sometimes there are things you simply need to take note of. Some carry a notepad, some use the little voice recorder on their phoneszane hagy tattoos, some of us ink it forever onto our skin.

I was not, and still am not, someone I think of as having tattoos. That doesn’t change the fact that I currently have 10 words tattooed on my arms in very visible places, all below the elbows.

These tattoos for me are not statements of who I am, but of who I wish to be or things I need to remember. I have failed many times at many things. I have fallen short and let myself and others down, I have hurt myself and have hurt others.

Since I’m asked daily what they mean, here they are. They may mean nothing to most people, but they mean something to me, and that’s what matters.

  • Aequitas – In Roman mythology, Aequitas, also known as Aecetia, was the goddess of fair trade and honest merchants. Like Abundantia, she is depicted with a cornucopia, representing wealth from commerce. She is also shown holding a balance, representing equity and fairness. During the Roman Empire, Aequitas was sometimes worshipped as a quality or aspect of the emperor, under the name Aequitas Augusti. [Aequitas is the tattoo that one brother has in the film The Boondock Saints. His brother has a tattoo of the word Veritas. They represent justice/equality/balance/fairness and truth.]
  • Veritas – In Roman mythology, Veritas, meaning truth, was the goddess of truth, a daughter of Saturn and the mother of Virtus. It was believed that she hid in the bottom of a holy well because she was so elusive. Her image is shown as a young virgin dressed in white.
  • Destiny -The hidden power believed to control what will happen in the future; fate.
  • Forevermore – Forever
  • Nevermore – At no future time; never again.
  • Dolorem Ipsum – dolorem ipsum, translated as “pain itself”
  • Willpower – Control deliberately exerted to do something or to restrain one’s own impulses.
  • Discipline – Train oneself to do something in a controlled and habitual way.
  • Fortuna – Fortuna (Latin: Fortūna, equivalent to the Greek goddess Tyche) was the goddess of fortune and personification of luck in Roman religion. She might bring good or bad luck: she could be represented as veiled and blind, as in modern depictions of Justice, and came to represent life’s capriciousness.
  • Thanatos – In Greek mythology, Thanatos /ˈθænətɒs/ (Greek: Θάνατος [Ancient Greek: [tʰánatos]] “Death”, from θνῄσκω thnēskō “to die, be dying”) was the personification of death. He was a minor figure in Greek mythology, often referred to, but rarely appearing in person.
rants and ramblings wtf

Deviant behavior is our only hope

Innovation and greatness don’t come from emulating others, nor does happiness. It’s crucial to learn from what others have done, but absolutely vital to break your own ground and do your own thing.

Whether the topic of discussion is launching a new business, running an existing business, or living a happy and fulfilling life…deviant behavior is our only true hope. Without deviant behavior, you’re simply mimicking what you think you’re supposed to do and what the history of society tells you to do. Without deviant behavior, society cannot move forward.

From now on, when making a decision, don’t ask yourself what society would do. When making a decision, ask yourself what YOU would do.

To truly live, reach outside society’s expectations.

general business

11 Points to Consider when Raising Your Prices

I’m constantly approached by salons and booth rental stylists who tell me they need to raise their prices, but they’re simply afraid to. As a stylist or salon owner, why on Earth are you afraid to raise your prices? You are buying the same services your clients are, they know about the cost of living and the value of a high-quality service provider.

Instead of being afraid, be proud of the fact that you’re in a position to provide services that are valuable enough to warrant an increase!

Here are 11 tips when raising your prices:

Inform your clients in advance: Don’t be shy about it. Post notices on your mirrors and doors, let clients know what the new price changes are and when they go into effect. Post notices 6-8 weeks before making the change.

Don’t apologize: Explaining the price increase and being honest about the reasons it’s needed is not the same as apologizing. DO NOT apologize. You need to earn a comfortable living as much as anyone else, stand behind your decision. You can easily point out that you’re moving with the industry and that your services and level of expertise (as well as costs of doing business) have increased in the past few years.

Over deliver: Treat every client as if they are your only client. Provide the absolute best possible service every time you see a client, make them see the value in whatever you may charge.

Explain your costs: In some cases, if engaged in discussion, you can simply explain your need to raise prices. Let clients know where the additional funds will go. Has your product line increased in price? Will you be getting additional training? Has your rent increased?

Add services: Add a simple value-added service that doesn’t cost you a lot or take a lot of time. Find perks for your clients that make them feel like they’re leaving with a bargain.

Thank your clients: Don’t let one client doubt how much you value them and the trust they put in you. If they know you appreciate them and that you don’t take them for granted, they’ll trust your need to raise your prices.

Send a hand-addressed letter via the mail: Create a simple letter explaining the price increase and outlining the changes, tell your clients you appreciate them, and hand-address the envelope. Let clients know what’s happening AND let them know they were worth your time and a stamp.

Update all items with prices listed: Some stylists and salons have prices listed on a multitude of sites, make sure you update everything everywhere.

Just do it: Quit worrying about how everyone will respond, if you need to raise your prices, just raise them.

Start with just the new clients or give a discount to existing clients: For the first 1-2 months, you could simply increase the prices for new clients. Let existing clients know you’re giving them a XX% discount off the new price for the next 2 months as a small thank-you for their continued friendship.

Remember this: You Earned It!

[originally published in Salon Today]

rants and ramblings reputation management social media

How to take the perfect Selfie!

Just stop.

If you found your way to this article…just stop.

Don’t worry about a perfect selfie. Don’t worry about an imperfect selfie. Let it go.

Enjoy your surroundings and your experiences and don’t worry about how many other people decide to ‘like’ them for you.

general business

Work Your Ass Off When Nobody’s Looking

I’m constantly told by others how easy my line of work is for me. Clients and colleagues reference the fact that this all comes so easily to me, that I just fly by the seat of my pants and inherently know what to say and do. The kind ones refer to me as an idiot savant, the descriptions go downhill from there. I have several clients that are the same way, during a meeting they appear to there for fun instead of work…yet they know the answer to every question and have researched every angle of the discussion at-hand.

What people don’t see is the fact that behind every hour of appearing to have superhuman talents and knowledge, there are countless hours of work and dedication. I’m not more talented or smarter than anyone else in the room, and I’m certainly not a savant (the ‘idiot’ moniker, however, is likely applicable).

Making it all look easy is simply the hardest thing you’ll ever do. But it’s worth it. It’s just like time at the gym. Those that are able to lift more and run faster than you make it look easy, but that’s because they’ve put hours of effort into it. So, work your ass off on when nobody’s looking, and let everyone think you’re naturally the best there’s ever been.