Online shoppers are often flying solo through the purchasing process. So, how do you make sure that your brand is connecting with customers and building that repeat purchasing power? Habib Salo, CEO of the phenomenally successful cosmetics brand Young Nails, is here to talk about the importance of community-building in ecommerce.
Brian Weinstein: Welcome everybody to Sippin’ & Shippin’. I’m your host, Brian Weinstein. We’ll be kicking it here every other Thursday, quenching your thirst for an insider’s take to enhance your customer’s experience. Grab your drink of choice, kick back, it’s Sippin’ & Shippin’ time. All right, welcome everybody to another episode of Sippin’ & Shippin’. I’m your host, Brian Weinstein, and I am here as I am every other Thursday with my partner in crime, Caitlin Postel.
Caitlin Postel: Hey Brian, how are you?
Brian Weinstein: I’m doing well. I’m doing well. Good. So we’ve got a hot one here today because our office AC is down, so Caitlin and I are dripping sweat, but as they say, the show must go on. So we have our special guest this week from Young Nails, Habib Salo. I know I pronounced that wrong again.
Habib Salo: No, you’re good. That’s correct, actually.
Brian Weinstein: That’s awesome. All right. So Habib is the CEO of Young Nails. And Habib, welcome to the program.
Habib Salo: Thank you for having me. It’s good to be here.
Brian Weinstein: Yeah. Excellent. So we’ve had the opportunity to talk. We were introduced a few months ago, and I think I’ve mentioned to you, I’m super impressed with your company and you guys just do such an excellent job in your marketing group. Just give us a little background on Young Nails and you and how this whole organization started.
Habib Salo: Yeah, so basically, the company was started in ’92 by my mom. She was 49 years old. I had just left college, and she was like, I’m done raising you fools.
Caitlin Postel: Go mom, yeah.
Habib Salo: Yeah. No, my mom is hardcore. We were out of the house, and she always had that entrepreneurial spirit. It had just been… just knocking. And she finally answered the door once we were off to college and decided to explore different opportunities with starting her own business. My dad is an auto mechanic, worked extremely hard turning wrenches his whole life, supporting the family. And my mom was like, “it’s my turn. I want to get out there.” At 49 years old, pretty amazing. She started the company, met a complete stranger. She had one of those post office, et cetera… it’s like a postal, like a UPS store back in ’92. And a guy walked in and said, “Hey, I want to rent the back part of your business. I make cosmetology kits for cosmetology schools.” And my mom was like, “I want to partner with you.” First time met the guy was like, “I want to partner with you. I’m in. I can refinance the house. I can get some capital. Let’s do this together. That sounds exciting.” And the company was born.
And then my mom at that time grabbed my brother. He was going to be a fireman. And she was like, “Come join me, and we’re going to do extremely well. We’re going to be rich in three years.” And so my brother was like, “Wow, that sounds amazing.” And obviously, it never turns out that way. We entered a world of financial struggle you can’t even imagine or believe. Their original partner ended up embezzling money from them so they had to get rid of him. We were borrowing money from friends and family to keep this thing afloat. And eight years into it, we were at a breaking point. And I was kind of figuring out what I want to do with my life. And I was the last person with good credit, so I jumped in the family business in 2000. I unloaded my credit cards. I think it was somewhere around 60 or $70,000 and at 20% interest, just ridiculous. I was officially part of the business.
And from there, we, as a family, were able to kind of divide responsibilities, and we were a good team together and started to kind of turn things around at that time, but that’s how the company started. Pretty insane way to start a company, but that’s kind of how we got off the ground and since then we’ve been growing consistently over the last 20, 21 years. Hit some plateaus and had to change things up along the way, but it’s been quite the journey.
Brian Weinstein: That’s incredible. Prior to that, was your mom just home raising you guys?
Habib Salo: Yeah. Yeah. She was raising us and… incredible, incredible mother, but she always wanted to do something more. And then when the opportunity to get in the nail manufacturing business came to her, she was like… She was kind of a visionary. She was like, “I really believe that this industry is going to… the cosmetic industry and nail specifically is going to be something big.” So that’s how we got into manufacturing nail care products, which is… never in a million years would I thought I’d be in that business, but it’s a beautiful industry and I’m very lucky to be in it.
Brian Weinstein: Yeah. And it speaks to, you could have a vision for products and things like that, but if you don’t have a passion and the intestinal fortitude to handle those rollercoaster rides of investment and deep in debt and everything else, then being an entrepreneur is not for you. So hat’s off to her at 49. That’s fantastic.
Habib Salo: I know. I’m 47 and I’m imagining starting from scratch at 49 is just… She’s just an incredible human being. I mean, she is so strong, and my brother and I are so lucky to have her as a mentor, really and somebody that we’ve learned how to be strong and deal with anything that kind of comes our way. She was the example for us. Really amazing.
Brian Weinstein: Yes. And you know what? At 21 years ago, when you put 60 to $70,000 on your credit cards, you really couldn’t wrap your head around what that would’ve meant to pay it back if you couldn’t get there, right?
Habib Salo: No, it took so long. And having maybe intestinal fortitude like you were talking about, Brian, is… that’s something that you can’t learn in school. And whenever people talk about starting a business, whatever business it is, and that’s the one thing I always say is, “You’ve got to be ready for the madness that is about to come into your life, the struggle, the difficult… There’s no way to avoid it.” There’s such a small percentage of people… It’s so small where they start a business and it takes off and things sort of happen, and that is not… 99.9% of us have to deal with growing a business, the ups and downs, the roller coaster. And when you’re financially struggling, like you can’t pay your bills and your house is getting foreclosed on and creditors are calling you day and night, it’s awful. And to sit through that every day and just like, “Okay, we’ll get through this”, is not easy to do. Years of that is not easy to do.
Brian Weinstein: No, no. Well, I mean, and here you are today and you guys obviously have built something that I find just… And we talked about this a little bit offline at some point, your approach to your business… and obviously, it comes from years of this passion… is just incredible. So I would assume when you first started, this was more of a traditional selling into B2B businesses, right? You were selling into that.
Habib Salo: Yeah, that’s correct. So when we started the business, how we would get product to the market was through distribution. So we manufacture. Our main focus was finding distributors we could sell in quantity to and then they would market our brand to their local markets. So that was the model. There wasn’t any way for us to go direct. So you’re very dependent on who owns distribution in an area. Let’s say in the northeast of the United States, you want to get your nail products in there? Well, here’s three distributors that you’ve got to somehow figure out a way to get in the door, meet the owners, woo them over your product line and why your brand is so great, and if three people say, no, if those three owners say, no, you don’t have a shot in that market. So it’s hard. You know?
Brian Weinstein: Right. Yeah.
Habib Salo: And then even eventually kind of what happened was the two biggest distributors in the country started buying up all the local distributors. So if you didn’t have your product in one of two distributors, you just had no chance of distribution, of getting your product into the market. So we fought hard to get our product into distribution. It was very tough. At one point, we didn’t have any distribution… We couldn’t get in, so we just started our own. We looked to our educators, we call them, these nail technicians. And we talked to these nail technicians and said, “Hey, we want you to sell our product in your area.” And that’s kind of how we got around the distribution problem. But yeah, it was a traditional business model of, we manufacture, we distribute to other resellers and then they work with their local markets to get the product out there.
Brian Weinstein: Okay. And then when did you start to transition into e-commerce? And I would classify your e-commerce as you’re selling both to the end consumer, the individual-
Habib Salo: Correct.
Brian Weinstein: … as well as the nail technicians and maybe the salons themselves, correct?
Habib Salo: That’s correct. So, our e-comm is… it’s both, the consumer plus… we call them the nail enthusiasts. The women who are very passionate about nails. They love doing it, but they have no desire to start a business. They just really enjoy doing their own nails and acrylics, gels, and gel polish, and then also the salons as well. That is our end consumer… Or that’s our customer today, e-comm.
Brian Weinstein: Right.
Habib Salo: The transition happened almost about four and a half years ago, where we reached a plateau in our business. We eventually got into the two largest US distributors in the country. That was very difficult to do. And at that time I thought, you get into these distributors, you just hit two home runs. Your business is off to the races. And there’s so many things I didn’t understand about big box distribution. And the truth of the matter is, now we’re up on the shelf, a brand that nobody knows with these name brands that have been in the market for years, and I don’t have the choice of representing my own product line in terms of, “Hey, here’s the products that are going to do great. Let’s put this category.” The distributor comes back and says, “No, sorry, we don’t have room for that. You can only pick five SKUs. And we like these and we think this is going to…” So they’re calling all the shots on our brand. We have no say. And then also, if things don’t work out with that product, they have the option of sending it all back to you.
So, you basically go build all this inventory, make an investment to supply thousands of doors across the country, and then if they don’t like it, they send back the product, and now you have no way… How am I going to move this product? The only two distributors in the country have sent it back because it didn’t sell. So you’re stuck with this inventory. I don’t have a way of getting it to the market. I can’t even discount it to anybody because those customers don’t exist. I only have the distribution channels.
So that’s what was happening, which made a lot of problems for us, and we were struggling, and we started to kind of see a little bit of a downturn in our revenue. So my brother and I were coming back from a trip. We were traveling internationally. We have a lot of customers in Europe, and we were coming back on a trip, and we were in the airport, and I was just sitting there, looking around, and saw this older couple. They were probably in their sixties, seventies, on their phones, both of them. And I was like, “Oh my gosh, what am I doing?” It just clicked. I just looked at my brother and I’m like, “Greg, we’ve got to be full force on digital. That’s where everybody is. That’s where the attention’s at. That’s where we got to be.” So that started the journey of getting our brand communicating through digital to reach those customers.
Brian Weinstein: Did either of you have a marketing background?
Habib Salo: None.
Brian Weinstein: Okay.
Habib Salo: Zero. I have a background of, I need to figure this out. It’s so funny you mention that, Brian. My cousin asked me one time, he’s like, “How have you guys been successful? What’s been the key ingredient?” And I said, “You know what the key is? The key is my back is against the wall and if I don’t figure this out, we are in deep, deep trouble.” So that motivating factor, my life is on the line and my employee’s lives on the line and my family, my kids, my brother, my mom. This is real life stuff. I better go to work and figure this out.
So, that’s what I did. I started doing research on… I was experimenting. I was recording myself with my own camera for months. I went on to YouTube and learned how to edit videos because I had no idea how to edit. YouTube is an incredible resource for education. It’s insane. I learned how to use Final Cut Pro and edit all the videos from beginning to end for three months. So I was recording myself and then dropping them into Final Cut Pro, editing videos, bringing them to work and showing our team like, “Hey, what do you think of this? What do you think of this?”
A big inspiration for me was the Dollar Shave Club. You know that commercial that guy did that catapulted his company? That was kind of the inspiration. I was trying to create some kind of vibe like that. And then one of our… my art director at the time, he said to me, “Hey Habib, I want you to check this out.” And he showed me this vlog on YouTube. These young kids were creating these video blogs called vlogs and just shooting their day, what they’re doing. And there was one guy in particular, his name is Casey Neistat, and I watched one of his videos, and I was like, “Oh my gosh, this is what we have to do. We need to show our company who we are and film it, put out this blog on Young Nails. This is what we have to do.” So that’s literally how it started.
We started with a vlog. Started in February 25th. I think it was 2017 was our first vlog. And we got extremely disciplined with our posting. “We’re going to post twice a week, Monday and Friday. On Instagram, we’re going to post once a day, religiously. If I’m in the hospital, I’m going to find a way to post. I don’t care.” It became law. And we started to get learnings, like, “Okay, people are not responding to this. They’re responding to this. Let’s change it up. Let’s change it up.”
And then oddly enough, somebody commented on one of our videos and they’re like, “Hey, you guys are doing this vlogging thing, have you ever heard of this guy? His name is Gary Vee?” And I’m like, “Gary Vee? Who is this guy?” Looked him up and I started listening to his podcast and all the stuff that we were doing, he was talking about, like this is what you should do. So I was like, I need to get in contact with his company. So I called them, VaynerMedia, they’re called. And these guys were the experts in their field, so I called them and I said, “Hey, I want to take this one day course you guys have. We’re a company. We’re doing X, Y and Z.” I went out to New York. I took their course. It was amazing. And then I said, “I need more. I want you guys to represent our company. I want you guys to be the marketing company behind Young Nails.” And they were like, “You’re a little small.” And I said, “Please, can you just look at what we’re doing because I know we’re on the right track?”
And Gary’s brand manager at the time, this guy, his name is Andy Kraynak, he took the time… These are some amazing people over there at VaynerMedia. He took the time. He looked over our stuff and he looked at me and he’s like, “Wow, okay, you guys are actually doing it.” I said, “Andy, do you guys have a program for us?” And he said, “We don’t. You’re too small.” And I was just so insistent. I’m like, “I know this is the answer. I know we’re on the right track. I just need some guidance, and if you help us out, I know we can explode as a brand.” And so he’s like, “Let me talk to some people and see.” They came back to me the week later and said, “We actually have a program. It’s called Vayner Mentors. We’re going to take a small business. We’re going to mentor you. And it’s a three year program, and we’re going to teach you everything.” And that’s how I got to really start a relationship with VaynerMedia and Gary. And they took us through this program and that’s where I started getting… You talk about where did we learn this stuff? We started it through, I don’t have a choice, but then I started getting expert advice from them through this program. We started executing hard against it and then this just really catapulted our company to the next level.
Brian Weinstein: Yeah. Well, I mean, listen, it’s clear that you guys are in this thing. I mean, a lot of passion, a lot of real drive to get your message out there.
Habib Salo: Yeah.
Habib Salo: Yeah, correct.
Brian Weinstein: Right?
Habib Salo: Yep.
Brian Weinstein: And again, I know that community is both the individual, and then I even watched one where you were talking about… “To the nail technicians of the world, what do you do if you have a disgruntled customer or a difficult customer? I mean, so there’s just so much value in there. How are you getting the feedback? Because obviously, you guys are killing it in this space right now with the way you’re getting your message out there, the way you’re engaging your community, which is huge, right? So when they talk about the principles of marketing, it’s always, you have to attract your audience, but then you have to engage them. And you guys are out there doing that with all these postings. How are you getting your feedback and sort of measuring what’s working in that space?
Habib Salo: Yeah. That’s a great question. So we hired a community manager. And this community manager, her job is to go through comments and DMs on Instagram, YouTube, Facebook, Facebook Community, TikTok, Snapchat, LinkedIn, all of our platforms that we’re active on. That is her main job. Collect any comments, DMs, see where the flow is and what people want, what are they asking for?
And so this is one of the great benefits of building a community because we have our own built in focus group. We don’t ever have to go outside and hire a focus group. First of all, through comments and DMs and all these platforms daily, we know what our community wants and we know what they like and what they don’t like because they tell us. And then second of all, what’s great is when we want to product develop, we can ask them and say, “Hey guys, what do you think of this? What do you think of that?” If we wanted to create a product like this, we’ll do polls. “Answer honestly, would you like it? Would you not like it?” And they love it because they feel like they’re part of the company’s product development process.
So in the beginning, when you’re building a community, you don’t have that. You don’t have that feedback, right? But the biggest mistake that companies do is first of all, they’re creating content for themselves. “Look at my new nail polish. It’s the most awesome nail polish in the world. It’s the best performing. Trust me, you’re going to love it.” And their content is all about their products versus giving real value, helping somebody on the other side. “Hey, when you apply nail polish, did you know that you don’t start at the top? You start from the middle of the nail and then you slowly push up.” And it’s like, “Oh my gosh, that’s such a great tip. I learned something from you.” Now it builds trust and then we start getting… that allows the person… they feel comfortable with us. They start commenting. “Well, then what happens if my brush is too thin, or what happens if it…” And then we start engaging and then that’s how you build community.
And it’s so simple in idea, yet obviously, it takes a lot of effort and work to execute every single day because there’s so many comments that come through. In the beginning, a lot of companies are like, “Well, there’s nobody commenting. We get three or four”, but that’s how you start. With three or four, you engage with them. You have to build that and eventually it gets to a point where it just feeds on itself. You have this great cycle kind of going.
Brian Weinstein: Yeah.
Caitlin Postel: Yeah.
Brian Weinstein: And it’s funny because for us, I think when we were starting this, the Sippin’ & Shippin’ program, right, obviously, we tie back to Whiplash. It’s sort of the mothership, but we don’t ever really talk about it-
Habib Salo: Yeah, right.
Brian Weinstein: … because what we’re really out here doing is trying… We know who our audience is, right? And we’re trying to find ways to bring them value. Hearing stories, like the one you’re telling right now, is of value to someone and it could be a young entrepreneur-
Habib Salo: Yeah, that’s right.
Brian Weinstein: … who needs to understand a little bit more and needs to get some insight, and that’s sort of the direction we went. And you almost feel like you have to… for me, anyway, I want to give back to the community that I’m serving. Right?
Habib Salo: Yes. Yes.
Brian Weinstein: So I want to be able to offer insight. Even if you want to just call it a podcast mentorship, I’ll take that, right? But listening and watching you guys and just seeing that has just been… it’s really an experience that your audience is getting that they’re probably not getting from other places.
Habib Salo: It’s a lot more rare than I thought, to be honest with you. I didn’t think it was so rare, but it still is very, very rare. And the one question that I get a lot is, “Well, okay, that’s great, Habib, you build this community, but is your company benefiting from it? Are you guys actually selling?” The question is, not only are we selling, we’re growing at a rate faster than we’ve ever seen in the history of our company because we’re actually building a real community with real trust. We’re not focusing… It’s so funny. It’s the most unselfish, selfish approach to business because of course, the goal is we want our company to grow. Selfishly, I want to grow my business. I want to increase my revenue, consistently try to every single year. But the approach is so unselfish in that, the way that we do that is by not talking about products or trying to sell you, we talk about how you can improve your salon, how you can improve your business. Every single day, tips, tricks on all of our platforms. We’re putting out 50 to 60 pieces of content a day across all platforms that are 95% focused on giving you a tip or an education piece to help you or maybe just to make you laugh, some entertainment value as well in the content.
But that is the big secret. That’s not a secret. People are always like, “How do you build a community, and what’s the trick?” And the trick is, you give the information away. As an expert in the field, I’m not worried about my competitor stealing our marketing strategy. You can go on our YouTube page and you can learn all of our marketing strategies right there in the open. I don’t hide anything. And the reason is because you can have all the information, but you still have to execute it. And executing it, it does take time. The idea is simple, but the execution is everything, but with time and with persistence, anyone can take that on.
Brian Weinstein: Yep.
Caitlin Postel: Yeah, for sure. And I think also your authenticity just really shows through anything that you’re bringing to the market. I was a little surprised to hear that you said four years ago is when you really broke into that space because I know-
Habib Salo: Yeah.
Caitlin Postel: … you were one of the first folks on YouTube doing nail education back in 2009.
Habib Salo: Correct.
Caitlin Postel: And what changed? Of course, the Gary Vee touch is always nice-
Habib Salo: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah.
Caitlin Postel: … but it sounds like also consistency of content was key. Can you just expand a little bit more on that?
Habib Salo: Yeah. And just to kind of address what you said, so we were one of the first nail companies in 2009 to get on YouTube. We were doing a video or two a month.
Caitlin Postel: Right.
Habib Salo: It’s so bizarre. And just trying to put something out there. And just do something different than our competitors was our whole strategy back then, but then four and a half years ago, it was like, we need to rev this up. Consistency of content, oh my gosh, I cannot speak to how important that… So I do a marketing class, a three hour marketing class every couple of months for our community, and the number one thing that I talk about is really succeeding in social media marketing is two things. It’s 50/50 for me. You can’t have one without the other. You have to have good content. Good content, meaning value based content. Content where you’re giving, and you’re not, “Look at… My nails are the most amazing nails, and come to my salon because it’s the best”, but rather, you’re giving value to the client through your content, number one.
And number two is consistency, which people overlook. I do this thing where I go through people’s Instagram accounts, nail technicians, and it just does not fail. Not one person… I’ve maybe come across one or two that post daily, everybody else does not post every single day. And your consistency is… it’s what allows you to see what is working and what’s not working. If you’re posting every day, if you’re consistent in your content, you can start to see patterns. You take that variable out of, well, it’s not because I’m not posting all the time. Okay, I’ve got that part down. And so once you get that part down, which is one of the most challenging parts, then you can start to hone in on, is it the creative? Is it the messaging? Is it the copy?
Caitlin Postel: Right.
Habib Salo: Those things you can start to play with, but you’ve got to take that variable out. And one of the big reasons, and this is what I was taught through VaynerMedia is… He gave me an example. Gary was like, “The amount of times you should post on Instagram is six times a day.” And I was like, “What? Six? That’s so much.” And he goes, “Because of the algorithm, the way that it’s set up, your community may see one or two of those posts, so putting out six doesn’t mean your community’s going to get slammed with six posts. They may just get a couple. So you want to put six so that it gives different parts of your community… They’re going to see different posts.” And once that was told to us, we went to six times a day. I started posting on Instagram six times a day.
Caitlin Postel: Yeah.
Habib Salo: But consistently, every single day, it is, Caitlin, half the battle.
Caitlin Postel: With that consistency, you get a bigger sample. You get to understand what’s resonating with folks and what’s keeping them come back for more.
Habib Salo: That’s it. Exactly.
Caitlin Postel: So maybe I hated two of the six posts, but I loved the other four, and now I’m going to go online and order, which is amazing.
Habib Salo: Right.
Caitlin Postel: So I have to ask you, I didn’t see it, but when’s mom coming to YouTube? Is she on there? Can she be on an episode? That’s what I want to see from Young Nails.
Habib Salo: Yeah. Actually, you can. She’s not here as much these days.
Caitlin Postel: Understandably so.
Habib Salo: Yeah, totally, but she has shot… I’ve done a bunch of episodes with her. If you type in, “Young Nails founder”, I think I had her on a couple… She was on one of the early vlogs. And then even in the middle, maybe a year ago, she’s on a vlog. And then I’ve shot a couple podcasts with her, and they’re great. You love her vibe.
Caitlin Postel: Nice. Yeah, totally.
Brian Weinstein: That’s awesome.
Habib Salo: Just very positive.
Caitlin Postel: Just the quote in itself, “You’re 60. You’re 70. You have a dream. You stick to it. You go for it. You’re going to get it.”
Habib Salo: Yes. Yes.
Caitlin Postel: I mean, you got to love that. You got to love that.
Habib Salo: Totally.
Caitlin Postel: I know Gary does.
Habib Salo: Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. It’s so true.
Brian Weinstein: So, when you’re putting out those six posts a day, how are you measuring the impact that has? Is there certain ways? Is it just strictly feedback? Is there another method to tracking that?
Habib Salo: Yeah, so it takes time. So even though we’re doing six posts a day, after two or three weeks, we can go back and kind of analyze and see what’s going on. So here’s an example. If you look at our Instagram feed today, you’re going to notice 95% of our posts are all video, and that’s because video outperforms images… it’s not even close.
Caitlin Postel: Exponentially, yep.
Habib Salo: Exponentially, exactly.
Brian Weinstein: Yeah.
Caitlin Postel: Mm-hmm.
Habib Salo: We got there through this process of, “okay, we’re doing three pictures and three videos”, and after a couple weeks we go back and we just sift through. Our team goes through and sifts through and sees what type of post gets a lot of comments because sometimes it’ll get maybe not so many likes, but there’s a lot of comments, and it’s like, okay, those are keepers obviously. We want to hone in, narrow the content in to keep that theme or that vibe. “Oh wow, look, the videos are just outperforming the images, so let’s go four videos, two pics”, and then eventually it got to where almost all of it is videos.
But for us, it is constant experimentation on the platform. This is also a big misconception that companies and people have is keeping your Instagram profile page pristine and perfect and everything needs to match up and color coordinated and all that. And for us, it’s a big experimentation ground. We go in and we try new content out constantly. My team knows they shouldn’t even come to me and ask, “Can I try this?” My answer is always, “Yes, try it and see how it performs” because I have no idea. What I think will work, a lot of times doesn’t work. And the stuff that I think “that’ll never work”, it just goes viral, and you’re just like…
Caitlin Postel: Yeah. Why guess, when the people will tell you? No one ever holds back, right?
Habib Salo: Why guess?
Caitlin Postel: They’re going to let you know either way.
Habib Salo: And they do. That’s exactly it, Caitlin. I have a community, let’s put it out, let’s see their response, their real response, and then we gauge from there. I don’t need to be the, “I’m so smart. I know every post that’s going to work.” I don’t. And I’m not that smart. There’s just no way. The market knows. The market is the smartest person in the room. But a lot of people are scared. They’re like, “I don’t want to put a post and then if it doesn’t perform I feel like an idiot.” And I always say to them, “People, when they go through Instagram, they don’t stop at a mediocre post and go, “Wow, that’s so mediocre.” They just keep skimming and nobody really stops and judges like that.” Like, “Oh, this is just middle of the road. I’m going to comment middle of the road post.” I mean, nobody does that. You just keep scrolling up.
Brian Weinstein: Exactly.
Habib Salo: So we’re not that important. We think we are, and we’re not. The idea is you got to put out volume, get an idea of what the market wants, and then you can start to slowly hone it in. And it’s always in motion. Social media is changing so fast all the time.
Brian Weinstein: Do you use some platforms like Instagram as your experimental platform?
Habib Salo: Completely.
Brian Weinstein: And then you have others that you’re doing real content stuff that’s a little bit more specific or that you have a game plan behind?
Habib Salo: All of our platforms are all experiments.
Brian Weinstein: Okay. Okay.
Habib Salo: The reason why I say that is because YouTube, it’s a different type of… it’s long form content. Right?
Brian Weinstein: Right.
Habib Salo: So it’s where people go and they spend time and they’re going to sit for maybe a couple hours to go through and watch long form videos. So we play with different types of long form content. We’ll do challenges. We’ll try the best of. We have a vlog that we do that’s more loose. We try everything and play with thumbnails, play with copy, and again, see what works. And then once we see what works, we do that for a while, until it stops working, and then we start experimenting again. And that’s kind of what we do on Instagram. We do it on TikTok. We do it on Facebook. Everything is experimental for us, to be honest with you.
Brian Weinstein: That’s awesome. That’s awesome. Yeah. No, I mean, listen, there’s no better way to learn about what your audience needs are than to get it out there, get the feedback and comments, tailor to that, and then eventually move on to something else-
Habib Salo: Yeah.
Brian Weinstein: … as their needs or wants continue to evolve.
Habib Salo: Yeah. That’s exactly right. The biggest thing is that it takes time to build these platforms. It just takes time. Again, there’s a few lucky individuals out there that they’re famous just because they’re famous, and who knows why their accounts exploded? It’s such a small percentage. The majority, we have to… You got to work. You got to grind. You got to create the content, post it consistently. It’s a lot of work.
Caitlin Postel: And put your ego to the side, I think too, right?
Habib Salo: Oh my God.
Caitlin Postel: If you wait for it to be perfect, it’ll never come out, so you might as well.
Habib Salo: There is no such thing. That’s one of the biggest things that we get is, “I don’t post content because it’s not perfect yet and my nail is not perfect.” And it’s like, you should see our videos, they’re so raw. I’m not concerned with that at all because-
Caitlin Postel: That’s great. It shows.
Habib Salo: Yeah, I want it to come off real and authentic. And even if… Sometimes my brother, he shoots a live video and he makes mistakes all the time during the lives, [inaudible 00:37:38] “Oops, screwed that up. Sorry guys. Don’t do that. Do this instead.” People are like, “Cool, he makes mistakes too.” It creates… That idea of perfection, I think is… In the old world of marketing where you had nine hour photo shoots, or a commercial took 10 days to film with a budget of $3 million that you can make everything perfect, that was that world. In the social media world, people will sniff out… If you’re just not being real, I think people can sniff it out a lot quicker on social media today.
Brian Weinstein: Yeah, we’re big believers that this authenticity is a critical component. Right?
Habib Salo: It’s huge. Yeah.
Brian Weinstein: I mean, your audience has to believe in you. They have to have confidence or they’re just going to kind of move on to something else.
Habib Salo: Yeah. And to that point, what you’re saying, you think about two brothers in the nail business, the way that we act and behave sometime is like we’re five years old. And we’re in our late forties and we act like kids a lot of the time. People would be like, “That’ll never work in nail.” But you know what works? This is just… it’s authenticity. This is who we are as human beings.
Caitlin Postel: Firefighter turned nail technician. You cannot fake that.
Brian Weinstein: No.
Caitlin Postel: You can’t. You can’t.
Brian Weinstein: That’s a good point.
Habib Salo: Exactly.
Caitlin Postel: I’ve seen it attempted. It doesn’t happen.
Brian Weinstein: Many have tried and failed.
Caitlin Postel: Many have tried, yeah.
Habib Salo: Yeah.
Caitlin Postel: They’re helping someone out of a burning building right now.
Habib Salo: That’s exactly right.
Brian Weinstein: That’s awesome. Well, listen, we really appreciate you coming on today to kind of share your story.
Habib Salo: My pleasure.
Brian Weinstein: Going from where you were and your mom starting this in 1992 to where you are today is just… it’s an incredible journey.
Habib Salo: Yeah, crazy.
Brian Weinstein: And the value, again, that you’re bringing to your community is just… it’s fascinating for me to just watch and see what you’ve tapped into and something you guys should be very proud of.
Habib Salo: Thank you so much. Thank you both. It was a pleasure to be here, and I always love sharing as much information as possible, and if it can help one person, that’s a huge victory. So, no, I appreciate you having me on.
Brian Weinstein: Awesome. Thank you. Habib Salo from Young Nails, CEO. Appreciate you coming on. Caitlin, do you want to take us out?
Caitlin Postel: Sure. Thank you, Habib and thank you everyone for listening. Make sure you subscribe on sippinandshippin.com or your favorite podcast platform. Tune in every other Thursday. Check us out at sippinandshippin.com. Thanks everybody.
Brian Weinstein: Awesome. Thank you. Take care.