Hands holding the Vagaro logo

For businesses affected by a COVID-19 closure or shelter in place order, having an alternate way to provide services and classes to earn an income is more important than ever. Click here to read a letter from our CEO, detailing how Vagaro is here to help your business get through this crisis.

In this article, you’ll learn:

COVID-19 closures across the globe have sparked a wave of changes in the service industry. Between social distancing and mandatory shelter in place orders, many service professionals must get creative to maintain an income during this challenging time. Live streaming select services and classes is an innovative way to maintain connections with customers and earn income. Getting started with live streaming isn’t as difficult as you may think and can help bring in some much-needed cash until you get back to business. And who knows? You may find that live streaming opens new opportunities for you to continue offering services and classes online—even after your doors re-open!

Why Should You Start Live Streaming?

Live streaming provides a way for hands-on service professionals to create a “hands-off” source of income without risk of person-to-person contact. But beyond that, it also offers human connections during a time of physical isolation. But live streaming doesn’t have to be exclusively for times of isolation or sheltering in place. By incorporating live streaming into your usual menu of services, you create an additional income stream that’s convenient for customers and isn’t limited by the constraints of distance. For instance, if you’re a fitness teacher and one of your students goes on vacation but wants to maintain their routine, just think how convenient it could be for them to live stream your class, no matter where they are! Likewise, busy clients who don’t have the time to make a special trip to your business can join a live stream from wherever it’s most convenient for them. When you expand your service menu to include the convenient, portable live stream option, you’ll see an increase in customer loyalty and retention.

How to Build Your Existing Live Stream Audience

The first audience for your live stream should be the one that’s easiest to find: your existing customers! When you decide to start live streaming your classes and services, there are a few different approaches you can take to build your audience. First, you can send a text message or email blast to your entire customer base, to let them know you’re adding live stream options for select services or classes. Sometimes, simply knowing there’s something new to try out can spark interest and make sure your first streaming session is well-attended. Or instead, you can zero in on your potential live stream audience by sending targeted emails to customers who have previously booked an in-person service or class that you’re offering remotely. For these clients, you already know that they’re interested in what you’re offering, and now you’re offering them the bonus of convenience, which is sure to catch the interest of busy customers who may not always be able to make it into your storefront.

How to Expand Your Live Stream Audience

Once you’ve dedicated some time to building your in-house live stream audience, it’s time to think about expanding. For hands-on services, you’d ordinarily focus efforts on attracting new local clients. But with live streaming services and classes, new customers can join from anywhere in the world! Here are the top ways to expand your live stream audience to include customers outside your local area.

  • Update your digital listings (Vagaro listing, website, Yelp, Google, etc.) to reflect the services and classes your business makes available for live stream.
  • Announce your live streaming services and classes on social media.
  • Use social media to post teasers for upcoming live streams.
  • If it’s in your budget, invest in equipment that will make your live stream look polished and professional.
  • Set a schedule and stick to it—consistency helps casual viewers keep coming back!
  • Switch things up on your stream! Keeping things fresh with new material motivates viewers to tune in regularly.

Creative Live Stream Ideas During COVID-19

Because this is an uncertain time for both you and your customers, you have more space to get creative, take risks, and try new things. Who knows—after the pandemic is over, you may even want to maintain a steady calendar of live streaming classes and services!

  • Create live stream sessions for one-on-one, small groups, or unlimited groups, to ensure that you’ve got a streaming session that’s right for any customer preference.
  • Help your clients jump back on their work out routine and get their sweat on with a virtual fitness class! 
  • Offer live stream contests! For example, participants pay $40 for a chance to win a basket of products or a merchandise package.
  • Offer a live stream session with product purchases. For example, if a client purchases a curling wand, offer a live stream product demo teaching them how to create a salon look in their own home.
  • If you’re selling product “take out” kits—such as Color To-Go, Mani/Pedi in a Box, take-home spa packages, etc.—include a live stream as part of the purchase, to provide the social aspect of a hands-on service.
  • Create fun, helpful live stream sessions for your customers that can reduce the chance of common at-home mistakes. For example, Before You Cut Your Bangs, Watch My Stream!, Want to Remove Your Set of Nails? Watch My Stream!, or Performing Your Own Facial? Watch My Stream First!

Hands holding the Vagaro logo

Vagaro’s new Zoom integration makes it easy to remotely deliver personalized service to customers and maintain your connections during a time where the human touch is needed more than ever. Once the COVID-19 pandemic is over, your Zoom integration will provide you with a creative way to earn more income without additional stress or effort. Visit our support page for step-by-step guidance to get your Vagaro account set up to start streaming!

Header Image: Giorgio Trovato via Vagaro

Icons: Mia Montemayor via Vagaro