In this series, we speak with influencers who are making waves in the industry.
IG: @robpizzutidotcom (Followers: 83K)
Claim to Fame: Award-winning hairstylist/ colourist and brand founder
Tell me about yourself and how long have you been in the hair industry.
I grew up in Windsor, Ont. with a huge Italian family. I started helping out at a salon in Detroit as a summer job at 17 years old. It was a 15-minute drive to cross the border and get to a salon life and a whole new world of people that I never wanted to leave. I was instantly hooked on the idea that I could make people feel better after one visit. I then moved to Toronto and realized I should try to get really good hair quickly because bartending at after-hours to make rent was not fun. 32 years later and I still love my job!
How have you built up your following on social media?
I really didn’t want to make another social media account, but my long time client/media star, Marta Tryshak insisted it would be a live resume everyone would search. I started posting and nothing happened until I sat with a well-known model who traded me services and he promoted me.
Nick Bateman, the original Abercrombie and Finch guy, exploded my page and I quickly started following and trading services for my favourite models, photographers and makeup artists. It was a lot of work the first year. Consistency is key.
What has social media done for you and your career?
Just as predicted by my client Marta, I started receiving new clients at the rate of two per week. These new resources changed my whole client base. I definitely had a few that were totally unrealistic and wanted to look like the filters they had put on social media apps, but in general, it was a huge win since there were very few people using the app for work.
What tips do you have for creating and posting content on social media?
Slow down and plan the photo and wording to represent your work. My motto: Work is work. If it was always fun, you wouldn’t get paid to do it. Do your job the best way you can on every single client.
Lighting changes everything. Make sure your photo is accurate to what you have created.
Remember that what you’re posting is your first impression to new clients. If you, the background, other people in the photo look off, then that is the type of client you will attract.
Stick to one focused area per photo. For example, a blonde model talking about blonde hair care.
What do you look for when partnering with brands?
Get everything in writing when it comes to a big opportunity. Unfortunately, a lot of companies will say one thing and never follow through. Make sure you love the brand, nothing kills your career faster than lying. I had a fantastic time representing Pai Shau to showing the editor of Vogue and Women’s Wear Daily the new concept in hair care. Even though I decided to stop teaching for them last year, I still use that awesome serum on most of my clients.
How would your career be different without social media?
I feel super blessed to have joined the social media game very early. And because of that, I was able to travel across North America teaching for a major brand, which never would have happened if I didn’t have my current work out there for people to see. I use Instagram as a source of inspiration and to challenge myself to see if I can do what people I admire are doing. My advice is to not be shy. Make comments, send direct messages and ask questions about what makes you curious.