May 27, 2024

Thrive Insider

Exclusive stories of successful entrepreneurs

Belinda Haigh, Founder & Director SOCIAL STANDARDS

Who are you and what business did you start?

I’m Belinda Haigh, ex-hairdresser, social media manager and digital marketing expert. I’m also the Founder & Director of Social Standards. When I’m not shopping the latest hair and beauty trends to test out in my bathroom, I’m helping hair professionals and salon owners save time and grow their business through social media & influencer partnerships.

What’s your backstory and how did you come up with the idea?

I’ve been working in marketing and public relations for hair and beauty brands since 2010. I’ve been lucky enough to work on brands like Dermologica, Toni & Guy, Keune Haircosmetics, Antipodes, Aveeno, Neutrogena and more! My last role was working in digital marketing for a professional haircare brand. During my time there I realised that social media was an important visual platform for hair salons, but they really struggled with it. They found it hard to find the time to learn about it, create content and post on their accounts! I knew this was an area I could really help them with due to my understanding of the industry, being an ex-hairdresser myself, and also my extensive knowledge with digital marketing and social media.

Describe the process of launching the business.

As a social media manager, my first step for launching my business was obviously setting up my social media accounts. I then built my website and have started creating content online that speaks to my ideal customer. Of course, you have the admin side that needs to be organised, like getting an ABN, but it is all a pretty straightforward process. I have also taken a couple of courses to up-skill and specialise even further which I have really enjoyed.

Since launch, what has worked to attract and retain customers?

I think the main point of attraction is that fact that I am an ex-hairdresser and have extensive experience in the hair and beauty industry. It’s a unique industry and people who haven’t worked in a hair salon, or that business generally can’t deliver the knowledge that I can. I always strive to do my best and offer great service for my clients. I’m approachable and passionate about helping salon owners and I think people can see that. I think understanding your customers and their problems allows you to service them better.

How are you doing today and what does the future look like?

I’m really enjoying my new role as a business owner. It’s challenging and it takes time, but I love it. I am working with a few amazing clients while also juggling care for my two young children, and the business is starting to grow quickly so I will probably need to hire a team member in the near future. I have some ideas for the future, but I am just hoping to help hair salons grow their business and learn more along the way!

Through starting the business, have you learned anything particularly helpful or advantageous?

When you get an idea to start a business, I think it’s really easy to get excited and think of all the fun things, but there is also a whole other side to starting your own business – the admin! ABN’s, gst and all the not-so-fun stuff which takes time to do! I think I have learnt that having processes is super important, and to ask for help or outsource when you need it!

What platform/tools do you use for your business?

I use Later for my social media management, to schedule posts. I also use Google Sheets to plan out my client’s social media content and send to their for feedback and approval. I use Mailchimp for email marketing and Calendly for booking new client discovery calls. Zoom is my go-to video conferencing for client meetings.

What have been the most influential books, podcasts, or other resources?

I have started reading E-myth revisited which I am really getting a lot of value out of so far. I am also working with a business coach which has been great for setting up processes and other business elements.

Advice for other entrepreneurs who want to get started or are just starting out?

Do your research and know your ideal client. The more you understand about your niche and customer, the more you will be able to attract new clients and help them .

Where can we go to learn more?

Find me @socialstandardsau or go to