Kristi Turner has built a successful online make-up business. Using Facebook Live in creative ways, she has built relationships with women across the country. Here’s her story and advice on getting started.
Kristi Turner’s Facebook Group (Click Here)
Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the call of leadership podcast where we interview people from our Michigan community who answered the call of leadership. You will hear the powerful stories and get their advice. I am your host Cliff Duvernois and today’s guests has been a longtime resident of our community. Starting at age 17 she started on her path to focus on making women feel more beautiful. From there, she has built quite a career and a business using Facebook lives to impact hundreds of people. Please welcome to the show, the lady who readers of the Tuscola Advertiser voted as the number one hairstylist five years in a row, the number one nail tech three years in a row. Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome to the show.
Kristi Turner (00:47):
Kristi Turner. Kristie, how are you? Good. How are you? Hi everybody. Tell us a little bit about where you’re from, where you grew up. Okay. Well, originally from Vassar, grew up in Vassar, graduated from Vassar, and just recently, three years ago, moved away from the hometown to flushing.
Cliff Duvernois (01:06):
Excellent. So you, you said you went to high school in Vassar and when, when you were still in high school is when you made your decision to get into cosmetology. What attracted you to that?
Kristi Turner (01:19):
I don’t know. I’ve just always liked hair. I always had nice hair myself and so I just really enjoyed, I like helping people and I like making people feel beautiful I guess, or just good about themselves. And so that just kind of went all hand in hand with it.
Cliff Duvernois (01:40):
Now usually with, you know, with somebody at such a young age decided to get into a profession, there’s usually somebody who inspired them or somebody who influenced them. Is there somebody from your past that maybe inspired you?
Kristi Turner (01:54):
Yes. I will say that it was Nancy Hill dinger. She did my hair all through my years of growing up and she was just an inspiration to me because she was always so bubbly and she was always dressed to the hilt, her makeup, her hair for jewelry, her clothes. But the one thing that I can clearly remember about her is she always had on nurses’ shoes or tennis shoes. And I said, you know, I’m going to be like her someday, but I’m never going to wear shoes like that. I’m never going to dress to the Hill and have nurse’s shoes on. And that just stuck with me. And if I would have done what she did all those years, 30 years later, my legs and my feet wouldn’t feel that the way that they do right now. So she, she knew something better than what I did.
Cliff Duvernois (02:48):
Nice. So with, you know, with her having an influence on you, were you one of those kids that would take time? Like with your dolls or with your Barbies or something? And
Kristi Turner (02:57):
I did not like dolls, but I did a Barbie and she had extremely long Barbie hair. And so what I did with her is I put her between my knees and I would sit there and I would play with her hair and that’s how I would learn to braid and do different things with her pairs. So, so yeah, I did have one Barbie that I, I messed around with her hair.
Cliff Duvernois (03:16):
Now you decided to go off and study cosmetology. Where did you, where did you learn it?
Kristi Turner (03:21):
Well, I started that in skill center in high school and that took us to the Carol skill center. So Howard’s beauty Academy and Carol. And then after I graduated from high school, I continued to finish up through the same place. So in Carol,
Cliff Duvernois (03:36):
You’ve been a cosmetologist in the Tesco area now for how long?
Kristi Turner (03:42):
It’ll be 31 years. God, has it been that long? Yes. Do we really want to talk about that?
Cliff Duvernois (03:48):
No, we don’t move it right along. Nothing to see here. So now obviously over your career, you’ve actually, you actually have built quite a business because you were voted the best hairstylist by readers of the Tuscola advertisers are five years in a row. What did, what did it feel like winning that honor?
Kristi Turner (04:06):
Well, you know, it seemed like even though it’s been five years in a row, I always forget about it. I don’t read the paper. And of course we don’t get the Tuscola County paper anymore where we live. So when the girl comes in and tells us, it’s like, it’s a shock. And I was so I just get so excited and I was so excited this year I grabbed my phone and I went live and I told everybody about it and it’s just, it’s just a really exciting feeling that people think about you in a way like that. Write your name down on that paper and support you.
Cliff Duvernois (04:40):
That is really good and I can imagine for a lot of the people who did vote for you, you have probably been cutting their hair for 30 years plus
Kristi Turner (04:48):
There are some that I have had. Yes. They’re almost like family. Yes, absolutely.
Cliff Duvernois (04:54):
So you, you’ve been doing cosmetology, you’ve established yourself as a business, you’ve gotten a really good, consistent, reliant, repeatable customers that come in. Then a few years ago, and I really do want to spend some time talking about this is you, you decided that you were going to start selling makeup. What made you decide to go that route? Because
Kristi Turner (05:16):
I’ve been doing hair and nails for so long, my customers are getting to the point where they’re sad to say they’re either passing away or they’re going into nursing homes or they’re retiring and they’re moving down South. And I haven’t really built that clientele back up because I was so busy that I never really had time to build a clientele. And because I’ve had them for so many years and as they get older they kind of, it kind of all just shook at once, you know? And so that gave me some extra free time. I was able to consolidate my people and go down to less days of working in the salon. I just had too much time on my hands. I’m, I’m a busy person, I like to do things and you know, you can only spend so much time cleaning your house and doing yard work and stuff like that. So I just felt like I needed to introduce myself to something extra and give me something extra and makeup falls kind of right into the realm of what I do for a living.
Cliff Duvernois (06:23):
Okay. Yeah. Cause I could definitely see that being a parallel vertical for you to to be able to get into. So with you starting to sell makeup and this is this is actually how I actually, I came introduced to you through Facebook, is you started doing Facebook lives, doing these sessions where you would actually show how to apply makeup. So talk to us a little bit about, talk to us a little bit about that.
Kristi Turner (06:50):
I would say the reason why you want to go ahead and do Facebook lives is because there’s so many people on social media right now that if you want to reach more people, that’s the way to do it these days. Word of mouth has always been, you know, the best way. And advertising has always been another way, but nobody advertised them anymore. They don’t read the paper, you know, it’s just that it’s not the thing. So you have to kind of stay in with the trends and social media is with the trends. So that’s kind of why I jumped on that Facebook live train and it just kind of took off from there.
Cliff Duvernois (07:28):
Now, did you take any classes or courses or anything to start doing Facebook lives or did you just jump on there and start doing them?
Kristi Turner (07:35):
What I did is I would just watch, you know, some of the other people that were in the company and watch how they kind of did their lives and things like that. But other than that, no, you’re strictly on your own and you’re pushing that button and it’s, it’s all you. I am the most technically challenged person out there. So for me to just know what I was doing was a little bit of a struggle. So, and just thank God it all worked out.
Cliff Duvernois (08:08):
So your entire Facebook strategy, it’s just something you, you developed through experience.
Kristi Turner (08:14):
Cliff Duvernois (08:15):
And to go back to something you said before about you know, word of mouth always being good, somebody infinitely smarter than I am, you know, would say that, you know, 20 years ago if somebody had a good experience with somebody, they would go out and tell eight people. But now with the advent of the internet, if they have a good experience, they’ve got that. They’ve got the ability to tell 800 people.
Kristi Turner (08:36):
Cliff Duvernois (08:37):
Yes. So just every, you know, every time, every like every comment, just get your content out in front of more people. So, you know, that’s really good. That’s really good that that social media does work that way. So you decided you’re going to start doing Facebook lives. How did decide on the types of the content that you were going to put out there, especially the, you know, the application of makeup and all of these different different scenarios. What, what, what led you to, to create that, that type of content?
Kristi Turner (09:10):
Well, pretty much I don’t do a Facebook live on the same thing all of the time because, you know, makeup and soul versatile, there’s so many different ways that you can apply it, so many different ways you can wear it, you know, so you have to do different things on your lives so you can reach more people that feel like I could do that or that’s really nice. I think that looks really great, or Oh, I can relate to her or I wouldn’t be embarrassed to reach out to her because she’s like a real person, you know? And when you do your Facebook lives, you have to be relatable to everybody. I mean, my dogs are walking in the background half the time. Sometimes they burp in the background or whatever because it’s real life. You know? If you set your stage to try to be perfect and look perfect and do everything perfect and not slur your words it, it’s gone. People can’t relate to that, so you have to be real. So I just do a live and I do several different things and it catches different people all the time.
Cliff Duvernois (10:14):
In order to be authentic, you have to be authentic. If you go for perfect, nobody’s going to connect with you.
Kristi Turner (10:20):
No, absolutely. That’s right.
Cliff Duvernois (10:22):
Were you were deciding that you were going to get into Facebook lives, you decided to jump into it. What was it like doing your very first Facebook live?
Kristi Turner (10:31):
Oh my Lord. I don’t want to say that it was a flat, but it’s your, if your first face Facebook live is perfect, then you’re doomed because you don’t want to be perfect. So I was nervous and I was sweating as you know, at this age we have hot flashes, but Oh no. I was like sweating and like if I really doing this, Oh my gosh, how many people are watching me? And it was just, and you still kind of feel that way. Like even though I’ve been doing it for over a year, when you push that button, it’s like there’s no turning back. So I guess I want to say that it’s gotten a lot easier, you know, as you do them. But it’s still, it’s putting yourself out there. I mean, come on, no makeup on and then applying your makeup for everybody to watch you. That’s, that’s like really putting yourself out there, especially when you’re almost 50 years old.
Cliff Duvernois (11:28):
Yeah. Because I know a lot of women who would not dare to show their face unless they had their makeup on. So for you to be able to do that, that’s actually quite brave.
Kristi Turner (11:39):
Right. And not only that, but sometimes I do my Facebook lives where I go in and I use our skincare so I’m taking all of my makeup off and they are watching me wash my face. So that’s kind of crazy. They’re doing that too. But I it because I want people to see how good the skincare is. I want them to see how easy it is and people are beautiful with or without makeup and people need to know that they’re beautiful. They don’t have to be completely done up to be beautiful.
Cliff Duvernois (12:09):
I love that. Now you said you were been doing Facebook lives for a little over a year. How has this impacted your makeup business?
Kristi Turner (12:19):
I would have to say that it has impacted it so much because I have people that are my customers that I don’t even know because we are Facebook friends and so they’ve gotten into my group. They aren’t even in the same state. So they’re ordering from me and they are messaging me and they’re asking questions and so you make a connection. And then you build a friendship with somebody that you don’t even know. And the reason why you know them is because they watched you do your makeup. So I mean that right there is just like a feeling like none other that you are able to help somebody that first you didn’t even know and they’re not even your next door neighbor. It’s crazy. It just, it blows my mind that you can create all of these relationships with people just because of doing a Facebook live.
Cliff Duvernois (13:15):
So that brings up a good question cause you said dot. Everybody is your neighbor. How far away is your, is your furthest customer?
Kristi Turner (13:22):
Oh well I don’t know. I mean Florida, probably. Probably Florida.
Cliff Duvernois (13:30):
Okay. And with doing these Facebook lives, cause I know before you said that there’s, you know, all different kinds of ways to, to, to talk about makeup and all different aspects of it. Do you ever find yourself
Kristi Turner (13:46):
Cliff Duvernois (13:47):
Coming up with a topic or is it just you hit the live and, and sometimes you just go or do you always have a preplanned strategy that you implement? Like with that, that video, like today I’m going to talk about this. And then
Kristi Turner (14:01):
Yeah, I pretty much try to come up with a plan on what I want to do and then create, I try to create a catchy topic. They’ve always said that if you have a catchy topic, it kind of stops there. Scroll with the topic. So I just try to find something catchy and then I do my, my life off of my topic.
Cliff Duvernois (14:21):
And when you say stop the scroll, you’re talking about people like who may be on their phone just scrolling through their Facebook feed
Kristi Turner (14:28):
Cliff Duvernois (14:29):
Yeah. And they might stop on the video of the pelvic thrusting cat or something. So coming up, coming up with a cute title definitely gets them to stop. So that’s really great. Yeah. Love that. Marketing inaction. So this is another thing that I really would like to talk about cause I think, so there’s some listeners out there who would get a ton of value from this. I would like to dive into some advice that you would give people who maybe they have a home based business or they’re thinking about starting a home based business, they’re thinking about a Facebook live. What would be some, some key critical pieces of advice that you would say based on my experience, here’s what you know. If I had to do it again, this is what I would do. Or here’s advice that I would give myself when I started out.
Kristi Turner (15:14):
I would say that you just have to do it. You just have to take a deep breath and you just have to push that button and do it because it is going to create a whole new world for you. If you really want to open the door for possibilities, you just, you have to just not try to be perfect and go with the flow. And there’s people that will comment and you can talk back and forth with the people that are commenting to kind of relieve a little bit of that pressure. Before you do your Facebook live, you can message some of your friends and say, please get on here. So I can see some comments so you can help me out. This is my first Facebook live and I’m really, really nervous. But if people see that you’re nervous, they know that you care. If they see that you’re on there and you just kind of have a, an attitude like, Oh, I can do this or you know, follow me or blah blah blah, you know, you’re not relatable. So just, just take a deep breath and push the button because you’ll thank yourself later for doing it. The first one’s always the hardest.
Cliff Duvernois (16:20):
Agreed. As someone who has done Facebook lives, I go back and I watched my first one periodically. Holy cow was I bad.
Kristi Turner (16:29):
But that’s good.
Cliff Duvernois (16:30):
Yeah, it is. I never realized at that time how often I said I’m like, you know, and every blue moon, yeah, every blue moon, it still pops into my speech and it’s something I still struggle with to, to this day. And I guarantee now, because I’ve just said those words out loud, I will probably you know, like the rest of the interview. So I planted that thought in my head, so. Okay. So just just, just stepping up, hitting the button and creating the content. Now the next question I’d like to ask you is, and I know we talked about this a couple of times before, how do you go through the content creation process? Like you said, you know when you get on there, you’ve kind of already got a topic in mind now for some people out there, if they’ve, if they’ve got a home based business, they might be looking around and saying, I’m not exactly sure what I would talk about. How do you, what’s the, what’s your creative process to be able to come up with the topic?
Kristi Turner (17:23):
Well, one thing that’s really helpful for me is I have, I have a customer base now and so like today, my life was, I had a lady that asked me to show her how to do my makeup us certain way. And so that was my life today. I did my life how she asked me to do it so she could go back and watch the replay and know how to do it the way asked me. So I do a lot of that. I have people that ask questions on how do I do this or how do I do that? Another thing that I do see, I just said thanks a lot.
Kristi Turner (18:02):
There’s a lot of graphics, like eye shadow graphics. I will put them out there and I will say, okay, you know, is it graphic a or is it breath at B? What’s the winner? And then whatever the winner is, then that’s, I do a Facebook live on those four eyeshadows that were in that graphic. So you just kind of have to be creative and try to use your product and put it out there and say, do you, what do you want to see today? Ask your customers what they want to see because it’s about them. It’s about what do they need from you, not about what do you need to give to them. It’s, it’s the opposite. It’s what they need from you. And so that’s what you need to show them. That’s what you need to explain to them.
Cliff Duvernois (18:48):
And I am actually really glad that you pointed that out in one of my marketing classes that I took a handful of years ago. We talked in great length about the ability to take the questions that people have asked you and be able to turn them into content.
Kristi Turner (19:05):
Cliff Duvernois (19:06):
And I think that’s a lot when, when when you do post, you know, either a Facebook live or somebody asks a question in there, you may be able to give a very quick answer to them, you know, during the Facebook live. And then a lot of the times we just think, okay, I answered their question and move on. But I think for content creators, which is what what you are for a content creator, it’s being able to go back, look at that question and say, could I turn that into an episode?
Kristi Turner (19:31):
Cliff Duvernois (19:32):
You know, could I expand on that a little bit more? Well, what if, what if I talked, you know, what if we went down this path or what if I went down this path and then I compared the two at the end of the video. So by having the people make the statements or ask the questions, you’ve just now essentially had your audience help you to build your, your, your content calendar so to speak. So that way going forward, you’ve always got new content to talk about.
Kristi Turner (19:59):
Cliff Duvernois (20:01):
Yeah. With regards to the, the, the Facebook lives, one of the rules that I hear a lot is about consistency. How often are you doing your Facebook lives?
Kristi Turner (20:12):
You don’t, I don’t really have like a set calendar on when I do and don’t do my lives. I try to do them at least every other day. It just depends on also what’s going on in my life and how hectic things are. But I really, really try to focus more on when somebody asks me to show them something, I try to focus more on that versus just going out and putting my makeup on and talking about the product there. There isn’t really a straight across the board answer. I guess it just depends on what, what’s going on in the world and what’s going on in your life. You know right now I can do a lot of Facebook lives because we’re quarantined so, but when I go back to work it’ll be crazy. So my lives will probably be just for what people are asking for and that’ll be it until things get back to normal. Yeah. Whatever the new normal happens to be. Right. You’ve done a lot of Facebook lives, you actually
Cliff Duvernois (21:15):
Have gone out and done I guess for lack of a better term cause I don’t know what to call them, like private Facebook life or you will just invite specific people and do a Facebook live with them, right?
Kristi Turner (21:25):
Yes. Okay. What’s your purpose behind that? Some people like to keep it private and some, some people are so private that they don’t want other people to know what they are doing. So if I can create a small group and go live just for like say five people, they feel like they are getting extra attention, extra special attention and they feel more secure with it not being out there publicly or me tagging them in it. So other people know that they needed help with something or something like that.
Cliff Duvernois (22:05):
So for these private Facebook lives, this is obviously something that you would contact them in advance and say, Hey, I’m going to do a Facebook live with you and two other people a Thursday at 11
Kristi Turner (22:16):
Right. We could do that. Yes. Or if it’s something that they don’t need to grab their makeup and do with me, then I can just go ahead and I create the group and I do the live and then they have the ability to just watch it on a replay. But yes, it would need to be set up if they wanted to grab their makeup so we could do it together and I could walk them through it. I wouldn’t be able to see them, but at least they’re putting the steps on their face as I’m doing it and they’re watching me.
Cliff Duvernois (22:45):
Excellent. And because of the communication tool in there, if they’ve got any questions along the way or want you to clarify, you can easily do that back and forth.
Kristi Turner (22:53):
Right. And the nice thing about that too is because it’s just a small private group and it’s just the few of us that are in there, we can take all the time we need because it’s not out there for everybody. I’m on public so they can ask me the questions and I can see the comments and if it’s a stupid question in their eyes, nobody else is seeing that question because I don’t think that there’s a stupid question. But you know, just as well as I do that there’s always somebody that sits back and needs to ask a question and they just won’t because they’re afraid to ask. So if we condense it and make it just for a couple of people, they’re not afraid. They’re not afraid to ask.
Cliff Duvernois (23:32):
Absolutely. Love this. Has there ever been a point in time where you have done
Kristi Turner (23:37):
A Facebook live where you’ve really impacted someone? Well let me tell you, I a friend that she’s deaf and she contacted me and she said, I can’t follow you on your lives because when I move my head, she can read lips. She’s deaf. So she can read my lips. When I tip my head down, when I tip it to the side, when I’m moving around, she can’t follow and understand what I’m doing. So I created a small group with her and a couple of the other friends. And when I do some of my Facebook lives just for them, I can, I can remember that it’s in the back of my head. I have to keep my head up, I have to keep my face forward so she can actually read my lips. When I do it out on Facebook live publicly, I’m over it around and she just can’t follow that. So that just really spoke to me that I need to pay attention to more of what I’m doing because what if there’s somebody out there that doesn’t have my makeup but they would like to get my makeup, but they can’t follow me because they may be deaf as well and they can’t read my lips. So I have to try to pay more attention to keep my head up. So anybody that could possibly be deaf can read my lips.
Cliff Duvernois (25:02):
That’s excellent. With regards to this, this lady, this lady who is deaf, who watches your Facebook lives, have you seen the results of, of her putting the makeup on because of your, because of your extra work?
Kristi Turner (25:15):
Yes, absolutely. I have met her in person because like I said, we are friends. Her being able to watch more and more of how you do things because like I said, this makeup is so versatile. You can take one product and use it one way and then turn around and use it a completely different way for her has made her feel more confident. Like she knows how to work with her makeup and apply her makeup and do different things with her makeup so she doesn’t look the same on a daily basis. So yes, that has really, really helped her
Cliff Duvernois (25:48):
And probably given her a lot of confidence as well.
Kristi Turner (25:51):
Cliff Duvernois (25:52):
Oh, that’s absolutely awesome. So I know we, I know we just kind of talked about this, but I’m going to open up the question, make it a little bit more general, but can you tell us about a time where you, maybe you really, you really impacted somebody, you made somebody feel over the top special or whether that’s through your work as a cosmetologist or through, you know, your work selling makeup?
Kristi Turner (26:14):
Well, along with her, with my friend that’s death that has really impacted her. It’s really impacted me. And then I also have another lady that she was, she just doesn’t have a lot of confidence in herself. She is really down on herself quite often. She’s a very beautiful woman and she has really no reason to feel that way about herself. But taking her and showing her how to not cover up for beauty but enhance her beauty because a lot of people think that makeup covers them up and walking her through that and putting a little bit of makeup on her and showing her how to do it so she could take it home and do it for herself. And she looked at herself in the mirror and when she cried,
Kristi Turner (27:07):
Now I’m crying. Okay, take your time. Oh geez. That has just, that just makes it all worth it. Oh, that’s great. I love that story. And I do have to ask this question too, because my, my curiosity demands such things. You were, you were talking before about, you know, you’ve got some clients as far as ways Florida, you’ve, you’ve had clients that you’ve only met them through Facebook. How in the world do you give them makeup advice? Cause I know there’s like all different kinds of shades and colors of makeup and you know, different kinds of bases. How do you, how do you, how do you properly advise somebody when you haven’t even seen them face to face? Well, you have to, you have to get deep. You have to ask the questions. Do you, do you like full coverage? Do you like medium coverage?
Kristi Turner (28:00):
Do you like extra or do you like more of a natural book? Do you want to be glam every day? You know, do you like bronzer? You just have to dig and you have to ask the questions and they tell you and then you can set them up for how they like to look on a daily basis. And all I need for them is to send me a picture, you know, a bare face and neck picture facing a window in direct sunlight and I can grab them the colors that they need for their face. And then anything beyond that is extra. We build from there. Whether they like brands or whether they like eye shadows or whether they like, you know, really bright lips or you know, you have to ask the question, you have to ask what they like. And if they say, well, I don’t know because maybe they’re not a makeup person, but I want to be just say, okay.
Kristi Turner (28:52):
So I look at their face and I kind of figure out what, what do you do for a living, you know, where do you go, what do you like to do? And then I just pick some colors from there.
That’s awesome. I wish I, I wish I had a better eye when it comes to when it comes to color and things like that. It’s a, it’s a, it’s a skill I truly admire in people, so kudos to you for having that. Thank you. If our audience wants to connect with you or follow you on your Facebook live adventures, what would be the best way for them to do that? That would be to go to my group and that is mascara, beauty by Christy Turner. Excellent. And for our audience, we will have that link in the show notes down below. Christie, it’s been so much fun having you on the podcast. Thank you for this.
Kristi Turner (29:42):
Thank you for inviting me. I really appreciate it.
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