Interview: Lee - Connerys Babershop, Southampton

" If you can make people laugh, that brings them to your page anyway "

​Barbering has always been a luxury for gentlemen to enjoy, the promise of looking good without entering the feminine domain. Owner of Connery’s Babershop in Southampton, Lee has managed to capture his audience and build a sustainable business through word-of-mouth and social media marketing, using tools such as Facebook to captivate his audience.
​He describes how most of his traffic and customers come through Facebook and how it’s not always just posting about the product or service you are offering, it’s also about creating something people enjoy looking at.

Q.Why did you choose Southampton to set up your business?  
Because i lived here and i thought there was a gap in the market, there wasn’t anything remotely close to what we do in Southampton. I thought it was the ideal place to start it!

Q. How long have you been trading?
Two Years!

Q. What sector would you consider your business to be in?
The male grooming sector I suppose.

Q. Who would you consider your target audience?
Anybody looking to get a good haircut really! We are quite a mix and have a mixed bag of customers really. We don’t do kids cuts or OAPs or anything like that. Specifically because we just want to keep the atmosphere in the shop  quite specific, anyone can say what they want while they’re here, speak how they want. You don’t want to be having kids running around and having to watch what you say and things like that so that’s why we generally keep it sort of for grown-ups! But it could be anyone! We get a lot of guys that work in the bars and all of the promoters, but then at the same time we get solicitors and accountants and all that sort of stuff. Oh and footballers! 

Q. So how do you currently reach your target audience/customers?
We do everything really, we have done word of mouth since we started, we’ve never advertised. Facebook and people just generally coming off the back of our reputation works. 

Q. Do you consider online social media presence important in local business?
Yeah definitely! As i say, everything we get is through Facebook. Our website not particularly, Twitter not particularly, Instagram is okay but I wouldn’t say we have ever had any business off the back of Instagram, it’s more awareness. But definitely Facebook!

Q. Do you use social media already and if so how?
Well it’s mainly only Facebook and we normally put one post per day sort of saying what times we are open until and if we’ve got any appointments available, and everything else we just share funny videos or pictures and stuff like that. We have found that works best. People don’t want want to just keep seeing all day “We have a hair appointment available” or “Come get a haircut”. If you can make people laugh, that brings them to your page anyway, and they see your other stuff. 

Q. How do you think social media has improved your business trade? 
It has massively! When we first opened a lot of people were checking in (Facebook) or putting up photos of themselves saying “I’ve just been to this place” was great and just kind of putting it out to all their friends! Tagging their friends in (Facebook) posts and saying “You guys need to come here”!

Q. Would you consider hiring someone to manage your social media profiles for you, for example Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or a blog?
Potentially at some point down the road, I’ve sort of got a five year plan for myself which involves me not having to do any work completely within five years! Two years into that I’m basically not doing much already, but i generally do all the online marketing myself, I do all that side of it. But when the time comes for me to step away then yeah!

Q. For what purpose would you consider using other online platforms that you don’t already? Would you consider using something like snapchat or a blog?
Hmm, it’s tricky because you don’t know what the next big thing is going to be do you. We have got a snapchat and we put a few pictures on it but again it wasn’t anything directly sales, it’s more like us doing stupis s**t or just making people laugh rather than directly advertising at them. A blog is not something I’ve thought about doing before but i suppose it could work maybe!

" Everything we get is through Facebook "

Q. If you were to hire a freelancer/agency to manage your social media, do you think it’s important to have someone local with more face-to-face contact?

I’d want someone local so they know the community, they know the people, know the shop and the people that work here and get what we actually do rather than someone sat in an office in Manchester or London or wherever. I like to do a lot of business face-to-face because you can judge that person and get to know if they know what you’re all about. You put a lot of trust in them as basically you’re getting them to promote your business which is an extension of promoting yourself.
Q. How much do you spend on social media/marketing currently?
Q. How much would you consider spending on social media/marketing if you were to hire someone or to promote a Facebook advert?
I have promoted an ad on Facebook before and not really seen any benefits to it. If it was to get someone to do the online marketing, i wouldn’t even know how much that costs! Probably around £200 a month maybe? 
Well that was very insightful so thankyou very much for your time Lee!
Keep up with his social media on Facebook and Instagram
Check out Lee's barbershop at: 
16 Carlton Place, Southampton, SO15 2DY, United Kingdom
If you would like your product or venue to be featured on the blog, please don't hesitate to email me at!
I look forward to discovering new things :)
(All Photography; Copyright Ellisha-Jade White)