This is an opinion editorial by Hector Alvero, a Bitcoin educator who serves as co-host of the Broward County Bitcoiners meetup and whose family has worked in the beauty industry for decades.
We all look for ways to educate others about Bitcoin and raise awareness about its benefits. However, time is scarce, so we can’t talk to everyone. But what if you could multiply your efforts and help someone close to you benefit from Bitcoin in the process? If you’re looking for an orange-pilling opportunity with the most asymmetric upside, consider talking about Bitcoin and the Lightning Network with your barber or stylist.
The Perfect Environment
Once you sit down in the chair and that cape goes around your neck, you know you’re both going to be there for a while. As a Bitcoiner, that can only mean one thing: You have been given the gift of time to talk about Bitcoin.
Few routine interactions last as long as a haircut or salon appointment. Even fewer grant you the freedom to discuss any topic of your choosing. Additionally, the setting naturally limits distractions, such as phone usage. That makes the time you spend in your barber’s or stylist’s chair the perfect environment to talk about Bitcoin.
A Trusted Relationship
How long have you been with your current barber or stylist? Relationships between clients and stylists often span years, if not decades. There is a bond between you that is rooted in trust, and this connection fosters a level of intimacy rarely found outside of familial settings. People often share secrets with their stylists and barbers that they wouldn’t disclose to anyone else. Clairol’s iconic ad campaign captured this sentiment with the tagline, “Only her hairdresser knows for sure.”
A Force Multiplier
Your barber or stylist likely has the broadest network of anyone you know. People from every walk of life, including business owners, accountants, teachers, firefighters and politicians, sit in their chairs, sometimes for hours. It is likely that no one else in your sphere of influence has the amount of time and trust to help others learn about and understand Bitcoin. The same unique factors that create the ideal environment for you to talk with them about Bitcoin are the exact reasons why they have the potential to orange pill others.
The Right Approach
To discuss Bitcoin with your barber or stylist, consider their interests and what might best resonate with them. Are they concerned about rising costs? Do they have family members living in authoritarian countries? Choose your approach based on your understanding of their needs.
If you’re unsure about your approach or just recently began going to a new barber or stylist, don’t talk to them about Bitcoin. Talk to them about Lightning instead.
Lightning As A Cheat Code
As the saying goes, “The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach.” Similarly, the way to a business owner’s heart is through their wallet. People naturally follow their incentives, and your barber or stylist will be intrigued if you discuss how Lightning payments can increase their profits. Share some benefits of accepting Lightning payments, such as:
- Fast: Funds are available immediately
- Cheap: Significant savings compared to typical credit card fees
- Final: No chargebacks
- Growth: Reaching a new client base and expanding their business
Once they are curious, demonstrate the ease of using Lightning by having them download your favorite Lightning wallet and sending them some sats. Then, have them send you half the sats back. Show them the minimal fees and remind them that those funds are theirs (final) the moment they receive them. The combination of hearing you describe the benefits, seeing how easy it is to use and doing a transaction themselves is a powerful, persuasive mechanism to pique their interest and demystify the process.
Is your color still processing, or are you getting a shave? If you are there for a longer appointment, they might have time to express concern about bitcoin’s volatility. If they do, explain that, just as the price of Visa’s stock doesn’t affect the value of their credit card transactions, the price of bitcoin doesn’t have to affect the value of their Lightning payments. You can also introduce them to services like Ibex or Strike which can protect them against price fluctuations.
If they wonder how accepting Lightning can help them find new customers, show them how tools like BTC Map and Satmap offer free marketing for their shop or salon, or how tools like Oshi and Joltz Rewards make it easy for them to engage with and retain their new Bitcoin clients.
Most importantly, remember that they do not need to commit to the Bitcoin revolution on day one. Instead, get them interested and experiencing the benefits of Lightning first. They’ll want to know more soon enough.
Finally, you do not have to cover all of these elements in one visit. Conversion can take time. Luckily, you’ll be back in a few weeks for your next visit and can pick up where you left off.
The Finishing Touch
Introducing your barber or stylist to Lightning payments can enhance their business and help you promote Bitcoin to a broader audience by leaning on the unique relationship you share with them. If you need help strategizing your conversation, reach out to me on Twitter or Nostr. Our family has over 40 years of experience in the beauty industry and can help you prepare.
This is a guest post by Hector Alvero. Opinions expressed are entirely their own and do not necessarily reflect those of BTC Inc or Bitcoin Magazine.