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Liz Lee (Olive Training Owner)

Liz has spent over 30 years in the health and beauty industry sector, 15 years of that heading up hair and beauty departments within the further education sector. Initially her background was in Dance, Sports and Fitness and she ran a successful dance and fitness academy teaching all ages when she decided to offer beauty and complementary therapies to her customers. She moved quickly into this new sector as she could see many overlaps which complimented her clients. Her customers not only wanted to workout for health reasons but wanted to look good as well; which in turn made them feel better about themselves and lifted their self-esteem.

Running her own fitness business and teaching in further education gave her the confidence to open her own VTCT Centre and since then she has never looked back. Olive Training is small, modern flexible and innovative in its approach – based in rural Wiltshire in surroundings that are conducive to learning. It offers training that reflects what is happening in the industry which tailors programmes to individual needs and matches the learner’s career plans.

From the outset she decided that she wanted to build a brand that people could have faith in and decided that fully accredited courses were an important factor so she gained VTCT approval to run a wide variety of courses. It was important for her learners to be recognised as qualified professionals, be able to work at home or abroad and also be able to choose the products that they liked.

With a lean marketing budget she saw the potential of social media and spent the early quiet months of her business making great efforts to build an online presence engaging with others. This had a massive payoff, not only was advertising extremely cost effective or in most cases free but she managed to gain herself some prestigious awards along the way. Her most outstanding achievement was being picked by successful business Entrepreneur Theo Paphitis, from Dragon’s Den, as winner on his Twitter Campaign #SBS – Small Business Sunday. The support and resources from that win has made a huge difference to moving her forward and gaining more customers for the centre.

Again, Social Media helped the Centre with more recognition as they were deemed Finalists in the Holistic Therapist Magazine 2015 for Best Training School and more locally, The South West Business Awards 2016 for Best Micro Business. More recently a social media campaign initiated by learners and models has seen them reach the Finals of the English Hair and Beauty Awards 2017 for Best Training Centre.

More tongue in cheek awards have been Twitter Business of the Week from Social Media Company #BrightPig and Twitter’s Royal Connection where she was deemed #QueenofBeautyCourses. These are fun, but they do help to network your business through social media, which can increase traffic to your website and ultimately change leads into business.

Liz said: “Anyone can utilise these methods it just takes a little perseverance to engage with your customers and deliver the right content to them via your social media accounts.”

We are really pleased that Liz has agreed to put together a course for our CPD prospectus. ‘Get Social – Using Social Media for Marketing’ workshop. This can help to support the new suite of hair and beauty Technical Level Qualifications as we have a brand new unit that is unique to VTCT.

UCO30X Social media marketing for hair and beauty industries; Liz said: “I often get asked by my own students how can I get more customers, I feel this is vital training opportunity for any potential start-up business to indulge and in a competitive market a useful learning tool for all participants in the industry. Existing salon business’ may also benefit from engaging in these relatively low cost and mostly free marketing strategies to drive traffic to their websites and build an online presence by engaging in this continuing professional development course.

Liz said: “I do not think we ever stop learning – educators must embark on 30 hours of specific specialist continuing professional development per year but being a professional will mean that there is something to be gained from every day.  Learning can come in the shape of workshops and courses but also can be found in the most unusual guises; a trip to a perfume factory, a walk in a lavender field, talking to a professional at a networking event, experiencing a new treatment or service. CPD is an investment in yourself and your business; it makes you wary of new trends and keeps you up to date in your service sector- an important component of being successful!

Within VTCT’s Training Academy , Liz is offering  ‘Get Social – Using Social Media for Marketing’

See the VTCT CPD prospectus for more details