The term influencer and trend setter are thrown around by a lot of people on the Internet these days. The funny thing is that most of the people that call themselves influencers have little impact on the daily lives of others. Stephen Marinaro is not one of those individuals, however.
Marinaro is known as TheSalonGuy and his presence in the beauty industry has made him a go-to hairstylist and highly followed YouTuber. Marinaro isn’t just a stylist, however, he is an expert on brand awareness and management.
Over 20 years ago, according to Marinaro, he started a career in the beauty industry to meet women. Now, he has built a top-selling brand of hair and beauty products. Marinaro also works with others on brand management and media consulting.
It has been an incredible journey for Marinaro and it is far from over. TheSalonGuy continues to go from strength to strength. His YouTube channel is a must-follow for anyone into the latest hair and beauty fashions.
Stephen, you have over 20 years of experience in the beauty industry. What originally drew you to the industry?
I originally was drawn to the industry to be around gorgeous women. I was young and thought it would be a cool job, not realizing it was an actual career.
What was it like getting into the beauty industry and how long did it take you to establish your name as a go-to stylist?
It was very difficult at first as I wasn’t used to playing with hair growing up. I had a hard time in beauty school but with practice, I was able to learn many new techniques. It took me a good 10 to 15 years to really understand and establish myself as a stylist.
Marinaro has used YouTube to grow his brand. TheSalonGuy channel provides aspiring stylists, professionals and anyone interested in the latest fashions with tricks of the trade and celebrity haircut recreations. Marinaro’s use of YouTube shows just how powerful the website is when an individual creates videos people want to watch.
Stephen, you have a major presence on YouTube with well over 753,000 subscribers to your channel. You post great tutorials for viewers to watch. What inspired you to create your own channel to teach others?
My mother, who adopted me, had passed away and I wanted to do something in her memory that I would be dedicated and committed to. Reading lots of books and watching motivational speeches helped jumpstart my brand as well.
What has been the feedback on your YouTube channel and has it helped others expand their knowledge in the beauty industry?
I am lucky to say that I have had tremendous support over the years and still do. I have a very diverse worldwide audience ranging from salon professionals to young adults who want to see celebrity haircut recreations.
TheSalonGuy didn’t take long to get recognized by media outlets. But at an early stage, Marinaro received some key advice that he continues to live by to this day. That advice continues to help him grow TheSalonGuy brand and gain opportunities others in the industry only dream of.
You have been approached by TMZ Live, Style Network, and GMA Live over the years. How long did it take to receive recognition from media outlets such as that? What does that recognition mean to you?
It didn’t really take too long to figure out a strategy to get recognized but the most important detail was how I had to go about it. Being new in the media game, I didn’t know the proper steps until someone on a TV show gave me the best advice ever, which was to attach myself to names and brands much bigger than myself. I followed that advice and it led to me gaining twice the exposure and opportunities. I am still to this day humbled by any opportunity I receive.
Stephen, can you tell us about the media and educational services you offer and how they can help aspiring stylists?
I offer a full production studio which is available to rent for any media or photo production. We consult businesses, brands and individuals in any industry looking to grow their brand or if someone is starting from scratch.
Many hairstylists dream of the day they can sell their own branded products. Marinaro was fortunate to develop his own brand of hair products. After recommending other companies for years, Marinaro decided it was time to promote his own items to customers.
You have your very own line of hairstyling products. How did you launch your own line? What is the process of creating your own line of products?
I launched my line because many viewers were asking me what products I was using in my videos and it was frustrating to keep pushing other brands. It then occurred to me that I needed my own line to promote to my audience. The process was very difficult at first but after aligning with supportive manufactures, things have gotten much easier.
What is your advice to any aspiring stylist seeking to follow in your footsteps?
Have a clear vision on what you can see yourself doing, how much time you can commit and what is your passion level. It’s the why, what, how thought process. The beauty community has taken a big hit due to the pandemic but I support and suggest finding new creative ways to grow a brand or media presence.
The year 2020 has been difficult for many people in the beauty industry. Marinaro’s ability to diversify his brand has made it possible to continue with his work.
What are some of the hot styles for men that we can expect in 2021?
Since everyone is growing their hair out, I am seeing longer styles as well as cropped easy to wear haircuts.
Stephen, where does TheSalonGuy go from here? What is next for you as an entrepreneur?
I want to continue to grow my product business, gain more media exposure and to build my media business. Making content will always be a part of my brand as well.
What is a day in your life like?
I am awake by 6 am each day, tend to my puppy Bella, take her to daycare, then reach my studio by 8:30 am. Once I arrive, it’s pretty much a non-stop workday that includes packing and shipping products, filming and editing for YouTube, seeing private clients for hair services and working with any media clients. It’s a nonstop action packed every day. I am in bed usually by 9:30 pm.
What is something that most people don’t know about you?
That I served in law enforcement and as a fireman for six years.
Can you share two of your favorite quotes with us?
“Be yourself as everyone else is already taken.”
“The lowest of your lows will determine the height of your success.”
If you had the power to change just one thing in the world what would it be?
For everyone to be at peace.
Stephen, is there anything else you would like to add?
I am in Gary Vaynerchuk’s new book Crushing It and I am an author myself. My book is titled Brand You. My book, products, and other information about TheSalonGuy can be found at my official website, www.thesalonguy.com.
TheSalonGuy continues to grow on all fronts. Having started out as a hairstylist 20 years ago, Marinaro has come a long way since those early days. Now a media consultant, content creation specialist, and educator, Marinaro is more than just a hairstylist. He is a true influencer helping others discover everything from products to hairstyles to how to build their own brand.
Journalist and author. Contributor