Having chosen to follow your passion as a lash or brow technician, you have definitely ticked the artist box. Many of you are also business owners and the reality is there's plenty to focus on outside of applying those lashes and brows. How is that business box looking? Tick, tick, tick?
Building a successful business requires years of dedication to not only your technique and skills with the tweezers, but also your ability to market, create content, advertise, network and more.
If you are just beginning your career as a cosmetologists or esthetician you will be looking for ways to establish your business, quickly. If you are already established, take the opportunity now to revisit these valuable tips to help grow your business.
Your Business is Our Business
At Glad Lash, we value you, our customers. We've even developed the Artist Directory just for you! You are the backbone of our business. We fully recognize that your business is our business and over the coming months the team here at Glad Lash will be publishing a series of business related articles for professionals. Our aim is to assist you in the growth, health and operation of a successful salon business.
To kick things off, I will be sharing 7 simple, yet powerful, business tips that successful techs have used to make their mark in the world of lashing. I've gained this knowledge over many years working with salons, coaching to improve results. These tips are sure to get things rolling so feel free to give them a try. In follow up articles, myself and the rest of the team will dig much deeper into individual topics.
1. Use Your Friends as Models
You might be considering taking a training class to improve your skills. Before you sign up for your class, reach out to your friends and acquaintances to be your lash models.
Friends and family are great at spreading the word and you should choose your most “social” friends to be your lash models. This will create an excitement about your upcoming new service and create a buzz from a reliable source. Read my article on how to generate a loyal client base for more info and tips!
This is also a great opportunity to take some before and after shots to add to your website, portfolio, Look Book or post on social media. More about that later...
2. Point of Sale Marketing
If you are working in a salon, you have an existing client base you can market additional services to. Make sure those potential clients have the opportunity to see your work. Always be willing to spend time answering questions. Offer a brochure and other POS marketing materials on your counter.
If you have some artistic flare (ok, we know you do), access to design tools (such as Adobe InDesign), and the inclination, you can try your hand at putting together a brochure yourself. If not, source a local designer, or if you are on a super tight budget, consider outsourcing to a freelancer site such as upwork.com or freelancer.com. Alternatively, a free or stipend resource might be university design students needing to build a portfolio. You can easily post your needs on the virtual or actual board in either the student union or in the department building.
Either way, remember the brochure is representing your business, so be certain to meet a minimum quality to give your customers the best impression.
3. Create a “Look Book”
Create a “Look Book” with photos of your before and after lash models. Potential clients will enjoy seeing the difference your service makes. When you are not able to be there to show potential clients a live model, your Look Book can and will do the talking for you.
Your Look Book will also prove a handy educational tool for advising new clients about the process involved with the application of eyelash and brow extensions.
If you are in need of ideas, check out these online examples demonstrating some different approaches.
Partnering with photographers and bridal salons will give your new service more exposure. Use a creative brochure to showcase lash or brow extensions. Building relationships with these related service providers can provide you with access to new clients. And, photographers that are just getting started are always happy to take photos of your work to add to their portfolios. Initially, working for trade (exchange of service) is a great way to get those materials that will make the difference in building your clientele.
5. Get Social
Social media is the most effective way of getting your message out and building an audience. Take photos whenever possible and post them on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest and any other social media platform your customers regularly utilize. Given the highly visual nature of our work, the three mentioned networks are perfect for sharing your content. And don't forget to have your own website too!
If you don't have accounts on social media, you will need to create them ASAP. Regardless of which channels you plan to use, it is good practice to register accounts with all the big networks to “claim” your business name/URL so that the name cannot be used by a competing business.
6. Lash Your Vendors
Beauty salon vendors are amazing walking billboards. So, lash your vendors! They interact with your potential new customers all day, every day. They are in and out of salons, so they might as well be showing off your lash work, right?
Vendors can be a great source for referrals.
7. Conventional Advertising
Do not forget more conventional ways to advertise. Using several email addresses, create ads to post on Craigslist. You must repost these free ads (update photos and copywriting) several times weekly to keep them fresh.
Image quality, headline text and personality are all important ingredients in your Craigslist ad. Check out this Mashable article for more tips for creating better Craigslist ads.
Oh My, Where to Start?
Time to get busy! Right? To get moving, choose one area and concentrate your efforts there for a week or two. If you are stuck on where to start, pick the low hanging fruit first before you move onto the more difficult tasks.
As we continue our Glad Lash business series, we will be exploring these topics (and many more!) in greater detail. Be sure to sign up for the mailing list and we will keep you up to date with new articles and advice.
What Topics Would You Like to Know More About?
As always, we love to know what you think. Leave a comment below and let us know what areas of your business you have struggled with and what business tips have worked for you. What topics would you like to know more about? Now is your chance to let us know and we'll do our best to fast track the most popular topics.
Maryann has an accomplished, 30+ year background in the beauty industry. As a cosmetologist she opened her first salon in ’83. She has specialized as an educator since 2006. Maryann knows what it takes to create successful salon businesses and is here to share her experience with you.