Written by Denise Gaston
One of the biggest challenges a new aesthetician will have is how to market themselves as a new skin care professional. While in school, most of the marketing and advertising is done for you – although, now, many schools are putting together programs training students to start building their clientele while they are learning. But what happens when the security and hand holding is over? It can be quite scary. With the internet and social media being such a huge part of everyday life, getting the word out is super easy. Here are some sure-fire ways to get the marketing ball rolling.
I would suggest getting business cards as a student to begin sharing what you do with family and friends. Keep it simple, with your cellphone number, giving them to everyone you come in contact with. Many people will keep your card, so be aware of this fact. Your business card should be fun and interesting.
Now, this may sound old fashioned and so yesterday, but a good way to market yourself in the community is to do meet and greets with neighbors and local businesses. Take flyers and ask if you can leave a few on their counters. If going to office buildings, ask the receptionist if she can place a few in the breakroom or even hang them on the company’s bulletin board. Ask family and friends to take a few flyers to work as another option. When designing a flyer, make sure to have some incentive as an attraction, such as a complementary eyebrow wax with a regular priced service. Think outside of the box.
JOIN CLUBS, MOTHERS’ GROUPS, AND NETWORKING GROUPS
Many cities have clubs of all sorts. Find something you like and join; this is a great way to meet people and a super easy way to network. Some even host monthly tabletop trade-shows, giving you a chance to showcase your business to all in attendance.
JOIN THE LOCAL CHAMBER OF COMMERCE
Join the local Chamber of Commerce. They love to support and promote their members. Many cities will even do a ribbon cutting ceremony and they may even feature your new business in the local hometown paper.
Everyone – let me repeat, everyone – in the beauty business, be it hair, skin, or nails, should have an Instagram page. This is where you will showcase your work, before and afters, skin care facts, skin care tips, and more. This is visual media and millions of people are jumping on board. Many are forsaking other social media outlets just to focus on Instagram. You will need to be handy with your phone’s camera because it is all about the pictures, and if you feel like you do not have enough pictures to post on a daily basis, you’ll need to source stock photos to get your feet wet in the Instagram game.
Remember to mix it up a bit and keep it strictly business. If you have a personal Instagram page that’s cool, but now it is time to create one to highlight your new career.
Like Instagram, you’ll need a strong Facebook page, as well. I know what you are thinking – “Facebook is so yesterday.” Do not discount this tried and true social media giant; it is still a very solid outlet to get the word out and many people who aren’t on Instagram are on Facebook. The great thing about Facebook is the groups feature, as any interest you may have is likely to have a group you can join. A word of caution, though: be an active participant who adds value to the group. Interact, contribute, and comment, but don’t just be there to sell yourself. Let the group’s members get to know you first. Remember, people do business with people they know and like.
Another very cool way to market is to join the world of Twitter. If you like to interact in a limited word count capacity, this is your ticket. The great thing about Twitter is that you can build quite a following just by tweeting out good content daily.
We all need a professional circle of colleagues to interact and network with. Although this may not be the space to actively seek clients, it is a great place to build a professional network, learn more about the business world, and interact with some pretty influential business leaders. It is also great to be connected, especially when job searching or changing jobs. Many business leaders post regularly, which gives you an opportunity to hear from those that you have only read or heard about.
HOST AT-HOME SPA PARTIES
For those of us who love to entertain and throw parties, hosting at home spa parties may be a way to meet the type of clients who love to be pampered – plus, you have more of an open door, due to the fact that the hostess has probably invited close friends and family whom you may not have met otherwise. This method may not be for everyone, but it does work.
The subject of marketing oneself is a vast one and certainly cannot be covered in its entirety in one article. One thing is for sure: if you want to build your business, you are going to have to get out there, see the people, meet the people, and greet the people. It will take work, but with consistent movement, it will certainly pay off.
Denise Gaston is a proud CIDESCO diplomat, licensed aesthetician since 1989, certified clinical aesthetician, and is NCEA certified. Gaston has served as the northern California trainer for Repêchage Skincare and as an aesthetics instructor for Miss Marty’s Hair Academy and C.I.D.E.S.C.O. Institute. She is a former spa owner, having had a private practice for 10 years. Gaston is currently the vice president and director of aesthetics at Fremont Beauty College. She is a reviewer for Milady’s Standard Cosmetology Textbook 2008 Edition; Milady Standard Esthetics: Fundamentals, 11th Edition; and Milady Standard Esthetics: Advanced, 2nd Edition. Gaston also serves as a subject matter expert for the California State Board of Barbering and Cosmetology.