The Ultimate Guide to A Successful Career in the Beauty Service Industry
Joining the beauty service industry is truly something to be proud of. We are there for people when they’re wanting to look their best, and boy do we deliver! From facials to nail art to eyelash extensions and more, our industry keeps the world beautiful and confident.
If you’ve always wanted to become a beauty service provider or are entertaining the idea, chances are you have a passion for all things beauty and you might think that becoming an esthetician, manicurist, lash specialist, or the like, is a good career choice. These professions are all about connecting with people and helping them achieve their beauty goals but there’s more to it than just earning a license and finding a job.
To find success in this industry, it takes a lot of hard work! As a new or prospective student, it can seem like it will be ages before you’re the boss babe esti or lash artist that you’ve always dreamed of becoming. To achieve your career goals you’ll need to go through training, get a license, find a job, learn advanced techniques, learn the best products to use, learn how to market yourself online, learn how to do your taxes, learn new software to book clients...the list goes on and on.
If you’re discouraged, we don’t blame you! But know that becoming successful and achieving your dreams is worth the hard work. And luckily for you, we’ve created this guide to serve as a road map to a successful career in the beauty service industry. If you’re about to begin training, we suggest you bookmark this page to keep as a reference as you progress through your career.
Step 1: Learn Your Skill
The obvious first step in building a successful career is learning the skill. Whether it's esthetics, manicure, cosmetology, eyelash extension, or massage therapy for the wellness gurus, you’ll need to complete an educational program required by the state.
When choosing a beauty school to attend, there are many different factors that you should consider like location, teaching style and techniques covered with the program. You want to make sure the school is a good fit and the educational environment matches your personality and learning style. Not every school is right for every student. For example, if it's been awhile since you were in school, your needs will differ from someone that just graduated high school.
Once you’ve chosen a school and course to take you should make the most of your time at school. This means preparing for your state board exam, learning advanced techniques that are trending in the industry, and thinking ahead and learning business skills that will help you after you graduate.
It’s important to note that you’ll be learning more about your skill and perfecting your technique long after you complete school. A good beauty school experience will leave you with a strong foundation of skills and knowledge that you will build upon throughout your career. After learning the fundamentals and a few advanced techniques, you’ll be ready to earn your license and start seeing clients!
Step 2: Get Your License
Once you’ve completed the educational requirements for your chosen field, you’ll take a state administered exam to earn your license. Depending on where you live, education requirements may differ from other states. This means if you’re planning on moving in the near future, your education may or may not transfer between states, so it’s important to thoroughly research licensing requirements and how they will apply to you throughout your career.
In Texas, the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation oversees the beauty industry and sets laws for licensed professionals. State agencies like this are there to ensure that the public is receiving services from qualified professionals. Because of this, states also regulate what kind of treatments you’re legally allowed to perform. States also regularly update laws so it's important to stay plugged in with what's going on in the industry and be aware of what your license legally allows you to do.
After earning your license, you’ll be ready to take the first real step towards starting your career and treating clients.
Step 3: Attract Clients
There are a few different employment paths you can take in the beauty service industry. You can work for an independent salon or spa (think about your local nail salon), a franchised salon or spa (think Massage Envy or Amazing Lash), or you can begin your own business and work for yourself.
There are advantages and disadvantages to each path but a smart beauty professional knows that no matter what path, attracting clients through marketing is key to success in today’s competitive industry. Broadly speaking, marketing is a business practice that individuals and businesses can use to find new clients and keep them coming back.
There are different types of marketing like email marketing, social media marketing, search engine marketing and influencer marketing. As a beauty pro, there are certain types of marketing and certain marketing practices that will help attract clients like:
Printing marketing materials like business cards and brochures
Developing an email marketing strategy
Another big one for beauty pros is social media. Platforms like Instagram and Facebook are great tools for reaching new clients and connecting with existing clients to build customer loyalty. There are many different approaches to social media but the important thing to remember is consistency is key. Developing a strong and consistent social media content strategy and posting regularly will help you reach your marketing goals.
Marketing isn’t the only way to attract new customers. Staying up to date with current trends in the industry is just as important. Clients are always wanting the newest treatments, the buzziest products or the latest beauty style. As you progress through your career, stay in touch with what competitors are offering and research upcoming trends. Doing your own research on new techniques will also help you advise your client on whether or not a trending treatment is right for them. By offering the new treatment and being knowledgeable on it, you’ll develop credibility and loyal relationship with your clients.
Step 4: Grow Your Business
After you’ve been in the business for a few years, you might start looking to grow your solo beauty business into a fully fledged salon or spa. This may seem daunting, but with careful planning you can turn your small beauty business into a large salon with multiple team members supporting you.
As a business owner and team leader, you will be in charge of many different aspects of business that you might not have experience with. Behind the scenes of providing facials and lash extensions, operating a beauty business includes tasks such as accounting and bookkeeping, ordering supplies and managing inventory, managing staff schedules and maintaining your marketing strategy. There are many online tools created for small businesses to help run their business like easy-to-use accounting software and appointment scheduling software.
The laws and regulations for operating a salon or spa differ slightly from what your individual license requires, so make sure you are aware of state regulations before beginning your business venture.