Congratulations! You’ve graduated, you’ve passed your state exams and you’re licensed and ready to rock! Whether you’re planning on going solo, or working in a spa, medi-spa, or another setting – get your esthetic career off to the best possible start by prioritizing these 7 actions during your first year.
1. Build your client base. Get creative when thinking of ways to connect and attract potential clients. There are many low or no-cost ways to market your services like social media, blogging, and email marketing. Offer to teach a skincare class to a group or at a school. Donate a treatment and product basket to a charity auction, deliver a short skincare presentation to a small business during lunch hour or at the end of the day (be sure to include a coupon or some promotional offer for their first treatment). Talking to potential clients in person is an excellent way to help them navigate the 3 basics of deciding to work with you (they must know, like, and trust you). Building a steady client base during your first year is the key to long-term success.
2. Encourage clients to schedule their next appointment right after their service. Hands down, this is the best (and easiest) way to keep client revenue coming in. Do the math: if your client books a monthly service costing $125, that’s $1,500 in revenue a year. They may not schedule every month, but if you have 10 clients who book a service once a month on average, that’s $1,250 a month – you get the idea. Encourage clients to book their next appointment right then and there – while they are still enjoying the benefits of your amazing work! Time goes by quickly and it’s easy for us to forget or let things slip to the back burner.
3. Create a website (if you have your own business). If the idea of building it yourself is just too daunting, there are lots of affordable options out there. (estheticianwebsites.com is a good example). Check out different sites for themes and styles that appeal to you and use these to convey your brand ideas to your designer. DIY’ers will find affordable template-based companies like Wix (super easy), Weebly, Shopify, Go Daddy, or WordPress (great for bloggers) for every level of competency.
4. Take advantage of social media and email marketing. Instagram and Facebook business pages are no cost ways to showcase your expertise and gain exposures. Post frequently, but keep it focused on your craft. Facebook ads are useful in targeting your niche client and are not expensive. Join other social media groups where you are likely to find potential clients. Email marketing is a much-underrated free marketing tool which can help you build your base relatively quickly. Reach out to potential and existing clients once or twice a month with skincare info they can use, special offers and promotions. If you have a website, make sure there is an easily visible place for them to subscribe to your list.
5. Take care of the admin. Set aside a few hours each week to take care of administrative work – this is critical if you have your own spa business. Designating a set time (make an appointment with yourself if necessary) to handle tasks like ordering supplies, detailing client information, and planning out your marketing schedule (promotions, blogging, posting, etc.). Don’t make the mistake of thinking you’ll “fit” these tasks in when you have some spare time, or on the weekend. Where your energy goes, your success goes – be as professional in the details of your career as you are in your treatments.
6. Keep learning. Esthetics is constantly changing and new research, technology, treatments, equipment – you name it – is always evolving. Invest in yourself and your continuing education. Our own grad, Becky Kuehn’s Oncology Skincare Training is a fantastic online course that will add significant value to your esthetic toolbox. Another great resource is MiladyPro which offers online classes, video tutorials, and tools for your business. Look for vendors who offer free webinars and treatment education on equipment and products.
7. Take care of you & enjoy your success. Self-care is a popular buzzword, but its importance to those of us in the skincare biz can’t be overemphasized. When you’re tired and not at your best, your clients will notice. Don’t forget to pamper yourself. Treat yourself to a facial or a massage. We know above all the value of giving ourselves some TLC. Do some exercises that strengthen your arms and back, get off your feet! Celebrate and be mindful of your personal successes – whether it’s a fully booked week, achieving your first revenue goal, or landing a new client. Enjoy your accomplishments – you are bringing your unique gift to the world and the world is a better place for it!