As a professional in the spa industry, you spend most of your time interacting with people. Fostering strong relationships with clients helps ensure that they’ll keep coming back, and that means more business for your spa. But clients aren’t the only people you should be talking to.
Professional networking is a vital tool for career growth. When you spend all day working with people, however, you may not relish the idea of spending your personal time going to networking events. But if you do, your future self will thank you. Networking can help you make strong business connections, get new ideas for your spa, and provide access to job opportunities. As an esthetician, you are your business, so it’s important to invest in yourself if you want to succeed.
Here are seven simple tips for networking as an esthetician:
1. Take advantage of social media opportunities.
Social media has become an invaluable marketing tool, but it can be used to market yourself as well as your business. In addition to using social media platforms to advertise, join professional groups to connect with other estheticians. It’s a great way to find out about networking events, seminars, and trade shows that might provide other opportunities to connect with spa industry professionals.
A great place to start is simply searching hashtags related to your industry, such as #esthetician, on social media channels such as Twitter and Instagram. From there, join the conversation by adding your perspective on what’s being shared and talked about.
2. Attend trade shows and wellness expos.
Whether you rent a booth yourself or not, it’s well worth attending trade shows and wellness expos. These events are a great place to learn about new technology and the latest trends, but they’re also a wonderful opportunity to meet other professionals in the industry.
You can find a list of events listed on the Spa Industry Association website here.
3. Introduce yourself to other local businesses.
Small businesses have to stick together and if you have your own spa practice, you would do well to get to know the other business owners in your community. Other business owners can be a great source of insight on your local customer base or simply as a source of friendship and support. Partnering with another local business can also be a great way to drum up business and expand your client base.
A great way to do this is by joining your local chamber of commerce. This is a local group of business owners who come together for the sole purpose of networking and sharing business ideas (such as marketing, lead generation, and more).
There are also websites such as Meetup that allow you to find industry-specific groups to join in order to network and meet new people.
4. Attend events hosted by your school or certificate program.
Once you’ve completed your esthetician program and obtained your license, you’re probably ready to put school in the rearview mirror. The reality of a career as an esthetician, however, means that you’ll never truly leave school. You’ll need to obtain a certain number of continuing education credits as you work in the industry and your school is bound to be ripe with networking opportunities. Even the classes themselves could be a great chance to connect with others in the industry.
5. Start a blog/vlog and let others come to you.
Most networking methods involve going out and finding people to connect with, but those aren’t the only options. Another option is to find a way to bring potential clients and business connections to you. A blog or video blog (log) is a great way to do that. If you already have a website for your spa, you can easily add a blog component through free software such as WordPress. If you go this route, you’d probably want to keep the content focused on your business and on the industry in general. For a personal blog, however, you could inject a little more personality into it with product reviews and other general interest content.
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6. Always keep business cards with you.
You never know who you’re going to meet and when. You could be standing in line at the coffee shop or browsing at the local bookstore when you find yourself in the middle of an interesting conversation. Having a few business cards on hand means it’s easy to share your contact information when an opportunity arises. It’s much more professional than scribbling your phone number on a napkin.
If you’re not a fan of traditional business cards, you can always use a digital business card. These “cards” use little chips so that you can pass along your information to new customers by simply tapping the card to their phone.
7. Volunteer locally.
Networking doesn’t always have to involve putting on a suit and attending a stuffy event. It’s all about getting out there and meeting people. Volunteering with local organizations is a great way to make connections while giving back to your community. You might even consider volunteering your services as an esthetician to get your name out there and potentially bring in new clients.
Networking is essential if you want to have a successful career but it’s not something you can do half-heartedly. You don’t have to spend hours networking every week but put some effort into it throughout the year. Summer is a great time to network, as many industries tend to slow down in the summer and people have a little more time to make connections.
No matter where you are in your career, there’s always something you can do to move yourself toward a stronger future. Take the tips above to heart and get your feet wet with networking this year.
article by Kate Barrington, Professional Skincare Guide