There’s nothing quite like that after-spa or salon feeling. When you’ve had the most glorious facial, manicure or had your make-up applied perfectly…it makes you feel incredible.
As a beauty therapist, it’s your job to make clients feel their best and you absolutely love it! You might have been in the industry a while, or you may be fresh to it and ready to get started – the idea of working for yourself is tempting either way. You can decide when you work, who you work with and where your main place of work is – how great is that?
If you’re looking to become a freelance beauty therapist, we’ve got some top tips that will help you succeed in this exciting industry – here are a few ways to stay at the top of your game!
If you’ve spent a few years in the industry working as a beauty therapist, you’ll have built up a huge amount of experience handling customers, perfecting your treatments and you may also have an understanding of how the business is run.
When you’re thinking of setting up business on your own, this type of experience is invaluable. As you’ve had time working in the beauty environment (that could be a salon, on board a cruise ship, or in a spa or hotel) you should find you’ve got a bit of an advantage. You already know how to deliver treatments on a daily basis, and you may have already built up a bit of a client base – this gives you a perfect start to your freelance beauty career!
If you’re a newly qualified beauty therapist, or are thinking about getting qualified, then you don’t need years in a salon to get the necessary experience you need to go freelance. Once you’ve got your qualifications under your belt (you need to be at least level 2 qualified), you can practice to your heart’s content on your friends and family. It’s unlikely they’ll turn down free manicures, eyebrow threading, makeup application or lash application! Want to get started now? Follow these steps for the perfect manicure
your friends will love!
Set up and ready to go but still want to get a bit more experience as a freelancer? You might want to hold open days where you offer mini treatments – you won’t charge full price, so your customers are getting a good deal and you get to practice a little more. Win, win!
Don’t forget: you are your business – if you don’t get the right amount of practice and experience, you could be risking your reputation, and that can have an impact on your business going forward.
Marketing your business
When it comes to new business, you’ll need to market yourself. People need to know who you are, what you’re offering and how much you charge. Lots of freelance beauty therapists set up a business page on social media as a way of advertising – this is a great way of building your business, reaching new customers and also sharing great feedback from your existing clients!
It can be tricky to know what’s best when it comes to social media – here are the dos and don’ts of building your beauty brand on social media
Running your own business relies in part on you having a realistic approach to your work. This can span from being realistic with your time and how much you’re charging for each treatment. You can’t expect to work 7 days a week, from 8am to 7pm, and not have a break. Not only is this unachievable for anything length of time (you’ll get serious burn out), but your home life would be drastically affected.
When you’re planning out the framework of your business, you’ll need to be mindful of giving yourself some regular time off. Realistically, you will probably be working Saturdays (some of your clients will work full time), so make sure you factor in an extra day off in the week. Once you’re up and running, you’ll find you have quieter days so you can use then as your day off without affecting business!
You should also be mindful of how much you’re charging: too little and people might assume the service isn’t very good, too much and you’re pricing yourself out of business. To give you an understanding of how much you should be charging, it’s worth looking at similar businesses in your area – this market research will give you a good starting point. You should also think about how long each treatment takes, so you can factor in how many treatments you can deliver in a typical 8-hour day (that’s 16 manicures or half-leg waxes, 8 facials or make-up applications!). That way you can also determine how much you need to work based on what you want to earn!
Be realistic too with how much business you’ll get – you’d be extremely lucky to have 100s of clients in your first month. When you go freelance, you must accept the rough with the smooth: your first few months or the week before payday is bound to be quiet. If you’re anxious about your income, you could always sign up to agencies like Urban Massage
(ask your career support officer about career opportunities with them) – you can choose how often you work, so it could be an ideal way of topping up your freelance income!
Offer something different
If you have a unique selling point, people have more of a reason to choose your business over Sally’s salon down the road. That could be offering exceptional customer service, treatments that few others provide or individual products that are tailored to your client. For example, you could make your own face masks that your client can also take home after their salon facial – find some fantastic recipes for the perfect facial here
From your market research, you might have found a real gap in the market. Use this to build your business for success! If you’re an exact copy of someone else’s business, there’s no incentive for a client to choose you and be loyal to you. Determine what your specialty is, how you’ll be different, and what people remember you for.
Ultimately, there’s no right and wrong when it comes to becoming a freelance beauty therapist. You need to be realistic in your approach, work hard to deliver a unique and professional service and have the available tools to advertise yourself. Most importantly, you need to hold the right qualifications to start your business – like a level 2 diploma.
get your beauty career started here