The beauty industry is an exciting, fast-paced, innovative field to be working in during 2020. From esthetics and skincare to hairstyling and barbering, beauty industry jobs are rapidly growing as more and more people flock toward creative professions.
But a love of beauty and a talented eye does not immediately make a successful career. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the average hairstylist salary is $24,850 per year, while the average esthetician makes slightly more with an average annual wage of $30,090.
But with some savvy, talent, and hard work, you can make more money than you ever have previously and work your way toward a six figure income in the salon and spa industry.
Here are our tips to increase your income in the beauty industry:
1. Find your niche
When you first start out in your field, it’s likely you’ll be tempted (or required) to offer a little bit of everything to everyone. It’s normal to start out offering a wide range of services. But a jack of all trades can make a master of none, and while it might seem counter-intuitive to offer fewer services, you’ll eventually be able to charge more per service once you find what you truly excel at and make that your specialty.
Take for example, aesthetician and microblading artist Kathryne Dare Chatelain. After many years in the industry doing a wide range of face and body waxing as well as brow design services, Chatelain found she truly loved and excelled at microblading. After narrowing her services to brow design, she gave herself the time to become an expert in her craft, attract more clients interested in her niche services, and earned more income overall.
Once you figure out what you love and do well and narrow your focus, clients will begin to come to you for your specific talents, and as you hone those skills, you’ll be in higher demand while also charging more overall for your services.
2. Be a marketer
Too often, people in creative fields forget that they are also running a business. While pure talent, creativity, and love of your craft are major cornerstones for success, you also need to market yourself if you wish to generate a six-figure income.
If you aren’t yet on social media, make sure you have an Instagram and Facebook page for your business. Post as often as you possibly can and ENGAGE with other accounts. You can use social media to find new clients as well as to entice current clients to book again and take advantage of promotions.
Social media is just the start: You’ll also want to make sure your website is up-to-date (and that it’s immediately clear what you do and where you work) and posted on as many local directories as possible.
Sitting around for your salon or spa to generate new clientele for you isn’t enough if you want to bring in a six-figure income.
3. Build relationships (and trust)
The best thing you can do for your business is become someone your clients trust with their lives! When you put forth the effort to not just be a friend to them, but an expert who knows exactly what their skin, hair, or body needs, you’ll build a roster of repeat clients who feel they can’t live without you.
You can also build trust by consistently providing exceptional service to your clients, time and time again. No matter what service you’re performing, do everything in your power to make each and every client that walks into your salon or spa feel like a queen or king.
Your clients will trust you as you suggest different services or add-ons they need, increasing the overall price of their visit and boosting your bottom line. And because your service is so exemplary, they’ll become total advocates of your services, giving word-of-mouth referrals to all their friends.
4. Give yourself regular pay raises
If you don’t regularly increase your prices, you risk having your salary become stagnant (but remember, you need to build strong relationships and provide service so amazing that your clients are willing to pay more!)
“Kick them up 6 to 10 percent at a minimum,” salon owner and author Eric Fisher tells Behind The Chair. Eric recommends raising your prices annually, preferably in November, just before the surge in holiday clientele. “People are used to spending more and they’re in a buying mode,” Fisher explains.
5. Highly encourage rebooking
You want your calendar to be filled up well in advance — and one of the most reliable ways to do this is with repeat clientele. At the end of your appointment, encourage your client to book their next appointment right there with you. You can position it as being less work for them, a way for them not to forget, and also a way for them to guarantee a spot in your extremely busy schedule.
6. Sell retail, and sell it well
Too many salon and spa artists simply bid their clients goodbye at the end of an appointment without putting an effort into selling retail. Commissions on retail sales (or straight profit, if you’re selling your own product line) can stack up to be a major boost in income that can continue to grow exponentially.
Don’t just recommend a product and hope for the best. During an appointment, you have the opportunity to get a client excited about the products you’re using on them during treatment. Explain what the products are doing and why you love them so much, adding why you recommend regular use.
Make surging your retail sales a major focus of your business strategy, and you’ll see a near-immediate boost in your income.
7. Sell your own products
If you’re working in the beauty industry independently or have your own beauty business, you have the opportunity to profit directly off of your own line of beauty products. Selling a line of high-quality, luxury-grade products branded to your business is actually easier than you might think: You can use an easy online platform to select products, order samples, and create custom labels.
8. When you’re ready, break out on your own
Opening your own spa, salon, barbershop, or launching your own beauty product line takes work, but should ultimately be the goal if you’re looking to make a six figure income. The beauty industry is entrepreneurial in nature: You as a beauty professional have the opportunity to pay your dues and learn as much as you can in the early stages of your career, then take what you’ve learned to build something bigger.
As a salon, spa, or brand owner, you have the chance to build something of value that extends beyond your individual services, meaning you can work less and earn more.