Here, John Armstrong, Director and Co-Owner of branding specialists Custom Planet, discusses the impact that great branding can have and explains how you can create your own.
Working in the beauty sector is incredibly rewarding. From helping clients to feel their best, to meeting people from all walks of life, there are so many advantages to be had. And, while working in a thriving beauty salon can be great, starting up as a freelance beauty therapist can be equally as exciting.
As well as getting to decide your own hours and the potential to earn more money, freelancing also gives you the opportunity to build up a loyal client base who will use your services and recommend them to others. But, with so much competition in the beauty sector, how can you make yourself stand out? Here, I will be sharing my top five branding tips to give your freelance beauty therapist business a boost.
Decide on your niche
The beauty industry is rapidly growing, and with an increased demand for these services comes a rise in the amount of businesses and therapists competing. Whether you consider your main competitors to be the local salon, or other freelancers in the area, it'll pay to think about ways you can ensure you stand out.
Finding your niche isn't always straightforward, but you can stir up interest around your brand and gain repeat custom by thinking outside the box. This could include training in niche treatments such as massages for people with certain ailments or illnesses who might otherwise have to miss out on these therapies. Offering services that meet the needs of a very specific group of people can help to boost your reputation and you may gain business from neighbouring areas, too.
The advantage of working freelance means that you can fine tune your niche and, the more extraordinary your ideas, the more likely you are to draw people to your beauty services, so be as creative as possible.
Incorporate your values and those held by customers
Whether you believe in being as environmentally friendly as possible or giving back to charities, chances are a good proportion of your potential customer base will think the same way. This means that it can help to incorporate mentions of your values into your marketing strategy. Not only will it boost your sales from like-minded individuals, but it can help to build a good reputation for your brand, too.
You should also take the time to research current trends within the industry to monitor the way beauty customers are shopping. For example, the UK's sustainable beauty market is booming, with figures for 2018 showing that the sector saw year on year growth of 14% (Soil Association). This indicates that there will be a much greater demand for your services if you offer environmentally friendly treatments and products, so pay attention to the way people are spending.
Create a logo
Now for the fun part: creating your very own business logo! Although the design of this is entirely up to you, it's generally best to keep this as simple as possible. Not only can a clean, pared down design signal the ease and simplicity of your businesses, but it will also be much easier to print onto a variety of marketing materials, as well as your uniform. Your logo should also give a nod to the services your business offers. For example, if you specialise in gel nails, you might want the focus image of your logo to be a nail polish bottle, or an illustration of hands.
You will also need to think about the colour of your logo. While it can be easy to get carried away with bright tones, it'll look much more professional to keep your logo a classic, versatile colour like black, navy, or white. When creating this, it may also help to think about what the base colour of your uniform will be, and which colours will show up best against it.
Design your uniform
Uniforms have the power to build trust around your brand, especially when they are designed in a professional way. As a beauty therapist, you can expect the clothing you wear to get dirty each day, so opting for dark base colours will ensure that any stains or marks are cleverly disguised until after you've seen your last client of the day.
As you'll be working around various creams, oils, polishes, and acetates, you might want to cover up your arms with a long-sleeved tunic to stop these from transferring onto your skin. However, as many beauty treatments take an hour or two, having short sleeves can keep you cool as you see to your clients. If you prefer to wear a T-shirt, pair it with a pocketed apron to keep your clothes clean and your tools close by.
Find the right marketing medium
The best means of advertising for you will depend on the demographic of your audience and where each group is likely to learn about your business. For example, if you think your products and services are most suitable to teenagers, social media will be your best bet for grabbing their attention. Meanwhile, for older groups it might be best to make use of local shop windows, noticeboards, and leisure centres where they are more likely to notice these.
Whatever marketing medium you use, you'll need to ensure that your advertisements give enough information about your beauty business. This should include the services and treatments you offer, a blurb about yourself and your experience, as well as contact details and your working hours.
Becoming a freelance beauty therapist can be incredibly rewarding, but knowing how to brand yourself to stand out isn't always easy. Follow my top five tips and watch your clientele grow.