Throughout the duration of my 8 year career in and out of the Beauty World, and as a loyal client to a few exquisite Beauty Professionals in one of the most industry savvy cities IN THE WORLD, San Francisco -- there are several tips and tricks I've compiled into a short list with hopes of preventing the NEW professionals unnecessary complaints, negative Yelp reviews, and general dissatisfaction with their experience. When I began my career, older professionals were consistently telling me that the only thing that would make me better is EXPERIENCE, and while that is indeed one vital component, these six things would have saved me a lot of grief had someone divulged their tremendous, sometimes candid importance.
1.) Keep conversation light. - I cannot stress this enough. DO NOT OVERSHARE. Just don't. Sometimes with the RIGHT client it's generally NOT a big deal, but when you're starting out and you don't have a firm grasp on your clientele, you don't yet know who might be best friends with your boss, and especially if you've never had a professional title; the relationship has potential to get uncomfortable quickly. Your clients are there to either a.) relax or b.) put themselves through torture. Your personal life is, seriously, the least of their concerns. Stick to positive topics like their hobbies, local events, music, travel, their love life (if it appears to be a source of comfort) and in general TRY keep the focus solely on them. If they are seeing you to relax (facial/ massage/ pedicure), or if they are on their phone the whole time, chances are likely that they don't want to talk at all and that they'd prefer utter silence. Give that to them.
2.) Do NOT gossip. Ever. - Everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about. Be nice and if you have to say something, steer the conversation in a positive direction. It's ALWAYS possible to be kind, to give someone the benefit of the doubt & to help someone have a better day. Do that instead.
3.) Promote yourself and promote others who do what you don't do. - This is the only way you're going to make any money. Truly. If you love what you do, this one will be easy. If you don't know what you love to do just yet, do more of everything until you do. Convince your friends and family to be 'Guinea Pigs'. Go to networking events, beauty conferences and classes (hey, a lot of them are held in AMAZING cities around the world), make FRIENDS with your colleagues and eat, sleep & breath BEAUTY. Surround yourself with like-minded professionals in related industries. Know your competition. Become resourceful for your clients who need references to find a new doctor, dentist, personal trainer, chiropractor, etc. Go have a drink with someone older than you who's been doing what you love to do for years. I'll bet you learn something. Network, network, network. As with most things in life; the more you believe in your abilities, the likelier you are to convince others to do the same,... and tell their friends to make appointments with you. Because YOU'RE THE BEST.
4.) Continue educating yourself. - I used to think this was optional until I became a master at waxing only to find out that 30-40% of my existing clients now preferred sugaring and threading to waxing because 'their friend Lisa tried it and LOVES it.'. There will ALWAYS be a new trend. Lisa will always be gossiping at brunch. Instead of being rigidly opposed, stay up to date and at least take classes regularly so that you can educate your clients on your professional opinion when they ask about the trends. You might even pick up a new skill in this process that you will someday be known for.
5.) Be smart enough to gauge your own worth and NEVER be late arriving to work. - This is a constant battle in the beauty world for people who have been in the business for less than a year just as much as it is a constant battle for people who have been in the business for 15 years. You are the only one who can determine your worth, but a good rule of thumb that I TRY to follow is that you should be charging people for your time if you've mastered your skill, and your work if you haven't.
6.) SPECIALIZE. - Stephen Covey said, "The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing.". I believe him (thanks, Dad).