Congratulations! You've just completed a huge accomplishment. You may feel overwhelmed or confused about the next step, but just know that YOU CHOSE THE RIGHT INDUSTRY. Besides being what many would call "recession-proof," the beauty industry is one of the few industries that literally touches everyone.
Now that you're a licensed cosmetologist or barber, your world has opened up. Have you considered your next move? Would you like to work as a stylist in a full-service salon, or are you more passionate about being a beauty instructor? Is platform artistry in your cards, or would you prefer to service celebrities? Would you like the calm of an elderly care salon facility, or does your personality best fit a salon chain for kids' cuts? It all comes down to exploration (aka, trial and error) and using the skills you developed in beauty and barber school to figure out where you'd like to practice.
First, a few stats about the best industry as a whole:
- Overall, more than 1.1 million professionals work in personal appearance occupations in the United States, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
- Individuals in personal appearance occupations (aka, the beauty industry) have a much higher rate of self-employment, as compared to the overall workforce.
- Half of all individuals in personal appearance occupations are self-employed. In comparison, only 7% of the overall U.S. workforce is self-employed.
- Of the 770,000 Hairdressers, Hairstylists and Cosmetologists, 35% (or 267,000) are self-employed.
- Barbers have the highest proportion of self-employed individuals, at 54%.
- The nation’s salon and spa industry provides first jobs and career opportunities for individuals of all backgrounds, and has a broader representation of women and minorities than the overall U.S. workforce.
- Eighty-four percent (84%) of individuals in personal appearance occupations are women, compared to 47% of employed individuals in the overall U.S. workforce.
Now that you're even more motivated, where do you start? Start researching and reading job descriptions that appeal to you. And by all means, start practicing your art! With the new ShearShare app, new grads can build their book of business from Day 1 by renting salon and barbershop space by the day.
Market yourself and your services through free online platforms like Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Snapchat—especially because these are mobile applications. Spend a few serious minutes determining your user name or social media ID on these channels. You'd be surprised how many beauty professionals are conducting business on accounts with ID names that are more appropriate for after-hours.
Why is mobile important? Because based on research by Salesforce.com (2015), 71% of businesses believe that mobile marketing is core to their business. And YOU, my friend, are now a one-person business. ;) Smart Insights (2015) reports that apps alone account for 89% of mobile media time, with the other 11% spent on Web sites. So brand yourself by developing a Web site where clients and potential customers can learn more about you and view your work. Sites like 1and1.com or GoDaddy.com offer free templates to help get you started.
- List 2-3 professions within the beauty industry that you'd like to try. Do the work to determine which best matches your personality, natural gifts, and goals.
- Start! With ShearShare, you can now build your book of business from Day 1. Rent salon space by the day and start generating real income.
- Advertise. If you're not talking about yourself, no one else is. Take advantage of social media tools and start posting.
- Always have an easy way of communicating what you do and how people can contact you. Get some business cards printed.
Don't feel overwhelmed. Just start where you are. If you'd like to read more about how to achieve long-term success in the best industry in the world, order our cofounder's book from Amazon.com, Mentored by Failure: A 5-Point Guide to Long-Term Success in the Beauty & Style Industry.
Leave us a comment and let us know where you're winning!