Top Tips for Gen-Z Making it in the Beauty Industry.
– By Jenny Defreitas
Four years ago, I made the decision to join the beauty industry. At 18 years old, I had graduated high school only two weeks prior to starting cosmetology school. I was eager to learn and had big goals. I was determined to find my success young.
Finding Success Young
Fast forward to now, I’m 22 and working in a top-rated salon with my own full book of loyal clientele. My goals are coming to fruition. But it isn’t easy. Being so young, it took me time to find a way to get people to take me seriously. I constantly thought experience is what truly mattered and that I would have to wait until I was older to finally have a successful career.
1. Work Your Assets
Youth is a virtue in this industry. An asset. It took me some time to realize that. To not be ashamed of my age, and to utilize it for what it is. A tool.
My first and most important tip is to not see it as a hindrance, but more as a selling point. When clients make a remark about my age I say “Yes, I am young. But that also means I’m trendy, and cool and know all the latest techniques.” You will have clients that actually want to go to you for this exact reason. They want someone with fresh ideas and and who keeps up with modern fashions.
2. Remain Eager to Learn
I am constantly educating myself because I know that it’s my biggest selling point of all. My goal is to go to classes, research online education programs, and learn from the older stylists who have a knowledge that money can’t buy. I was an assistant for three years and I had a brilliant mentor who taught me everything. The old tricks and the new. I studied her methods as well as all the other stylists around me. Even now at my current salon, I will stop to watch other stylists work and ask them questions. Everyone has something to teach you, so learn as much as you can from them.
3. Pay Attention to Demographics
When it comes to building a clientele and retaining clients, there are different factors to consider. I found that the age range of your clientele is a big thing to take into consideration. We all want our clients to be the gorgeous, young girls we see on Instagram with incredible thick hair… but I hate to tell you that those are not the best clients for building a book. Those girls don’t pre-book appointments. They don’t come in every 6 weeks. A younger client tends to steer toward lower maintenance looks and will only come in once a year for their hair.
The point I’m trying to make is that your peers are not your most loyal clients. Don’t go chasing down your friends from high school to sit in your chair, it’s not worth it. My target demographic is women ages 25-45. Women who genuinely love coming into the salon and love keeping up with their hair. The women who aren’t afraid to pay a little extra for their hair to be perfect. The women who come in every 6-8 weeks because they hate having roots. Don’t get me wrong, though. I have young clients who only come every so often and I love them just as much as all my other clients. I just mean to say that they are not the ones paying my bills.
4. Social Media is your Best Friend
As a young professional, you are blessed with a tool that confuses a lot of the people who have come before you. That tool is social media. Let’s face it, the world has gone online, and personally I find myself extremely lucky to have been raised with social media and I know how to use it well. Social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and even TikTok are the newest and easiest forms of advertising. With the click of a few buttons, you have the ability to share your work with the world.
Through social, you can attract clients, brands, and countless opportunities. You can connect and collaborate with other young professionals. Your Instagram is your new business card. I highly recommend using social media for all that it’s worth. And this goes not just for young stylists. All beauty professionals should learn the ins and outs of social media and learn to use it to best benefit themselves.
5. Finally, Love Yourself.
My last piece of advice to grow a successful business is to be happy. Work hard, but don’t overwork yourself. Take on as many new clients as you can, but make sure they treat you as well as you treat them. It’s easy to spread yourself to thin, so make sure to take a step back every once in a while to care for yourself. You have a long career ahead of you, so don’t burn out as soon as you start.