Be Exceptional: Tips for Standing Out in a Competitive Industry

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Many individuals become aestheticians because they adore beauty and have an innate knack for bringing out the best in others. Yet, with all the natural talent in the world, if professionals do not market themselves correctly or have access to the clients who can benefit from their services, they will get lost in a sea of competition – and boy is there competition today. Not only do professionals have to compete with other aestheticians, they have to compete with doctors, dermatologists, day spas, retail stores, kiosks, and, yes, the internet. With this said, quality service, exclusivity, and knowledge are just some of the traits that will put a professional ahead of competition.


BUILD RELATIONSHIPSBUILD RELATIONSHIPS
Clients come to professionals for more than good skin – they come to feel good. Facial services provide an intimate setting where a person can let their guard down and be vulnerable. Professionals are often privileged to hear about a client’s insecurities and, in that space, become caregivers. Most doctors’ treatments are much shorter, so they do not have the time to build the kinds of relationships that professionals can. The whole premise of a medical setting is more formal and allows for less chit-chat. In order to become part of the client’s life, it is important to stay in one place. Many clients become close friends with their professional as they entrust them with the care of their skin and kinship is built. Be there for clients. If they have a skin emergency, fit them in. Call them back in a timely manner. If they call because a product is failing them, be there to hear their needs. Treat them as an important relationship, not just a business transaction.


RELATE TO CLIENTS
Relate to a client’s world. If clients come from a different background, whether social or ethnic, become knowledgeable about their world. For professionals in their 40s who tend to have clients in their 20s, become versed in their fashion, music, and hangouts. Take classes in cooking, design, history, or music to be well learned. Stay up-to-date by reading magazines, newspapers, and other trendy media to be current on local and world events. This will make for more interesting and relatable conversation during services. 


NETWORK
Service clients in many ways. Whether clients need haute couture or a cake maker, a list of reliable references to connect them with increases the professional’s value in their life. Giving referrals also creates opportunities to receive business from networking, as people are more likely to refer business back to the spa. Find quality service providers in different arenas including tasty restaurants, fashion-savvy boutiques, hip photographers, and clean workout gyms. Remember, an aesthetician’s specialty is not only beauty but also well-being. Clients cannot look and feel good if they do not have reliable people of all trades to turn to.


CREATE A SETTING
Most clients would rather spend time having a spa facial than a medical procedure. Aestheticians automatically have the power of positive association. Unless someone was traumatized by a deep pore cleansing session as an oily teenager, most clients associate time at the aesthetician’s office with a fluffy bed, steam, and aromatherapy. So, do not disappoint. Create a five-star setting by refining the details of the experience provided. Exquisite sheets, fancy hand soap, and beautiful design all enhance a client’s desire to repeat services. Whereas a doctor’s visit is usually a half-hour, aestheticians have clients for up to an hour and a half. Craft an environment that feels like a staycation. 


EXCELLENT SERVICE
Excellent service means giving a client what they want, how they want it, when they want it. Begin all services by finding out the client’s expectations and preferences. The spa may be known for deep pore cleansing, but if all the client really wants is a gentle spa facial with lots of massage, then that is what they should get. Of course, the professional is still the expert and there is room for educating clients, but they should not impose their will on clients. It is the client’s face, skin, time, and money. They get to choose what they want. The same goes for product referrals. If a client is a minimalist, do not recommend a 10-product regimen to them. Even if they buy all 10 products recommended, they most likely will not come back for a second appointment. Give clients the excellent service that they want. 


OFFER DIFFERENT SERVICES
The beauty field is currently hyper-segmented. There are eyebrow bars, makeup bars, and even facial apps that bring aestheticians to clients’ homes. But, does one service proficiency really maximize the industry? Perhaps not. Clients like to get as much done in one spot as they can. Most people are short on time and do not want to travel to several places to have their needs met. Having several specialties will make it easier to meet clients’ needs. Many aestheticians have excuses like “I do not like to do waxing, “I am slow with makeup,” or “I prefer to do just European facials.” These aestheticians have a harder time succeeding. It is the aestheticians that say, “I heard there is a new service on the market, I want to learn how to do it” that end up building the most solid clientele. 

 
LOCATION, LOCATION
A professional can be the best waxer in the world, but if they are located in the middle of nowhere, they will not have much business. They need to go where the clients are. Do market research before settling on a location. Go where there is demand. Several components can distinguish a profitable location, including centrality, access to food traffic, easy parking availability, being in a location where the professional is the only provider, or being close to public transportation. Make client access a priority in choice of location. These days, that can even be on-location at their homes – just make a location choice that is easily accessible for existing or projected clients. 


KNOW THE COMPETITION
If competitors offer more value, the spa’s services will not be appealing. Find out what services and products are being offered by the local spas, aestheticians, dermatologists, and consumer retail stores in order to compete successfully. Analyze their brochures, websites, protocols, and products regularly to stay creative and competitive. Continuously update offerings, technologies, ingredients, and prices to stay relevant. 


HAVE A NICHE

There is something unique about each professional and his or her services. Find out what is different and special and highlight it. For those who do great makeup, create an aesthetic atelier with design, marketing materials, and services that reflect that uniqueness. Professionals should have an individual concept that makes them stand out from the rest. Another way to create a unique concept is to discover what is missing from the marketplace. Is there a clinically-focused aesthetician? A green spa? Choose a theme that is different from the rest and stick to it in order to create a distinguishable brand that is interesting and special. 


THE VALUE OF EXCELLENCE
Regularly update skills by attending tradeshows, conferences, and taking classes. Use product lines that offer support, training, and high-quality protocols that work. Incorporate advanced technologies, unique gadgets, and intriguing ingredients into protocols. Be an expert at services offered and be proud of this excellence by showcasing it. Post certifications, write-ups, thank-yous, and even autographed testimonials on the spa’s physical walls and virtual pages (website, blog, social media, and so forth). 

 

To shine out from the rest, each professional must be excellent at what he or she does. Begin by making the location easy to access. From the first approach, make clients feel extra special. Execute services with perfection from top to bottom by meeting several needs with high-quality ingredients, expert technologies, and a perfect setting in one sitting. Provide interesting conversation focused on aesthetics and client well-being, as well as general client life topics. Close the service with luxury pampering and recommendations that match their personality and skin needs. If professionals give clients all of this, clients will ask when they can come back. 

 

2019 Bella SchneiderBella Schneider leads more than 150 aesthetic professionals in her Silicon Valley spas. She travels globally to bring the best in aesthetic science to her formulas and protocols. She is a successful retailer and respected educator that helps aestheticians enhance their practices by offering top-of-the-line protocols, retail products, and advanced training. Because she trains her staff and clients, she is able to export her multi-faceted experience to professionals across the spa industry.

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