When I started my blog in 2009, my intention was to educate others on how best to care for their skin by separating facts from fiction. What was revealed to me over time was how many aestheticians from around the globe have used my information as continuing education in their own aesthetics practices. Along with other posts I have written exclusively for aestheticians, here are some helpful tips for becoming a successful aesthetician.
TIPS FOR NEW AESTHETICIANS RIGHT OUT OF SCHOOL
It is a fact that a large percentage of people who go through the effort and investment of attending and graduating from aesthetics school will never end up practicing aesthetics or will do so for a short time. This could be because they could not find a job or if they did, the job was not the right fit for them. Explore every option for employment, but be sure to only apply for a position that best suits your style and personality.
WHAT JOBS ARE OUT THERE FOR AESTHETICIANS?
There are many options for places of employment. There are day spas, hair salons that have a skin treatment room, skin care spas, hotel spas, cruise line spas, medical spas, department store spas associated with a skin care line, resort spas, and more. If you prefer not to be a service provider, there are still many options. You can become a representative for a skin care line that is sold to department stores, medical offices, or spas so, providing education and training classes to various accounts, as well as at trade shows, is another option. You can work in a retail environment selling a line at a department store counter – they love hiring aestheticians – or other beauty retailers. You can also become an independent contractor, be on-call to work at various spas, or even be a freelance aesthetician. It is also possible to become an educator and work as a teacher at a local aesthetics school. Another option is to become an entrepreneur and develop a personal skin care line.
A career as an aesthetician offers a very flexible schedule. Many places allow part and full-time schedules, which is ideal for someone who has another career or children. One size does not fit all when it comes to being employed as an aesthetician, so do research.
BUILDING A CLIENTELE
It truly takes a long time to build up a good, repeat clientele. This is because professionals will not connect with every client and vice versa. Being an aesthetician is a relationship-based profession. The best tip for this is to mimic the client’s personality. If they are not much of a talker, then do not talk their ear off. Be a chameleon with each client.
Try paying close attention to body language. Asking specific questions on the client intake form gives you insight into their expectations and will go a long way. A great question is, “What are you goals for today’s visit?” Then, provide various options the client can check off on the form, ranging from stress relief to “I want to learn how to care for my skin.” Depending on what they select, make sure to create an experience that gives them exactly what they ask for. Also, discuss their goals during the consultation to make sure there is complete clarity. Having a client leave getting exactly what they wanted will help build the relationship and ensure they will come back again.
Another way to build a clientele is to give out free skin treatments. For an empty schedule, the goal should always be to fill it with clients. Waiting around for them to shell out money for a skin treatment that is often considered a luxury will leave professionals with an empty room and time on their hands. Make gift certificates and gift them to friends, family, or anyone that might be a good fit for the spa. Let them experience services at no charge because the more faces that enter the spa, the more they can spread the word. Many will love the results and want to come back as a paying client. At the end of the appointment, give them a few of those free gift certificates and ask them to give them to friends who might be good clients. Hands down, word of mouth with a referral will trump any other advertising or marketing opportunity. Work this strategy long enough and give treatments focused on managing expectations, and empty schedules will no longer be an issue.
GIVING THE BEST SERVICE POSSIBLE
The consultation portion of the service is so important and often overlooked by many aestheticians. The information gained from asking clients questions about their skin and having them share their concerns is essential for problem-solving. Many professionals are too focused on giving the actual skin treatment without really knowing what the client’s concerns are. Aside from the questions mentioned above, here are some others to ask after reviewing the client intake form. These are really integral to understanding a client and his or her skin, in order to provide the best results.
- What are your top three skin concerns in order of priority?
- Is today a good, bad, or normal skin day for you?
- Do you consider yourself to have sensitive skin? Give me specific examples of how your skin acts sensitive?
- How oily or dry is your skin?
- If your skin is dry, do you actually get flaky or is it more of a tightness that you experience?
- What type of blemishes do you get most often (cysts, pustules, papules, whiteheads, closed comedones)?
- Where on your face do you get the majority of your blemishes?
- When it comes to caring for your skin at home, do you like a very simple routine like cleanser and moisturizer or do you like to add in additional products to make a more comprehensive routine?
- Prior to coming and seeing me, what have you done with your skin (both at home and professionally) and what kind of results did you get?
- What are your specific goals for your visit today?
HOW TO GET CLIENTS TO RESCHEDULE
It is very challenging to get a client to commit to another appointment so professionals must give them reasons why they really need to. To do this, make a game plan for each client’s skin at the end of the appointment. Simply saying “It would be great if you could come back in four weeks,” may not yield results with re-booking. Give the client a reason to come back. Laying out a specific game plan about their next skin treatments will be an incentive to come back in. It is for this reason that I often do not do the same treatment again on their second visit. Excitement is created for the next visit when there is a different focus.
Professionals must also sincerely believe that coming in regularly will give the client the results they desire with their skin so that they can convince them that it is not just a treat, but rather a necessity. This means professionals must practice what they preach. If professionals are not the recipients of aesthetic services themselves, it will be harder to re-book clients.
WHAT SKIN EQUIPMENT SHOULD BE USED ON CLIENTS?
This is really a personal decision. It depends on what you like, what you feel works well, and what gives your clients the best results. I personally love skin peels, with my favorite being 30 percent salicylic acid for acne. I also like using both microcurrent and ultrasound, and always recommend investing in a good quality steam machine. I am always experimenting with new treatments. I am like a mad scientist, but this is what keeps it exciting! When it comes to the basic tools, I personally have always avoided the big machines that have five or seven functions in them. If one function breaks, the entire machine has to be sent back to get fixed, so I prefer to have all of the functions separate. Many machines are now individual, but multi-function machines are still used, especially by European aestheticians.
TRAITS TO LOOK FOR IN AN EMPLOYEE
It can be very challenging for new aestheticians right out of school to get hired. Yes, they have energy and excitement and are ready to dive right into a new career, but most employers want people who are experienced and have a clientele they can bring to the practice. New aestheticians should be open to all résumé-building experience in order to be more attractive to certain employers. In my company, we first and foremost look for aestheticians who would be a fit into our culture. To do this, we use a personality profiling survey that allows us to understand an aesthetician’s skillset. This takes the guess work out of knowing what kind of aesthetician they will be by how they interact with clients and coworkers. We want an aesthetician who is employed with Renée Rouleau Skin Care to have a long, successful career. Understanding their personality from the get-go is essential to determining if they will thrive in our company.
In general, managers should judge based on what is on a résumé. If someone has a new job every six months, this might be a red flag that they are unstable. Along with a résumé, an attached personalized letter saying why the aesthetician wants to work at the spa and why they are a good fit is a nice touch. Aestheticians who sell themselves and put in the extra effort by singing their own praises set themselves apart from other résumés.
Being an aesthetician can be an amazing career choice. It most certainly has been for me and my employees. I have been on both sides – working for someone and working for myself – and have enjoyed every minute of it. But, with anything, it is hard work, dedication, and a commitment to learning and growing that makes professionals the best they can be.
Renée Rouleau, celebrity aesthetician and founder of her eponymous skin care collection, has 25 years of hands on experience as a celebrity aesthetician and trusted skin care expert. This experience helped her create a real-world solution – products that are formulated for nine different types of skin, so clients’ skin will get exactly what it needs to look and feel its best. Driven by her inquisitive passion for skin care, Rouleau continues to make learning and growing a top priority, studying cosmetic chemistry at UCLA, attending and teaching classes at top aesthetic trade shows, and traveling around the world seeking a global understanding of skin care. Her skin care lifestyle website and blog, which houses over 1,500 posts, is a go-to resource for everyone seeking to learn from Rouleau’s very unique understanding and perspective on skin. Renée’s blog has been heralded as “the WebMD of skin care” and has a loyal, world-wide following. The information used above is courtesy of www.ReneeRouleau.com, a website with helpful skin tips and advice from skin care expert and celebrity aesthetician, Renée Rouleau. For daily skin tips, her travels and more, follow Renée on Twitter and Instagram.