This guide has everything you need to know about raising the profile of yourself as a hair or beauty professional.
Follow our 11 tips to help showcase your talent and nurture your reputation.
1. Continuing professional development
Ongoing passion and development can set you apart in a rapidly changing, skills-based industry. Being a source of knowledge allows you to further your abilities and bring your insights to the table. Use resources such as websites, videos, events and vocational experience to stay on top of the latest techniques. Follow your interests to forge new paths. For example, if you’re invested in creating a more eco-friendly workplace, why not research innovative solutions to help encourage change in the professional community.
More formal learning is available from the Ellisons Academy. Consider improving your diversity through a limitless range of specialist beauty, nails and massage qualifications.
2. Polish your portfolio
Thanks to the accessibility of digital technology it’s easier than ever to curate your own social media feeds and websites. As well as attracting clients, these visual tools are fantastic for establishing your name among fellow professionals. Keep posting your best work and engage with on-trend hash tags to increase your reach, spark inspiration and potentially build new business relationships.
Later we’ll discuss opportunities to move towards the world of media and fashion, but an important foundation for this is to use your creativity to set yourself apart. A physical or electronic portfolio can be a worthwhile investment to showcase your work. Consider hiring a photographer to capture your unique abilities in the most compelling way.
3. Say yes to new roles
Making new connections can often lead to new, hands on experiences. Of course, it is important to exercise caution when making a significant career change, but you can often explore new roles without fully committing to a different path. In fact, this taste of variety can offer a more rounded understanding of the industry, challenging the way that you currently work. Perhaps you’ll discover a calling and excel forwards in that direction.
4. Network with peers
Take a look at joining one of the incredible professional bodies that exist. These established organisations can connect you with likeminded individuals. Benefits such as business coaching, access to legal advice and campaigning on your behalf can build a stellar foundation for your business.
Events such as Professional Beauty London and Olympia Beauty can open doors to progression. Brands exhibit their latest innovations to help you stay ahead, guest speakers comment on key topics and industry leaders build relationships.
As well as conferences and exhibitions, you can increase your visibility by contributing to hair and beauty forums, online communities and business profiles. Engage with discussions, a consistent presence in forums could help you become a sought-after collaborator, employer or consultant.
5. Independent bookings
Have you received several messages about availability for prom hair styling or wedding make-up pricing? Be motivated by this positive feedback but consider the hard work that goes into being your own boss, satisfying clients and ultimately building your professional reputation. Hair and beauty can sometimes be a small world, as a self-employed therapist you are likely to often share clients with nail technicians, waxologists and others besides. Impressing fellow experts could lead to their recommendation when customers are seeking treatments for their special occasion.
If you are also an employee, remember to protect your reputation with your manager by being open and honest with them. It is important for an employer to trust that any new venture outside your employment will benefit your day to day work rather than having a negative impact.
6. Professional media bookings
This type of work can be as far ranging as photoshoots, fashion shows, TV and film, or private celebrity clients. It can be challenging to enter behind the scenes media jobs, but their exclusivity means that once involved you can really establish your name in the field. While glamorous, the unconventional hours and unpredictable deadlines require genuine passion. This can be a brilliant opportunity to be taken under the wing of pros and to prove yourself.
7. Industry commentator
While trying beauty journalism yourself is always an option, press often look to active industry experts for their insights. Our favourite magazines and websites connect with professionals they’ve discovered through networking or have noticed through influential online profiles. Sharing your advice on hot topics gives you another platform to elevate your profile.
8. Educate and contribute
Use your knowledge to take on a position of leadership. From contributing to online beauty communities to tutoring apprentices, there are many teaching opportunities to have a voice, give back and be valued. Maybe lend your patience and clear communication skills to becoming a brand ambassador. Brands often work with therapists to give practical, first hand advice on how to make the most of their range.
9. Product development
Hair and beauty professionals boast a unique familiarity with the product market and are ideally positioned to spot innovative opportunities. For example, Tancream™ co-founder Gillian Robson was running her own business when she sadly had to undergo surgery for skin cancer. Her expertise has since brought a product to market that combines the damage free glow of self tan with the active protection of SPF50 5 star UVA properties.
10. Test yourself in competitions
Often live and sometimes international, nerve-racking competitions can be incredibly rewarding. Although the idea of professional feedback may seem intimidating, a different perspective helps to build upon your strengths and weaknesses. Some can be entered at multiple skill levels, making them easily accessible to first timers.
11. Enter into Beauty awards
Is there any more satisfying acknowledgment of your skills than a sparkling trophy from a panel of experts? Events from organisations such as BABTAC, British Hairdressing Awards and The British Beauty Awards shine a spotlight on the calibre of the very best in our industry.
Have you tried any of these tips to raise your industry profile? How would you advise others to build their reputation? Comment below and join the discussion.