“I DON'T KNOW THE SECRET TO SUCCESS, BUT I'M PRETTY SURE THE CLOSEST THING IS PREPARATION.”
-- MICHELLE KWAN, AMERICAN FIGURE SKATER, FIVE TIME WORLD CHAMPION, NINE TIME US CHAMPION, AND TWO TIME OLYMPIC MEDALIST
Let’s stop and think about the fact that we are living in the Information Age. It’s a real thing, look it up. We don’t even realize the magnitude of advancement made in the Information Age from the 1970s until today which includes: the home computer, video games, video on demand, ATMs, CGI (computer generated imaging), mobile phones, digital cameras, the World Wide Web (aka Internet), WIFI, streaming entertainment, tablets, social networking and the single most important tool of the trade, the smartphone. This sums up basic modern life as we know it. Information is insistent and in your face. Access to anything you could dream of, however obscure, is at your fingertips. Those who recognize that "knowledge is power" are the ones who will have the ability to change their circumstances for the better; no matter what hardship comes their way. So how does the Information Age specifically affect the nail industry? In this instance, Habib and Tracey address the influence of the YouTube tutorials and whether they are enough to build your nails skills to compete among the professionals; the value of conventional classes versus online videos; and the magic formula for becoming proficient in nails.
ACCESS AND POWER
When it comes to the pursuit of higher education and professional self-improvement; anyone in the nail game today has a massive advantage over those who came before them. Anything you could possibly want to know like the basics of nails to insanely complicated three dimensional nail art is a click or two away on YouTube. It is the primary source for long-form educational videos. Twenty years ago, a newly licensed nail tech had almost zero access to this kind of inspirational or technical information. If they did, access came in the form of pricey trade shows and niche video tapes or DVDs watched at home. Beyond passing the state boards to earn your license, your education thus far did not actually teach the art of doing nails. If you are turning clients away because you don’t have a gel or acrylic technique down, hit YouTube. If lifting or shaping is a problem, hit YouTube. If you are bored of the nail art on menu, hit YouTube.
If you have no idea how to create content and market your salon, hit YouTube. It doesn’t even have to be Young Nails videos. Although, we do have over 800 tutorials that offer detailed instruction on the business side of nails plus application techniques, tips and tricks. We’ve made it easy for the information hungry nail tech (new or pro) to kill it in the salon. If you’re a recent grad, there is a tutorial for you. If you’re a seasoned pro, looking for a little bump in business, this is for you. Harnessing the convenience of YouTube learning and a healthy curiosity is what is going to set you apart as a nail tech.
There is nothing more valuable to your nail career than to acknowledge that there’s always room for improvement and space for new ideas. This is the magic formula. In Zen Buddhism, this is called the Beginner’s Mind. It means that you look at life with openness, eagerness and lack of preconceived notions much like how a child naturally sees the world with wonder and excitement. For a nail tech, we hope you cultivate a YouTube tutorial habit to fill your head with new ideas. Yet no amount of watching can ever take the place of first person, in real life salon experience. You must be a witness. Videos can edit out the prime lesson of how to take care of mistakes when they happen. You can watch a video on how to ride a bike but personal experience on two wheels tells you that pedalling with momentum aids in balance and forward motion. This is the exact model we follow when it comes to how we create Young Nails content with positive results. We did the homework on our own, learning to edit videos. We were beginners. We took it step by step; one day at a time. It took some time, some fails and serious commitment. Then eventually, we found our way to various YouTubers who influenced our way of thinking and production. Our self-prescribed independent study, landed us with Vayner Media who further refined our execution and strategy. Our vision is led by always being open to new ideas and willing to try things.
So now is the time to be humble. Ask a fellow nail tech, whose work you admire, if they’ll let you shadow them in the salon. It’s easy for a new tech starting out to find someone willing to share their knowledge. If you’re a 20 year veteran, there still has to be a peer in the industry who you’ve fangirled over, too. You’re not excluded from this. We’ve seen it on Instagram in the beauty industry with independent hair stylists/salon owners going on a work "field trip" across the country to learn new skills from a pro in a different city. Literally sit next to them. Observe and watch them work. The in-salon setting with real clients can reveal so much even providing answers to things you would not even have thought to question. Offer to be helpful. Do repairs as an opportunity to practice, to connect and to be community. Find different and interesting ways to supplement your path to learning online and in real life. When you are humble you come to experience wisdom from the least likely places.
STOP PAUSE DO
There are a few paths that we recommend for a nail tech to become proficient in nails. Study nail education videos with our talented YN crew: Tracey, Stephanie or Greg; especially other experts in the nail industry. Try out basic and new techniques on yourself first. You will quickly know what kind of pressure to use with the E-file, what hand filing techniques might hurt at the edges, or how close you can get to the cuticle area. This “first hand” knowledge will instantly make you more sensitive to your clients’ needs. If you wear your own work; you know that it's prepped and applied correctly. This informs the longevity and durability of your service from which expectations can be managed.
SECRETS OF PURE PERFORMANCE
“We can either make ourselves miserable or we can make ourselves strong. The amount of work is the same.” This wisdom from George Mumford, author of The Mindful Athlete: Secrets to Pure Performance and leading expert in sports psychology and performance pretty much sums it up. He deployed this mentality with Phil Jackson’s NBA champion Chicago Bulls and Los Angeles Lakers. There’s the high-light reel and then there’s the discipline that gets you there. A truly rewarding career in nails asks for a commitment in practice and patience. It is fueled by layers of consistent learning on-line and one-on-one. You’re a nail professional. Now you have to train like one. It’s as simple as that. People just don’t realize what every professional athlete already lives by, practice and repetition. You have to build your mental focus and physical strength, as well as your muscle memory. That’s why you’ll find the top tier athletes like Serena, LeBron, or Ronaldo spending more hours on the drills than anything else.
**This is an adaptation from our YN Biz Talk playlist on YouTube, “BIZ TALK: ARE YOUTUBE NAIL EDUCATION VIDEOS ENOUGH?”
***Follow our YN YouTube Channel and click here to watch the full discussion here: