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In a crowded online marketplace, how do you set yourself apart?  How do you make yourself known?  After some introspection, we’ve discovered a few ways nail techs can stand out against the competition. It’s all based on a wonderful reveal of the miracle that is you. What do you value? What are your gifts and how can you share them in a meaningful way?  If you can answer these questions with authenticity you’re already on your way.

We can’t emphasize it enough, social media is the way to break off a healthy chunk of business. It is the single most efficient and essential tool for marketing your skills.That being said, it’s crucial to know what company you are keeping. In the digital marketplace, the world is at once massive and yet also within your reach. You’ll be in direct comparison against a wide swath of nail businesses and every other business on the platforms. Summon your best and that you are the real deal. This means paying attention to a few areas: your atmosphere, your personality, and ahem…your professional appearance. All this will be the backdrop for your killer, nail technique which speaks for itself.

Your spa or salon suite doesn’t have to be fancy but it absolutely must be organized and clean.The nail industry is not unlike the hospitality industry. Your client is a guest seeking a momentary escape from their daily lives. As a nail tech your job is to welcome them into your world. (FYI sometimes this world is wallpapered on wall to wall in glitter.) Walk into your salon every day like you’ve never been there before. With fresh eagle eyes, appraise the work stations, waiting areas, break areas, and rest rooms. It only takes a few minutes a day to declutter. Organize your work station. Leave no surface behind. Front of house, we’re looking at you- leafy plants, dust bunnies in the corners, cloudy disinfectant and wayward drops of gel on the exterior of your UV lamp.  Back of house, we’re talking about anything that might possibly come into the public line of vision. Channel your inner Martha Stewart or Mari Kondo, then create content about it. Document your cleaning and tidying rituals. Share your methods of keeping everyone safe and hygiene protocols. You’ve just sent out subliminal messages about sanitization that clients always appreciate.  You might be surprised to see your cleaning posts are your most engaging posts.

It happens slowly. Our outfits begin to slide more towards comfort than style. Sure right now WFH, athleisure is a popular look. So it makes sense. Let it be known, we aren’t anti-comfort. Dress down but just keep your style points up. A stained, sloppy or careless just- thrown-out-of-a-moving car appearance, can be awkward. This is the beauty business after all. Pull yourself together or you will be judged. Each and every impression counts (not just the first one). So wear that sweatpant but wear it with swagger. Style is an attitude and it doesn't have to be a wardrobe of expensive logos, either.  It inspires confidence from others and acts as a confidence boost of your own. Respect yourself and your client. Being well dressed is an offering of respect. Consider it a professional courtesy. Keep things aspirational.

Every nail artist must find their own unique style and make it a specialty. Own it. Post it. Toot your own horn. Identify yourself as a specialist, maybe it’s gel or acrylic or even a particular shape. At the same time, a nail tech cannot ignore what’s trending. Practice doing popular trends in nail shape. Yes, even if they’re not your favorite look. Every trend has its season. It helps to keep things relevant. Tag it up in your posts.
Another way to separate yourself from the pack is by creating your own custom glitter mixes. People can find it intimidating but it's a simple way to be different. Creating custom speciality glitter mixes isn’t the easiest thing to do but we can definitely show you some short cuts. Come take a look at our online tutorials and we’ll show you what works in terms of color study or size variation. You never have to make up a new menu from scratch. You might consider just a customized pinks offering as your first custom mix. You can do it easily with YN Liquid Art by combining two pinks- this is now your signature sauce. People will ask what is that color? A signature look isn’t only about the 8 hour set. That’s a next level, get seriously paid for your time, specialty work. For nail techs with a more mainstream clientele, spending a little time just playing pinks or making your own glitter mixes will go a long way. We don’t recommend doing a custom pink for each and every client. Instead create a color that is universally gorgeous. We call this one, “Tracey’s Secret Pink” and you're only going to get here. It’s color couture for nail connoisseurs. Your customers will feel special, taken care of and in the know. People love an expert. When you claim yourself as one in your profile, they will find you. A signature nail art look is also a great way to get noticed.

These are all gentle nudges to get your work and your vibe out in the world. Claim your space. Continue to educate yourself. Commit to dedicate a couple times a year to train in the latest trends and technology. Squirrel away the funds to do so a little bit every service. Figure out the things that work for you and in the meanwhile charge for it. This is a no judgement zone. Where you want to start and spend your money is your choice. To set yourself apart in all those areas it takes some coin. So strategize and layer it all in over time. Experiment and trust. Your work is valuable. You deserve to earn a good living. You are creating a product within a price point and there is a devoted client seeking it out. You might feel like someone wouldn’t pay $150 for a set of nails but they would pay the same amount for a set of lashes. Work your way up. Post sets and price points on TikTok. See who bites. Pricing is regional, Los Angeles is not Dallas, Kansas City, or Fort Lauderdale. Set yourself apart and reap the benefits. If you keep improving why should your prices stay the same as day one?

**This is an adaptation from our YN Biz Talk playlist on YouTube, BIZ TALK:HOW TO STAND OUT FROM OTHER NAIL TECHS!  which originally aired on Mar 18, 2021.

***Follow our YN YouTube Channel and click here to watch the full discussion: