How an Esthetician Can Build a Clientele

When I started my career, social media was not a thing. I didn’t have the luxury of posting before-and-after photos of the awesome brows I was doing, using hashtags to promote myself, or asking people to like and follow my page. That didn’t exist! So, I did the next best thing—I hustled.

Here’s the thing: this is a customer-service industry and there can be dozens of spas, solo estheticians, and med spas within a 10-mile radius. I started out doing a lot of free or discounted work if the client referred people or was able to tell their friends and family. I offered complimentary brow waxes, tinting, cleanse with extractions, makeup applications, free weddings, etc. I passed out business cards to every single person I knew or met and struck up a conversation with everyone I ran into–the server, bartender, person doing my nails, cashier at the grocery store, person next to me in line. I was passionate about it, but I also wanted to make this a real living for myself and needed to build my books to do so.

When clients began to schedule appointments, I had to make sure they then rebooked—and part of that process was building rapport with them and offering good customer service. This all started with the consultation. I was honest with my clients; I educated them but also listened to their needs and skin care goals and made sure to ask many questions. But above all this, I was honest with them. If they wanted a really sculpted brow and I just knew it wasn’t possible with the brows they had, I would suggest a plan B for them if it didn’t turn out the way they were hoping. Because let’s face it—in the late 1990s and early 2000s the popular Gwyneth Paltrow Brow was not going to work for everyone’s face shape.esthetician shapes client's brow

Looking the part was key. My hair was done every day, my nails were well manicured, and if I had polish on, it was not chipped. My makeup was done, and I always wore a smile. It’s also important to keep your conversation professional. I left my problems at the door. If I was having a bad day, most certainly my clients did not know about it. This was their time to relax and enjoy the experience I was giving them, not to listen about how my best friend and I had a falling out the night before.  

Being shy about upselling services and products was something I had to overcome and—believe me when I say—this comes with practice. Some estheticians (and yes, we all know someone that falls into this category) think the price is too high or feel like they are a salesperson if they try to push product. I went to a CE class that revolved around selling product and why it is our job as professionals to recommend skin care products to our clients. I learned so much! And I tried and practiced exactly what I learned. And it isn’t salsey at all. I learned that when you perform an esthetic service, you are recommending product to ensure the results your work—an “insurance policy” for the skin care service you’ve just completed. This will be your walking advertisement as your client goes out and about and does their daily routine. The most fascinating part of this class is the techniques I learned on how to do it. I didn’t wait until checkout to try and get them to buy the product, it started the moment they sat down in my chair and did the consultation. Once I used a product, I would ask them what they thought and talked about the benefits it had for the integrity of their skin. It was as easy as saying, “Which one of these will you be taking home today?” I didn’t give them the option to say no, and it worked.

Putting my education first helped me in the long run to build and maintain my clientele. Every chance I got, I attended trade shows, learned about new products that came on the market, really dug deep into the health benefits of products we put on our skin, new trends—the list goes on and on, but this saved me in so many ways. The more education I got, the more I could educate my guests on what to use and why to use it. The great thing about this is that I stayed in the loop of new trends, devices, and products so when I had that customer coming asking for the latest and greatest, I knew what they were talking about and how to do it. This industry is always changing. Just because I learned how to do something one way 20 years ago doesn’t mean there’s not an easier or better way on how to do it now.

Remember, keep grinding and get your name out there. Now with social media and so many different platforms that are at our fingertips, it is easy to show the world what you are capable of. Don’t just sit around waiting for people to walk in the door and hope that when they do, they return to you. You must put in the effort to make this work in your favor—the world is your oyster.

Below are some resources and tips to boost your online presence and develop some new business practices:

Social Media Memes

Memes and social media go hand in hand and are about connecting with people online. Social media is your platform and memes are a way to express yourself, present an idea, or share some knowledge in a creative way. Check out ASCP’s social media memes to boost your online presence and stay connected with your client base.


ASCP Marketing Bundles

ASCP’s marketing bundles provides customized, branded materials including post cards, gift cards, social media cover photos, loyalty reward cards, and so much more. Take this opportunity to up your media presence with branded materials and promote future appointments. A great way to continue driving revenue is by selling gift cards for future appointments.



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