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How to Get Started in The Beauty Industry

You may think that all you need to secure a role in the beauty industry is the right qualifications, but this isn’t necessarily the case. Despite the UK beauty industry being worth a whopping £27 billion, it can actually be quite difficult getting your dream role, and salons aren’t always accepting new beauty therapists—especially those without the relevant experience. Qualifications alone aren’t always enough, but there are options available to ensure that you can still find employment in the beauty industry sooner rather than later.

Become your own boss

Perhaps the easiest way to get started on your journey is to freelance. In fact, 53% of people working in the beauty industry are self-employed, so you’d be in excellent company. This may involve simply setting up shop in your own home and having clients come straight to you, renting a chair or room in a salon, or even becoming a mobile beautician. Starting your freelance career can be relatively easy to set up, and you can start getting business straight away through social media marketing.

The most difficult part of this process would be getting your admin in order. This includes things like having an address for your clients to go to, a business contact number, and registering as self-employed for tax purposes. You should also think about getting insurance to cover you in case of any emergencies and accidents involving your clients. If you’re offering very specialist treatments, it may even be worthwhile getting specific insurance to match. However you play it, you’ll want an insurance policy that gets you the most for your money. Beauticians would do well to get public liability, products liability, employer’s liability, property insurance, and personal accident and sickness cover.

Personal accident and sickness insurance policies are especially important if you’re turning to freelance and self-employment. As Salon Gold explains, this offers cover if you find yourself too sick to work for a period of time, which would effectively put a stop to your income. In this situation, your insurance policy will pay you a weekly benefit while you’re off work recovering, or a full lump-sum payout if you cannot return to work.

Start blogging and influencing

Research has shown that the health and beauty industry as a whole is now worth £30 billion to the UK economy, while the outlook for influencer marketing is growing consistently. Paving the way as a beauty influencer could be one of the most fun and creative ways to get into the industry, as you need to create shareable content. This could be anything from funny memes to informative videos. It’s best to start with one platform at a time, whether this is Instagram or YouTube, and focus on growing your follower base there.Posting regular updates, and staying on top of industry trends is key, as you don’t want your content to be considered stale.

It’s also a good idea to find your niche. A study by InfluencerDB found that, of all Instagram influencer accounts with over 15,000 followers, more than 550,000 are active. The research also shows that 7% of sponsored Instagram posts fall under the ‘beauty’ category. This brings with it a huge amount of competition, so both new and existing influencers will need to be creative with their content production. Users want something they haven’t seen before, like a new treatment or service that isn’t offered everywhere, so having your own angle is crucial to grabbing the attention of followers and brands alike. Beauty brands that like what they see will be more inclined to get in touch for a paid collaboration if you have a high number of followers.

Once you’ve established yourself as an influencer on one platform, you can then grow your outreach by creating other kinds of content elsewhere. Starting a blog or YouTube account to accompany your Instagram account, for example, or creating a Twitter profile to engage with your followers more easily. You can also try paid ads. But remember about ad fatigue and try to produce fresh content for ads regularly to keep your audiences engaged. This makes it more likely for other, larger brands to notice your influence online, which could give you more business. However, it’s important to be as transparent as possible when creating paid influencer marketing posts in order to maintain trust with your followers.

Get involved with the corporate side

You don’t have to be client-facing to work in the beauty industry. In fact, you may find that you have more creative control working behind the scenes. PR and marketing opportunities, for example, give you the chance to control what the fans see when browsing products. This gives you a say in the brand tone of voice and the way people perceive your business as a whole. You may even be able to reach out and organise collaborations with influencers. However, more corporate roles will need suitable experience, so you may need to start right at the bottom if you don’t have this.

Internships and placements are a great way to build your portfolio and your skillset. Ruth Halls, the Digital Coordinator for Benefit Cosmetics, started as an intern for a beauty marketing startup, working her way up to content marketing manager during her time there. And, as she explained to Cosmopolitan, working for a startup is one of the best ways to break into the industry, so don’t ignore any chances to develop your skills.