How to grow confident in the nail industry

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Being a nail technician has been a dream come true for me. I have been able to live out my creativity and create beautiful pieces of art that are displayed through my clients. I can confidently say that this industry is exciting and your creativity and knowledge will be put to the test every single day.

The problem comes in when you are not the only nail technician in your area. I believe most nail technicians share their area of operation with many other nail techs, which might be just as good or even better in what they do. I personally operate in an area with like 10 other nail technicians located in my surrounding region. This can be very challenging when trying to make a name for yourself and attract new clients. You have to ask yourself, how are you going to stand out from the rest and build confidence in the industry? How will you attract new clients and build a stable client base?

In this article, I will discuss ways to become confident in the nail industry and also how confidence is the key to a successful nail business.

Photo by Seyi Ariyo on Unsplash

1.Get your nail technician license

Firstly, education is immensely important when starting your nail career. Many people start by teaching themselves and watching YouTube tutorials. But in the end, it is paramount that you get the proper education through an accredited nail school. Not only will they teach you things that you won’t learn by teaching yourself, but they will give you a support network of people who will be there to help you and answer your questions. 

You will also have to practice after getting your nail license to ensure you are up to standard. Taking alternative courses, like how to do various nail art, and using an e-file can also help you in the long run. But the most important training that you have to get is your nail tech certification. By having your nail license you can confidently open your business knowing that you are qualified to do it.

2.Grow your experience and define your niche

Second, I would recommend getting experience in various nail systems. Growing your experience will not only allow you to do nails in any system when clients ask you to, but it will also determine which system is your speciality. Whether it is gel, poly gel or acrylic. One of the systems will stand out to you. 

Along with your preferred nail system, you should experiment with different types of nail art and designs. Determine what you’re good at and use it to create your brand. I personally love hand-painted nail art and my skill stands out from others in my area because I am one of few that do art like that. This will possibly cause potential clients to choose my salon above the other 10 in my area. 

Photo by Patrick on Unsplash

3.Build your portfolio

The next important thing for getting confident in the nail industry is building a portfolio for yourself. Getting new clients when you’re first starting as a nail technician can be quite challenging, especially when there are many nail technicians in your surrounding area of operation. Finding people who are willing to let you practice on them are very important for building a successful nail career.

Whether it’s close friends or family. Practice on them, perfect your technique. This will also help you determine what you’re good at. Once you have your nail “niche”, whether it’s hand-painted nail art, rhinestone designs, watercolours painting on nails, etc. practice it and use it to your advantage when advertising your business. Remember, no one will know what you’re capable of if you don’t advertise it. 

And a picture is really worth a thousand words. Focus on taking quality pictures of all your work, even if it’s not that great. One day you can look back on your old work and see the progress you’ve made. I do this on days when I am low or feel like I’m not making any progress in my career, and boy does it help!

4.Learn from others

Know when to ask for help. No matter how many years of experience you have or how many courses you’ve done, you’ll never know everything. This industry is constantly changing and evolving. When you want to try something new and don’t know where to start or if you’re just struggling with something in your career, ask a fellow nail tech.

I am on multiple nail groups where people support and help each other. Don’t be afraid to ask, and be careful of letting your ego get the best of you. There will always be space for improvement. It is also important to listen to advice when someone in the industry gives it. If there’s something you can improve at or a new product you’re advised to try, don’t immediately shut them down, but rather take it as a positive criticism that will allow you to grow and learn even more!

5.Invest in your equipment and tools

Invest in your equipment and tools. A nail technician’s work can be influenced greatly by the type of equipment and tools that you use. Make sure you invest in a high-quality e-file, lamp and overhead lighting. Here is a list of things to consider for your salon. It might seem expensive but you have to view these things as investments for your business. 

Having quality equipment can also be a good indicator to clients that you take your job seriously. Using off-brand products is also something you should never do. These products can contain harmful substances that might harm your clients in the long run. It might seem like you’re saving money now, but that might not be the case in the future. 

Charging someone for a quality product when yours is cheap and off-brand is also not ethical at all. Quality products like acrylic and gels are more expensive for a reason.

Building confidence in the nail industry will take time and a lot of hard work. Just like establishing your brand, gaining clients and growing your reputation, it won’t happen overnight.

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