By Lina Kennedy
Wake up your career now! Get your mind out of bed and into class.
Hopefully when you decided to become an aesthetician, your main deciding factor was your passion; passion to help others look and feel better. It’s no secret that having passion for what you do is a major factor in an overall success formula. And, when you combine passion with skills, your chances for success are even greater, but your formula remains incomplete.
You need a solid investment program- an investment into the future of your career path, and what better than continuing education and advanced education. In the ever changing face of beauty products and beauty systems, it is becoming even more crucial today for aestheticians to stay on top of their game.
Knowledge is where it’s at…Listen up!
Tricks of the trade
… After attending an aesthetic show about body care services, I sat in on a massage class and saw the greatest tricks for turning clients over on my massage table. Its always such a concern not having the client fall off the bed. I learned some great tricks for applying body care products to the clients back and sides without having to flip the client over and risk having her fall off the table. She also showed some new draping techniques so I don’t have a mishaps and expose my client while trying to perform my body wraps.
Mixing it up with the pedicure
… When I stopped in to my local nail supply store they were having a free demo day for new pedicure products. I was amazed by the menu of pedicure services that were available just by changing up a few products. They use the cranberry mask on the feet for a great Holiday special and then jazzed it up another notch by giving the client cookie and a cup of cranberry tea while there cranberry pedicure mask was on. There was another one called the margarita and they used a salt scrub and a lime citrus foot bath and the list went on. I loved learning how to take the ordinary and make it extraordinary.
Men are from Mars
… I sat in on a men’s trend class for spa professionals. While the seminar ended up being about men’s clipper cuts, and I’m not in the men’s hair cutting business myself, I did stay because the man speaking gave a great hand-out and spoke on creating a menu and marketing to men. I learned how men respond differently to women when reading a spa menu and how the services they choose for themselves are chosen differently. It was quite interesting and got me thinking how to change my own spa menu to be more “men friendly”. That seminar was not what I expected for services, but I still walked away learning something new I could incorporate into my business
Stretch your knowledge and loosen up
… While attending a massage demonstration at my chiropractic clinic, I learned the greatest hand and arm stretches that I now corporate into my signature facials. I am always looking for new ideas to one-up my competition in a town filled with exotic spas- Las Vegas. Giving my clients a good stretch along with the usual hand and arm massage, allows the muscles to instantly go into relaxation mode for an even deeper sense of tension release. Now each time I perform that arm stretch as I begin my arm and hand massage part of the facial, I can hear the client’s deep sigh and feel their tensions just drift away. Who thought just witnessing a demonstration would give so much back to my facial business.
-Lisanne Wilcox, aesthetician and advanced training educator living and working in Las Vegas.
Don’t let sitting on a fence be your style.
We don’t get anywhere by sitting on a fence, yet I’ve met so many aestheticians who are doing just that with their career. Why do you think that it is? One possibility is that some may feel they shouldn’t have to pay the expenses for classes. Perhaps their expectations are for the owners to pick up that tab. Where the owners are concerned, I have to agree that it is in their best interest to ensure that all of their employees regularly attend advanced training and educational classes relating to their position. However, you the aesthetician chose to work in the 3-B (Bold, Big and Beautiful) industry. So own up to it! Don’t be afraid to invest in your future. It’s imperative to your success no matter who you work for including for yourself.
It’s never too late to rise above mediocrity. Let continuing education and advanced classes take you there!
Whether or not to pay monies for a course, you are still investing your time; and time is money. So do yourself a big favor and investigate both the educator who will be teaching the class and the company they say they represent. There is a lot of money to be made in our industry, and where there’s money, there are scammers.
The buck “doesn’t stop here” and nor should you!
( Hope I don’t get a night vision from Mr. Truman for this.) Get the most from your education by asking the companies, you already do business with, for MORE. You need it and you deserve it.
Don’t be afraid to request, if not demand, to see the credentials of the individuals who are running and teaching your course. Ask to see their actual diploma and transcript to find out when they attended. If something does not look right contact the school/company they work with to find out if there certificate is legitimate. If things just don’t seem to add up or connect right, move on.
Ask for referrals from salons and spas, or even schools if they are involved at that level. It could be a great indicator for you and save you time and money as well. The prudent.
Staying informed and sharing your information with clients demonstrates that you really are interested in your business- in the industry you chose to be a part of.
Client demands increase with every noteworthy, if not mind-blowing at times, change campaign by our industry leaders and even newcomers. That doesn’t mean you should run out and learn everything new that’s introduced to us, but it doesn’t hurt to stay informed and upbeat in line with the industry. It’s easy to be well versed. All you have to do is read the information magazines, such as this one, brought to you in every issue. You can also attend information seminars provided by the companies who represent these changes. And don’t forget the trade shows, where you have direct access to hands-on experience and to get speakers who love to share their knowledge. Remember, chances are your clients are reading up on the latest!
Stop and smell the education
When you get that invite or flyer in the mail make it a point to stop by and check out what’s new whether it be a trade show or local seminar. Every Time you open your mind up to what’s new out their you pick up tips. Maybe that’s not the product line you were searching for but wow was that the greatest way to massage the neck or apply an essential oil to make your towels smell great. I can tell you how I got my giant bag of tricks and it was getting up off of my back side and looking, smelling, observing and taking in every bit of information and knowledge anyone was willing to share with me. Be it a demonstration at a booth or chatting up a salesperson or just taking a few minutes of downtime at the end of a busy day to read my trade magazines I am always ready to learn something new or at least let someone else’s ideas stir up my own creativity and let the knowledge flow.
Even if you decide against adding that something new you just read about to your menu, you can turn this new knowledge to your benefit by getting acquainted with a professional nearest you who does offer it in case one of your clients is seeking such a service. I can just see some of your eyes rolling to the back of your heads! I stand firm by my comment. If you are excellent at your services, if you continually improve yourself, and if you provide true results to your clients, you have nothing to fear by providing them with an outside solution when you prefer not to offer inside your location. Advising your clients as to who is in, your opinion, the best provider for the service/treatment they seek can only make you a winner in their eyes. It demonstrates confidence, professional attitude, and best of all real care for your client!
Allow me to indulge for a moment… If you’re a fan of Miracle on 34th Street with Natalie Woods and Maureen O’Hara ( as Natalie’s mom), you’re probably familiar with this particular scene. If the scene of marketing madness and it’s hilarious. When Santa (working for Macy’s) suggest to a Macy’s patron they should go to Gimbals for a particular Christmas gift they were searching for, all hell broke loose! Macy’s wanted to get rid of Santa and it made lots of shareholders very nervous. That is, until game Gimbals got wind that Macy’s with marketing this way and refused to let them get away with it. So they got into the game as well, especially after seeing how happy Macy’s patrons wear. The media had a frenzied time with this news. Businesses fighting to be the most recognized for cataloging other businesses’ products to better serve their customers.
I know it’s just a movie, but i’ve personally experienced this type of magic, albeit I didn’t get media coverage for my positive actions, I did have grateful and loyal clients; just a thought.
The best trained aestheticians become the most in demand
Sometimes it can become overwhelming trying to decide which courses you should register into that might help you keep your edge and keep your clients satisfied. That the key- clients’ happiness- to your successes. So take time to listen and hear what your clients would like to try or what types of result they are wanting from their treatments. Then investigate classes that will help you to advance your current technique, introduce a complimentary service, or simply replace a stagnant service with an exciting new type of treatment. No matter what you choose, just choose something.
Originally published in the March, 2007 issue of Dermascope