USING PERSONAL BRANDING AS A BUSINESS STRATEGY
One of the best business quotes is that “people buy from people.” They don’t buy from big faceless companies, and in our industry, especially where services are so highly personal, they aren’t randomly buying products and services. Although the aesthetics world offers thousands of great products, hundreds of different types of services, and multiple convenient locations, ultimately—people buy from people.
And as a small business owner or employee, what better way to market your esthetics business than with your face? Whether it’s your energy, style, or knowledge that makes you unique, your brand will resonate with clients more when there is a face behind it.
THERE’S ONLY ONE YOU
When it comes to marketing your business, one of the most important things you can do it determine your point of difference. In a sea of beauty services, what makes you and your personal brand different from everyone else’s? Do you have a killer sense of humor? Are you sincere and soft-spoken with a voice people love hearing? Are you a bit vulgar and love to add shock value to your reviews and commentary? How would people describe you?
“IN A SEA OF BEAUTY SERVICES, WHAT MAKES YOU AND YOUR PERSONAL BRAND DIFFERENT FROM EVERYONE ELSE’S?”
Anyone who knows me knows that I’m the guy who is very hyper, rah-rah, always pumped up and ready to go. I’m sure some people think I either have a Red Bull addiction (or something worse), but I assure you, that isn’t the case. It’s just my natural energy and my enthusiasm for this business on a very deep level.
Some people love my vibe; others clearly do not. They say I talk too fast, or too loud. And that’s okay. Whatever you put out there from your own heart will also be either accepted or rejected; loved or loathed. That’s okay, too. You can’t marry every person you date. You have to embrace who you are and not be afraid to put your point of difference on the line.
STYLE, BABY, STYLE
Don’t be like everyone else, and don’t look like them, either! Find a dressing/ uniform style that reflects what you like and makes you feel the most comfortable in your own skin. I’m known for wearing very brightly colored, funky shirts, edgy jeans, and boots. Lately, I’ve been rebranding myself a bit by adding my adorable dog, Lazer, to all of my social media posts. Well, because who doesn’t love an adorable dog? Lazer has become a part of my brand. Bonus: maybe I can start writing-off the cost of his food.
Stand out as the super chic esthetician who always wears head-to-toe black. Or the eccentric skincare guru who wears interesting earrings or funky glasses. Or has a lot of visible tattoos! Perhaps you will be known as the lash fairy with gorgeous eyebrows and eyelashes. Even if your company’s policy requires you to wear a boring uniform, you can still find ways to be memorable.
MAKE IT PERSONAL, TOO
If you were genetically blessed with beautiful skin, you’re in the right industry! People will inevitably notice how beautiful your skin is and comment on it. This is the perfect opportunity to tell prospective clients about the products and services that you use personally and also sell.
But what if you weren’t born with great skin? What if you suffered terribly from acne all throughout your teenage years? Or if, after having a couple of kids, feel really embarrassed by stretch marks and cellulite? Or, if you’re a bit older, are frustrated by your skin’s sudden laxity and fine lines?
Well, those are also excellent stories to share with prospective clients: I was struggling with XYZ problem, so I tried this particular product/service and was amazed by the results! So much so, that I started selling it at my spa and my clients fell in love with it, too!
CONSISTENCY IS KEY
Always include the same facial profile shot of yourself in everything that you send out personally, including social media posts, emails, website pages, print materials, and so on. You can (and should) update your picture from time to time to keep things fresh, but the point is for people to recognize your face and associate it with your business instantly. Just as you create a brand with your typeface, choice of colors, and marketing voice on printed materials, your face will create a brand on electronic elements as well.
A quick note on photos: If you take great selfies, or a friend can capture a really good picture of you, that’s probably fine. But this is your brand we’re talking about, so if it’s in your budget, consider hiring a professional photographer for a few headshots. The photographer can put you (literally) in the best light, at the best angle.
They’re also professionally trained to capture your personality in a photo. Look at the headshots you see of other local people on professional social media websites like LinkedIn. If there’s one that really catches your eye, message the person and ask them for the name of their photographer. It will be money well-spent, I promise.
Using your face to sell your brand is more than just a good idea—it’s an essential strategy for building trust, gaining familiarity, and being memorable. People remember faces much more easily than they do logos and impersonal content. While those things are also important, they should not be a substitute for what really makes you stand out: your face, your personality, and your style. These things, combined with your skills and knowledge, will ensure that your customers want to buy from you. As always, ask for feedback along the way and enjoy the process!