Going freelance as a beauty therapist, nail technician or makeup artist

When January 1st comes around, we’ll be entering a new decade – the perfect time for a fresh start and exciting opportunities. If you’ve been thinking about taking the plunge and training to become a beauty professional, or if you’re already qualified, you may be considering going freelance. More and more people in the UK are swapping their full time jobs to become their own boss, and this is no different in the beauty industry.

More people now are looking to enjoy beauty treatments from their own home, so becoming a mobile salon or spa is becoming ever more popular. You could also offer beauty or nail treatments from home, or rent a space in a salon. Keep reading for the top things you need to think about before going freelance.

What qualifications do I need to be a freelance nail technician, beauty therapist or makeup artist?

You will need to complete a Level 2 or Level 3 accredited course. Our VTCT courses here at the LCG Hair & Beauty Academy will qualify you to gain the correct insurance needed to perform treatments, and are seen as the industry standard for qualified beauticians. Our courses are all part-time, so you can fit them around a job or family, and will also teach you about necessary health and safety, and customer service.

Could becoming a freelance beauty professional work for you?

What equipment do I need?

As a freelancer, you’re working for yourself. That means you’ll need to provide everything that’s required, including your own uniform, equipment, and products.

For example, if you’re a beauty therapist who offers massage as one of your services, you’ll need to own your own massage table and have the transportation to take you from client to client. You should also carry plenty of back-up supplies and items like towels and pillows. For a new freelancer, this can seem like a substantial financial investment but once you’ve found some regular clients and begun to establish yourself, you’ll soon recover all the outlay required to set yourself up.

How do I get started?

You could ask your family and friends if you can perform free treatments on them to build up your portfolio – no one is going to pay for your services if you can’t show any experience!

You must register as self-employed on the HMRC website within 3 months of your first payment, and you will be asked to complete a tax return every year. To do this, you will need to keep track of all your income and expenses (keep all of your receipts!) – or, you could hire an accountant to help you do this. As a freelancer, you’ll have to pay your own National Insurance contributions and make your own pension arrangements. Don’t forget that, if you fall ill or have an accident that prevents you from working, you won’t be eligible for Statutory Sick Pay and it’s sensible to have a six month ‘cash buffer’ just in case the unexpected happens and things really go wrong.

You will need to also make sure you get the correct insurance to cover the treatments you will be doing

How do you find clients?

As a freelance beautician, freelance nail technician or freelance makeup artist you’ll be fully responsible for finding clients. There are a lot of different ways to do this – both digitally and offline.

It’s important to get your social media accounts and website on point, these should look professional but stylish, and show off your personality and services so people know what to expect when they meet you. Fill these with photos of your services, as these will make customers trust you and your work.

Joining a local networking group to meet other business owners and spread the word about what you do is always useful – you never know what a chat over coffee and some gentle self-promotion can lead to! Marketing yourself doesn’t have to be a major mission, either. Think of yourself as a brand, just like any other business. What kind of clients are you looking for? If you were looking for the kind of services you offer, what approach would attract your attention? Offline marketing (i.e. an ad in your local newspaper, leaflets, business cards) can be extremely valuable too if you use it strategically.

You could also promote your business in more subtle, unexpected ways. For example, if you’re a make-up artist why not get involved in a local charity event or a summer fete, painting children’s faces and using the opportunity to tell their parents what you do? Or if giving massages is one of your services, how about talking to the organisers of the local fun run about setting up a tent and offering massages to the sore and weary competitors? A little bit of creative community-mindedness will often get you noticed and open doors to finding new clients.

Whatever you do, build a portfolio of your work and always be ready to give people your details when you meet them – that’s why tools like business cards will probably never go out of fashion!

What freelance opportunities are there?

Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  • You could work from home or go mobile.
  • You could work freelance in a salon, renting a space and dictating your own days and hours.
  • You could register with a temp agency and fill in whenever another therapist is sick or they need extra staff (don’t just register with one agency, register with several to give yourself more chance of work).
  • If you’re a make-up artist or nail technician, you could work backstage in TV and Film, on magazine photoshoots or on catwalk shows and other fashion events.
  • You could provide beauty therapy in a gym, a hospital, or even a care home.

Whatever you want to do in the beauty industry if you’re passionate and focused and motivated to succeed we believe you’ll get there… and we want to help you achieve it! Just give us a call on 0208 953 9344 or email us at: BeautyAcademy@learningcurvegroup.co.uk and let’s make certain that 2020 will be your year!

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