If you want to know how to make money as an esthetician, you need to start by thinking about building your client base. Attracting and keeping clientele is one of the most important things you can do to financially succeed in beauty.But often, especially when they’re just starting out, practitioners have few referrals and reviews, and little experience. So to entice new customers, they set their prices quite low.
The problem is, they generally keep their prices low, and build a base of customers with smaller budgets. This isn’t how to make money as an esthetician. And it’s one of the reasons why, in 2018, the average salary for estheticians was $31,290. Not a big wage at all.
In truth, it doesn’t have to be this way. The top 10% highest earning estheticians make $59,790. And this isn’t because they have superhuman talents, or understand complex business secrets.
Instead, they’ve followed some simple steps about how to make money as an esthetician. Steps that estheticians like you can follow too, to create a highly profitable business.
At Artemis, we’ve seen over 2000 partners transform their beauty businesses.
In general, they start out selling low ticket treatments at all hours of the day, bringing them to the brink of burnout. With our support, the right outlook, and a strong work ethic, they often triple their income or more in a matter of months. They do all of this without working longer hours or hiring new staff.
Here, we share some of the advice we share with our successful partners so that you too can financially thrive.
1. Know Your Numbers
Keen to know how to make money as an esthetician? Without a doubt, the most important step is keeping track of your numbers. That means tracking your hours worked, length of treatments, price per treatment, gross profit per treatment, etc. This allows you to do a number of things. It helps you see which treatments are making you the most profit per hour. Additionally, it helps you see which of your treatments are most in demand.
Once you have this information, you can create a business plan around treatments that are both popular, and give you the highest hourly rate. This is a key part of the answer to ‘how to make money as an esthetician’. This is not to say you shouldn’t offer a full range of services. If you’re truly passionate about giving manicures, then definitely keep them on your services list. But if you’re serious about how to make money as an esthetician, it’s equally important that you focus on those higher ticket treatments too.
2. Get Your Hourly Rate Right
Once you’ve figured out your numbers, you know the most in-demand treatments that people are happy to pay bigger bucks for.
The next step in ‘how to make money as an esthetician’ is to price your services right. Make sure you’re getting an hourly rate that’s in line with your financial goals. For example, suppose you’ve set a financial target of $80,000 per year. You’re confident that you can attract 23 clients per week. If you work 49 weeks a year, you need to be making $70 per treatment, after tax and overheads.
If you only offer traditional manicures, facials, and massages, you might find it tough to make enough. If, on the other hand, you branch into higher ticket treatments, $70 per appointment will come easily.
In the next section of this ‘how to make money as an esthetician’ guide, we share some of the treatments which will see your hourly rate soar.
3. Consider Higher Value Treatments
When you’re starting out, and wondering how to make money as an esthetician, it can be tempting to opt for treatments that have low initial cost for products and supplies. For example, a brow service might cost you $3 per brow client including wax, disposables, brow pencil, etc.
Beauty services which require higher upfront costs can be intimidating. You take more of a financial risk and stand to lose more if they don’t work out.
Indeed, beauty technology such as Cryoskin, Endospheres or Plason do have higher product and supply costs than a manual eyebrow service. Depending on your finance or subscription plan, you could be paying several thousand dollars each month to use one of these devices.
However, if you really want to know how to make money as an esthetician, you need to stop thinking about how much something will cost you. Think instead about how much you realistically stand to gain.
In the case of Endospheres, for example, you would only need to sell six or seven session packages each month to make $20,000. Therefore, even though the subscription could be $2,000 each month, you still make a monthly profit of $18,000.
You might be thinking “I can see how beauty technology could make me more per hour than I currently earn. However, to invest in technology like this, I’d have to change my niche, and the kinds of clients I attract. This would take more effort than it’s worth.”
While this may be true for some beauty technology, it isn’t always true. It must be remembered that you don’t need to change your services much to change the amount that you can charge.
For example, if you currently give manual facials, you could introduce Endospheres Face for anti-aging, or Plason, for acne. Both services take just as long as a manual facial and are clinically proven to give smoother, clearer skin.
Equally, if you already have a high demand for manual lymphatic drainage massages, you might consider introducing Endospheres Body. While reducing cellulite, it’s also clinically proven to boost lymphatic drainage and reduce swelling, bodily toxins, and fatigue.
Whatever beauty technology you go for, you will almost always be able to charge more for it, sometimes doubling your hourly rate without breaking a sweat.
4. Be Wary of Large Upfront Cost
Some who want to know how to make money as an esthetician make the mistake of fixating on costs, and spending too little.
On the other hand, some spend far too much on new services. If these treatments aren’t right for their customers, or don’t work at all, then they won’t generate any revenue. This can leave estheticians tied to a finance plan for new technology and service which they can’t pay off.
For this reason, it’s wise to make sure you invest in new services, products, and technologies which you trust to make a healthy return on investment.
What are the marks of a trusted technology, which will generate revenue for you? Look for clinical studies which prove its efficacy. Also, keep an eye out for testimonials and glowing reviews which suggest the product has worked well for other practitioners. Look for CE clearance and FDA registration or approval too.
It’s also good to be wary of a company that asks you to pay huge upfront costs. You run a risk of parting with lots of cash, which you might not make back.
Instead, look for companies who offer you generous finance plans, trial periods, and even subscription services. These will allow you to try new technologies without such a large financial risk.
Here at Artemis, we want beauty technology to be affordable. So we offer a payment option for every budget and business model. You can trial any of our devices, and keep using them with affordable subscriptions. You can also buy them on finance or in cash.
Get in touch with our sales team to discuss the device and payment plan that works best for you.
5. Attract New Clients, Without Cutting Costs
As has been noted, many estheticians try to attract new clients by keeping their prices low. But, as we’ve seen, this can leave you feeling undervalued and burnt out. Fortunately, there are many ways to attract new clients without compromising your rates. These should be part of your plan of how to make money as an esthetician.
If you already have a good base of satisfied clients, then make good use of them. If they always leave your salon glowing, and keep coming back for more treatments, then ask them to leave a review. Also, set up a referral program that rewards them for bringing their friends.
You can also attract new customers without leaning on existing ones. Firstly, be sure to make the booking process effortless and rewarding. There is a range of excellent apps which will do this for you. Local advertising can also be a boon for business. By using Google ads, you can restrict the people who see your ads to those who are local and already interested in the services you offer.
6. Keep Existing Clients Coming Back
While there are ways to bring in new clients without rock bottom prices, this isn’t the easiest way to grow your client base.
Any good ‘how to make money as an esthetician’ plan should include strategies to convert one time customers into loyal ones. It should also include ways to sell more products and services to your regulars.
Instead of single treatments, you might consider selling treatment packages – for example, a set of ten waxes for a discounted price. You might also want to set up a loyalty scheme, rewarding returning customers with products or discounted services.
Finally, if you have your clients’ email or texts, why not set up some direct marketing? Drop them a text to let them know of any discounts or new product lines. Or to simply remind them of how good your facials are.
7. Upsell Services
No ‘how to make money as an esthetician’ strategy would be complete without a plan to upsell your services.
This might involve telling a satisfied client about a more premium version of the service they love. For example, if they love your facials and have acne, they might like to hear about your Plason facials.
Otherwise, you could offer them an add-on to the existing service they enjoy. For example, if they already come in for a regular bikini wax, they might be easily persuaded to get an underarm wax too.
8. Make Extra Income From Retail
Finally, if you’re keen to know how to make money as an esthetician, don’t forget the power of products. If your clients love the smell of your massage oil or find your waxing strips soothing, or your nail polish especially long lasting, they’re likely to ask where they can get some themselves.
If you have a ready supply of the most popular items, then you can make an easy sale when the product is top of mind and they’re primed to buy.
Retail products are a straightforward, time efficient way to create an extra revenue stream.
All estheticians run the risk of being caught in a career that pays poorly and burns them out. However, if you follow the steps above, you can ensure a high quality of life and financial freedom.
For more ways to win the highest value clients, and build a six figure year business, check or free eBook by Maxine Drake: How to Win High Value Clients With Advanced Beauty Technology by Maxine Drake