Freelance cosmetologist painting her client's nails

There are seemingly endless ways to use your certification in cosmetology, and one of the most difficult, but ultimately rewarding, is going off on your own as a freelance cosmetologist.

Whether you’re a nail tech, a hairstylist, or a makeup artist, working for yourself can change the game when it comes to building your own business and reputation in your area of the industry.

Starting out as a freelancer can be stressful; committing to a career as a freelance artist, in the beginning stages, means you are committing to a life of rise and grind, daily, with no promise of a paycheck.

Make sure you’re ready by considering the following essentials for getting started as a freelance cosmetologist.

Financial Stability

Moving into the freelance world can be tough if you’re not in a good place financially, as you’re required to cover all of your costs as a freelancer without a steady paycheck coming in. Be sure that you have a reasonable cushion to support travel, supplies, and other associated costs that come with turning your passion into your own business.

Mug filled with coffee

Social Media Presence

The industry these days is all about social media, particularly Instagram, as it allows you to show off your work to potential clients. If you’re not very active on social media, get active!

This is often the best way for clients to find examples of what you have done, your style, and who you are as a person. Separate your personal profiles from your professional profile, but ensure your name and contact info are attached to ensure clients can find you and contact you to set up appointments.

Organization

As a freelance cosmetologist, you are your own boss, which means you have to ensure your are as organized as possible. Whatever works best for you, whether it is notes in a notebook or a full Excel spreadsheet, ensure you have got your system down to organize appointments, finances, client booking information and any other details before you begin taking clients. Flying by the seat of your pants is no longer an option; disorganization can lead to missed opportunities overall, so starting out organized is key.

Once you have got those points down, it’s time to think about the type of artist you want to be. There are numerous freelance artists working, so distinguishing yourself by making the services you specialize in clear on your social media pages is key.

Freelance business owner doing marketing work

If you are skilled at bridal makeup or styling, ensure that work is visible online. If you are all about edgy cutting or color, emphasize that in your posts. Let potential clients know what you are best at by putting those photos front and center.

When you think about the type of artist you want to be, another key point is where you’re willing to work with clients. If you’re able to travel to them, ensure that detail is clear on your profiles or website. If you are looking to work within a salon, reach out to local salons about renting a chair. Decide what your arena will be, and ensure you follow through on that when seeing clients.

Payment

Review the price points of other freelancers in your area and create your pricing structure with the particular types of services you provide in mind, and remain firm on those prices.

It can seem tempting to heavily discount early services in an effort to attract new clients, but don’t go too low; this can turn off clients in the future who expected that much lower price to be permanent. Know your worth without going overboard and charge reasonable fees for your services.

Once you have got those key points down, you are ready to start off on your freelance journey! Working for yourself may seem like a struggle at first, but we promise—it’s totally worth it.