Marketing: Selling Yourself

In order to sell nail services, one must “sell” him or herself. That is, sell clients on the idea that they are the best person to do the job (do their nails), and just as importantly to continue servicing their nails for time to come. While the following information may seem simple and obvious, it always bears repeating.

First impressions are very important. The nail tech and her environment must convey the image and clientele she wants to cultivate. Sloppy jeans and “just rolled out of bed” hair in a cluttered and dirty salon will likely not attract many repeat clients. Just as in any other profession, as a professional, you must dress the part. Take pride in your appearance and people will notice.

Professional and stylish women have more money and can afford to indulge themselves at the salon on a regular basis; those without tend to keep irregular appointments. Regular standing appointment clients are the goal for success in the beauty industry. If you do not present yourself in a professional and stylish manner, it will be difficult to cultivate those prime clients!

If appearance makes the first impression, then personality makes the lasting impression. Believe it or not, 80% of the reason a customer will stay with a nail technician is because she likes her. Quality of work (while important, and assumed to be present at a respectable level), accounts for only 20%. Over the years, your clients will spend many hours with you, and will most likely share many intimate details of their lives as well. In most cases, regardless of skill, no one wants to spend an hour every other week with an unpleasant person (ditto for dishonest people and those who gossip). There are many superb nail techs out there that have never developed a full book after years in the business, while many average skilled techs have a waiting list! All for one simple reason: their client’s like them and look forward to spending time with them.

Salon cleanliness and sanitation are another important factor in attracting and retaining clients. Keep the salon clean, uncluttered and organized. Vacuum every night. Clean and sanitize implements in front of clients to impress upon them your commitment to their safety, health, and comfort. Clean all common areas thoroughly (waiting area, rest rooms, etc). Please see the sanitation section of this website for more insight into proper practices.

Finally, invest in continuing education. Not only advanced Nail Technology courses, but also general knowledge subjects such as business and world geography. Business to help you in your business, and geography so when clients tell you about exotic vacation locales you can discuss it intelligently. Also keep up on world news (either watch the world news on TV or read Time or Newsweek magazines), so you can interact with clients when they bring up such subjects.

Join professional organizations (such as NCA, INTA, etc) and attend Beauty Shows, to help keep you up to date on education, as well as introduce you to your peers and possible mentors. Networking with other nail techs is not only fun, but can also be very informative and educational. Nail Techs are very willing to share ideas with other techs in class and convention settings. Networking on the internet (at websites such as is also another great option.

Clients love to brag about their nail tech’s abilities and accomplishments, so be sure to frame and hang certificates from classes or competitions. Subscribe to professional trade journals (such as Nails or Nailpro magazines); read them front to back, and then leave them out for your clients to browse through. This will work to reinforce your commitment to professionalism in your clients’ eyes, while keeping you on the cutting edge of what’s new in nails.

For more specific ideas on marketing nail services, continue reading the other selections within this Marketing section of the website.