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Starting a Side Hustle as a Beauty Professional

October 21, 2019 by Sally Pau

You have the drive and aspirations to start your career as a beauty professional. Maybe you’ve always wanted to start a beauty business and you’re not sure where to start. This is the beginning of your journey to becoming a beauty professional within this thriving industry.

The best way to start working towards your goals is by building a side hustle while maintaining the security of your day job. Starting small will give you the time to build your beauty career to profitability.

Starting a side hustle as a beauty professional is great for those looking to:

  • Find supplementary income while keeping their day job
  • Start their own beauty business
  • Gradually make a career change
  • Find fulfillment within a passion

Having the responsibilities of a day job shouldn’t stop you from pursuing your goals of becoming a beauty professional. While you can’t put your job on the back burner just yet, you can start by building it during your off-hours. This is exactly what Lash Technician, Vivian Huang, did earlier this year to kick off her journey of becoming a beauty professional.

Vivian works a 9-5 job as an Executive Assistant to two of the top-performing Portfolio Managers at TD Wealth Private Investment Advice. Her team holds over $2 billion in managed assets for clients, so you can say her job is pretty stressful. She spends the majority of her time managing her bosses’ schedules, working on projects, meeting deadlines, planning client events, and taking care of all the administrative work.

She says, “although it’s not physically demanding, I am always completely exhausted by the end of my shift because it is so mentally draining. ” Vivian realized she dislikes her day job and the stressful demands aren’t relatable to her actual career aspirations.

“Lashing has not only become a great source of extra income, but it’s really helped me to de-stress from my day job and come home to something I actually really enjoy.”

Vivian has always been passionate about the beauty industry since she was a little girl. For years, she dreamt of having her own clothing store or makeup line. She feels like she has finally fulfilled that dream by starting her own lash business.

The best part of her day, aside from being her own boss and making everything exactly how she wants it to be, it has allowed her to catch up and rekindle with old friends. “ It’s been really nice having people who I haven’t seen in years from high school, my previous jobs, my old church, etc., come out and support me and my business. I’ve loved seeing these people again and chatting with them while lashing,” says Vivian.

How to Start a Side Hustle as a Beauty Professional

Building the Right Mindset

Starting a side hustle is a very fulfilling experience that will bring out the best in you. There will be days when you will feel on top of the world along with the not-so-good days. What is going to get you through those difficult times is your mindset.

Before anything, you will need to let go of any negative thoughts holding you back. Start addressing your fear and invest in yourself because the purpose of life is not to feel safe. It’s about leaving your comfort zone and doing things that challenge you.

For Vivian, her biggest struggle when starting her side hustle as a beauty professional was dealing with her anxiety. “I would constantly compare myself with other lash technicians and I worried about if my work was good enough and if I would be able to get clientele. It was really difficult at first, but I overcame this by constantly practicing and putting in the effort to learn and grow.” she says.

Building the right mindset will take time as you gain confidence in yourself and prepare yourself for success. To do this, you will need to:

  • Change your language to start talking in a positive manner to refrain from fearful thoughts
  • Create new habits to give you a boost of energy, declutters your mind, or helps you feel more in tune with your body
  • Surround yourself with positivity and like-minded people
  • Embrace the challenges

Remember your journey will not be a constant uphill battle. You will have no other choice than to rise to the occasion in challenging situations and Vivian did just that. She improved her mindset over time and became more confident in her work and skillset.

She realized everyone is different and nobody could ever replace someone else. “You are your own person. You have your own technique, strengths, skills. Clients will come and go but as long as you’re passionate about what you do, you will continue to improve and get better and your business will reflect that.”

Identify Your Area of Interest

When you’re first building your side hustle as a beauty professional, you will need to identify your area of interest. Do you want to work as a makeup artist, hairstylist, or esthetician? You should back your side hustle with relevant skills, experiences, and industry knowledge.

For many beauty professionals starting their side hustles like Vivian, it starts from their personal experiences. She had been getting her lashes done for a while and noticed the many aspects of her lash technician’s job intrigued her.

Picture of eyelashes from @lashkittyvee

Image credit: @lashkittyvee

“For one, she is a mother to a 3-year-old, and you would think she’d have absolutely no time to take clients, but that’s not the case. She’s able to work according to her own schedule and because it’s done in her home, she doesn’t have to worry about leaving the baby alone,” says Vivian. “Lashing is her only income and she’s able to run her business the way she wants to, in a way that fits her own lifestyle. I really liked how she was her own boss and that really inspired me to become a lash technician myself.”

The beauty of starting a service-based side hustle is the ability to work around your own schedule. Whether you’re working a 9-5 day job or you’re a stay-at-home mom, clients will only book when you’re free. You can give clients as many or few hours as you’d like.

Validating Your Side Hustle

Starting a side hustle is a test of your concept. It’s your opportunity to validate the business to see if there is a demand for your services. In other words, you will need to start building a client list to earn an income and validate your side hustle. This can be done by:

  • Identifying your target clients
  • Building your online presence
  • Using social media to promote your services
  • Leveraging your network to find those who may be interested
  • Asking previous clients for feedback

To get your first clients, you will need to provide an incentive for them. Many beauty professionals will offer a limited-time promotion for new clients. Once you get clients to book, you can then turn them into returning clients. For additional tips to try out, we’ve created a guide to building a clientele for your beauty business.

You can validate your side hustle without spending much money. A great thing about starting your side hustle as a beauty professional is the ability to start lean. Many people believe starting a business is very expensive, though this doesn’t have to be the case. You don’t need to start by opening your own salon location or spending a ton of money on marketing.

Be creative and open to cheaper and alternative ways of doing business. For example, you can work out of your own home or go mobile to save on studio rental costs. You also don’t need to start paying for advertising; you can take advantage of social media to organically grow your brand presence.

Promoting Your Services

We recommend starting on Instagram because it’s a free visual platform that can effectively showcase your work. It allows you to post photos and videos, insert call-to-action buttons, and communicate directly with your clients.

To continue growing your online presence, you can also start building a landing page to optimize for Google search. An entire website isn’t necessary since all you need is a single web page to allow clients to book with you. If you are using a scheduling software, they will provide this for you.

Screenshot of @lashkittyvee instagram

Image credit: @lashkittyvee

When you’re using Instagram to promote your side hustle, you should:

  • Fill out your bio with keywords to highlight your business
  • Include a link to your booking page
  • Use call-to-action buttons to give clients various ways to contact you at their convenience
  • Pin Instagram stories to highlight relevant content, such as your work, testimonials, and aftercare instructions
  • Post high-quality photos of your work
  • Engage with your audience

Balancing the Side Hustle with Your Day Job

One of the hardest parts of managing a side hustle is being able to balance it with your day job. Your time is a valuable resource that must be used wisely⁠—hence the term “time is money”. There is always an opportunity cost in the way you spend your time. You’re unable to get time back once it’s spent, which is why it’s essential to develop time management skills.

As a service provider, clients are paying for your time and value. The more time you can set aside for clients, the more money you can make. This is why many beauty professionals will spend money on client management, scheduling, and business tools. While it will cost them a premium upfront, the investment and value received are worth much more.

While we’ve created a guide to effective time management for beauty professionals to help you optimize your schedule and better manage your time, here are a few tips to help you balance your side hustle with your day job:

  • Identify what time you can dedicate to your side hustle and clients
  • Focus on organization and time management
  • Set goals for yourself
  • Automate with software when possible, such as using a scheduling and client management software to manage your schedule, booking, and client information
  • Don’t be afraid to ask for help
  • Know your limits

When asking Vivian about how she manages juggling between a full-time day job and side hustle, she says, “One of the good things about my day job is the fact that the hours are set, which means my lashing schedule can be consistent as well. I lash after work on weekdays as well as all day on the weekends.”

Having a side hustle gives you the flexibility to work on your own time. What’s even better is when you get to do something you love. In this case, it doesn’t always feel like an additional job. Lashing has become a creative outlet for Vivian whenever she is stressed or bored. It’s something she is truly passionate about, allowing it to feel more like a hobby than a job.

Picture of inside her studio

Image credit: Lash Technician, Vivian Huang

“I like to constantly perfect my craft and practicing my fans or planning my next lash post on Instagram are all things I do in my free time and I don’t necessarily see that as work,” says Vivian. “Even though I’m really tired after my day job, I look forward to lashing afterward because it’s enjoyable and therapeutic for me. It’s a nice break from all the chaos of my day job.”

Balancing your side hustle with your day job won’t be an easy task, however, it will be worthwhile. You’ll never know because down the line, it can bloom into something more. If you have an idea for a business idea that you’re passionate about, be ready to put in the work to turn it into something more.

Advice for Aspiring Beauty Professionals

Lastly, we asked Vivian what advice she would give someone looking to start their own side hustle.

In Vivian’s Words:
My advice would be to just go for it. Do the necessary training and certifications and just get started. Don’t worry if you don’t have everything planned. A lot of things that you’re unsure about, you’ll figure out along the way. Remember that you’re unique and that’s what makes you stand out. When you compare yourself with others or copy what other people are doing, you just become another lash tech or another person in whatever industry you’re looking to go into. People will be attracted to your business because they are attracted to you. So just be nice, welcoming, understanding, and true to yourself. You will find success as long as you are honest and are willing to put in the hard work and effort.

Vivian will continue to focus on her lash business and take it on by storm. Hopefully one day, she will be able to leave her day job to pursue her passions as a full-time career. To learn more about her business, you can check out her Instagram page.

If you are a beauty professional and would like to be featured in future blog posts, let’s connect!

Picture of Sally Pau

Sally Pau

Sally is a Product Marketer at Jupiter. She enjoys the art of storytelling through content creation to build relationships within the online community.