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5 Steps to Esthetics Success

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JoElle Lee

While esthetics is a growing industry, the average career lifespan of an esthetician is typically only three years, according to celebrity esthetician JoElle Lee during her keynote address “5 Tools Every Esthetician Must Have to be Successful” at Skin Inc.’s Face & Body Southeast spa conference and expo.

Lee provided attendees with five steps to become and remain successful in the field, based on her 20-year-long career, which she began with a goal to master microdermabrasion. According to Lee, success is 80% mindset and 20% skill.

“If your mind is right, you will be successful,” said Lee.

1. Find a Niche

New estheticians do not have to know or offer every popular treatment. It is possible for an esthetician to grow their business if they become a go-to in specific treatments—or, in a niche. This helps to streamline a business, from gathering insight to making marketing decisions.

“If your mind is right, you will be successful.”—JoElle Lee, keynote speaker at Face & Body Southeast

Having a niche will help to expand conversations about an esthetician's career—for example, a potential client asking, "What do you do?" may be more inclined to learn more if an esthetician responds with their niche rather than stating that they work in a spa.

2. Action

Lee’s motto is to “make a decision, take action and follow through” since “if there’s no action, it’s a dream [not a goal].” She explained that estheticians are in charge of their success, and need to take the initiative to see them through.

“If you do the minimum, you get minimum results—you get minimum success,” said Lee.

3. Commitment

Growing a successful business takes time, and the estheticians who set goals with their sights on the future have a better chance.

“If you do the minimum, you get minimum results—you get minimum success."

“Successful [estheticians] stay successful because had goals to position themselves to be prepared when [things such as accidents, deaths, etc.] happen,” said Lee.

4. Educate

Education is an opportunity for estheticians to differentiate themselves from their competition, and to provide agency to evolve throughout their career. Lee explained the importance of finding a mentor—someone in or out of the esthetics field, just so long as a mentor is someone in an esthetician’s life they admire and can learn from.

5. Standout

Clients are typically more motivated to share a bad review of an esthetician than a good one since “bad service spreads." According to her, estheticians should strive to make their clients their ambassadors in order to spread word-of-mouth and positive reviews.

“Would you refer someone to you?”

“The more people talk about you, the less marketing you have to do—but are you doing anything worth talking about?” asked Lee.

Estheticians can stand out by marketing themselves on social media, writing a blog, offering to write articles for magazines or newspapers and asking themselves, “Would you refer someone to you?”