As a beauty service provider, you likely want more clients, contacts, knowledge, and revenue. Networking is a way to gain all of those things. While websites, apps, and social media go a long way, in-person networking is one of the best ways to gain more exposure for your business and connect with other beauty professionals in the industry. Here are some viable ways to network in-person.
Ask industry friends and colleagues.
Ask colleagues, friends, instructors, and supervisors if they know of any industry-related events or workshops that they go to. Word of mouth is usually the best way to find out about these workshops. Try seeing if your old cosmetology school or any cosmetology schools in your area are sponsoring any networking events. Perhaps your colleagues or friends will want to come with you, or your whole staff would be interested in attending. If you run a business, this is a terrific way to get exposure. If you work for someone else, you can get brownie points for being proactive and building new relationships.
Try event sites like Eventbrite or Meetup.
Though this post is about in-person networking, sites like Eventbrite or Meetup can help get you there. The great thing about Eventbrite is that it often publishes free or inexpensive business and networking events in your area, making opportunities for networking extremely accessible. All you have to do is find an event and spend a minute filling your name and email, and then tickets to the event are instantly delivered to your inbox. Bring along a lookbook to these events to show off your abilities. Meetup also has similar capabilities, though on that site you’re probably able to find a much wider breadth of social and special interest groups that are typically free. Both Eventbrite and Meetups provide easy ways to attend events or group meetings and make plenty of new contacts and friends.
Have your own workshop.
Host a workshop at your business or in a viable area. It could be for fellow beauty service providers or for the public, and could offer specialized knowledge or more generalized instructions (i.e. – “how to contour”). Consider partnering with another industry colleague or a member of a social organizations to enhance professional relationships and broaden the number of attendees. Hosting a beauty workshop is a great way to show off your knowledge, gain more exposure to clients for your business, and have fun while doing so. Don’t forget to document these in pictures and video clips on your company’s social media accounts and website!
Join professional beauty organizations.
Become a member of official beauty organizations to gain expert knowledge and contacts to advance your career. Sites like Beauty Schools Directory have a comprehensive list of professional beauty organizations. Such organizations include the American Association of Cosmetology or the International Barber Association. If you join an organization, you can get access to members-only networking events that could have significant discounts. You may have to pay membership fees, but the gain from being a member in such organizations are significant. An organization can also offer product giveaways, marketing opportunities, and educational industry information to members. To become more involved and make even more contacts, professional organizations offer chances to become a committee member or a board member. In addition to expanding your professional contact base and influence, it also looks good on a resume to show your dedication to your profession and activity in your community.
Host a general meeting for other providers.
In addition to educational workshops, host informal monthly meetings for friends and colleagues in your industry. This is especially important for independent beauty service providers to have some social interaction, share war stories, and exchange ideas.