If the past year has taught the beauty industry anything, it’s that no one else is coming to save us. The government hasn’t got our backs; we’ve fallen by the wayside for the better part of twelve months. And, as newly formed businesses, we often can’t rely on handouts from others.
But luckily, we’re a resilient crew. And I firmly believe that all the heart and soul we’ve poured into establishing ourselves in the first place can make us stronger through the latest lockdown and beyond. Things might look different. Scratch that. Everything will look different. But we’re still in control.
We need to start asking ourselves how we can better commodify our outputs. How to diversify our revenue streams and continue to earn money through hell or high water. This has always been in the back of our minds, right? But it’s no longer a question of if. This isn’t about growing our businesses; it’s about making sure we actually have a business when all the dust settles.
So, give yourself some breathing room over the coming weeks to brainstorm what your next move might be. Try everything that’s within your power and see what sticks.
To help you get started, I’ve put together seven examples of how you, as a Beauty Pro, can diversify your income during 2021. Beyond manifesting, what can you set into motion right now?
1. Virtual Events and Workshops
In the absence of all the Beauty Pros who help us feel put together and ready for the world, your audience will be looking for ways to continually care for themselves and stay sane during these mad times. Which is where experiences like virtual events and workshops can be incredible.
Whatever your specialty, explore ways to continue to add value digitally. And work to commodify this for your audience.
It’s easy enough to set up an event that will add value to your audience, promote it on your socials, and build a buzz around your offering. Word of mouth is a powerful thing when it gets going.
Just take Instagram icon Anouska Anastasia. Drawing on the nail expertise we all know and love her for, her Nail Art Masterclasses have done amazingly well throughout lockdown and have helped generate her a lot of extra revenue. She already has a loyal audience who loves what she does and has used this to her advantage when in-person treatments aren’t available.
If you give this option a try, you can run them through Beautystack to make for an even more seamless process.
2. Digital Products
The great thing about digital products is that you can make them once, sell them often. The definition of making money while you sleep. Whether it’s an eBook, digital course, video series, or online masterclass, once the product is created, you can commodify the output and continue to reap in the benefits.
It could be something like a nail growth handbook. Something you sell for £2-5 that continues to bring you income. No matter what else may occupy your time and focus, you’ve got a low-maintenance income stream churning away in the background.
Take incredible cosmetic tattooist and eyebrow artist Rachel Pitman as an example. Over the years, she’s found her niche and has well and truly nailed it. And now, recognising the individual challenges of microblading brown skin, she’s created an informative, valuable eBook to continue to add value to her audience.
Or, say you host a virtual event – like I mentioned above – why not continue to sell access to the event after it’s happened? Once you’ve recorded it, it’s yours to play with.
Think about the various digital products you can create and identify ways you can continue to profit off them long into the future. Kajabi, for example, is an amazing tool for creating your own course and selling a membership for it.
3. Content Creation for Brands
The flexibility afforded through influencer work is a godsend during trying times like these. An expert you can always trust, Dr Ewoma – AKA Skndoctor – has worked with many beauty brands this past year, showcasing products and producing content from the comfort of her home. She’s the go-to voice in her field and has successfully used this to forge new and ongoing relationships with a whole host of amazing brands.
Brand partnerships are all about building relationships. And once those foundations are in place, it’s like a domino effect.
“You need to be strong in your brand and what you offer. And you need to know yourself and your brand well. So then you know how to market yourself and how you differentiate from everyone else in a saturated market. And then it’s about producing content that is of value and a high quality, because there’s always brands lurking. And they might just happen to come across you.” – Dr. Ewoma Ukeleghe
When it comes to producing content for other brands, when it rains, it pours. The more high-quality, valuable content you produce, the more brands you’ll be enticing in and the more opportunities will come through the door. This is an incredible way to diversify your income stream while stuck at home.
4. Drop Shipping/Affiliate Links
An amazing way to diversify your income – without needing to build any extra infrastructure – is to drop ship or use affiliate links.
Can you create an E-store and organise your own drop ship business? Why not! If you’ve already got a loyal audience, plenty of the hard work is already done.
Or can you use affiliate links to commodify all the hard work you’ve put into your socials and establishing a solid audience base? For either, Skimlinks is a fab tool to make things happen.
The always dazzling Fairy Glowmother has swapped her amazing facials for an online wholesale shop during lockdown. And the inspirational Samantha Cusick has created her own shop page to share and sell the products she swears by to her loyal customers. Giving a spotlight to other people’s products such as Davines, Redken, and OLAPLEX, she’s found a long-term way to diversify her income and leave her mark on the industry despite her Notting Hill site suffering under lockdown conditions. We love to see it.
5. Make and Sell Your Own Products
Profiting off your existing follower base in a similar way to above, why not start making and selling your own products?
The opportunities here are endless. Take some time to explore what products might be feasible for you and relevant for your business. The sudden lockdowns have left hundreds of salons across the beauty industry with stock stuck on the shelves collecting dust.
Instead of leaving dead money in a closed salon, Lunula Alicia of Lunula Nails and Beauty decided to get creative. Using the products she already has, she’s put together a variety of kits: hand care kits, pedicure kits, polishing your own nails kits – all beautifully packaged, creating a revenue stream that even COVID-19 couldn’t stop.
Taking it one step further, fuelled by her love of positive mental wellbeing, her and salon manager Lizzie have launched their own ‘Affirmation Apparel’ range, complete with cute slogan tees, and pick-me-up kits. Send your friends one of the new “positivity packs” for a perfect instagrammable surprise. Even if you sell them at a loss, that’s still money in the bank, at least.
“People need to know that even though it feels like a long process, it will end, don’t give up hope even though it’s easy to at the moment.” – Lunula Alicia
And take makeup artist icon Abbie May of MAIDA MONEY as another example. She’s been selling hoodies and T-shirts to branch out of their in-person services.
Whatever you decide, your users will be happy to support you in alternative ways. Think apparel, merchandise, future-use gift cards, or anything else you can make work.
In the absence of being able to do what they do best, they’ve found some new COVID-19-approved ways to keep their customers happy and the income rolling in.
6. Consulting Services
Not everything has to be public. More personal consulting services can be a brilliant way to bring in more income and adapt to the times.
Just because your clients can no longer visit in-person to receive a facial doesn’t mean you can’t continue to provide a valuable service virtually.
This is something else Dr. Ewoma saw gain traction during the past year.
“I already had them [virtual consultations] anyway, so it wasn’t a massive upsell. There was already that low-level awareness but in terms of really promoting, that’s where our social media really came into it. I was doing a ton of lives and stories. Showcasing what I could do for people added so much value. The Dear Doctor series was a success too. People would call in and have five minutes to tell me their skin problems and I’d give advice. It was fun and got really good feedback, building a whole mini-community of engaged people.” – Dr. Ewoma Ukeleghe
Whatever beauty service you provide, explore whether there’s a way for you to add value to customers virtually. Opportunities like this don’t demand massive infrastructure or financial commitment, so just have a go and see what happens. And why not use Beautystack as your booking platform of choice?
7. Create a Membership Model
With everyone stuck at home, we could all benefit from some escapism and extra reading materials. As such, creating a membership newsletter can be an amazing way to maintain a connection with your audience, continue to add value, and add a new income stream.
Tools like Substack make it easy to get started and it’s an income stream that will stand the test of time through lockdowns and beyond. While the content may shift as restrictions lift again and we look towards a post-pandemic world, the core infrastructure can continue to serve you long into the future.
And that’s that. Seven examples of how beauty professionals can diversify their income to adapt to the times and ride the wave of 2021. If you’re looking for more amazing ideas, Beautystack and The British Beauty Council are getting together this Friday to discuss these ideas in greater depth. Why not come join us?
While the doors are shut this year, there’s plenty you as a Beauty Professional can do to diversify your income. Join us this Friday at 7 p.m. to share your stories and hear what other Beauty Pros have been doing to bring in a new revenue stream. Click here to book your free ticket today.