October 2012

LeAnne Velona

Strictly for Students| by LeAnne Velona


Consider the Men's Market as Your Niche in the Beauty Industry

The men's market is an emerging business opportunity, one that shows no sign of slowing down, and a niche service to consider.

If you have a niche in the beauty industry, you can own a specific part of the market – a unique area that only your services can fill – therefore making you an in-demand stylist or esthetician and highly sought after in your field.

The percentage of male clients in spas and salons has grown double digits in the past decade according to the Global Consumer Market Research Firm Mintel. While the men's market and male grooming industry continue to flourish, many students face challenges working with men simply due to a lack of understanding of how to relate to this demographic.

In addition to learning about new services designed especially to address male grooming needs, students must act with confidence and understand how to interact with male clients.

Here are some suggestions to help become more comfortable and confident in entering, or working in, the men's market.

Learn Different Techniques — Some spas tout men's treatment menus that are essentially the same as their women's treatments; however, men tend to want different services. Not all men are the pampering type and the majority of them walk into a spa for a problem/solution treatment rather than a purely pampering experience.

Once men know they have a need to fill, they are more apt to find a solution to fill that need. It is important to remember males and females have different skincare and hair care needs so they usually will benefit from different services. For example, men tend to have thicker skin and are more prone to clogged pores so they would benefit from facials that address this concern. Consider taking courses that will help you learn different techniques in working with men and women.

Learn the Lingo: Keep the Conversation Simple — When it comes to talking about beauty, hair and skincare, skip the conversational details and present the fundamentals. Men tend to respond positively to "just the facts," the quick benefits of a treatment, whereas women tend to ask questions about various ingredients and processes.

Also, use male-friendly vocabulary on treatment menus. Spa treatments like facials and massages have become much more mainstream for men but they still want to feel manly when walking into a spa. A facial is a facial, but consider terms like "detailing" for grooming eyebrows, or "nail treatments" for manicures and pedicures. By creating terms men are comfortable with and understand, they are more likely to relax and ask for a service.

Educate and Be the Expert — Show your male clients you are an educated expert in your field and they will hold you in high esteem. Half the battle in working in the men's market is education because a lot of male clients need educating and explaining when it comes to hair care services, skin care treatments, and grooming products. Do your homework on men's grooming products to be able to confidently recommend gadgets, oils and serums, scrubs and lotions to correct a problem or enhance one's look. Don't be afraid to upsell your male clients by suggesting new products, tools, procedures or must-have items in the marketplace. They will appreciate your knowledge.

Build Your Network — One of the most important things you can do when trying to break into a niche market, or the beauty industry itself, is to build your network of industry contacts and attract prospective new clients. Look for events and opportunities to meet as many people in the business as possible. Attend networking events and also look for ways to build your online network.

Start a blog that speaks to the men's market, create a professional Facebook page to market your services to the male demographic, tweet about relevant news in the men's grooming industry, create a Pinterest board of the latest in men's grooming and styling, and position yourself as an expert in the men's market by contributing original information to the discussion online. Social media is a powerful way to directly connect with your customers and friends in the industry, share meaningful information, and serve as a resource with tips and news.

By focusing your time and energy on a niche service, such as the men's market, you are elevating your status as an expert in the field, which allows you to charge more for your services. Being successful in the men's market is all up to you and your passion for this niche market.

LeAnne Velona, director of esthetics and massage therapy education for Marinello Schools of Beauty, has been a certified licensed esthetician for over 18 years and is also a licensed holistic health practitioner. Marinello Schools of Beauty offer cosmetology and esthetics programs at campuses in Arizona, California, Nevada, Oregon and Utah. For more information, visit www.marinello.com.