Do you want to build and raise your profile in the nail industry? There are several ways you can do this, including via social media, a business website, Google profile and word of mouth.

Another very effective way to do this is through entering competitions. I started my competition journey in 2007, competing in floor-based nail competitions at trade events. My clients used to get very excited for me when I came back with a trophy, and my profile was built from word of mouth, as social media was in its infancy. My clients used to tell their friends: “Michelle Brookes does my nails, and she’s an award-winning nail technician.”

Michelle Brookes Award

Entering these nail contests meant that my name became known to other techs in the industry, which helped me shape my education business and profile as an industry mentor & educator. If you haven’t yet entered floor competitions, I encourage you to do so, as they offer an excellent opportunity to network and support your continued professional development. Nailympia offers competitions worldwide, with its flagship event in London in October. The FNP team (Federation of Nail Professionals) also runs competitions throughout the year at trade shows in London, Manchester, Dublin and Glasgow. These competitions feature categories for experienced, student and beginner nail technicians.

There are also industry awards, such as the Scratch Stars Awards and Professional Beauty Awards. These are the ultimate events in our industry, and involve submitting written entries before a rigorous judging process follows, to decide on the finalists. The finalists then have to either submit further work or attend a trade test to determine a winner. Salon categories involve mystery shopping visits and assessments, then all winners are announced at a lavish awards evening, which is an excellent way to network and raise your profile in the industry. I have been a finalist in the Scratch Stars Awards many times and have won twice: as Educator of the Year and Nail & Beauty Salon of the Year. Winning and being a finalist in these awards has helped me to raise my profile within the industry.

2019 Beauty Lounge

Michelle and the Beauty Lounge team at the Scratch Stars Awards

Networking events are another excellent way to raise your profile. When I started my salon, Beauty Lounge, I joined Doncaster Chamber. Each month, the chamber would host a networking event where business owners would sit around a table and share information about their business. The idea was to promote and support one other, and it was a great way to meet new clients – although it did require some confidence! I now book onto nail and beauty industry networking courses, as I feel they help me build my business and glean ideas from chatting to those in similar situations. I’m always keen to learn more to help my salon business. education courses and support the knowledge of my students.

Sharing competition progress, awards and your attendance at networking events on social media helps generate interest amongst clients, so take plenty of photos, create content and share everything, ensuring that you utilise hashtags.

Follow Michelle on Instagram.

By Editor