How to Make $100k+ as an Esthetician

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With soothing spa atmospheres, gentle mask applications and skin techniques, working as an esthetician is a passion and a dream job for many people. Not only do estheticians help their clients look and feel beautiful, they help them find the confidence to live their best lives.

Being an esthetician is also a lucrative career where you can make over $100,000 per year helping people. Whether you are considering an esthetician career or working on bringing your spa business to the next level, this article will help you understand how to create your dream job and earn your goal income. 

The Esthetician Lifestyle

Often estheticians come from related careers like make-up artists, or even healthcare professionals like nurses. Somewhere along the way they develop a passion for skin care. Every esthetician has a story of how they arrived at their passion for skin and making people feel good inside and out.

Estheticians often talk about the satisfaction of being a holistic advisor. When someone trusts you with their skin, that’s really intimate. Spa treatment rooms are safe spaces to talk about stress, diet, vitamins and all the sensitive things that both affect someone’s skin as well as every other part of their life. It’s much more than creams and face mists. In reality  it’s truly about the wellness of the whole person.

Esthetician Lifestyle

The Economics of the Spa Industry

There are 183,000 licensed estheticians in the United States according to the ASCP (Associated Skin Care Professionals). 

Thousands of them use PocketSuite to run their bookings and payments, so we have unique insights about the road to making $100,000 plus as an esthetician. 

Many estheticians are making around $30,000 or $40,000 per year. However, the top 10% of esthetician businesses on PocketSuite are earning over $125,000! So, are you ready to level up your esthetician business?

First, let’s talk about numbers. The average rate for an hour-long esthetician treatment nationally is $112. It’s important to select a rate in line with local prices and the level of service you provide.

At the national average of $112 dollars an hour for treatment time, an esthetician only has to book 19 hours of client service per week to make over $100,000 a year. That weekly goal even factors in 3 weeks of vacation yearly.

That means most estheticians today can transform their businesses into six figure businesses simply by increasing their bookings to 19 hours per week of client service. 

Below you will see a chart that goes into more detail. It shows you the number of bookable hours per week you will need in order to make a gross incomes of 50k, 80k, 100k and 150k at different rates starting with the national average of $112. Each of these models includes 3 weeks per year of vacation.

The Path to $50K, $80K, $100K and $150K as an Esthetician

As you can see, whatever you are able to charge in your local area, the path to $100,000 in yearly business is more easily achievable than you probably imagined . 

Creating Recurring Revenue as an Esthetician

There are two ways of booking your goal number of esthetician treatments every week. The first is bringing in new clients. Bringing in new clients is something every spa business needs to do, but it is much harder than the second strategy, which is to turn your current “one time” clients into repeat clients and your repeat clients into consistent clients who come back to your treatment room every single month (or even twice a month). 

There are a few strategies for turning new clients into repeat clients who come back to your spa consistently.

PocketSuite Beauty Software for Business Sign Up Block

Better Bookings and Onboardings For Spa clients

A seamless and easy first booking is one of the best ways to get repeat bookings from new clients. Pocketsuite has a feature that lets clients book your esthetician treatments online and can even automatically charge their credit card when the treatment is complete. Because it’s easy for clients to book, they are much more likely to do it again. 

Also, PocketSuite has an onboarding flow for new spa clients where they can automatically sign contracts and answer intake questions about their skincare goals and health information. Not only does this streamline that first session, but it means you are always prepared for your first session with any client. It also makes you look professional, increasing trust. 

To get repeat booking, we highly recommend that all estheticians make contracts and forms part of their digital onboarding and also let clients book them for available services online. 

Esthetician Better Booking

Packages and Subscriptions Help Spas Grow

As you know as an esthetician, one-off skin appointments can only do so much. Meeting skincare goals requires commitment over time. 

Have a conversation with new clients and clients you haven’t seen in a while about their skincare goals. Chances are, they will need a regular treatment schedule in order to maintain their desired complexion. It’s great to get those clients on a subscription plan. 

With a subscription plan, clients get a small discount when they buy a specific service set every month. These payments are charged automatically, and PocketSuite will track those appointments for you and the client so it’s up to them to book. What’s great about subscriptions is that clients pay automatically every month (or every other week) unless and until they cancel. This subscription arrangement reminds clients of the commitment they want to make to their skin and they are much less likely to drift away from your service as they get busy. After all, they will want to use a service they have already paid for at the beginning of the month. 

Packages are another great way to create repeat clients. PocketSuite offers an option to bundle any number of services. So if you offer a client a discount for a bundle of ten treatments, not only do you receive the money up-front, but that client will be much less likely to drift away because they have already paid for ten treatments. 

Most spas make it to their goal income by creating more repeat clients. This way they can make their goal number of treatments every week. 

It’s worth noting that subscriptions work particularly well for the most popular esthetician service nationally, namely, a Brazilian Wax. After all, hair always grows back so you know these clients are going to need this service again on a regular basis. It’s a great idea to offer all waxing clients a discount for a monthly subscription. Having your waxing clients in a monthly subscription plan makes them much less likely to drift away from your business and your repeat clients appreciate the savings on something they want every month.  While maintenance waxing usually doesn’t take a full hour of treatment, it is still a great source of repeat bookings.

Text Marketing For Estheticians

Clients an esthetician has had in the past but haven’t booked in a while are a business asset. While lapsed clients are unlikely to open an email or see a special spa deal on social media, they will see text marketing.

PocketSuite has a tool called smart campaigns that empowers spa owners to automatically text clients who haven’t booked in a while and remind them to come back. It can also text big groups of past clients your seasonal promotions or special deals that might encourage them to come back. 

Text marketing does have a small cost associated with it. However, research has shown that for every dollar a spa spends on text marketing with PocketSuite, they get $18 dollars back in bookings. Text marketing is a great way to get to to your goal number of hours booked every week and make your goal income.

Getting New Clients for an Esthetician Business

The good news is that the spa industry is growing fast. There are lots of new clients coming into spas for the first time looking to prioritize their skincare. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts employment in the skincare industry will grow 29 percent from 2020 to 2030, much faster than the average for all occupations.

Getting new clients is trickier to do consistently than getting the clients you already have to come more often. However every business needs new clients and there are some methods that work to bring new clients in the door.

Referral Programs for Spas

Ask your clients for referrals during treatments. They will be happy to hear about any incentives you offer in exchange for sending you a referral. Referral options can include a credit toward their next session or free add-on services. It’s great to show appreciation to your spa clients who tell their friends.

And if you continue to provide excellent spa service treatment, many of your clients will want to share that they found a great person. You just have to remind them that they will feel great sharing something they love doing with other people they care about in their life. 

You can auto-magically request a referral after each appointment as part of PocketSuite’s text marketing campaigns. With referrals, it won’t be long before you go from 3 to 5 client bookings a week to 19 and hit or exceed that six figure income goal.

Encourage Reviews

A lot of local people will check out businesses in their area on Google Maps and Yelp. Five star reviews really help a local business. It’s great to ask all new clients for a review. Most of the time, you will get a high rating and the more reviews you get, the less likely it is that one bad review can sink your overall rating.

Some of the most successful spas in the PocketSuite network use automated text marketing to ask every new client for a five star review on Google. It works like magic and they now have thousands of reviews and say it really helps them bring in new business. And because of all of those great reviews, they have also risen in search results for people searching for estheticians and spas “near me”.

But if you don’t ask for reviews, only a tiny fraction of your clientele will think to leave one and unfortunately, people who are upset are the most likely reviewers. The way to protect yourself from the occasional hard to please client is to encourage all your clients to leave a review on the local listing service of your choice.

Local Advertising

One of the best ways to get new clients for an Esthetician, is to advertise to the people who are looking for the services you provide best. One easy way to do this is to invest in local Google ads for the town or zip code where you do business and the top 3 services you provide. Limiting the scope of the ad geographically helps keep down your cost per click and makes sure you are visible to local potential clients looking for spa services in your area. 

Esthetician Revenue

Retail Income for Estheticians

Once you have a strong inbound outreach from new leads and clients coming into your spa or getting serviced by your mobile spa every two weeks or on a monthly basis, another way to achieve your goal income is to curate a line of retail products to recommend. As an esthetician, you are the person all of your clients trust most with their skin. Recommending the products that will help them meet their skincare goals between treatments both helps them and your bottom line. Some PocketSuite Pros even make their own organic skincare products for clients.  

You can track your retail inventory for your spa right on PocketSuite so you will always order products on time. Retail skincare products are another great way to increase your monthly income and hit your goal income faster.

Esthetician Retail Income

Hiring Others and Building a Spa Empire

Once you have filled your own book of esthetician clients, you’ve leapt over the biggest hurdle in creating a profitable spa business. Because you have a proven track record of getting new clients and turning them into repeat clients, there is no reason to stop growing now. Rather than turn away business because your book is full, you can hire other spa professionals and repeat the process of filling their book of repeat clients. 

Managing additional team members for your esthetician business is easily done with PocketSuite Teams. You can hire professionals coming out of the same school or certification program that you graduated from. This will allow you to provide the same level of training and service that your current clientele are accustomed to. You can also give new pros in the industry a start while you double and triple your gross income with additional slots of time to fill with esthetician services.

Esthetician Services Hiring