I ran an ad in the local newspaper offering a few specials, such as $19.95 for a full set. I also had fliers printed and put some on cars and hung some in local businesses.
Loree’s Nail Shop (American Falls, Idaho)
After applying a full set on a new client, I’d offer her a free fill if she recommended two people for full sets.
The Golden Touch (Bakersfield, Calif.)
I wore dressy nail art on my nails and people would always stop me and say, “Wow, look at those nails. Where did you have them done?” Then I’d hand them a business card.
The Spa at Nicholas Michaels (Northboro, Mass.)
My husband is in the military, so we move around a lot. To bring in new clients, I punch a hole in my business card and tie a lollipop to it with some pretty ribbon and we hand them out. Most people have a sweet tooth and will accept the treat.
Nail Artistry (Heidelberg Germany)
My friend was the only other nail technician in town and when she joined the Air Force, she recruited me to take over her job and clientele, so I had a ready-made following.
Jill St. Claire-Wright
Angel’s Salon (Bowling Green, Ky.)
I would ask customers who were getting their hair done if they wanted a complimentary manicure. I’d find out which finger they used the most, then apply an acrylic overlay on that nail. I told them not to change their polish until they came in again. They were amazed at how well the polish adhered to the acrylic nail, and many of them became regular clients.
Aloha’s Hair and Body Care (Romeo, Mich.)
At the first salon I worked at, we all pitched in money to advertise on our local radio station. The exposure brought me many new clients.
Via the Internet
I started in a small salon with two other nail techs who already had an established clientele. When there was a call or a walk-in, I usually took the client. My lucky break came a year later when one of the techs retired and split her clientele between us.
The Nail Palace (Clovis, Calif.)
I’d walk into local businesses and offer a complimentary full set to anyone who was interested. Also, during my first three months in business, I offered half-off on a client’s next fill for every referral she sent me.
The Perfect Touch (Lacey, Wash.)