Have you decided that specialization is the way to go? Or narrowed down your choices, but you still can’t decide?
Are you about to give yourself an aneurysm trying to figure out what it should be?
It doesn’t have to be that way!
Let’s break it down, shall we?
First off, there are a lot of ways to specialize. Sometimes it’s called a niche, a specialty, or an expertise. It could be a type of client (e.g. ethnic skin), a type of procedure (e.g. 'peels only'), or a skin condition (e.g. acne).
But in this article, we’re going to explore acne. You’re about to get an inside look to help you make your decision.
Full disclosure here: acne is my favorite!
Here are the reasons why it could also be an awesome choice – for you.
1. Numbers don’t lie
1 billion. Acne is a 1 billion dollar industry (and counting). Would you like to have even just a tiny sliver of that pie?
60 million. The number of Americans suffering from acne. They’re called your market. I like to call them your clients, and there are a lot of them. Would you like to have a busy business?
11%. Only 11% will seek the help of a physician. Where do the rest (89%) go? This is your biggest opportunity. It’s a huge chunk of people that need still help, and if you’ve got the solutions, they will come to you.
Zero. The number of cures for acne. It can be treated, but there is no cure for acne. And sadly, each new generation will have had that ‘acne gene’ passed on by the previous, and so on. Acne is not going away. So not unless you decide to retire (or self-destruct), your business will thrive.
2. The esthetician factor
It’s because YOU are an esthetician, not a physician. Yes, this is your greatest asset!
Let me explain …
Why don’t you like going to the doctor? Is it because it takes months to get an appointment? When you finally get in, do you feel like they're in a hurry? Do they listen to you, or do they simply write a prescription and then send you off? Do the treatments work, or do they just make your skin look worse?
Perhaps it’s all of the above. You or someone you know has been there.
But not you.
Because you’re their friend. You listen, you take the time, you educate (and you educate some more), and your treatments work.
Believe it or not, they’d rather go to you!
3. Your acne treatments work
Yes, you can solve your client’s acne problems. You can give them real results.
Medical experts agree that acne can be successfully treated with over-the-counter drugs, and methods in 95% of all cases.
That’s pretty much everybody!
What I mean by over the counter is … no prescriptions needed.
And no prescription means that for a vast majority of acne clients, everything in your esthetician bag of tricks can do the job.
What skin care products do you have access to as an esthetician?
It’s anything from your local drug store to pharmaceutical or professional grade products. Also formulations not available to the public – but accessible to you as an esthetician (e.g. peels, or higher concentrations of active ingredients on products).
Even ice, yep … the good old ‘ice remedy’ (cold application) can boost results. The missing piece was your expertise. You – teaching your client how it works, and how to apply it.
The list goes on about how and why your expertise is the crucial piece.
From the simple how should they wash their face? To which products should they use, and how do they use it? What office treatments are appropriate for them? What should they not do? Etc.
You don’t have to be a genius to learn how to successfully treat acne – it’s not rocket science!
4. Results from acne treatment are straightforward
How else can you be more straightforward than this … The pimple was there, and now it’s not. There used to be a blackhead here, and now it’s no longer there. Her face used to be ‘angry red’ from the inflammation, now the redness is gone. There used to be 10 pimples, now there are only 2 left.
Compare that with anti-aging, for example …
She used to have that wrinkle under her left eye, but now you see that it’s less noticeable. But she points to it, “It’s right here, don’t you see it?” she says, “I think it might have even gotten a little longer, and deeper!”
So you give it a second look … real hard … and – you barely see it. Aw … shucks!
No, you’re not hallucinating (and neither is the client). There’s nothing wrong with this scenario, in fact it’s not uncommon in anti-aging. A lot of it has to do with the ‘eye of the beholder’. The results are just not as straightforward as acne.
Why is seeing obvious results so important? Because when your client sees (I mean really sees) the results from your treatment, she becomes a happy client!
It’s much easier to keep clients happy when they see results.
Happy clients mean more referrals, more referrals mean more business, and more business means more fun for you!
5. Few estheticians are true acne experts
Plenty of estheticians can do a pretty good facial. Some of them will even say they also treat acne.
But how many of them can really say that acne is all they do? Is it about 90% of their clientele? Or do they have a good size portfolio of impressive before and after acne photos?
At the time of writing this article, I’d say very few specialize in acne. Why is this a good thing? Because if there’s not a lot of true acne experts in your community, your chances of becoming the ‘go-to gal’ for acne are really good.
And guess what ‘go-to gal’ means? It means you’re the expert. When you become an expert, you become 'famous', no … not like Paris Hilton famous – but in your own little acne niche.
And when you’re 'famous', you don’t worry about finding clients – they’ll come find YOU!
6. Specializing in acne gives you a special set of skills
You know how Starbucks really specializes in coffee, but they also offer other yummy stuff like croissants, scones, and muffins that naturally go well with coffee?
They sell this ‘other’ stuff because their clients want it … and they can offer it. Guess what? Your clients might want ‘other’ stuff, too!
Like this mom who takes her daughter to you for acne, is worried about her dull, uneven skin tone and wants your help.
Can you help her? Sure you can.
But first of all, it’s your choice. You can either politely refer her to another awesome colleague of yours who specializes in anti-aging or skin rejuvenation. Or you can treat her yourself with the skills you’ve learned in treating acne.
You see ... exfoliating products, chemical peels, vitamin a derivatives, lightening creams, and sun protection – the tools and skills you use to treat acne (and its after effects) are also cornerstone treatments of anti aging and skin rejuvenation.
I’m not saying you should change your focus, or not focus at all. It’s just something that you can do. It can be just for this one client. A small percentage of your clientele. Or an added bonus to your program. It’s up to you. (You can get creative.)
Anything you can offer your client with something else special or something extra is a good thing. And you can give her that ‘something special’. Because of the skills you have by specializing in acne.
It’s just like how Starbucks offers yummy desserts with their coffee.
Doesn’t your coffee taste much better with that dark chocolate cupcake? (I know it ‘completes’ me.)
7. Because you want to help
No. I don’t really believe that eliminating acne has to be your absolute passion, calling, and purpose in life for you to do this. (Maybe you really want to be an Iron Chef?)
But you do have to care. You have to want it in your heart to help. You feel a sense of purpose. Trust is the ultimate reason clients choose you.
They can’t trust someone who doesn’t care. And they will see through it.
Yes, you have to deliver results. But what good are your skills if no one asks you for help?
8. Because you want to be like Starbucks
Whether you choose acne or something else as a specialty is totally up to you.
And if you don’t think that acne is for you … that’s Ok. But what is NOT ok is when you’re not special, you’re not remarkable, when you’re … well boring!
Because people won’t remember you, they won’t talk about you, and you’re not standing out in this competitive industry.
You want to have a specialty because you want people to be thinking and talking about you when they need skin care, just as how you think Starbucks when you want coffee - and you even bring a friend with you.
About the Author: Abby Roaquin is the founder of acneLE. A web site that provides online training for estheticians on how to treat acne. Click here to grab the FREE 7-part e-class to get started on how to treat acne.