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  • Writer's pictureLindsey Nelson

Alternative Ways to Earn Money as a Cosmetologist

Becoming a Cosmetologist is a passion and a pathway to various income opportunities in the beauty industry.

Many Cosmetologists can earn side money while working behind the chair.

These opportunities may start as a side hustle that supplements your primary income but may become a way for you to transition to an end-game later in your career.

This post discusses five ways to earn money as a Cosmetologist.

1. Retail Commission

Many salons offer their stylists paid commissions on the retail they sell in the salon.

I have worked at commission-based and booth-renting salons, earning a commission on the retail products I sold.

You’re already using the products on your clients, so you should make a commission on that sale.

Most salons offer a percentage of the sale, and that percentage varies, but the industry standard is 5%-15%.

Discuss the income opportunity with your potential salon owner during your interview.

2. Freelancing Artist

You can take your skills on the road by offering freelance services.

Whether it’s bridal hair and makeup, styling for events, hair and makeup on set or a photo shoot, or providing in-home services, freelancing allows you to set your rates and schedule.

You may have to start at a cheaper rate to get experience, but the better you get, the more you can charge.

Use social media to showcase your work and attract clients.

This is an excellent way to gain more exposure and meet new people who haven’t heard of you.

3. Independent Education and Branded Education

Sharing your knowledge and expertise can be financially rewarding.

Becoming an independent educator and offering classes or one-on-one sessions is a popular way to earn money.

To get started as an educator, share valuable tips and tutorials on social media to establish yourself as an authority in the beauty industry, attracting students eager to learn from you.

On the other hand, you can become an educator who works with a brand where the brand pays you to teach for them.

If this interests you, start tagging your favorite brand in your posts or reach out to them directly.

Sometimes, you need to make the first move for the brand to begin to pay attention to you.

You may think you need years of experience to be an educator or a coach, and in most cases, you should.

But some hairstylists have only been in the industry briefly, and they already have an education platform.

4. Brand Partnerships

Leverage your marketing skills to recommend and sell beauty products by partnering with beauty brands or setting up an online store to sell cosmetics, skincare, or haircare products.

Social media posts can feature product reviews, tutorials, and promotions to boost sales.

If you are interested in this, Tiktok would be your jam! How often have you heard “I saw this thing on TikTok”?

How many times have you bought something that you saw on TikTok? Probably more times than you can count!

Why not sell products you already use and love and get paid?

5. Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing has emerged as a lucrative side gig for Cosmetologists.

You can tap into this powerful strategy to increase your income while sharing your knowledge and love for beauty.

Many beauty brands and educators have affiliate marketing programs where you share a code for new customers to use at checkout.

When they use your code, you receive a commission from the sale.

You can also set up an Amazon store where customers can shop from your website on Amazon.

Cosmetologist earning money through affiliate marketing

Earning money behind the chair is excellent, but there are plenty of ways to make more without putting in more hours.

Cosmetologists have many opportunities to earn more income and make a name for themselves in the beauty industry.

Whether you prefer the stability of working in the salon or the flexibility of freelancing, these five ways to earn money offer diverse possibilities.

Most people turn to social media such as TikTok, Instagram, and Pinterest to get inspiration, buy products, entertainment, or education.

With this knowledge, I suggest you use these platforms to market your main salon business and side gig.

Cosmetologist reading emails on laptop and cell phone

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