Love the perfectly sculpted results of microblading? Love helping people look and feel their best? If you’re ready to turn that passion into a thriving business, you're in the right place. We know that starting a microblading business can be as overwhelming as it is exciting. In this guide, we'll walk you through the essential steps to kickstart your microblading career and build a successful business.
Understanding the Microblading Industry
Microblading is so common now, that it’s easy to forget that it’s only become mainstream in recent years. What caused the change? We think there are three main factors: 1) the trend of full, sculpted brows, 2) the *chef’s kiss* natural results of microblading, and 3) social media to provide awareness and photographic proof of results. Demand for microblading is higher than ever, but this popularity has also led to heightened competition.
To thrive in this industry, it's crucial to understand the ins and outs of microblading (and likely some other PMU techniques as well) and to understand the business strategies that will help you stand out from your competition. Here are our tips for getting your microblading business off the ground!
5 Tips for Starting a Microblading Business
Tip 1: Master Your Craft
First things first. Before you create social media accounts for your business and find your first client, you’ve got to make sure you’re ready to produce perfect brows for each client. The best way to get started is to find a reputable microblading course that provides instruction in microblading techniques as well as bloodborne pathogens, safety, and sanitation. You can find some that are fully remote, in-person, or a hybrid model – just be wary of any course that offers less than 100 hours of instruction or claims that you can become an expert over a weekend. The Society of Permanent Cosmetic Professionals actually issued a statement, warning aspiring PMU artists to avoid such courses as “a two-three day course of study cannot properly prepare someone” in “critical areas” such as infection control, pigment theory, aging skin, and more.
Tip 2: Obtain the Necessary Certifications
After you’ve completed your 100-hour starter course, look into the certifications and licenses required by your state or county. Some states have stricter requirements than others, but in general, you’ll always need to register your business, purchase proper business insurance, and set up an LLC or similar business structure. Even if your state doesn’t require additional certification, you may want to pursue certifications from the American Academy of Micropigmentation or the Society of Permanent Cosmetic Professionals. These certifications ensure that you’re properly trained and automatically build credibility with potential clients.
Tip 3: Know Your Niche
If you don’t have a lot of local competition, “Microblading” may be enough of a niche already. But if you live in an urban area or your town already has plenty of PMU artists, you may want to carve out a niche to attract more clients. Whether it's correcting previously botched brows, catering to specific demographics, or offering other unique PMU services, specializing can help set you apart in a competitive market.
Tip 4: Create a Portfolio
Your portfolio should showcase photos of your best work and be easy to find on your website and social media accounts. And yes, when you’re just starting out, we get that you may only have a few before-and-after photos (probably of brave friends and family members who became your first “clients.”) But even just a few pictures of good results are huge for building your reputation and gaining the trust of potential clients. Potential clients often make decisions based on visual evidence, so your portfolio is one of your most important marketing tools.
Tip 5: Network with Industry Professionals
Yes, PMU and beauty can be a competitive industry, but it’s also a community. As much as possible, connect with other professionals in the PMU or beauty and skincare industry. Collaborations can open doors to new opportunities, referrals, and valuable insights. For example, a giveaway collab with some local spas and hair salons could boost all of your social media accounts. Attend industry events, join online forums, and engage with the community to expand your network, improve your techniques, and learn new skills that you can add to your services.
Creating a Business Plan for Your Microblading Business
A business plan is your roadmap to success. While it doesn't have to be overly detailed, it should outline your business goals, target market, competition analysis, marketing strategy, and financial projections.
Projecting Your Finances
There’s no doubt that starting a business can be an investment – you’ll feel less overwhelmed if you lay out all of the upfront costs from the start. Then, you can start estimating how much you’ll make in the first six months to a year (see pricing strategy below) to figure out when you’ll see a return on that investment.
Developing a Pricing Strategy for Your Services
Determine your pricing strategy based on factors such as your skill level, experience, and the prices in the local market. Typically, PMU artists in urban areas can charge higher fees due to the greater demand in their area. Consider offering introductory promotions to attract new clients and gradually adjust your prices as your reputation grows.
Also, be sure to compare your prices to the cost of running your business. You need to factor in costs like machines, pigments, advertising, rent, certification, business insurance, and more. Then, calculate how many clients you would need to see in a given week and what you would need to charge them to reach your profit goals.
Building a Strong Online Presence for Your Business
In the digital age, a strong online presence is non-negotiable, especially in the beauty industry. Find a few online tutorials to learn how to take high-quality before and after photos of your clients’ brows. Gain traction by asking clients to follow and share your profiles and consider running promotions at the start of your business to gain more potential clients as followers. Popular options include offering a free giveaway (like one microblading session) to clients who follow your account and tag friends in your post.
Marketing and Promoting Your Microblading Business
You’ll want to utilize both online and offline channels to reach your audience. As soon as possible, try to invest in professional branding( i.e. logos and graphic design), create a user-friendly website, and leverage those social media platforms to showcase your work and engage with potential clients.
Setting Up Your Microblading Studio
Even when you’re just starting out, investing in top-notch supplies and equipment is crucial for delivering the results your clients expect. Research trusted brands for PMU machines and pigments and only buy supplies from reputable distributors. In other words, avoid cheap Amazon kits like the plague! Cheap, poorly made machines can damage clients' skin and deliver splotchy results. Cheap pigments can fade or change colors quickly or present real health hazards when they aren’t backed up by a Safety Data Sheet (SDS).
When setting up your studio, prioritize cleanliness and comfort first. Try to create a welcoming atmosphere that reflects your brand and makes clients feel relaxed during their sessions. But if interior design isn’t in your startup budget, don’t sweat it. As your business grows, you can start using some of your profits to create the studio you want.
Providing Excellent Customer Service and Building Client Relationships
Client satisfaction and word-of-mouth are critical to building a successful microblading business. Beyond delivering outstanding results, focus on providing excellent customer service through clear communication and genuine empathy for your clients' concerns.
Be upfront with clients about the procedure, aftercare, and potential outcomes. (Be sure to prepare them for that rough transition period of ultra-dark brows and flaking!) Provide a phone number or email for any concerns after their microblading session, and be sure to respond quickly – especially if they are freaking out during the transition period! When clients know you care, they’re more likely to return to you for their touchups and recommend you to others.
Fulfill Your Career Goals!
Starting a microblading business requires a combination of artistic skill, business acumen, and a dedication to providing exceptional service. By following these tips and staying committed to your craft, you can turn your passion for microblading into a fulfilling and successful career. Good luck on your journey, and when you’re ready, remember to check out our selection of high-quality permanent makeup supplies to get you started.