We recently connected with Nicole Swanson and have shared our conversation below.
Nicole , thanks for taking the time to share your stories with us today Can you talk to us about a risk you’ve taken – walk us through the story?
Taking chances is not on many people’s “to do” lists. Oftentimes, Risky conduct is often perceived as reckless or harmful, but for some people, it can signify freedom, and that’s exactly what taking risk means to me: the opportunity to start over or try something new.
I wasn’t always The risk taker, but life has taught me the most important lessons about taking risks. One thing is for certain, without risk, there is truly no reward. I grew up shy and introverted with many thoughts swirling in my brain about who I would someday be, and how I would someday make an impact on the world. I used my free time, as a teen and early adult , to do so many things for other people, although I didn’t want to. I felt trapped in my silence and cringed at the thought of speaking up for myself out of fear of inconveniencing someone else. As with everything that is worn, a breaking point has to surface. Eventually, that breaking point came to me in 2018, when I finally made the decision to speak up for myself, in instances that did not serve me well. After being voiceless in the presence of family and past relationships, overworked, underpaid, and unappreciated in my career,I was over it.
My career in law enforcement in 2008 just a few weeks after my 18th birthday. At the time I was clueless about my identity or the many visions I set over my life in general, but like so many others, I found myself in full day dreams in the busiest parts of my day , envisioning myself as this boss chick walking into a corporate building delegating tasks to my amazing staff. I was committed to this day dream more than I was committed to reality. After years of complacency, I decided I was unhappy with my life, and I wanted a chance to hit a reset button . The first thing on my agenda was speaking up for myself at work . Little did I know, I was taking control of the narrative of my life and becoming comfortable with being a boss in general.
After this epiphany, I went on about my life as usual, but every day I started to make small objections to things I simply had no interest in doing. These small objections helped me to be able to be comfortable with bigger objections. Work was routine, until it wasn’t, and I was the “until it wasn’t”. It all changed drastically on August 3rd, 2018. I walked into work, sat at my desk and began my duties as usual. However, that night, I didn’t know I would just take a risk and randomly quit my job. I took the first risk of my life when I decided to give up my job security after ten years , to become a full time entrepreneur with little to no clientele. Working was all I knew as a means of survival, but I was determined to make those daydreams my reality. I gambled on myself, and took a risk that would change my life forever.
With a small clientele, no business knowledge, and 1 small contract deal, I leaped head first into full time entrepreneurship. The first year was a breeze for me( this isn’t the case for most) . I used all of my freetime te get out of the house and network with many professionals on a consistent basis. I built new relationships and connections with anyone I saw as a potential lead or client, or had connections to my potential clientele. I offered my help where it was needed and continued to support other small businesses and emerging entrepreneurs, because I knew all too well about how important support is on this journey. I literally doubled my clientele in 90 days of doing this. I replaced my salary at my old job eight months into full time entrepreneurship. If i hadn’t taken the risk but instead, continued daydreaming about my goals and allowed myself to be voiceless i would have never accomplished this task.
The end goal for me is nowhere in sight. I have opened 2 new brands in the beauty consulting and real estate space, since quitting my job to work full time in my start up beauty brand. I take every opportunity that is presented to me. I’m like a fireball in the middle of the ocean ready to roll in whatever direction the waves send me knowing at a moment the water can take me, but still I risk it anyway. Taking risks is what makes the world go round. Discovery would not have occurred if we had not taken chances. If I hadn’t taken the risk of leaving my stability and job security behind I would not have the freedom of my time, limitless opportunities to create wealth , or control over my work schedule.
Great, appreciate you sharing that with us. Before we ask you to share more of your insights, can you take a moment to introduce yourself and how you got to where you are today to our readers
I’m Nicole Swanson From Houston, Texas and I am a serial entrepreneur and business enthusiast . I enjoy assisting others in their quest for self-awareness to reach their fullest potential through beauty and business. I am the creator behind brands like “Impeccable Beauty,” a professional makeup artistry company, that provides media-ready makeup to business professionals and female entrepreneurs, and “The MUA Club,” a consulting company that provides artistry development, business mentorship to novice artists, and an online marketplace for artistry essentials. We recently launched our newest product “the complexion case” a makeup travel case designed to help keep makeup products organized & safe while traveling. The case can be found on our webpage at themuaclub.com
My journey in beauty started in 2015. I had begun a fledgling modeling career and was very involved in photography. I needed professional makeup services fast. After several poor experiences with hiring makeup artists (issues of tardiness, rudeness, or unreliability) , I decided to teach myself the craft. I dedicated my free time in the late evenings to practice different areas of the face each week. I would scour YouTube and frequent drug stores to buy whatever recommended products. Little did I know at the time that a lot of YouTube makeup videos were teaching poor practices that lacked professionalism and quality education, but it did the job at the moment (since I was only learning for a personal beauty routine).
As I learned new techniques every week I decided to share them with women who were interested in the same ideal of perfecting their own glam routine. We shared our experiences, product recommendations, and learned techniques once a week in a private Facebook group. Everyone was learning, there were no pros in the group. One day, as I was going live, one of the ladies asked me if she could just come to me so I can do it (makeup) for her, and that was the start of my journey in beauty.
To the average person it’s just putting on makeup, but as you dive deeper into the skillset you realize there is more to makeup than what meets the eye, when it comes to clientele. I had little knowledge about how to create a flawless routine for others, without using a ton of products. I decided to seek professional training in areas such as product chemistry, technique placement, skin care, skin prep, sanitation practices, as well as specialized bridal and photography practices. Each year my skills improved drastically and the clientele doubled. I continued going live to share and built a community of supporters that would eventually become my clients.
After about 3 years of artistry, I realized I needed to start working on my beauty brand as a business, and that’s when my journey in business started. I’d really neglected business principles and establishing a solid foundation for my business to thrive legally. Although I regret not starting my business journey sooner, I’m pleased with where I am today as far as business education and understanding basic business principles , financials, and legality to ensure I have a thriving company that’s sustainable during times of crisis and economic downfalls, such as with covid. This process of learning business taught me how to be disciplined with my time, money, focus, and overall has helped me to improve my professionalism entirely. Its the very thing that sets me apart from so many other beauty brands in my area. I am not money driven, I’m people driven, and I provide exceptional customer service and professionalism to all of my clients.
I still devote a large portion of my time to motivating and inspiring others through motivational speaking and writing in the areas of trauma healing, self-accountability, and personal development. I think it’s important that all business owners understand the importance of self care and mental strength while being an entrepreneur. It’s helped me in abundance and that’s why I still spend a lot of my time in the creative space of writing and speaking. If I could offer a piece of advice for anyone in business, it would be to read as much as you can , research everything, always be a student and stay focused on what YOU are creating.
What’s been the most effective strategy for growing your clientele?
Growing clientele in any service based business can be difficult for start ups or struggling entrepreneurs, and the same deemed true for me. In short, I grew my clientele by strategically networking with my target clients ( women entrepreneurs). If there was an event with female entrepreneurs, I was there ! Every-time! I align myself with women that I felt would represent my desired artistry (soft glam) and business to my liking. The saying “it’s not what you know but who you know” is very true. If you take on new clients, you give them the best experience each time from every angle. To date my business is still growing based on referrals( word of mouth).
Another method I used to grow my clientele is social media. This one may take a while to do, but if you’re consistent you’ll have great results. When using social media to grow clientele, I would advise generating content that is informative or educational but easy to navigate. This positions you as an expert in your field and everyone loves expert sources. People online like to learn new things, but they don’t have a lot of time, so it’s best to condense educational content to micro segments, with the option to click a link to your personal sites or booking pages for “more information”.
How do you keep in touch with clients and foster brand loyalty?
Clients need to know what is going on in your business ALL THE TIME. Think about it, we see so many pieces of information all day long. So many pages are on our timeline and we are consistently being sold to. You have to keep your business on your clients mind. I like to keep in touch with my clients through email and text marketing. The goal is weekly, however, monthly is better than not at all. My instagram page is another way of client connection. They are able to receive up to date posts about brand activity, products, appointments, and FAQ. To help foster brand loyalty I have consistently asked for feedback from my clients and rectified any negative responses by solving the problems. I’ve also created a loyalty program where clients receive money off their services on a point system.
- Website: www.nicoleswansonbrands.com
- Instagram: @nicoleswansonbrands_ @theimpeccablebeauty @the_mua_club
- Facebook: Facebook.com/theimpeccablebeauty
- Linkedin: www.linkedin.com/in/nicoleswansonbrands
- Twitter: @imnicoleswanson
- Youtube: Nicole Swanson
- Yelp: https://www.yelp.com/biz/impeccable-beauty-houston