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Newly qualified, practice on friends

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manicnails

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Hi All! I've just been qualified for gel nails, manicures, and gel tip extensions/enhancements in the UK. I was wondering what you guys would charge to friends for each of these services as I'm practising (and before going freelance)? I'd like to keep my friends as future clients, but I'm afraid if I start off with really low prices that they'd expect "mates rates" later on. However, I want to increase my visibility on social media and get new photographs of my work and nail art... I'm afraid my pals won't want me to practise on them for the full price... Any advice?
 

manicnails

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Should I just ask good pals or family if they'd be models? Give friends the treatments either free or at cost (maybe a fiver to cover materials...?) Thanks for your help in advance!!
 

Beautiful-you

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Should I just ask good pals or family if they'd be models? Give friends the treatments either free or at cost (maybe a fiver to cover materials...?) Thanks for your help in advance!!
Yes, I think asking them to be "models" whilst you improve your technique and build a social media portfolio is a good idea. Just make sure they know it's a temporary arrangement though! I must admit that I still do give "mates rates" to those that were loyal and supportive to me when I was training, but I don't do them ridiculously cheap.
 

CFBS

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If I'm practising to get the hang of new products I just do close family for free. They are very honest with feedback too!

When it comes to family having normal treatments I give them 20% off treatments and retail items. By close family I mean Mum, sisters & nieces.
Friends I charge full price.
 

manicnails

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Thanks for your quick replies! I'll put the call out to a few close friends and cousins to be models, and let them know it's just for a little while until I get set up. Then I'll probably knock off £5 for my friends (who were models) after I get in a salon. Hopefully, if I do a good job they'll come back and support me for a near-to full price; it is a lot of work, after all. We gotta make a living, eh? Wonderful advice.. Cheers, guys!
 

7th-Heaven

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If you feel you really need more practice, and you are OK with prolonging your practice period, then you can do an "introductory price" for a period of time, and make sure it's fully stated that this is an intro price, and not regular price, on your FB booking page. I do my mum's nails for free, she's the only one who gets them free. My friends have to pay, although I used to give a close friend a slight discount until she took more and more advantage and avoided paying altogether, which was an eye-opener to me - which means I do not book that person in anymore!
In the month I was practicing before my exam, I think I did 3-4 friends/family, including my mother ofcourse, but the rest (20 or so) were strangers I found on Facebook Marketplace, and some stayed with me after I qualified, as regulars. I also charged just under half regular price during training, and did this from home. I took photos of every set (sometimes before-afters too) and kept the ones that turned out OK. Since you are qualified now, you shouldn't be charging peanuts, but you can try an intro-offer for a set period of time. It really depends how you feel... If you really feel you need a lot more practice and not ready at all, then go ahead and ask on FB market place for some models who pay only for products/token fee. If you feel you need only a bit of practice until you get more hang of it, then I'd recomment an intro-offer. Don't sell yourself TOO short. ^_^
 

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