her digital empire, Episode 14

Beauty Biz Breakdown Episode 1 W Erika and Libbey Lazarus

This is our Beauty Biz Breakdown!

Libbey is an award-winning esthetician, and she is going to be sharing her success secrets, including her success with groupon.

Lots of us have heard not to use it, or haven’t had success with it, and we all have our own reasons so that’s exciting as well.

She has also worked with some celebrities and I will be asking about that as well.

Hosts & Guests

Erika Belvin

Libbey Lazarus

 Get This Episode

How Libbey Got Started, and Why She is Sharing Her Secrets


I love talking on platforms like this to anyone who may want to start their own business, and I am happy to talk about success secrets because 20 years ago there was no google or yelp or anything.


You went to beauty school, hopefully got hired, then got trained by the product lines but no one was teaching Brazilians back then. 


There was one lady and you had to come to San Francisco, and learn from her, she’s one of the original wax queens.


Or you went to a trade show, and in front of 200 people I got a bikini wax. Luckily there were no cell phones back then, or  you could beg a seasoned esthetician to train you.


That’s what I did and the lead esthetician said to me “when you teach someone something you want to hold part of it back, you want to keep a little secret”, and I was like “What if that secret could help me?” So that’s something that’s stuck with me, and this happens in other industries too.


If you are making pancakes and you are missing the one ingredient to make it work like the salt, that’s frustrating.


That is why I have never liked to hold back, and Groupon has been part of that for me.


So many estheticians quit after a few years, but you’ve been doing this for over 20 years, what makes you stick with it?

It’s like the only thing I am good at! I love it, I love the people, I love working with hair stylists, the first 10 years of my career I worked in a big salon spa with 20 hair stylists who were always collaborating, doing news segments and just having fun and going to training.


I just love the industry, it runs in my family, my grandma, my mom and aunt were all stylists. My dad’s side is all doctors and pharmacists, so I got the creative side (sorry parents!)


Nothing wrong with creativity! 


Working with Coach Crystal from The Bachelor

I worked with coach Crystal while she was doing the bachelor and she came in to do a facial. People always ask if you get nervous working around celebrities, and lots of artists will be like “oh no not at all!”, and that’s a lie! Of course you are nervous, you don’t want to mess it up. If you put something on their skin that they have a reaction to… yes I was nervous.


She is a super down to earth girl and she is super cool. She also has a great body.


Working with Scott Eastwood

Scott is one of the biggest younger celebrities I’ve worked with. We were all nervous, excited, nervous. You want to make sure to get a shot he likes and the advertisers like, and you have so many people to make happy. We were doing it at the last minute which is common in the industry and we were doing it without a permit, so we were working undercover, we were shooting outside, and he had to change outside. 


He sounds just like his dad, super raspy voice, doesn’t talk much. He looks just like his dad too. He is quiet and super normal.


Is it easier to work with celebrities or regular people?

It is really hard to work on celebrities, because there are so many people to please. I really like working on newscasters, they are real people, it never stops. I like the average day better. Newscasters are not glamorous, it’s more casual and long days.


The longest day I worked was 16 hours. Some people in the celebrity world are not nice. There’s just so much ego, so it’s tough.


Would you pay an influencer for your portfolio?

I don’t think that works anymore. Maybe at the beginning of Instagram, if Kim Kardashian shouted you out at the beginning of your career, obviously that would help. Now, it is super hard to get into one of those positions.


In my opinion, don’t waste your money, no one knows who you are anyways. They follow that celebrity, and they don’t care who you are. Just remember it’s not a hobby, it’s a job.


Unless you are like Lady Gaga’s personal makeup artist, you are probably hustling some other jobs. 


Don’t count on influencers to help you make it, because no one knows you and your name yet.


Why did Libbey start her own business?

I started in a salon for 8 years and I had a full clientele, and I would also do my own makeup thing on the side.


I would do like 20 clients a day, and I would be exhausted mentally, physically, and I would bring home like no money.


I was making minimum wage plus 20% and decided to look at my other friends who had left and started their own businesses.


I started coaching with my friends. I never really wanted to go on my own, but I knew I was worth so much more than I was getting.


They would also rush me, and I felt rushed and not proud of my work. They would give me 15 minutes to do a Brazilian, and I really felt like I was in an abusive relationship because I had to do so much so fast. Out of 1000 people if I got one complaint, they would come down super hard for that complaint.


Would you recommend just jumping into your own business?

No! I made so many mistakes. I didn’t have any clients. I joined all the Facebook groups, and basically begged people to come to me with specials and deals. I did all the things.


I had no business plan, I just decided to start.


I think if you wait until everything is lined up, you’ll never do it. But I do think coaching with people who know what they are doing makes it easier.


I don’t regret going on my own, but I could have avoided lots of mistakes.


Training with the best

Be willing to learn! Look at your work and accept that maybe your work isn’t that great, maybe you should take that waxing class, maybe you should take that brow class. 


If your work is good, or great, you will build a clientele. It won’t take one week, but you will build it.


I took Kelly Bakers class, after I had been an esthetician for like 13 years, and everyone gave me crap for taking her class. I loved her work, I loved her brows, and if I could learn her little secrets and tricks, then I am going! 


When you take a class, you should be the worst one in the room. You don’t take a dance class and just show up being the best dancer in the room. I took a makeup class and I was definitely the worst makeup artist in the room, but at the end of it, I was way way better and more humble.


How did you use Groupon?

The most important thing I teach people, is it’s for FIRST TIME CLIENTS ONLY! 


Don’t give them the whole pie, just give them a little taste of your work, and treat them like gold.


Another thing to do is make sure to rebook them for another appointment.


When people move to a new city, they don’t know where to go, they go to Groupon and try places.


Do you think Groupon brings in more clients that just want deals?

No, not really. A lot of my clients are nurses or students. A lot of people will call and actually offer to pay directly.


As an established business owner, you can use it for when you have open slots or get slow. 


It is a live lead that wants the service you are offering, so why not take that?


What is your goal after they get there?

The goal is to build trust and book them for another appointment.


After about the 3rd appointment, you can start talking about the other services you offer.


What are some tips to get started on Groupon?

You are going to build your clientele of strangers, not friends and family.


If you can take a live lead who wants your service, they will be more likely to talk about your service than your friends.


The trick is to not make it a service that takes you a lot of time and money to do, just give them a bite of the pie, not the whole pie.


If you had one piece of advice for someone who is new, what would you say?

Make sure your phone number is on your Groupon, don’t pick a super long service, treat them like gold, and most importantly, make sure to pre book them!


Also join all the Facebook groups, you will learn so much, and people will give their little tips and tricks. You can look through old threads and see maybe what equipment others recommend


So, how do viewers find more info from Libbey?

In my Instagram bio you can join the Facebook group! You don’t need a license number, I want the students and beginners to join and learn how to start!


Make sure you also subscribe to Her Digital Empire on YouTube, iTunes, Spotify, or Soundcloud!

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