Becoming a Successful Freelance Cosmetologist in California

If you’ve ever dreamed of becoming a Freelance Cosmetologist in Orange County, you’re probably attracted to the flexible schedule, being able to choose your own hours as well as landing some really great private clients out in the field, that you may not otherwise be able to work with if you’re stuck in a salon all day working for someone other than yourself. As a Freelance Cosmetologist, you’re able to do what you love for a living – you’ll get paid to make people feel and look their best, and of course there’s always the opportunity to earn a high-paying gig or the chance to land a big hair, skin or nails client, especially in a metropolitan area such as Southern California!

As a Freelance Cosmetologist (rather, a hairstylist or barber that works independently out in the field, not just confined to work in a beauty salon), you will learn that consistently doing great work will lead to you getting more clients – of course, you’ll have to market your work the same as any other freelance job, but if you are consistently turning out great work as a cosmetologist, you can be certain that your cosmetology clientele will provide you with referrals and assist you in networking.

How to Earn More Money as a Freelance Cosmetologist in California

There are many ways to earn a higher paycheck as a Freelance Cosmetologist in California. For starters, if you’re searching for the better paying cosmetology clients, you’ll need to make certain that you are always working – whether it’s in the field, in the studio, or even just locally or at home – you need to get and stay out there! Like other art forms, it’s also vital that you’re consistently learning and studying new and modern hair techniques that will keep you in touch with other Cosmetologists, hairdressers and beauticians within the always changing cosmetics industry. As with most other occupations, the more work that you put into your craft as a licensed cosmetologist and Freelance Cosmetologist the more you’ll eventually get out of your occupation and art form.

If you’re in Southern California, you have the added benefit of being close to Hollywood – that means movie sets, television, and film as well as working with directors, models and designers on set as a freelance cosmetologist that is in high-demand. If you’re a pro Freelance Cosmetologist for TV or film, there’s a great chance that you’ll run into on-set directors that may often challenge you as a Cosmetologist by changing the whole artistic theme halfway through a film or TV job and as a professional, you have got to be completely okay with that – rolling with the punches in order to get re-hired by them as well as earn a reputation that you’re a Cosmetologist that’s very easy to work with within the TV & film industry in Hollywood.

As a Freelance Cosmetologist on-set, some of the Directors you work with may want to add more high-fashion or glamour or go in a completely different look using wigs and hair accessories. They could for instance want you to apply a hairpiece or mix color and chemicals on the spot, and as a well-trained Cosmetologist that’s out in the field, you have got to be completely flexible with client requests, as they come in!

Out in the field, you will also have to be just as comfortable creating standard looks for print as well as the high-fashion & glamour looks for runway photographers, and art directors… you’ll also need to bring everything that you’re going to use that day inside your cosmetology kit in order to give your clients that look while out in the field, as you can’t return or leave the set in most cases.

If you want to find return-work and build long-lasting relationships with these directors and high-end
clients while working as a Freelance Cosmetologist, you will also need to leave your comfort zone in order to do apply looks and work outside the box on clients that you’re not necessarily comfortable with in order to please them. But this will most always pay off and you’ll probably see that simply going out of your way for a client, even when it comes to pushing yourself that extra step will often lead to getting another callback or even to other paying Freelance Cosmetology gigs down the line.

How Do You Get Paid More as a Freelance Cosmetologist in CA?

There are tons of ways to change the way and pace of your paychecks as a freelancer, no matter what your profession is. As a Freelance Cosmetologist, one way to get paid more is to provide clients an intro rate that doesn’t last forever. A lot of well-known Freelance Cosmetologists got their start doing reduced-rate hair jobs early on in their careers. For example, you can take on higher-profile clients who you know will either re-hire you or help you network (hopefully getting and keeping you out there) and start off by telling them you’re going to give them a great introductory rate in order to earn their business.

Intro rates for your freelance cosmetology clients will not only set you apart from other freelance competition, but after you’ve secured the job, you can then show the client that you’re worth a lot more and that your true going-rate is actually substantially higher. This is a feel-good moment for most clients because it proves that you are willing to cut them a deal in order to start a successful partnership that will thrive in the future. Keep in mind that this is also a great way to get your foot in the door and begin gaining that upper-tier level of clientele that will also refer you to other high-end clients, especially if your work is consistent!

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There are some other great ways to get your name out there as a Freelance Cosmetologist. One way to do that is to stay working and to stay working HARD within the industry by continuing to pursue your cosmetology education. You can teach classes at the hair & beauty school that you went to, or at regional occupation schools and cosmetics and beauty colleges. You can approach these from a mentor perspective if you’re unable to teach full-time or you can always be a guest lecturer. Staying active within the hair and cosmetics education system is also a great way to get and keep your name out there – these students that take ‘looks’ and beauty industry insider knowledge away from the sessions you teach will always reach out to you later or quote you when working with their clients, effectively keeping you alive in the hair and beauty industry for quite some time. You may also find yourself working with or alongside these students one day out in the field, which can lend to more networking opportunities in the future too, which is just another compelling reason to stay active within the Cosmetology education community.

How Do I Set My Rates as a Freelance Cosmetologist in California?

There are many ways to set rates properly as a Freelance Cosmetologist in California. While some swear by setting rates very high from the get-go for their daily and hourly hair gigs. While sometimes setting your rates really high will attract a certain clientele that is looking for an experienced and high-end Freelance cosmetologist, it can also scare away clients that you could have grown with as well as be dangerous to your reputation if your experience doesn’t stack up against your hourly rates. Some Freelance Cosmetologists charge a flat fee for their work, while others swear by charging hourly with a minimum number of hours per gig. Other experienced freelance Cosmetologists say that they wouldn’t accept a flat rate for a day because hours on-set can go long and deep into the night – something running 12-16+ hours and making you work for a flat fee doing way more than you bargained for.

Other things to consider are charging a kit fee for the hair products you consume during any of your freelance hair gigs. For instance, some freelance Cosmetologists charge upwards of $45-100 for standard on-site cuts as well as $200 to upwards of $600 and $700 for special chemicals, cuts and other customized work. Since they are using their own colors, chemicals and equipment, these prices (while much higher than salon prices) are often justified. Also, as a freelance Cosmetologist, you’re often putting together specific looks for your client, meaning that there is a lot of customized processes that were thought through, specifically for this job, and your clients should know that. Keep in mind that this is all generalization and that in most cases your rate is set by your experience, portfolio, background, metropolitan area, clientele and most of all your education and reputation within the industry!

Reassurance is key in our line of work out in the field as a Freelance Cosmetologist and reassuring your new clients by telling them you that you won’t let them down and then living up to their expectations and working hard for them will not only show them you’re worth your fee as a freelancer, but also that you’re a stylist that they’ll want to rehire. This is also another great way to get picked up by higher-end hair clients who you’ve never worked for before. Many inexperienced freelance Cosmetologists won’t make them feel this level of comfort or give them the reassurance, so be sure to go out of your way to prove yourself to your new clients – they’ll remember and rehire or refer you throughout the years, adding to your salary and making sure you’ve consistently got work as a freelancer.

Getting to the Upper-Tier Clientele as a Freelance Cosmetologist

There are a few additional things that you can do in order to ensure your success as a Freelance Cosmetologist in California. One of the most important things that you can do is to be nice to everyone you encounter. Remain honest and work exceptionally hard at your profession. Not a lot of people get to work in their dream career and be out of the office earning a steady paycheck, so it’s important to work hard and take time to be grateful. Whether you like it or not, it’s important to remember that these clients will judge you and the way you carry yourself and market your brand. Your reputation as a freelance Cosmetologist will follow you throughout the years. Not only how well you work as a cosmetologist and freelance stylist, but also for the entire experience of working with you – the way you actually conduct yourself on a personal level while on set. If you’re kind to people and smell great, are showcasing your best hair looks and are well-put-together, as well as sympathetic and good to every client you work with, you’ll almost always be suggested in the future every time they have an opening or need a great experienced freelance Cosmetologist. Remember that it’s not only the person that hired you, but every single person that you come across while out in the field that will tell others whether you’re a great freelancer or awesome to deal with on a day-to-day, and that usually gets around, especially with the advent of online review markets like Yelp, Facebook & Google+.

Lastly, nothing will be more important than your foundation. If you want to become a Freelance Cosmetologist in California, you’ll want to attend a well-known cosmetology school, like Colleen O’Hara’s Beauty Academy in Orange County, CA. Our world-class modern beauty school facility in Santa Ana, CA is one of the best hair schools in California. We’d love to give you a free tour of the campus and show you why we’ve been one of the longest running cosmetology schools in California. Please call us at (888) 463-7869 in order to start your career as a licensed Cosmetologist today! For more information on beauty school and how Colleen O’Hara’s Beauty Academy can help you become a Cosmetologist in California today, please call us or visit us at our cosmetology instructors and advisors are standing by to help you start your career as a licensed Cosmetologist or freelance Cosmetologist immediately!