10 Practical Beginner Nail Tech Tips from The Great


What are the similarities between royalty and a nail tech? Behind the glitz and glamour, there's a lot of things that run behind it, from responsibilities, ambitions, politics, and serving the people. You don't have to be a history nerd to know how Russia was a powerhouse empire and how Catherine the Great became one of the most well-known rulers of the country. 

Becoming a nail tech is similar to being royalty; you need to be strategic and determined to run an empire which means it's your nail business. You should also be creative enough to win the people's hearts, a.k.a. your clients or prospects.

If you want to feel inspired by how Girlboss, Catherine the Great was, and learn a couple of tips and tricks on how you can start your nail tech journey, then you can stream The Great on Hulu. Disclaimer, this blog has spoilers from the Season 1 of the show, so read at your own risk.


1. Manage your expectations


Why is it important to manage your expectations as a beginner nail tech? The answer is that it will help you set realistic goals and have a healthy yet balanced point of view on working as a newbie nail professional. You can't expect to have a fully booked month if you haven't done anything to market yourself as a nail tech.

The first few weeks or months can be an overwhelming feeling of excitement and anxiousness, but the sooner you know what it's like in the real nail industry world, the better. When Catherine came to the Russian court and met Peter, the emperor, she had an idealistic perception of life as royalty and romance, but she learned of the cold, hard truth of what it means to be royalty and adulting, so it seems.

This is why it's also crucial for you to be prepared before launching your nail business. You can read self-help books or listen to nail industry podcasts to help you gauge the competition and get best practices from nail pros around the world. It's better to manage your expectations and accept the reality that being a newbie doesn't mean you have to know everything instantly but learn throughout the process and enjoy the rollercoaster ride.


2. Network and collaborate with people


Since Catherine was new to the Russian culture and throne, she didn't have any friends, which is why she became solitary at first, but soon she found some friends and is willing to be an ally for her cause as empress. At first, being new in the nail industry can feel lonely since all you do is hustle, and sometimes it's hard to reach out to people who can mentor and can collaborate with you since you're just beginning, but don't hesitate to do so! 

Networking and collaborating with nail techs from all walks of life can help you grow as a nail business owner. Here at iGel Beauty, we have a Facebook community where talented and supportive nail techs and entrepreneurs gather for the love of nails.

Don't be shy to join our iGel Beauty Army! We're here to help you out and support you in your nail journey. You'll definitely need allies and ammunition (nail products) for the long battle ahead.


3. Establish your name/ brand as a nail tech


Of course, once you launch your nail business and become a nail tech, you want to put out the good word that you're out there for your clients. You want to build a good reputation in the long run, whether you're selling diy press- on nails or doing nail art designs for clients. When in doubt, go back to your business plan or study how other successful nail techs have done it.

You have to remember that you have a brand to run, and how can you make a name for yourself in this digitally saturated world? Think about Cardi B's nail tech, Jenny Bui, and how she rose to fame for being dedicated to her craft.

Of course, it's okay to have ambitions and goals, but you can always do it one step at a time. For Catherine, she had to prove herself to her subjects. You also have to do the same to your clients while you're building your nail business from scratch.


4. Be strategic as an entrepreneur


To be a successful nail tech in the industry, it's not enough for you to be talented or intelligent, but you also have to be strategic in all that you do. After all, you have a business that you have to sustain and run. Catherine learned that you have to be strategic and have allies on your side as a royal.

It's not enough for you to be well-equipped with resources and be content with what you have. The same thing goes for being a nail tech or an entrepreneur; being strategic will help you propel your business to your intended goals and vision.

5. Be true to who you are


Catherine learned the hard way of being true to who you are. Sometimes people or society will tell you what you should do or who to be, but you should always trust your instincts and be authentic. When you're running a nail business, it's easy to be swayed by the numerous online tips on how to be a successful nail tech or be envious of the Instagram-worthy nail designs of other nail professionals.

You have to remember what your brand is all about who you are as a nail tech. It's best to stick to your principles and personal boundaries once you're starting your nail tech journey so you won't be having a hard time losing yourself in the process of building your business.

6. Strive to be better


If you're a newbie nail tech, it's easy to get lost in the hustle and bustle, from building your brand to dealing with nail clients. You have to make room for practicing your nail designs because you love nails aside from work to strengthen your expertise and work on your weaknesses. As someone still starting in their nail tech journey, you have to stay on guard and not be complacent since the first few years of working in your business are crucial for your brand. 

According to research conducted by CBS Insights, about 95 percent of startups fail in their first year. Don't let the fear of failure stop you from running your nail business effectively, and always work on making nail designs that are masterpieces that make you feel fulfilled and your clients happy. For Peter, he wanted to be a better husband to Catherine and won her affection back for their marriage.

7. Use your influence for good


You don't have to be a royalty or an influencer to spread your love for nails! As a nail tech, you can use the platform that feels natural to you to share your nail designs, create a community, and leave a positive impact in the world.

Of course, it's a bonus point if you already have a community or a good amount of followers who love your work before you become an official nail tech since it will give your business a boost.

Nevertheless, don't forget the essence of being an influencer. Always keep your audience in mind and share your passion with them. Catherine shared her love for arts with Peter and the Russian court, which led them to embrace arts and culture.

8. Work on building relationships with your clients


It's not easy to build a community, let alone grow a business side by side, but being a nail tech requires you to wear multiple hats. Your nail clients are a huge factor in building a sustainable nail business which is why you need to create a strong relationship with them. Just remember you and your client have one thing in common: love for your nails. You can use it as a starting point to connect with your clients and make them feel at ease.

At first, getting clients can be slow, but consistency is the key to marketing and putting your nail business out there. You will eventually attract your dream clients and have a fully booked calendar in the future as long as you keep on moving forward.

Once you already have a client, please do your best to show them who you are and build your nail tribe as you go. You and your clients are in this nail tech journey together so, don't forget to bring them along in the process. Peter and Catherine tend to have a love-hate relationship, but they know that they are a team; in this case, your clients are your allies!

9. Doing what you love can be challenging


Doing nail art designs as a hobby is different from running a nail business. Being an entrepreneur can be challenging since you have a lot of things on your plate to consider, but it doesn't mean there's no fun in doing them. It's a matter of changing your perspective when you realize you're waking up every morning and doing what you love as a job. Isn't it enough motivation?

Yes, being new in the nail industry can have its fair share of ups and downs, but just like every journey, it will help you grow as a person and as a nail professional. Catherine has to face a series of challenges and obstacles to prosper her goal of becoming the sole ruler of Russia, and it hasn't been a smooth one. Sometimes, she wants to give up, but her determination still helps her continue, and you should too when things get rough as a nail tech.


10. You have to fight or stand up for your brand


Do you 100 percent believe in your nail business? How about your capabilities as a nail tech? It's normal for us to doubt ourselves occasionally, but if you believe in your brand's vision and goals, you should continue the good fight.

For Catherine, she believed in making Russia a better country than it was and her rise to being an empress wasn't all bed and roses since she had to fight the doubters and her fears.

The competition in the nail industry can be tricky, and sometimes you need to have a thick skin and a good head on your shoulders to carry on despite the hurdles you will encounter. Running a business is never an easy feat, but you can take your business to different heights and places with your bravery and determination. Your success also boils down to your mindset and how you practice mental health care




You don't have to pressure yourself to be the greatest nail tech the world has ever known immediately. Remember, there's no shame in humble beginnings; we're sure you'll achieve great things in time! You can join our iGel Beauty Facebook community to connect with like-minded nail professionals who are goal-getters and changemakers as well!