The Nail On SundayLeo Ko-Nkengmo
Issue 2, 7th March 2021
Welcome to another issue of The Nail On Sunday. This week we are discussing Nail art inspiration and creation. Delve into the world of Social media marketing to get you back on the road to business recovery. Understand how to manager social media and mental health and open up the dreaded, but necessary Covid conversation about understanding the chain of infection for safer lives, safer business.
We talk competing internationally with Jade Barber and of course we have our Brand Spotlight.
The Chain of infection
So this week I thought it may be useful to talk a little about the chain of infection. Understanding this key concept helps all the other information relating to infection prevention and control fall in to place. As you can see in the diagram there are 6 elements to the chain, and we will look at these elements in turn.
PATHOGEN – the pathogen is the ‘germ’ that causes the infection, disease or illness. SOURCE – is the ‘body’ that the pathogen lives and multiples within. It could be a human, an animal, food, and even water or soil, (we will focus on a human source). MEANS OF EXIT – is how the pathogen leaves the body.
This could be via the nose or mouth from coughing or sneezing, or from an open wound on the skin. MODE OF TRANSMISSION – is how the pathogen is passed between people. It could be from directly touching the infected person, or it could be via indirect-contact from touching an object that has been contaminated by the infected person. It could also be airborne, meaning it is passed through the air. MEANS OF ENTRY – is how the pathogen enters the next person.
This could be from inhaling the pathogens through the nose and mouth, touching the mouth/nose/eyes with contaminated hands, or touching food with contaminated hands prior to eating. It may also enter via broken skin. (Contact with contaminated bodily fluids is also a risk). LEVEL OF VULNERABILITY – everyone has a different level of risk. Some people are more vulnerable due to age and pre-existing medical conditions.
The beauty with the chain of infection is that it needs EVERY link to be in place in order to transmit an infection. By breaking just one link we can stop it in its tracks. As professional therapists, our power is in controlling the mode of transmission, by following strict hygiene and decontamination processes. If we can break this chain, we can in theory, prevent the spread of infection. We can also control the means of entry (to protect ourselves) with the use of PPE and following best practise guidance. We will discuss both of the these in further detail in the coming weeks!
Nail Creation Inspiration
What do you look for when looking for inspiration, do you look at nail pictures after nail pictures or do you look outside the box if you let your imagination run the possibility’s are endless. Inspiration is everywhere, I like to look outside and the box and see where my mind takes me, looking at different colour shades and textures inside and outside the home, to looking at fabrics, art, wallpapers, current fashion and so much more. Looking at different items for inspiration pushes your artistic skills and can push you to try more things with nail art.
I would like to set a mini fun challenge and for you take part in finding something for your inspiration and doing 1 nail tips around this inspiration and then posting both photos in the group. Really push yourself with this one and look everywhere to get your creative side flowing. When using different mediums within nail art what are your favourite things to use? Do you stick to the same mediums as you find this easier or do you try different mediums and challenge yourself to trying new skills, With so many different products available these days to create 3d-4d work I think it always good to have a try and test your skills with different mediums, we all sometimes stay within our comfort zones as we think it is easy and what works best, but unless we challenge ourselves we only limiting ourselves. Here’s some examples of my work when i really had to think outside of my comfort. Using different mediums I created these parts of my competition pieces to add texture and interest and to show different skills.
The different mediums I find can give old techniques a new spin, I was really inspired by Kate Taylor’s me to you bears she used gel to create the bears and her piece, you would normally many others using acrylic which is still great, but for me I love to see how one can use all different mediums and push themselves to see what can be created from all what is available. I find working with nail putty also gives your more scope as you can play and mould before you cure so it won’t set, I love that is it easy to file and you can add in finer details with a e-file to. Always keep your mind open to trying new techniques and all the mediums that are available for us to purchase.
To echo what Carly is explaining, thinking outside the box is the way forward to start creating unique nail art pieces. whether is be for fun, competitive activity, to showcase skills or to educate others, ensuring you build skills and try different mediums is key, but where does it all start?
For me personally it starts with the idea. I look at current trends, art work, fashion, travel inspiration and culture photography to spark ideas. Most of the time I think of the theme of my piece first and then search all of these stations for the inspiration to light the idea.
Google images, Pinterest, online magazines and social media are just some of the tools i use to research when looking for inspiration. I find that there is so much content out there that you may not initially think of.
For one of my recent Competition pieces, I wanted to create something that looked Celtic and I needed ideas for colour. I came across this Celtic art piece on Pinterest and decided to uses similar colours to create a one nail in focus entry.
I loved the turquoises, blues and greens together and finished off with the gold I think made the colours stand out even more.
I also looked at ideas to make my piece more interesting and wanted to add texture, 3D elements and interesting design. I used an e-file to create the shapes and holes in the nail and gel paint to create the rosette by curing brushed gel paint onto grease proof paper and then this cutting into ribbons to create the individual shapes. I feel there for i used three different mediums on this piece and therefor got a really unique result. I urge you to try Carly’s challenge and think outside the box, you may be surprised with what you come up with.
This week we are showcasing the amazing products by Nailchemy Ltd. This family owned and run professional only nail product brand based in the beautiful county of Somerset UK offers a huge array of products and really is the one stop shop for all your professional nail creation needs. The brand owned and managed by Dave and Hayley Partridge provides all you need to expand you creativity while also offering tools of the trade and PPE and salon safety products.
Their amazing gel polish colour range is impressive and they offer full size 15ml bottles but also smaller 5ml bottles in some ranges to allow you to either trial the product or make it easier to round a larger range if you are a mobile tech. This is something I haven’t seen from other brands.
Last week they launched a new spring colour orientated acrylic range which we love and before that a beautiful neutrals gel colour range called The woodland Nymph collection.
The business also has an educational side. The Nailchemy Academy provides professional accredited courses to support your nail and beauty career development. Some of the courses available include product conversion courses for gel polish, Aura acrylic gel and more. They also provide full nail technician qualification courses and nail art workshops.
Check out their fab website here to browse their amazing products and courses. Nailchemy® – Gel Nail Polish – Artisan Gel Paints – Nail Art – Nailchemy Limited
Jade Barber has been in the nail and beauty industry for 8 years and is trained to the highest standards in Nails and Beauty and cosmetic tattooing. Jade is also a national and international Multi award-winning nail technician with over 40 trophies under her belt. Competing in floor/live competitions and online Jade is now also a International judge.
Jade explains “I have won awards in multiple areas including extreme shapes, business card, magazine nails, pop art, poster nails, nail tech of the year, industry trainer, health and beauty awards, new business, world skills, photographic entries and masters in salon nails to top it of I even took a Grand Prix, NBL award.” ” I took 1st please for regional nail technician of the year. Then won overall for the south of England nail technician of the year.”
She told me that she has spent these past years developing her own brand which is Nail and beauty excellence which we featured in last weeks publication. She has also developed online courses to support other existing techs and those who want to get into the nail tech world. She also supports a group of technicians that want to compete internationally with their nail art. A privilege that myself and Carly are part of. Jades supportive nature allows her to help the group to understand competition rules, themes and she offers advice on direction.
Jade highlights “I am a great believer that if you work hard enough, then you can achieve anything you want . You just need passion, dedication and a great mentor!” Jades 8 year journey has been one with hurdles of course but determination and motivation has been key in ensuring that all of her hopes and dreams come true. I feel that Jades inspiring story should be recognised and used as a bit of motivational inspiration for our own journeys.
Follow Jades journey here: http://www.nailandbeautyexcellence.com/
Social Media vs Anti-social behaviour
The doctor told me I need to start buying more nail polish. Also, I am calling myself THE DOCTOR now
I thought I would start this blog off with a little joke – You see, I live with A Nail tech. My wife Emma and If I was a jealous kind of guy – I would be very suspicious of the Mail man as he seems to be at our house bearing gifts for my wife more than I do… Not too self – Need to grab some flowers from the petrol station for her (Romantic fool that I am )
Anyway, back to the point of the joke. I often tease Emma that she is obsessed with Nail mail. She has more Nail ‘STUFF; than the sea has fish. I am sure most of you can recognise yourselves in Emma Keep convincing yourself that you need that extra polish etc (Queue the complaints – I’m tough – I can take it – I’m from Salford after all. )
All jokes aside Social media is very similar to the above scenario. We get sucked in to believing we need to be on there 24/7 constantly refreshing buy and sell sites trying to see if any one is asking for recommendations for Nail Techs, or checking out the competition. Damn you LinkedIn – you can’t snoop on there as it tells the person you viewed their profile. GGRR!! Wondering why your Facebook or Instagram page likes have gone down rather than up, and worst still getting sucked in to some drama and negativity that has absolutely nothing to do with us.
All the above is very bad for our Mental health and wellbeing. Being self employed is a tough gig. Yes, we get to pick our own hours – Do school run, have too many coffee breaks but we don’t tend to get paid for that kind of activity. For most Nail techs you have to be present with a hand in yours creating some lovely Nail art or colour combinations. It is very easy to fall into the trap of entering survival mode. And when we enter this state, we start throwing special deals and huge discounts all over social media to tempt people in to your salon. You start comparing your prices with others and question whether your good enough to charge those prices. You accept EVERY Client, some of whom will take advantage and don’t value you or your time.
STOP!! Just for a minute STOP what you are doing? Take a look at your social media feeds right now – you can come back and read the rest of the blog in a minute or 2. If you were a potential customer of your Salon would you be impressed? Would it make you want to book in straight away or has negativity sneaked in to your feed? The last 12 months have presented some incredibly tough challenges and we have needed to vent and offload and it feels natural to just go on your phone and start typing like a demon has possessed you but remember – your customers are seeing this. Keep socials social!
I will leave you with one thing, if you take this on board your life will change dramatically.
Social media is like the brain! Why? I hear you mouth! Well, let me explain. There is a specific part of the brain that stores the vital information that is important to you. The main way it determines what is important is what you are consistently thinking and feeling. It doesn’t discriminate between; Positive and negative it just opens up more opportunities for you too – So guess what? The more gratitude, Love, contentment you feel the more stuff that will make you feel all the above will manifest in to your life.
Here’s the thing – When you go on to Social media and comment on something you totally disagree with (Remember, William Wragg MP who appeared to laugh at the plight of Nail bars in the commons?) 1000’s of Nail Techs and Beauticians complained and said their piece on social media forums and shared videos and newspaper reports to their friends and customer base. All of a sudden, their news feed was filled with NEGATIVE reports about Nail bars and salons – this was having a negative impact on so many Technicians Mindset but Facebook, Twitter, Instagram don’t care that you don’t like those kinds of reports and videos on your news feed. It is just giving you more of what it believes you want. By you engaging with these posts – giving them oxygen the social media giants are just plying you with more and more stuff that you will engage with and complain about and slowly get dragged into a pit of despair.
The best thing you can do for your own mental health is connect and engage with those that inspire you, those that push you and support you. Spread positivity and your social media will return the same and this in turn will be picked up by customers and friends and put you in the best kind of light when its time to find those extra clients and unlike the ones that take advantage – you will fill that void with those that do value you, that will spread your work far and wide by singing and shouting all over social media about your fantastic creations. That has got too be a much better way to do business and use Social media.
Until next week
Social media, Social engagement
Although social media can be hard or even grinding at times. Its the modern day perfect tool to showcase yourself or business. Tools such as Facebook, Instagram, Tik Tok and Pinterest are all amazing platforms to highlight what your offering is business. Although the terms e-marketing and digital marketing are still dominant in academia, social media marketing is becoming more popular for both practitioners and researchers. Most social media platforms have built-in data analytics tools, allowing you to keep track of responses to your content. This is essential for knowing if people are interested in your business which also helps you understand what action people are going to take in terms of supporting your business.
Creating great content for your social media platforms is key to ensuring you get your message across. Society responds well to great content. Here’s some of my top tips to creating great engaging content.
- Research your customer. What do they want? what do they like? what do they want to see that will inspire them to use your products or services.
- Which social media platforms will you use? All the platforms are different and have to be used differently. Facebook is great as it has many features including adding business pages and groups to get more content out there. Instagram is also a fantastic platform and primarily visual which is great to aid quick, visual content to tell a story in a simplistic way.
- Choose a theme. Colour, good photography and consistency is key to creating content to build a relationship with potential customers. Consumers respond well to something that is pleasing on the eye. Matching colours, beautiful clear photographs and using the same font style throughout all created posts are just some of the ways you can engage that initial interest and sustain engagement.
- Make you content actionable. Adding a buy now phrase or button or a swipe up for more details action and so on can really intrigue potential customers to research further. Once they are in they are more likely to commit.
- Provide accurate information. If your stating something in your content make sure you have done your research to ensure this information is factual and correct. You don’t want your customers, existing or potential to doubt what your telling them as they will not stick around.
- Provide a solution. Going back to researching your customer. Find a solution to their need and provide answers in your social media content. This will attract the consumer and hook them in as they all want solutions and if they see that you are providing an answer then they are more likely to further their research about you or even commit to purchasing or using your services or goods.
- Be consistent. Don’t post once a week or even just twice. Consistency is key to engaging a following. Consistent posting with great content is a recipe for successful marketing growth. Once a day is ideal but if you cannot commit, at least post 4 to 5 times a week, otherwise people will lose interest and also not bother looking out for hats to come next from you.
- Use costumers content. Ask your customers to share their experience when using your products or services and ad a review or post themselves. Give them incentives to post good content that you can then share on your social media platforms as your content. this allows the customer to feel valued, and creates an even better relationship but also shows other customers that your offering is pleasing others.
I hope this has been helpful and I will be sharing more tips for marketing growth next week.
Thanks for reading our second issue of the Nail on Sunday and please feel free to share to others as it really helps us reach a greater audience and supports us to create better content knowing we are reaching more readers.