What if you had a job that gave you the flexibility of taking an active role in your children’s lives?
Building a natural hair or braid freelance business allows you to leverage your own skills in your career and be present for the moments of your child’s lives you want to: teaching them during the day, picking them up from school, or taking them to soccer practice.
In the US, the number of parents staying home with their children has risen 60 percent since 2019. As technology advances, there are different tools and software that empower professionals to work from home (whether as a freelancer or for a company).
Freelancing has several benefits for stay-at-home mothers. As a self-employed freelancer, you would be in charge of your hours, work flexibility, and rates.
With all of the options available online, you might not know where to start.
Here are steps you can take to build your natural hair or braid freelance business as a stay-at-home mother:
Write down a list of your skills and interests. Don't try to do every service. Find your niche and master those techniques. Become a loctician or maybe your talent is crocheting. There are so many stylists that make a killing installing wigs. Figure out what you love then be honest with yourself and ask the question "am I good at it?" Once you have those answers, create a small list of services you will offer clients.
● If you’ve worked in project management, maybe you could create an online beauty business.
● Are you great at writing? Maybe you could write articles, blogs, or eBooks for those who want to learn more about natural hair braids, or locs.
Build onto your current skills. Start by paying attention to what is in demand now and what you are most interested in. Then, find courses to enhance your skills and increase your value as a freelancer.
Invest time or money into learning sales and marketing. One part of being a freelancer is being able to market yourself to clients. Read books, take courses, or work with a beauty business coach like Tonika Outerbridge so you can enhance the way you market yourself.
Use your skills to work your way up. If you can, start with friends and family to build your portfolio ie Instagram. Consider it on-the-job training! Reach out to friends, family, or former colleagues to see if your services can help them at a discounted rate. After the service is complete, ask them for a detailed testimonial!
Create an online presence. Whether you use a social media platform, a website, or both, you should have a place online where future clients can learn more about you. Let your online platform paint a picture of what it would be like to work with you.
Find a community of other natural hair or braid freelancing stay-at-home moms. Get support, ask for advice, Or make networking connections with other moms who will understand your unique challenges.
Include taxes and benefits in your rates. As an employee of a company, the company offers you benefits such as health insurance, paid time-off, and sometimes 401k matching. They also pay for a portion of your taxes. As you estimate your freelance rates, consider taxes and benefits.
Decide how you will spend your time. Freelancing as a stay-at-home mother gives you the flexibility of time. When will you work on your business? Will it be while your children are at school or napping? Decide in advance the times you will definitely spend on your business.
Grow your Instagram/ portfolio of reviews or testimonials. Showcasing reviews or testimonials of your work will help build your trust and credibility with people who want to work with you. Ask former colleagues, bosses, and clients to write a descriptive review of your strengths, skills, and why they enjoyed working with you.
The transition into a freelancing natural hair or braid stylist may sound daunting at first. But you can make the transition simple by taking everything one step at a time.
I was once a single mom doing hair at home and going to clients' homes and was able to sustain myself and my son for 18 years. Building a business as a stay-at-home mother can give you the flexibility and freedom to be present in your children’s lives. Before you know it, your babies will become adults and parents themselves. Making the time to be a significant part of their lives is priceless.