By katie masters


Times are so effing weird right now. As many of you know, I am a nail artist and I have been shut down (twice now) due to Covid. Like, I don't even have access to my salon right now which is even more bizarre because I had to pack up as much as I could fit in my suitcase and leave. Which means no income, eee scary. So back in April, I hunkered down, set up a whole at home office, and launched a brand new press-on nail business. First things first, I had to figure out how to build an online shop from scratch (one of the most frustrating things, why didn't anybody tell me this?!), then figure out how press-ons even work (like why is this a world of difference from real in person nails?), and finally I had to figure out how the hell I am supposed to package these things and ship them?! But a lot of tears and stress acne later, I made the jump and did it. Flaws and all.




And here we are now and I have restocked FOUR times and have continuously sold out every single time in under 5 minutes each. Which is UNREAL. I've learned so many things in the last few months about starting an online business and have made tons of mistakes. But the main lesson (or realization?) that I've learned throughout this whole process is understanding the importance of marketing. It's interesting because I have always been so obsessed with figuring out what makes businesses thrive vs. not, and the importance of branding. And I can tell you from first hand experience, if I didn't dive DEEP into social media marketing techniques through webinars, podcasts, never ending research, etc. I wouldn't be selling out my press-ons, I wouldn't have a full salon clientele book, and I for sure wouldn't be writing this right now.  And during this current messy climate we are in, it's more important than ever to be able to market yourself online and stick out from your competition. ESPECIALLY if you are starting to pivot your business into online sales, or jumping into different revenue streams. 

So let me just start talking about my Instagram strategy. I've shared these strategies with several people in my industry and it has seriously made me so happy seeing the techniques change up their game as well.

It's a pretty simple formula honestly, but the hard work and results comes in the details and the actual work of doing it all. My basic Instagram marketing formula I have created is as follows:


I know this sounds basic, but it is SO. key. I mean think about it, that's the FIRST thing people see. There is no context, no explanation, just a picture. And if that picture isn't eye catching enough or bright enough, people are just going to move on. Think about how many pictures you scroll through on instagram. Next time you scroll, be extra mindful about what types of pictures you aren't even stopping for and which ones you ARE stopping for. What is catching your attention and why? Now use that to figure out how you want to approach your brand. Take a look at the below photos and the difference in the way each photo is portraying the same product and maybe the way each one makes you feel about the product:

rose quartz press on nails darker photorose quartz press on nails final photo



Now that you have super great pictures that are grabbing your audience's attention, what are you doing to KEEP that attention? How are you keeping them engaged with your products and your brand? Pictures truly aren't enough but they help put that first foot in the door into new customers' hearts and into our second form of marketing, engagement. Ask yourself why you tend to like one blogger on instagram more than the others? Why do you choose to follow some of your peers but not all of them? Why are you commenting and engaging with one person more than the other on Instagram? What do you find most interesting about your favorite bloggers and small business brands? Think about all of those things and figure out how you can really put that into play with YOUR business. Study your faves.


Now that you have great pictures and great engagement, ask yourself how you are building your BRAND to complete this whole equation! What makes your products YOURS and no one else's? Because truth is, there are so many products out there that are just like yours, so how are you making your brand stick out from the competition? Branding plays such a huge role in my business. Almost every nail technician I follow right now has put out press on nails as well, and some very common messages that I keep receiving are "how do I get people to buy my press ons?" or "I literally haven't sold ONE, how do I do this?!" And as much as I wish I could give them a one word answer, there is so much more depth to it! Because the truth is, most of our products are so similar, but what makes mine different, is that they are MINE. What makes yours different is that they are YOURS. So how are you harnessing your style and branding? Because your product is your business, but you are your brand.


I think right now is such a good time to refresh and educate yourself on all things marketing related because of all of these changes that are forcing us to pivot into more online based sales and new business ventures all together.

So with all of that, I have really good news. I have an online course on each of those segments!!! AHHHHHH.


 I called it my Instagram 3 part series where each part is exactly what I listed above.

You can buy just one or all three together! It's of course all up to you and your needs.

Feel free to head over to my Online Courses page or click here to get some more information! 



  • These tips are brilliant and I want to follow all these for my business too! Especially, “ENGAGEMENT” is the most important for any online business growth. By the way, the list is really great to follow. Check and 12 Ways Payroll Data Can Help You Save Money. Please keep up the good work!

    ThePayStubs on

  • I’ve been following you and other nail experts for months trying to figure out how I can grow my business in the pandemic. you’ve been helpful. thank you

    Abi on

  • Thanks for sharing. Loved this blog post and how you shared what you’ve learned. I appreciate it.

    Victoria Kluver on

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published