Apprentice changes face of beauty businesses – FE News

Apprentice changes face of beauty businesses – FE News

How an apprentice changed the marketing face of beauty businesses and secured his first job.

A NowSkills digital marketing apprentice has changed the face of a company’s entire marketing strategy. The digital apprenticeship provider’s client, Lipology® is a leading north west aesthetics training academy specializing in dermal fillers for the face and body since 2012.

The family-run company aims to make the aesthetics industry safe by creating safer techniques and educating practitioners to the highest standard via its academy in Wigan using up-to-the-minute training and bespoke techniques.

The company had not used apprentices before as a part of its recruitment strategy then following incredible demand for post pandemic aesthetics courses and wholesale products, there was an opening in the marketing department, and it was at this point that the team felt that bringing an apprentice on board could bring huge benefits.

Prior to the digital marketing apprentice joining, Lipology’s digital marketing was mainly regular posts to Facebook and Instagram, plus some email marketing, which created awareness of new courses and products by organic means amongst existing customers and followers. Courses were booked via the website and products such as serums, fat dissolvers and other equipment were purchased through the website, with orders taking 2 days from order to delivery. Lipology did source external marketing support and was set up with third parties such as an SEO company and web designer.

New apprentice-led digital marketing strategy

NowSkills recruited and placed Rhys Perkins, a 19-year-old from Formby, Liverpool to be Lipology’s digital marketing apprentice in July 2021. Since then, Rhys has completely overhauled the digital marketing strategy implementing many new activities and techniques, increasing awareness, improving sales and significantly streamlining other processes, including.

  • Increases organic Facebook and Instagram posts and interactions by 100%, improving the quality of content
  • Set up Facebook business manager/business suite and the creation of targeted adverts across Facebook and Instagram to sell training courses and products, increasing wholesale product sales by 200% and course sales by 50%
  • Implemented new website plug-ins to improve response time for logistics – product delivery time has increased by 50%
  • Digital marketing SWOT resulting in a new digital communications strategy
  • Website overhaul: working closely with web designers to optimize the website and increase speed and traffic by 150%
  • SEO audit and replacing current under-performing SEO providers

Says Director, Katie Hughes: ‘We’ve been working with NowSkills for just over a year from the point that we decided to bring on board a digital marketing apprentice. I’d heard about NowSkills from various business owners around the northwest and I felt that the company’s ethos and ease of finding you the right candidate just made sense. The whole process was smooth, fast and the NowSkills team presented us with a number of high-quality candidates, with Rhys being the one that fit with our organization. We could not imagine our business without him’

Continues Katie: ‘We’re a small family business, which has rapidly grown since the pandemic, going from four directors to over 12 employees. We’re very pleased for our industry that the popularity of aesthetics is still growing despite the impact of Covid-19, and now that we have an apprentice, we’ve been able to raise our digital marketing game to the next level thanks to his specialist skills and training, which we’ve incorporated into the business. We are experts in beauty and aesthetics and admittedly dinosaurs when it comes to digital marketing. We thought we knew a little digital marketing; enough to generate ongoing general awareness mainly using social media, but we’ve been blown away by Rhys’ knowledge and ability to apply those learning to improve our business.

‘As a business we used a wide range of IT and digital applications including social media for awareness, WooCommerce and CRM systems. Our apprentice has made a number of digital improvements which has enabled us to speed up our productivity and processes and helped take the emphasis off the management team by looking after the digital marketing so we can run the business and teach the aesthetic courses. We were simply scratching the surface of what digital marketing could do for Lipology and thanks to the NowSkills digital marketing course and Rhys’ ongoing training and development, he’s brought skills and techniques to our business that we’d just never be aware of.’

Lipology’s thoughts on using apprentices in business

As a small business, this is Lipology’s first apprentice, that has clearly brought huge benefits and enabled a business to grow and flourish. The company is now a huge advocate for using apprentices across many sectors in businesses of all sizes. Says Katie: ‘We’ve always been keen on training our employees and now we have apprenticeships as an offering, its another great way to support learners to develop a career within a real work setting. Apprentices bring so much to business from having a fresh new outlook, continually updated (very specific) skills and they are able to implement and knowledge of the latest technology, tips and tricks that they learn, most of which we have incorporated in to the business .

‘We’re not allowing Rhys to leave Lipology and following our positive experience, and will be offering him a full time role when he’s completed his course in September. We are also keen to recruit additional apprentices as the business grows. Apprentices are usually fresh out of school or college and in return for up-to-the-minute digital marketing techniques, we immerse them in our work life, work family and company policies, ensuring they are fully trained and integrated into our business and ethos. All employees, our apprentice included, attend regular staff meetings at which they are encouraged to voice their opinions, and this is invaluable on-the-job experience for Rhys as he gets to work with different people. We teach our apprentice about working life, employment law and we partner with third party suppliers working on our business to give our apprentice a wide range of tasks and experiences which link to their apprenticeship.’

The benefits of working with a specialist IT & digital provider

As a specialist in this area, NowSkills offers a variety of digital marketing courses which are bespoke to many employers. Says Katie: ‘NowSkills’ courses have clearly been thought out with both the apprentice and the business in mind. They offer a wide variety of courses which can suit any business. We’ve been particularly impressed with the online learning portal, which is accessible for the apprentice and the mentor, Katie. The apprentice attends college for six weeks throughout the apprenticeship, which is broken down to suit the business so that they are not out of the office for huge chunks of time, and this really works well for us. The apprentice also has time off the job to complete assignments and study towards exams. NowSkills have various locations across the northwest so finding a center close by was easy.

‘The tutors and support team are like having an extended family. Nothing is too much trouble; they answer your questions very quickly, support the mentors and the business on everything from recruiting to applying for funding for your apprentice. Overall, just amazing.’

The apprentices view

Says Rhys Perkins: ‘I am really enjoying my apprenticeship at Lipology and I’m proud of the skills and knowledge that I’ve been able to apply to the digital marketing to help improve some areas. I’ve particularly enjoyed working with other partner organizations such as the web agency as they have also trained me and taught me wider digital skills and I have gained valuable experience going offsite and working with this additional team. I’ve enjoyed my course with NowSkills and would encourage other school and college leavers to investigate apprenticeships as an alternative to A Levels and university.’

Top 3 things about working with NowSkills



-Course content

Says NowSkills MD, Mark Norse:

‘We work with such a vast range of companies of all shapes and sizes and what is clear about this case study is how clearly a digital marketing apprentice has benefited a smaller company. A talented, enthusiastic apprentice can go in, get trained up on the client’s systems and free up valuable time for professionals like Katie and the other Lipology directors to do what they do best, whilst learning vital digital marketing skills along the way to continually benefit the business and their future careers.’

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