Michela Stanzione, 31, aka “The Nail Coach”: a self-taught branding expert with a passion for beauty in every form; an influencer with thousands of fans on the trendiest social network, Instagram (you can follow her @lacoachdelleunghie), where she shares the everyday reality of her job, managing to turn a simple profession into a successful digital brand.
Michela, tell us about your passion for the nail world: when did it start?
From an early age I have always dreamed of becoming a beautician; I’ve always been ambitious and a bit over the top, ready to constantly put myself out there – I am competitive, but only with myself.
In 2009, when my career began, I realized I wanted to bring a breath of fresh air to this sector, something new and innovative that not only excited me but also my customers. My passion comes from the need to do something exciting and share my emotions – not only through my technique, but also thanks to my personality.
So, after several experiments, I have managed to create what has become my “trademark” technique: a very natural looking effect, which I create combining customized gel colors and shapes in order to emphasize and complement the natural characteristics of each client’s hand.
How did you transform your passion and profession into a digital identity, becoming a nail-influencer with tens of thousands of followers?
About a year ago I started to share my work on social media, mostly Instagram and YouTube, with an instinctive and genuine approach. At the same time, I kept studying everything I could find on communication and social media in order to find my own voice and figure out the best way to connect with my audience.
I believe in high impact communication, without the need for too many “tricks”: captions, images, tags, keywords and publication times are fundamental, but the secret is to create a very recognizable identity, something unique, just like the nails I create.
I think of myself as halfway between entertainment and information; I enjoy the idea of pushing my audience to share and improve, I always felt like a coach at heart.
Is this why you have decided to call yourself “nail coach”?
Indeed. My greatest driving force, in addition to the support of my husband and my family, is precisely my desire to grow in my role as a coach. It is something that comes from within, in a completely natural way, an explosive and contagious energy that touches customers, colleagues, friends and followers alike.
Is this the secret behind your social media success?
I believe this is a key element of the relationship that I establish with my followers; I want to be perceived as a friend, as someone they can turn to for advice.
The same applies to customers. What I offer is definitely not a “last minute” treatment, whose aim is just the sale of a service, but a rewarding moment of human connection where fun, beauty and communication blend together like the shapes and colors that I apply on the nails. Gel, gel polish, regular polish…the only limit is creativity.
The choice of this nickname, the nail coach, definitely fits my personality and my profession: it is a method, a technique, a “voice”, a way to offer and receive advice, a desire to grow – all these elements come together to create what I call a nail coach.
Tell us about your brand. What are your goals? Do you see yourself as a reference point for this rapidly growing sector?
From 1 January 2019, thanks to the precious support of my family, I have my own registered trademark that encompasses my entire work and communication philosophy.
Social media are a very important tool when it comes to communicating my brand identity, because they act as a portfolio for my ideas and my emotions, allowing my followers to immediately understand what I’m about.
As always, my ambitions are high: the most important one is to promote the growth of this sector, to raise our potential, because together we can go much further.
Being successful on social media is just the beginning: I still have many surprises to unveil…
Can you tell us how do you come up with your ideas? Who is your inspiration?
To be honest, I do all my thinking in the shower! I try to maintain a certain spontaneity in my communicative approach, I do not follow storyboards or scripts. When I give a manicure to my clients I let inspiration guide me, in order to choose the shapes and colors that make them feel best.
Likewise, when it comes to social media I alternate different formats (questions, surveys, series, glimpses of my personal life, moments of fun and improv skits) to develop an actual relationship with my followers.
I guess I could say that The Nail Coach is Michela at its finest, a larger-than-life version of myself. Regardless, I don’t change my personality, I never play a character: I am the same person both on and off social media.
My main motivation has always come from my family and my husband, from the respect of my colleagues and my friends, from my clients, who constantly push me to improve, and lately from the “girls” and “boys” who support me on social media (I much prefer to call them that, as opposed to followers). They are my main inspiration.