Technician nails growth through support programme


Based in Preston, the Carrie-Leigh Allen Nail Academy specialises in teaching and upskilling industry professionals through training courses to suit different skill levels, from beginners to advanced, delivered in group workshop or 1-2-1 sessions. Established in 2017, the business is owned by Carrie-Leigh Allen, an award-winning nail artist and industry educator with 19 years’ experience.

With the business in its early stages, Carrie-Leigh was lacking in confidence in relation to using digital tactics to promote the academy and attract qualified and budding nail technicians to apply to her courses. In addition, she needed an effective website to increase awareness of her services and create a platform for sharing industry information through blog articles.


In order to achieve her business objectives and create a strong online presence, Carrie-Leigh approached Digital First, a team of digital specialists and students from the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) which helps promote and achieve growth through a range of digital tools and tactics.

Led by Daniel Livingstone, Project Manager, the Digital First ERDF team embarked upon a three-month programme of support, helping Carrie-Leigh to develop her business by harnessing a range of methods.

This included the creation of a new, responsive website which would perfectly showcase the business and Carrie-Leigh’s expertise, in addition to the compilation of a comprehensive digital marketing strategy to enable the effective promotion of the company. New logo concepts were also developed, enabling Carrie-Leigh to give her business a strong brand identity. 

The team also helped Carrie-Leigh to promote the academy’s services on social media platforms - including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, YouTube and Instagram - while implementing techniques to help her make the most of video content.   


As a result of the Digital First project, Carrie-Leigh has a modern website which is easy to maintain, meaning she is able to keep it updated with fresh, compelling content. Not only has her confidence increased, but she is now equipped with a range of valuable digital skills and knowledge to enable her to gain a competitive edge and achieve success.

Since receiving the support, Carrie-Leigh travelled to Chicago to participate in filming for a UK provider of hair and beauty vocational qualifications, VTCT. She was also named the Polish and Paint Nail Artist of the Year at the Scratch Stars Nail Awards in 2018; a much sought-after, respected accolade within her industry.

Carrie-Leigh said: “My clients are mostly self-employed nail technicians or nail salon owners who wish to refresh or learn new application and art techniques to enhance their own services. Once I began using the marketing strategy put in place by Digital First, particularly on my social media pages, this soon proved effective in driving more traffic to my website. I also noticed a rise in enquiries and bookings as a result.

“I learnt a great deal in relation to online marketing and also gained a good understanding of how websites are built and how to upload content, which has been extremely useful. Digital First’s support was a fantastic opportunity for me, and since the project I have been working towards offering online courses which is a significant development for my business.”

About Digital First

The Digital First project is funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), and provides services including digital strategy, app development, website evaluation and redesign, social media support, videography, CPD and training systems and camera drone photography.

For more information, contact Daniel Livingstone, Project Manager at Digital First ERDF, on 01772 895855 or or Madeleine Melling, Marketing and PR Officer at Digital First ERDF, on 01772 895654 or

Digital First

European Union