You’ve decided to become a freelance makeup artist. But how do you get more clients? It can be tough to figure it out. I’ve helped friends get their first clients and grow their freelance career into a successful full-fledged business by helping them with some simple steps. If you follow this easy process, you can also grow your freelance makeup career into a successful full-time business.
But first here’s a little background:
Being a website designer and marketing specialist I get a lot of questions from friends that do freelance work, want to start a business, or already own one and want more clients. While I honestly know nothing about actually being a makeup artist (MUA), I do know proven strategies that can help build any business. Each business is different, but as long as you have the ability to be good at what you do, I have the ability to teach you how to build yourself or your brand. In this article, I will share with you what I usually charge clients for. Here is a list of things you can do to promote yourself or your business, as a makeup artist.
The main concept I’m assuming is, you know what you’re doing and you’re good at it. To be successful in any business, you obviously need to know what you’re doing. If I decided to become an MUA, I’d fail miserably! I have the know-how on how to market the subject matter but have no clue about actual makeup products or how to apply them. That’s your field of study or expertise, and successfully marketing any business is mine. Without further ado, let’s explore 5 techniques and strategies that have worked for me in the past for promoting future professional makeup artists.
- Business Cards
- Makeup Artist Portfolio and Blogs
- Build Relationships and Networking
- Influencer Marketing
- Social Media
This one is pretty simple and cheap but it’s a must-have. Make yourself business cards! If you are tech savvy you can save yourself some money from having a graphic designer design business cards for you. It doesn’t need to be something amazing though. From my experience, something simple works just fine. Your name, a way to contact you (preferably a phone number, but not necessary), and a link to your portfolio will be fine. There are plenty of companies that will print your design and ship them to you. They will even give you templates to choose from that look really good. You just fill in your name/business name and other info, and it’s ready to go. Vista Print makes it really easy and has some great template designs that will work just fine. To start I would suggest getting around 500 cards, you can get them for around $9.99 from whatever business card company you end up choosing. Once you get your cards, start passing them out to anyone you can. Getting your name out there is the key here.
Makeup Artist Portfolio and Blogs
This is probably the most important thing on this list. Almost any potential client is going to want to see your work. The better it looks, the higher chance a potential client will become a paying client. Make sure you have all the social media platforms that you use covered. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, and Pinterest are without a doubt the top social media sites in your industry. You’re the pro makeup artist here, so I’ll assume you have some other sites you turn to for makeup tips and info. Be active on those sites as well. If they have blogs, comment on them and share your knowledge. Many times this will lead to them viewing and/or sharing your portfolio. Now here’s the important part, your actual portfolio. You want to give potential clients the impression you are professional. While using social media to display your portfolio might work for some, I promise their potential isn’t being maximized. They could get a lot more clients if they had a website with a portfolio and other info. With a website of your own, you can also start writing blogs of your own. Sharing info, tips and news is a great way to build your client base. You can also write guest blogs on popular blogging sites within the industry, but having your own will without a doubt be more beneficial to you. Even if you do have your own, I still suggest writing guest blogs if you’re just starting out. I’m not just telling you this is the most important because I’m a web designer, I’ve seen the results with previous clients. Having your own website is going to set you apart from the rest of the competition, and I can tell you from doing Google keyword research, the makeup industry is VERY competitive. Having your own site is also going to get you clients from those Google searches. Google performs over 40,000 search requests per second. If you aren’t utilizing the potential of your own website, you are missing out on clients plain and simple. ARCtrinity can build you a site depending on your needs. If you’re just starting out, I get it, you want to keep it as cheap as possible. Even a simple website is going to pay huge dividends in the long run and won’t cost you that much money. We also build sites using WordPress so it’s easy for you to start blogging yourself also.
Build Relationships and Networking
The best way to grow or get your first clients when you are just starting out is creating a relationship with local bridal business’s (assuming that’s the niche of makeup artistry you’re in). It can actually end up being pretty profitable for you. Go into local bridal shops, bakeries, and wedding planners and ask them to pass out your information to any bride that doesn’t have a makeup artist yet. In exchange, you will share their information and services with your clients. You need to give them a reason to work with you. Another great way to build your client base is to work with other makeup artists, photographers, and models. Teaming with another qualified makeup artist is perfect for overflow. You can recommend each other to clients that you can’t take on yourself. Instead of pushing the client away because you don’t have the time to do their makeup, refer them to your ‘teammate’. This can help maintain a future relationship with the client so you have the potential to work with them in the future. Photographers and models are pretty self-explanatory. Many times their clients have a high need for your service so try to make friends with as many as you can! While promoting your business to people, try to uncover other needs. If they need a photographer, let your photographer partner talk to them. While you may not get an actual client from referring, the person you referred them to is much more likely to do the same back to you. Another unlikely friend to make are website and graphic designers. They see a wide variety of businesses and clients. They can pass along your info to potential clients for you. I have a lot of clients in many different industries and after asking my client if it’s okay, I pass along information to other businesses, generally friends, that may create a good relationship which helps both of our businesses. I’ve done photography websites, other makeup artists sites, and many more that would be very beneficial to an aspiring makeup artist. You can see why this would be a great relationship to establish.
I wrote another blog on influencer marketing so I won’t go into too much detail here because you can read that article if you want more in-depth information. What is influencer marketing? Essentially it’s getting people with large followings on social media to promote your company for you. This is really powerful because word of mouth advertising is highly beneficial to yourself or your business. While this can be expensive for many other industries, being a makeup artist can really cut down on the cost or even be ‘free’. Free is in quotes because time is money and this method will take up some of your time. So we’ve all seen people on social media, mainly Instagram and YouTube, use or recommend a product on their page, video, or feed. The way you can utilize this is doing a free makeover or give them tips on doing their own makeup. In turn, they will share your information/name on their page. Studies show that even if someone doesn’t know them personally (just on social media), marketing-induced consumer-to-consumer word of mouth generates more than twice the sales of paid advertising. Of those consumers that were acquired through word of mouth had a 37 percent higher retention rate. Technical talk aside, it means they are twice as likely to become a client of yours, and they are much more likely to come back to you when they need the service again.
I won’t go into this one very much either. You NEED to be active on all major social media platforms. Post images, tips, videos, how to’s, etc. You don’t need to pay for advertising when you’re just starting out but should really consider it once you grow and are making some revenue. Advertising on Facebook is a great tool as it lets you reach a specific target audience and give you analytics to see what’s working and what isn’t working. If you need some ideas we’ve created a great starter guide on post ideas for social media. It gives you ideas for 31 days of posting. After each month you can analyze the data and adjust it to see what works best and implement that in the next month’s posts. Making videos and posting pics of your work is a great way to draw in fans and potential clients. One big tip here is lighting. Make sure you have optimal lighting when taking pictures and recording videos. Also, we highly recommend filling in your business profile page information as much as you can and link your professional portfolio link. This is a great opportunity to get visitors to your site which will help a lot with search engine optimization (SEO) as well as Google page ranking.
I really hope this information can help as many people as possible. I had a good time writing this because if you follow these steps it can really bring your makeup artist career to the next level. Seeing people succeed is a great feeling. We generally charge our clients thousands of dollars for info just like this but it’s great to help people that are just starting out and need as much help as possible to see their dream career come to life. It may seem tough in the beginning, or even if you’ve been doing this for a while, but don’t give up. As long as you’re good at what you do, have the right tools to market yourself such as the info above, and work hard, you can get anything done. If you enjoyed this article leave a comment below and sign up for our newsletter to get more articles on marketing techniques.