Getting Started as a Freelance Makeup Artist - QC Makeup Academy

Hey Guys!

Today I want to talk to you about starting out in freelance and how to go about working for yourself! If you’re planning to start your own business as a freelance makeup artist, heeding this advice will help you go far.

Be organized

As a freelancer, you will be booking clients, staying on top on emails, planning your own day, packing your own kit and being fully responsible for yourself, your business and your clients. Keeping organized books come tax time will not only save you time, but money, too.

The more organized your books are, the less your accountant has to do, (and the less they will charge you!). As well, showing your clients you are organized and on top of things helps them feel confident in your care.

For example, if you book a wedding a year in advance, touch base with the bride throughout the year. I make notes in my calendar when it’s time to touch base with a bride, reassure them of their choice and show them what you have planned. I always email my bride a rundown of the day about two weeks before the wedding as well. Even if we have been in close communication, I confirm all of the details to ensure there are absolutely no hiccups come wedding day.

getting organized as a makeup artistry business

Be tech-savvy

You may not be tech-savvy now, but with a few easy steps, you can be! Submerge yourself in social media and online culture, watch tutorials, start up a website and follow the steps provided to do so. I have been able to teach myself most things tech-related and it has saved me so much time and money.

Have a strong work ethic

When you first start out, you take anything you can get, work your hands dry and do it all over again the next day. Being able to say yes whenever you can (at the beginning) is very important in building a loyal clientele. Being flexible and available is important at the outset if you wish to one day work only the days and hours you please.

Stay relevant and current

Be constantly aware of current trends, products and styles. “Looking the part” is a big part of success in this industry, and showing up with beautiful makeup/hair and a polished style really helps people relax and relinquish control. Clients can be very particular about what they want, but in my experience, if they like the way you have put yourself together, they will ease back and give you more freedom.
You aren’t going to please everyone, so by no means change your personal style! Stay true to you, but ensure you appear as though you have put effort into your appearance. Styled hair, nice makeup and an accessorized outfit (no matter how early the call) shows that you care. Caring about yourself makes it easier for others to believe you care about them!

freelance makeup artist applying makeup

Maintain a strong online presence

Get involved in social media! I have to credit social media for much of my success. It is a cost-effective way to get your name and work out there, and if used correctly, your work will be shared with friends of friends of friends!
Posting regularly is important. Keeping people engaged in your social platforms by using giveaways or web trends like tagging friends will really help spread the word. At the end of the day, your work speaks for itself and word-of-mouth is still the most effective means of marketing.

Uphold strong morals and ethics

Showing your clients you genuinely care for them is important. You are in an industry where beauty is the focus, but that doesn’t mean it’s the only focus. My clients are so important to me and I learn so much about them each time I see them.

If you have a lot of clients and it’s hard to keep track, create client files. Jot down personal info about them that they have told you. Before their appointment, read through their file and refresh your memory. Remembering small details really makes them feel special and hey, that’s why we do what we do!

Practice good morals in your business by running a fair, ethical business. If you enforce a cancellation fee but your client has given you more than enough time to book someone else, waive the fee. Little things like this really show your clients you aren’t in it for the money, and that although it is your bread and butter, you are human first!

makeup artist applying makeup

Be assertive!

This may seem contradictory coming right after the ethical section, but being assertive and not putting up with nonsense is very important in business ownership and freelancing. There are people who will try to take advantage of you or treat you poorly. You are your own boss, so whatever you are willing or not willing to take is totally your call.

If part of your business practice is that you don’t book Sundays, don’t let someone try to bully you into working. Stay strong in your choice. You work hard and deserve a day off! Staying sane and enjoying time with friends and family is important and helps you run a better business through the week. Maybe you don’t want to text clients and prefer to do business dealings via email. Once you make a few exceptions, it’s hard to turn back! Instead, politely let your client know your preferences and policies and don’t waver.

At QC, we set you up for success in your career. Check out these flexible online makeup courses to get started on your makeup career today!

Author Brittany Hall

More posts by Brittany Hall

Join the discussion 11 Comments

  • Lisa Dimico says:

    My dream and career aspiration’s include being a makeup artist doing that by starting my own business. I read your blog and am getting as much knowledge as I can to become a success.
    thank you,

  • Marly says:

    Thank you for the post. very insightful information.

  • Chantey says:

    Brittany, thank you for you advise. It was filled with helpful reminders. I’m just now taking my business to the next level and gobbling up all the information I can get.

  • De'Eddra says:

    I would like to thank you as well. This is truly a great help and I surely appreciate it!

  • Nikae says:

    Thanks for the information it has helped me alot. I am getting started and I was totally lost.

  • sakshi says:

    Hey ! I have just learn make-up .. but i’m really depressed by not getting work . I don’t have the cljent base where i’m living rightnow , i thought to try some salon where they can hire make-up artists but it does’nt work and it’s getting very difficult to start .
    Please give me some guidance

    • Mireille Pitre says:

      Hi Sakshi,

      It’s really tough to break into a new industry. Have you had professional makeup artistry training? If not, I’d say start there and pay particular attention to business training, especially on how to market your services and build up your client base. You can definitely consider working at a salon or networking with other makeup artists in your area, especially when you’re just starting your career! There is tons of business advice on this blog, too, that might be helpful! Here’s where you can find all the Beauty Buzz’s business articles:

      Good Luck!

  • Uticia Burroughs says:

    How to get certified

    • Katie Deck says:

      Hi Uticia!

      Thanks for your comment 🙂 If you’re interested in becoming a makeup artist, QC offers makeup certification courses online – this means you can get certified at your own pace and on your own schedule! Your training will be in-depth and gives you the professional skills to get started in the industry (no matter the job you’re aiming for!).

      You can view our makeup courses here: 🙂

  • Jessica Barrow says:

    Hey! I need to know if I need to have an esthetician license in order to become a makeup artist? Will it protect me more legally if for some reason something went wrong? I’m just thinking through all possibilities:) thanks!

    • Mireille Pitre says:

      Hi Jessica! It depends on where you live. In a few states/provinces, you do require a cosmetology license or esthetician license in order to be a makeup artist. However, those areas are not the norm. If you’re not legally required to be a licensed cosmetologist or esthetician to do makeup, then it won’t protect you legally, as you suggest. As long as you have a good insurance policy for your business, you’ll be all set!

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