So you learned all about technique and color. You know the latest in every makeup trend. You know different beauty brands like the back of your hand, and you can also apply false eyelashes in your sleep. There’s no doubt you know your stuff! Now, how to bring all those talents to the real world?
First off—congrats! With all of your hard work and training behind you, you can now actually focus on building your client base. While trying to book your first client can be pretty scary, it’s actually a pretty amazing time for a makeup artist. You can decide exactly what kind of makeup artist you want to be—and go after the clients you want. The world is your oyster! Everyone’s face is a blank slate!
On the prowl for your first client? These tips will teach you how to find her (or him!), how to prepare for your consultation, and what to do when you first meet them!
Know your customer
Before you land that first client, you need to know who you want sitting in your makeup chair! In order to do that, you need to narrow down your target audience. Getting to know your target audience means thinking about some basic demographic information:
- How old is your ideal client?
- What does she spend?
- What kind of makeup is she interested in?
Once you know this basic info you can start thinking of ways to connect with her. Women interested in more classic looks may frequent spas more than they do Snapchat. Just like a younger crowd will definitely be more active on social media. Start thinking about what your ideal customer would like, and ideas about your target audience will follow.
Update your Portfolio
Step up your networking game. No one is going to find their way into your makeup chair unless they know you exist! Even it feels icky, you HAVE TO market yourself. Publicize your services, show pictures of your work, and update your online portfolio on the reg. Of course, your print portfolio should also have the best shots of your work.
Being desperate won’t build a client base. But showing off your skills will. Throw on your best face (what better way to promote your work) and get ready to ask for referrals. Head over to your local spa, bridal boutique, and beauty counter. Plus it never hurts to get to know other makeup artists in the area.
You can also approach photographers, event planners, and theaters. All kinds of events call for makeup. And the people putting these events together are just looking for a professional makeup artist to work with. So find them and you’ll find your first client!
Boost your social media
When you’re not knocking on doors for referrals, build a name for yourself online. So many makeup artists get discovered on Pinterest and Instagram. So keep your online portfolio fresh for potential customers. Your followers may not know that you actually offer professional makeup services—so make it clear that you are! This can be as simple as indicating what days you have available for consultations!
It’s not all about digital marketing. But you can bet that a new client is going to head right over to your Instagram to check out your work before they hire you. The good news is that this means you can totally show off your signature style. So once you become a freelancer, let everyone know you are in business and have fun with the ways you reach out.
Ace the consultation
Do you work with face charts? Before a new client sits in your chair, make sure you ask the right questions. Draw up what you think she needs to give her the best idea of what kind of work you can produce. In order to customize that perfect look, there are many questions you have to ask during your first consultation. But to start off, the following points in mind:
- What kind of look does she want
- What the occasion is
- When she needs it done by
- Where the appointment will take place (do you have a workspace?)
- What her budget is
Ok, so this last one might be a little trickier. In order for you to set your rates, you have to find out what your client’s price point is. A makeup artist should have a clear pricing model, which can be shared with your client when you determine a budget. Because you need to be paid for your services! Neither of you want to be blindsided at the end of an appointment. Research rates in your area and goes from there
Pro Tip: You can price your services however you want. But going too high or too low isn’t the best way to start off. You can always offer a slight discount on the price of your services IF a client books with you after a consultation. But makeup artists should be compensated for meeting with a client one way or another. Just do it in the way that feels right to you.
Once a new client is actually sitting in your makeup chair, you better show off just what an amazing makeup artist you are. Make sure your makeup kit is organized, your brushes are clean, and your own makeup looks great!
Since you know exactly what kind of look you will be creating (thank you, consultation), you can jump right in. If she is really into makeup, show her some techniques. If she just wants to be pampered, hand her a mirror at the end of the appointment so she can scope out her new look. Be super polite and friendly! Your new client may just be the connection to your new client base.