Being a freelance makeup artist has some seriously amazing benefits – you can set your own rates, choose your clients, and be your own boss! But with this freedom comes an inevitable list of clients that you’ll run into (it’s not just different skin tones you’ll be working with!). You’ll truly meet all kinds of people in a freelance job, including clients who think they should tell you how to do your job, or those who expect discounts…
So how do you deal with different, and sometimes difficult, personalities as a makeup artist? Read on for 5 clients every freelance MUA will meet, and prepare to meet some of these characters!
1. The Discount-Seeker
When taking on new clients – especially as you establish your makeup business – you want to keep them happy to ensure they return. Providing small incentives in the form of discounts or free makeup samples is a great way to ensure clients call you the next time they need a makeup artist. However, this should not be a regular occurrence.
The sad truth is that some clients will expect discounts from their makeup artist – even if they knew your rates before having their makeup done, they may try to take advantage of your easygoing nature and push you for a small percentage off your total price. We know it’s hard, but one of the perks of being a freelance makeup artist is the ability to say no!
Be sure to draw up contracts with each of your clients that explicitly state the fee that’s required for your services, and be sure to leave room for your client to ask questions before signing it. This will eliminate any grey area, and potentially awkward situations, once you’ve completed their makeup!
2. The Know-it-All
We live in a world where YouTube makeup tutorials abound, and as such, many makeup enthusiasts feel as though they can create every look themselves. While this is a great attitude to have, often your client will not have the facts right. This is perfectly reasonable – makeup artist courses provide aspiring artists with the correct way of applying makeup, caring for their skin, and more. So, it makes sense that someone with no experience would not know how to properly apply various products.
However, this often won’t stop a client from voicing their opinion on your work. It’s unfortunate, but you’ll meet clients in your freelance makeup jobs who just don’t agree with your techniques, and insist that you’ve done something wrong. The best way to handle this type of client is to keep your cool, gently correct them, and offer some insider tips and tricks to help them understand why you used a particular technique.
You’re the professional, and this confidence will go a long way to show your client that you know what you’re doing!
3. The Flake
Although you may be respectful of other’s time and always keep your word, this is not the case for everyone. One of the most annoying (not to mention rude) clients that a freelance makeup artist will meet is one that flakes out on their makeup appointment.
Because you set your own hours and choose your own clients, being stood up by a client who signed on for a particular look and rate is extremely disheartening. It can make a big, negative difference in your income as well. The worst part about a flaky client is that the situation is out of your control – you can’t force them to show up!
One way to handle this is to charge a percentage of the overall rate before the appointment. Consider it a deposit, and a bit of peace of mind for you as a self-employed makeup artist. You can also take some time to research your client online before the appointment. You never know what information you may find, and how you’ll be able to prepare based on what you know ahead of time.
4. The Hands-On Client
A successful career in makeup artistry begins with a professional makeup kit. Any makeup artist can attest to that! The contents of a makeup kit, including foundations, mascara, brushes, and other essentials are not cheap – meaning clients should not be digging into your kit looking to open, handle and try the products for themselves.
Unfortunately, these clients exist. It’s not enough that you’re applying the products onto their face – they have to touch and try that new tube of mascara themselves, or apply that gorgeous new shade of lipstick (and contaminate it, yikes!).
You need to shut this down immediately.
The minute you see your client reaching for your makeup kit, it’s important to keep your cool (you’re a professional, first and foremost). But you need to communicate to them that it is off-limits. If they don’t understand why, a simple explanation about hygiene will clear it up for them, or you can gently mention that you prefer to be the only one handling your products. Clients should respect your property and your space!
5. The Unhappy Client
This type of client is the most common one you’ll meet as a freelance makeup artist, and often will be the most challenging. After spending a good chunk of time applying what you perceive to be a radiant look that your client asked for, you look at their face to find total disappointment.
Don’t beat yourself up – it happens! Not every client is going to be blown away by their makeup on the first try, so this is your opportunity to get to know them – find out what you can change to ensure that they feel their most gorgeous and confident, and encourage them to speak up if they’re uncomfortable. Not only will this result in a makeup look that makes them happy, you’ll also build an important relationship that could be profitable in the future!