If you’re starting your career as a makeup artist, you may be dreaming of starting your own makeup business. If so, you’re in great company! Getting a makeup certification is just the first step for many makeup artists who one day want to run a business.
But starting your own makeup business is an intimidating prospect. How do you know if you have the experience to be successful? Or how much of the start-up work you can do yourself?
No need to worry – read on for our complete guide on how to start a makeup business, and start putting a business plan in place!
You’ll need experience
As with every other skill you’ve learned in your life, practice makes perfect. When you decided to learn makeup artistry, you knew that it was going to be a journey – and that mastering specific skills would take time. Once you’ve completed your professional makeup training, the best way to put yourself on track to become a business owner is to get as much hands-on experience as possible!
One easy way to gain experience as a makeup artist is to work as an assistant. Although the definition of assistant varies depending on the makeup artist, you’ll generally help set up a pro makeup artist’s workstation, prep the client’s skin, dash out to buy any last-minute additions for the makeup kit, and hold equipment in place while the makeup artist works their magic.
We know this doesn’t sound that glamorous, but it actually will provide you with extremely valuable experience. Working next to big-name makeup artists, networking, and honing your skills whenever you have the chance will allow you to understand how professional makeup artists work.
Another way to build your skill set and clientele is by practicing looks on friends, family, and other models. Asking friends and family to be makeup models often goes over well, as having your makeup done professionally is a treat. In terms of other faces to practice on, look for aspiring models in your area, and search for volunteers. Once you start booking more and more freelance jobs (and we encourage you to fill your calendar as much as possible), you’ll find that word of mouth is a wonderful way to attract new clients!
Once you have a few years’ experience behind you, you’ll be in a much better position to start your own makeup business. This is truly the first step, as you’ll build a foundation of knowledge to help you manage any situation, and ensure your business is successful.
Get it off the ground
Details, details, details! When starting your makeup artist business, there are a number of different items that need to be crossed off the list. One of the most important parts is choosing a name for your makeup business. To do this, you’ll need to develop your brand, check to make sure the name isn’t in use already, and make sure it’s internet-friendly. You’ll need to be extremely cautious and detail-oriented during this stage of starting your business, as each decision you make will have consequences that can affect your success as a professional makeup artist!
As the owner of a makeup business you’ll wear several different hats, so you’ll need to know your own limitations when crossing items off your list. Don’t be afraid to reach out to other professionals for help! In fact, we highly recommend reaching out to the right people to ensure that your business is on the right track.
Speaking to an accountant about your business plan and finances is an excellent idea, as they can help you determine how long it will take to start seeing profits from your hard work. They can also help you establish payroll and track expenses – after all, why would you want to take all of that on yourself? You should also consult with a lawyer, since they’ll help you find out what kind of business license you’ll need, and make sure you tick off all the boxes required for your location.
As a freelance makeup artist, you won’t have a great deal of paperwork to deal with (which is a huge plus!), but you’ll still need to make sure you have the right licenses or permits. Plus, you’ll need to know how to deal with client and employee contracts. Reaching out to other professionals will not only help you make the best decisions for your makeup business, it will also allow you to develop important working relationships that can help you in the future!
Once your business is up and running (and congratulations, as that is a huge accomplishment!), you need to stay forward-thinking.
Let’s start with your online presence. Your business website needs to showcase your makeup training and services while using a design that’s clean and attractive. But the work doesn’t stop here – make sure it looks spectacular on a phone, as nearly everyone will be checking out your site this way!
Social media goes hand-in-hand with your professional makeup website, so you’ll want to ensure you have a strong and active presence that allows you to communicate with your clients, and vice versa. Social media maintenance doesn’t have to be all-consuming in terms of time, either – there are many ways to focus your efforts on specific channels.
Customer service is also paramount for makeup business owners. You’ll want to be extremely easy to contact, as potential clients will be searching online for the best makeup artists and will want to get in touch with you without delay. A good rule of thumb is to get back to inquiries within 24 hours – Facebook will actually pick up on this efficiency and will show visitors to your page that they can expect a reply within that time frame!
Make sure your contact information is readily available on your website and social profiles, and leave instructions for potential clients if you’re not around (such as leaving you a voicemail or sending an email). Be ready to answer all kinds of questions! Once you start to build your clientele, you’ll know which questions are asked most frequently, and you can provide quick answers.
Finally, keep learning! Read up on makeup techniques and tips, stay up-to-date on new makeup trends, and enroll in another online makeup course to learn new tricks. Your career as a makeup artist will thrive if you refuse to become stagnant. Plus, your clients will be both impressed and much more likely to book your services again and again if they know that you’re at the top of your game.