Should You Give Your Makeup Clients Holiday Gifts?
‘Tis the season to be jolly (and generous!), and we know how excited you are to start crossing off items on your holiday shopping list. Finding the perfect gift to show friends and family how much they mean to you is one thing, but what about the makeup clients you’ve gotten to know, and want to work with again? It can be difficult to know whether it’s appropriate to send gifts to your makeup clients, as it seems like a lovely gesture, but you certainly don’t want to cross into inappropriate territory.
The holidays are stressful enough, so let us take the reins here and help you out. Keep reading for our helpful tips to calm your gifting worries, and figure out if adding your makeup clients to your list this season is a good call!
Consider your makeup business
Anyone who has ever worked in an office knows that baskets of goodies from other businesses often show up around the holidays, accompanied by cards of appreciation. Sending a gift to a client around the holidays is a generally common practice, and serves as a warm reminder that they appreciate your business and would welcome the opportunity to work with you again.
As a makeup artist, you want to maintain relationships with clients who you’ve worked with previously. By sending them a gift, you’re reminding them that your business is a good choice, and also allowing them to feel good about depending on your expertise the next time they need a makeup artist. Consider gift giving as a way of leveling up your makeup artist business, and keeping your clients close!
Think it through
We know that this time of year can be incredibly busy, and can bet that you’re making several lists of who to buy for, how much to spend, and the perfect gifts for each person. Not to add to your stress, but you really need to take some time to think through any gifts you want to send your makeup clients. We recommend going through the following list of questions in order to put together a small guide for yourself:
1. Who should you send gifts to?
This is a very personal choice. Your career as a makeup artist doesn’t look the same as anyone else’s – perhaps you only have a few regular clients, or your business is much larger, with many different clients and vendors. The size of your clientele, and your budget, are going to play a huge role in how you go about sending gifts.
Our recommendation? If your career as a makeup artist is still budding, and you have a modest list of clients, it might be worth sending a small gift to everyone. This is both doable (if they’re decently priced) and incredibly thoughtful. If your business is large, it’s up to you whether you want to splurge on a gift for each client, or send them only to those who you’ve worked with more than once. It’s important to consider this carefully, as you don’t want to blow your budget, which brings us to our next question…
2. How much should you spend?
Actually, let’s re-word this one slightly. How much do you want to spend? When it comes to giving your makeup clients a holiday gift, keep in mind that less is more. You don’t want to go overboard here and drop lots of cash – this isn’t a heavy marketing campaign, and giving expensive gifts may give your client the wrong impression. The best kinds of gifts for clients include items such as holiday treats (think chocolates and cookies), branded mugs, or gifts that are actually useful, such as lovely stationery sets. While you don’t want to go overboard with the spending here, you also don’t want to give your customers something cheap that might be viewed as junk. It’s not an easy middle ground, but it’s one worth taking the time to think through, so we recommend coming up with a budget for yourself (once you have your list of who to buy for, of course).
3. What kinds of gifts should you avoid?
We mentioned that some great client gift ideas are items like holiday treats and things that will actually be used. However, one very important question to explore is what type of holiday gifts to steer clear of. Some items that we seriously caution against gifting your makeup clients include blatant advertising products, such as discount cards for your makeup services. Why do we advise against this? Well, the holidays aren’t really a time to be pushing your business as you normally would, and a thoughtful gift such as a branded mug is something that will warm your clients’ heart instead of making them feel as though you’re taking every opportunity to self-promote. Trust us – if your client admires your makeup expertise and continues to seek out your services, you don’t need to advertise so aggressively during the holidays! Show them you appreciate them, instead. Along the same vein, gift cards aren’t a great choice, as your client may not be able to use them based on their location, and a charitable donation isn’t at the top of our list either, as you may support that particular cause, but your client may not!
We mentioned that holiday treats are a great gift choice (and we stick by that!), but be wary of ingredients. Take common allergies, such as nut allergies, into consideration, and opt for packaged treats like chocolate or baked goods from reputable businesses instead. The last thing you want to do is make your client uncomfortable when you give them a chicken pot pie that you cooked yourself – not everyone is happy with food as gifts!
Pick your moment
This one may seem like a no-brainer, but hear us out. If you choose to send your client a gift in December, close to the 24th and 25th, you may actually be interrupting their vacation time! We know you mean well, and want the gifts to arrive close to when your client will be opening up gifts with friends and family, but we highly recommend sticking to late November and early December instead. For example, American companies may begin sending clients holiday favors after Thanksgiving, which is a great time as it’s right between one holiday and before another. Your client’s gift is the perfect way to fill in that gap! However, the end of November may not be the most convenient for you (and that’s fine, since you have commitments as well!). In this case, we actually recommend waiting until after Christmas to send your gift, and branding it as a “Happy New Year” favor instead.
You want your gift to be happily received, so you need to make sure that you don’t invade your clients’ personal space. Prepare everything to be sent out in either late November or after Christmas, and your clients will thank you!
When a gift isn’t feasible…
You want to show your clients just how much they mean to you, and ensure that you’re their one and only makeup artist. However, you don’t need to spend a lot of money to make this clear. Not every business sends their clients actual gifts, and some choose to send thoughtful, meaningful holiday cards instead. If you’ve just started your career as a makeup artist and are building your clientele, you may want to send a beautifully written card to your client in order to show your appreciation.
We’re going to level with you, though – cards are a fine idea, but they won’t make your name stand out in the same way as those who send a thoughtful gift. While we completely understand that it can be difficult to shell out money on client gifts this time of year, keep in mind that it is quite a smart investment in your makeup career. Even a small gift will go a long way in making your client feel valued and special during the most wonderful time of the year.