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Your Makeup Career

Pros and Cons of Offering Holiday Discounts to Your Clients

It’s mid-December, and you know what that means! The holidays are just around the corner, and while this is a happy, exciting time of year, it can also be tricky for makeup artists with a list of clients they care about. You want to show them your appreciation in a generous, thoughtful way, and may consider buying them a gift or offering them a holiday discount.

While these are lovely ways to show your clients that you value their business, we encourage you to be careful when offering holiday discounts. Keep reading for some pros and cons of offering holiday discounts to your clients, and make sure you keep both your business and your clients happy this December!

PRO: Your clients will feel appreciated

Let’s face it – this time of year is pretty chaotic and expensive (and that’s putting it mildly!). With holiday parties happening left and right, your schedule as a makeup artist is likely jammed with clients who want to look and feel their absolute best. Your clients are also overloaded with events and shopping obligations, which means they’re spending quite a bit of money this month. By recognizing this and offering a seasonal discount on your services, you’ll be lightening the financial burden for your clients, as well as showing them how much you appreciate their business, which is huge!

freelance makeup artist applying makeup

When you started your career as a makeup artist, you probably met clients who expected discounts from the get-go, and tried to take advantage of your easygoing, kind nature. While these types of clients are unfortunate, they’re still very common for makeup artists to run into. If you decide to offer holiday discounts, be mindful of the fact that some clients will feel entitled to a lower price this time of year and may not be as appreciative as other clients who fully expected to pay the regular fee and are genuinely, pleasantly surprised to receive a discount. What can we say? You’ll meet all kinds!

CON: You run the risk of de-valuing your services

Yes, it’s the holiday season and everyone is feeling extra kind and generous. However, you still have a business to run as a freelance makeup artist, and sometimes it’s just not feasible to offer clients a lower price.

Losing money as a makeup artist is definitely a con, but this particular con is two-fold. Not only are you setting yourself up to make less money during an expensive time of the year, you also run the risk of de-valuing your makeup services. We hate to break it to you, but often when prices are lowered, current clients and potential clients alike may get the impression that your makeup packages are not as high-quality as other makeup artists, or that your business is in trouble. In their mind, why else would you want to offer lower prices?

Be sure to keep this in mind when mentioning any holiday discounts to your clients, or advertising to potential clients. Be clear that this discount is to show appreciation to your clients during the most wonderful time of the year, but it will end early in the New Year, so they should hurry and take advantage of it while they can!

PRO: It will boost your reputation

Building a career as a makeup artist takes time. You need to get properly trained, gain experience, and grow your clientele, all of which can take years to accomplish. You also need to make a good name for yourself in the industry, and offering incentives in the form of holiday discounts is a fabulous way to do so.

woman applying makeup as part of career as makeup artist

Be patient here – if you haven’t offered any discounts before, use this holiday season as an opportunity to blow clients away with your generosity. No makeup client is going to forget receiving a discount on their holiday party makeup, and they certainly won’t forget the makeup artist that provided it to them. If you provide discounts this year, by this time next year you’ll likely have potential clients contacting you for makeup services with the knowledge that you’ll provide a seasonal discount (good news travels quickly, believe us!). But, like we said, you need to be patient. Also keep in mind that you’ll need to start advertising a few months in advance (so, the fall) in order to ensure that potential clients and regular clients know about your upcoming holiday discounts. This way, in December of next year, you’ll find yourself with a longer list of clients that will be thrilled to save a bit of money at an expensive time, but could very likely become regular clients for the rest of the year as a result!

CON: You’ll make less money

You’re a business owner, so you make a living off your makeup services. It’s just a fact of owning a business that if you discount your services, you’ll take home less money on the work you do. Now, this can be off-set if your discount brings in more clients, or if you only discount premium services that cost more anyway. But, if your holiday roster is booked up anyway with clients who are more than happy to pay full price for your services, it’s worth asking yourself if you really need to offer a discount.

If you do want to offer a holiday discount for your makeup services, consider offering discounts that end up bringing in more business:
  • Instead of discounting your regular services, create a special “Holiday Package” that you offer at a “discounted price”.
  • Offer a discount for loyal clients only, or for clients who bring in a friend (example: “book a makeup appointment with a friend, and you’ll both get 20% off the cost of a makeup application”)

Christmas makeup kit

  • Instead of offering a discount price on your services, consider offering different types of promotions. Maybe offer a “free holiday gift” with each makeup application. The free gift could be a makeup sample, a gift card, or other little trinket that shows your client you’re thankful for their business.

Find out how to price your makeup artistry services, and be sure to charge what you’re worth!

Victoria is a blog writer and social media expert for QC Makeup Academy, writing in-depth articles to help emerging makeup artists grow their knowledge and experience in the industry.

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