What are the best and easiest ways to expand your client base and propel your business forward? No matter what area you work in, excellent education, intensive practice, and understanding how to network will put you leagues ahead of your competition.

Makeup Training and Practice

Education and practice go hand in hand. As an artist, you must keep learning and innovating so that your skill set continuously grows and improves. The variety of advanced makeup courses QC offers ensure that you have all the skills sets you need to achieve your goals easily and affordably.

As valuable as your education is, it is only as powerful as your ability to use the techniques you have learned with skill and precision. That’s where practice comes in.

Practicing a specific makeup technique may seem humdrum when you compare it to the excitement of creating a full makeup look. However, your ability to apply each makeup step expertly with symmetry and precision is essential. Each makeup look you create can only be as good as each individual step you take to create it. The more you practice, the better you will be as a makeup artist.

Your learning and your practicing should be ongoing throughout your career. This helps to ensure that you are ready to succeed at any challenges you encounter in your career. The next step, and perhaps the most important skill in being able to grow your business efficiently and productively, is your ability to network.

Networking for professional makeup artists

Networking is not just about building social media pages or crafting the perfect website. These skills are necessary so that you can show prospective clients great examples of your work. However, networking is more than that. To be most successful, networking requires you to take action You have to know how to make connections, forge professional friendships, and build the framework for successful professional collaborations.

So what is networking?

In a nutshell, successful networking enables you to form relationships with others in the industry with whom you may be able to work, collaborate, or learn. At QC, we’ll teach how to network really effectively. You’ll learn just how to network, and how to apply your new skills in this area.

What’s the best way to start networking?

First, define the initial career path you want to be on. Let’s say you have an interest in bridal makeup artistry. You could start by attending local bridal fairs and networking events. Then, you can take the next step and begin to make valuable connections. You’ll learn the right way to set up appointments and build relationships with local photographers, wedding planners, bridal boutiques, and hair salons. Your business will benefit. You’ll understand how to create professional and enjoyable opportunities to meet people in your industry.

For example, you could offer your services to a salon owner (or a bridal shop manager, etc.) in exchange for client recommendations if they love your work (and because of your continuing education and practice, they undoubtedly will).

How do you become a networking master?

1. “Think people, not opportunities.”

One of the best pieces of advice I was ever given was to stay true to myself and to consider the real person, not simply the opportunities he or she represents. Yes, you want to network with the people high up the ladder. But take time for everyone else on the ladder too. All the people you encounter should be able to speak honestly and well of you.

Remember that the receptionist communicates directly with the big boss. If she tells her boss that you are testy and rude, you’ll have probably lost a potentially great opportunity. When you are genuinely interested in every person you meet, you are authentic and they will be much more likely to put in a good word for you further up the chain.

2. Practice your people skills.

If you are at all shy, being open and friendly with strangers can be a difficult challenge. In the digital age, it can be hard to develop real, not just virtual relationships. Practice keeping a friendly expression even when you are simply speaking to people on the phone or online. Your entire communication will be more upbeat.

When you meet someone face to face, remember to smile and to give a warm handshake. Train yourself to remember names and the key details about people. Stand in an open and approachable manner. Be the first to say hello and introduce yourself—don’t wait for others to come to you.

One of the best ways to engage others is to ask thoughtful questions. Really listen to the answers they provide. After all, people all have interesting stories. Be part of helping them to communicate theirs. They will appreciate it. And after you meet them, be sure to follow up a few days later.

3. Be prepared.

The skills you develop through education and practice play major roles in how prepared you are to meet challenges in your business. Organization and hard work are also key. Are you well prepared? Have you developed a  carefully curated website, professional social media pages, and a beautiful portfolio to showcase all your skills? If so, your hard work will pay off. Networking is essential, but you also have to be able to show your contacts that you are a trained and capable expert, worthy of connecting with their clients or being hired by their firms. Having easily accessible, beautiful examples of your work is a fast way to demonstrate this.

There are many other valuable ways to network. Think about the best ones you can experiment with, and try them. Building relationships with new people can be intimidating and might well take you out of your comfort zone. Be brave. People appreciate it when you are outgoing and friendly And just like your other skills, networking becomes easier and you get better at it when you practice.  Remember, makeup artistry is a hands-on ‘people’ job, and you need to form good relationships to really advance your career.

I encourage you to take one small networking step every day. Plant the right seeds now and future work will grow from them.

Not sure what’s next? Check out Nathan’s advice about which makeup artist class is right for you.