Posted on April 03 2017
Central School of Makeup Graduate - Jennifer Lee
Now that you have learnt all about technique and colour, you know the latest in every make-up trend, you know different beauty brands like the back of your hand and can apply false eye lashes in your sleep....there’s no doubt you know your stuff but how do you bring all of your talents to fruition in the real world?
First of all, congratulations!! Being a qualified make-up artist is a fantastic thing and with all of your hard work and training behind you, you can now focus on building your client base. Whilst starting out as a make-up artist and booking your first clients can be a daunting thing, it is also a very exciting time for a make-up artist. You can decide exactly what kind of an artist you want to be and seek out the clients that you want to work with.
In this post we look at some clever tips on how to successfully build your client base and grow your business….
Know your Customer
Before you secure your first booking you need to think about who you want sitting in your make-up chair. To do this you need to narrow down your target audience somewhat. Getting to know your target audience means thinking about some basic demographic information:
How old is your client?
What does she spend?
What kind of make-up is she interested in?
Once you know this basic information you can start to think of ways to connect with potential clients. Women interested in more classic looks may frequent a Spa more than they do Snapchat. Just like a younger crowd will definitely be more active on Social Media. Start thinking about what your ideal client would like and ideas about your target audience will quickly follow.
Please do note that we are not suggesting you only ever limit yourself to one look or advertise that you only welcome clients who are aged 16-25, however when starting out it is imperative to be able to know and understand or relate somewhat to your client base. The more you know and understand your prospective clients, the higher the possibility of the ‘prospect’ becoming a client. The ‘prospect’ so to speak, will be approached by people that offer the same service as you. More often than not, clients will do business with people that they like. Find your affinity with your clients and wait for that diary to fill up!
Update your Portfolio & Your Social Media Platforms
Step up your networking game! No-one will book you unless they know you exist! Even if it feels unnatural, you have to market yourself. Publicise your services, show off pictures of your work, even if they were captured throughout your training.
Showing off your skills is one of the best ways to build your client base. Put on your best face (there is no better way to promote your work) and get out and about to gain more visibility within the industry. Build relationships with your local Spa, Salon, Bridal Boutique and even other local Make-up Artists. Approach photographers, event planners and even local theatres. A huge array of events require make-up and the people organising these events are looking for professional, reliable artists to work with.
So many make-up artists now get discovered on Pinterest and Instagram so a Social Media presence is imperative. Link all of your accounts together and keep your online portfolio fresh. Some of your followers may not be aware that you are offering professional services so make it clear, simply by indicating forthcoming availability that you may have. It’s not all about digital marketing but we can guarantee that a client will go straight to your Instagram and look at your work before they book with you. The good news is that this means you can really show off your signature style. Once you become a freelancer make sure everyone knows that you are in business and be creative with the ways that you reach out.
Master your Consultation & Trial Techniques
Do you work with face charts? Before a client sits in your chair, make sure that you have the right questions to ask. Draw up what you think she needs to be able to visualise what kind of work you produce. In order to customise that perfect look for your client there are numerous questions you will need to ask but try and keep these key ones in the forefront of your mind:
- What kind of look your client wants
- What the occasion is
- When she needs it done by (timescale)
- Where the make-up will take place
- What her budget is
Once you have secured a booking and have a client sitting in your chair it is now crucial that you show them what a fantastic artist you are. Make sure you kit is well organised, your brushes are clean and your own make-up looks great!
Since you know exactly what look you will be creating (thank you, trial) you can jump straight in. If your client is really in to make-up, show her some techniques, if she just wants to be pampered, hand her a mirror at the end so that she can see her new look!
Be super polite and friendly, your new client may just be the connection to your new client base but don’t relax just yet, the real work starts from here. Make sure you keep the client! Love them, nurture and protect them and they will reward you with their loyalty and their fantastic reviews!