By Sheila Arkee
So far in the “So You Wanna Be A Makeup Artist” series, I’ve covered the basics of building a freelance makeup artist kit. Now it’s time to wrap up the series and discuss the business aspects and how to go about marketing your services as a makeup artist.
While you don’t necessarily need to have gone to school to become a professional freelance makeup artist – a license is not required in the majority of places – you do need to have experience touching faces and working with people. As I always say, the best way to do this is behind a makeup counter, even if its a part-time job in addition to a full-time job.
Working behind a makeup counter is fundamentally a sales job, but it’s also a fantastic way to build a makeup kit with a store discount, get experience working with different personalities and doing actual makeup, and also to network. I will tell you that by the time I was done working behind a makeup counter I was DONE working in retail, but I came away with so many valuable life lessons, and it was an experience that helped me tremendously as a makeup professional.
Here’s are some great tools to have to get your freelance makeup artistry business started:
1. An Online Portfolio
Everyone needs a way to showcase their work. You are trying to sell yourself to potential clients and it’s important to put your best face forward, per se. I use and love Portfoliositez website templates, which makes it SO simple to get a website started. I am not a Portfoliositez affiliate at all, but I am a customer many times over because I love the products they offer and they have some of the best customer service I’ve ever experienced.
Here’s a site I recently put together for a friend – looks elegant, gets the message across, and it has helped Sparkle get some jobs in the past couple months since the site went live.
2. Photos For Your Portfolio
It’s important to have photos of what you are able to do in the first place, even if it’s just you grabbing family and friends and taking pics with a point-and-shoot camera.
A great way to meet budding photographers and models is on Model Mayhem, where people in the biz network with each other and arrange for photo shoots. The shoots are mostly trades for your services, but it’s a good way to get out there and get some experience. As always, use basic common sense when responding to casting calls or people looking to work with you. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Also, unfortunately, sometimes you won’t get photos of work you’ve done on trade/free shoots, and that’s just par for the course.
3. Pricing Your Services
This can be a toughie. I recommend looking at webites of other makeup artists in your areas to get an idea for comparable going rates. If makeup is something you want to do as your main source of income, you have to consider basic overhead. How much money do you need to make to stay afloat? Don’t forget taxes, and paying for various odds and ends.
To be honest, if you’re just starting out as a freelance makeup artist, you most likely will not make enough money to support yourself at first. It takes time to build clientele and to build a nest egg, so don’t go quitting your full-time job just yet!
The goal is to get the word out about your services. Email and/or call wedding planners introducing yourself and your work. Go to bridal trade shows and walk around with business cards or flyers with examples of your work and your contact information. Contact photographers, as well with your information. As I mentioned before, set up a a free profile on Model Mayhem where you can get in contact with photographers and most importantly, get photo shoots under your belt.
5. Business Cards
6. A great attitude!
First impressions truly are the most important. Be on time to jobs or consultations, be friendly, and keep your baggage at the door. You’re at a job to focus on work, don’t talk about your personal drama. ALWAYS send a hand written thank you note to the people who’ve hired you when the job is done.
Yes, makeup is fun, but it’s also important to report your earnings. Make sure you do things the right way and consult with someone who can help make sure you’re minding your p’s and q’s when it comes to taxing your services.
8. A Contract
A basic contract for your services is a must have, whether you work with a bridal client, prom client, or a model. Simple contracts are available online for free, but please have a legal professional look them over to make sure you’ve covered all your bases.
If I’ve missed anything, please feel free to leave a comment about your experiences as a freelance makeup artist. Remember, be a professional first and foremost and you’ll always leave a positive impression.