It can be rough being in business for yourself. Not only do need the expertise to do what you do, but you also usually have to be your own business manager, marketer, and accountant.
One profession where people often are independent consultants is as a hair & makeup artist. You know a lot about making something look good, but that doesn’t always directly translate into marketing skills. Marketing is, of course, an essential ingredient for your business. In order to help you grow, you need to make sure that your name is out there and you’re making the most of the budget and contacts that you have. Whether you manage makeup for weddings, professional photos, television spots, or permanent cosmetics for every day, you need to be constantly bringing in new customers.
For those who are currently in, or looking to break into, the business of beauty, here are some great marketing ideas to get your business off the ground:
#1: Make the most of social media
Most of the time, setting up a social media account, even as a business, is free. However, because of that, many businesses underestimate the impact it can have. A small independent business is just the kind of niche that benefits the most from social media marketing. Sharing your work, your name, and brand, and utilizing the full power of word of mouth marketing is what will help your business sink or swim.
Remember that although social media marketing is usually cheaper than other forms of promotion, it will still cost you… usually in time. Gathering new Instagram followers, Facebook likes, and generating a lot of engagement with your followers, all takes a big investment in time and attention. Here are some tips for navigating the waters:
As a makeup artist, your main appeal is in visual media. Focus on platforms that emphasize this, like Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest. Make sure you have a robust following there and take the opportunity to showcase your work.
Be consistent. Post at least every day, and respond to people who interact with you
Since your “work” is actually on other people’s faces and appearance, make sure that you get permission from your clients and models to post. You’ll be surprised that as you ask, people are usually willing to help you grow. Encourage them to share about their experience with you on social media as well.
#2: Maximize your contacts
If you’re like most private enterprise makeup artists, the majority of your new clients will be references from existing clients. That’s why it’s so important to utilize your existing clientele and their contacts as much as possible. Make sure that you leave a good and lasting impression. Reach out to family and friends and recruit them as helpers and have conversations. For example, if you’re doing makeup for a bride in June, it’s very likely that a couple of her friends will need your services next year for their own big day! Network with the people around you so they’ll remember you when the time comes.
Branded swag is a great way to stay in people’s memories. Instead of just handing out a card, leave an item that they’ll keep around for a while, like a makeup compact, pen, or lip balm.
#3: Reach out in the industry
There are trade shows and networks in every industry. You can build mutually beneficial relationships with other companies that are related to yours. For example, if you do work with brides a lot, try to get in local bridal blogs and magazines. Go to bridal fairs. Reach out to other people who work with brides, like owners of dress boutiques and wedding planners, and see if you can set up a working relationship with them.