As a makeup artist, whether you operate in a freelance capacity or structured within a salon or beauty shop, it’s extremely important to master the element of marketing. On the Internet, if you can’t be found, you might as well be invisible. I have been fortunate to have worked with countless makeup artists brimming with artistic and creative talent for makeup, and the common denominator amongst them is the difficulty in being able to market said skill sets to successive business growth.
I wanted to spend a little time today to share a few professional tips for the industry based on my experiences and learning, whether you are just starting out, looking to become a MUA, or just want to increase your growth for an established brand. Here are 5 ways to market yourself as a makeup artist to boost your brand awareness quickly. FAIR WARNING: implementing the following will most likely result in having to spend some money (yes, you have to put some skin in the game!), but you’ll be better for it. They are not the “end-alls” that will just explode your business (by the way, no marketer can ever guarantee that for you), but knowing how to use them will definitely help you).
1) Facebook ads –
Despite the intimidation factor of learning internet advertising and all the dirty restrictive advertising protocols they’ve implemented, Facebook remains as the most cost-effective and best advertising mediums to market yourself as a makeup artist and businesses (unless you have a limitless budget to compete with the bigger box brands for Google ads, it’s not worth it). Facebook has improved its local target marketing algorithm significantly in the past year, so it’s extremely worth it.
There are plenty of articles and information to walk you through how to write your own ad, and you can honestly get an effective ad done for as little as $5 / day. TIP: Just make sure you use an eye-catching ad picture to stand out on the screen, and learn your target markets!
Facebook ads are a skill set within itself, and I could go on and on with tips and experiences, so maybe I’ll do an article dedicated to this craft at a later time…
2) Invest in a professional site (the key word being “professional”) –
This is the most important of the 5 ways to markeup yourself as a makeup artist. I can’t tell you how many times makeup artists have tried to apply for a partnership to work with us, only to get to the point where I look for their website and…NOTHING! In this day and age where social media rules and Internet is a mandatory piece of our daily lives, a website is a requirement as your online resume, a marketing piece to tell your customers who you are, what you do, and why they should hire or buy from you. You wouldn’t go to a job interview without your resume, so why would you allow customers to pass you by because you don’t put yourself out there in a presentable way?
Most professionally designed and serviced websites (I’m not talking about the one run by your cousin’s brother’s goldfish’s cat) run about $800 and up, depending on the bells and whistles you want with it. In case you were wondering, I’m not a big proponent of “website in a box for cheap” programs. If you don’t have that chunk of change right away, that’s fine. An alternate solution is to set up a free WordPress account and use an engaging template (most templates run about $30-60, one time fee and it’s plug and play). Just note that doing it the free way is not a long-term solution to build a business or brand because of the limitations it has. Even going the route of WordPress, you should eventually have a plan to go WordPress.org instead for the greater customization, search engine optimization, and tools to increase engagement on your site.
3) Network! –
It sounds cliche, but you are a businessperson, so networking is not something you should take lightly. Connections are everything, and you really need to invest the time in to building up a network of contacts in the local areas. Photographers, designers, YouTubers, beauty bloggers, clothing proprietors, other MUAs, cosmetics proprietors, estheticians, salon owners, and makeup school teachers are all examples of people that should be in your contacts list. You should know multiples of each of them too. The more you can grow your network, the faster your brand grows. Jobs become easier to find, and you can partner with any combination of them locally for photoshoots, fashion shows, editorials, and media marketing pieces that will blow you up as a local name. What’s more is that many times, you can negotiate trade of services provided so that these media pieces won’t really cost you any significant money.
4) Diversify Your Money –
One of the very first things I did when I sat down to come up with The Makeup Movement was think ahead to 3-5 years down the line. I thought about how I was going to really market my brand and how I needed to present myself as a makeup artist to gain notoriety in my local market. One of the issues that came up is a product line. Every makeup artist needs to consider this, even when they first start out. A smart businessperson is going to figure out a way to create as many income sources as possible. As a makeup artist, relying on just job pay is a very limited perspective on the plethora of income that’s available at your fingertips. Just think about it: you complete a job and do a great look, and your client asks you where you got the products from. Do you send them to MAC or Sephora? If so, why can’t that business be yours? Why can’t you carry a product line you can promote for income? Whether you make your own or bring one on, having a product line just added another income stream to what you do on a regular basis.
Having a product line to promote is just one of the ways to boost your streams of income. There is a lot to consider with the decision of having your own product line or sourcing one; more on this in a later article. We made our decision after weighing pros and cons to source one, and we ended up with Motives. More on that another time too…
5) Social media management –
In this day and age, we know that social media is king. If having a website is the #1 most important way to market yourself as a makeup artist, then social media is definitely #1A. Unless you are a social media superstar like the Instafamous MUAs or YouTube celebrities, you need to put in the elbow grease to really work each and every platform. Everyone knows that visuals rule social media, so whether it’s videos, pictorials, looks, or photoshoots, do them early and often to build up your reputation. Pinterest, Instagram, and Facebook remain as the highest producing platforms in terms of engagement and fan following, so focus your efforts on those three. Don’t get caught up in a notion that the more social media platforms you have, the better. Focus on getting your looks out there, and mix them up by skin type, age group, ethnicity, and throttle between conservative and exciting looks to show off your skill set. If you have the time, set up and start a blog to help amp up your star power.
Dedicating time to doing consistent looks takes up a fair amount of time, and for those of you who have full-time jobs and are just starting to pursue your passion for beauty, it can be extra tough. Don’t get tempted in to using an automated posting platform that posts to all your social media accounts at once. This really only works for bigger brands that have already built up a strong following. For a newbie, you definitely want to keep the content fresh, engaging, and spend the extra effort to post on multiple platforms so your new fans get a sense that you really care about them.
One more tip: all in all, remember that while social media is important, what more important is your LOCAL market. Those are the people most likely to buy from you, and seek our your services. While it’s great that you might have a national audience, never stray your eyes from whom really will be paying you for your skill set.