“Being a successful makeup artist isn’t just doing great makeup for your client. The whole experience should be wonderful @CareerInMakeup” – Click to tweet
So, you’re building your business and the work is starting to flow in. Exciting times! But being a successful makeup artist isn’t just about doing great makeup for your client. You need to manage your appointments to prevent double bookings, ensure invoices are sent and paid on time and keep in touch with your clients from the moment of enquiry until the job itself, and maybe beyond. Not only will this save you hassle and stress in managing your time effectively, but it will also help you build a great reputation – which will only help you secure more clients in the future!
In this article you’ll learn everything you need to think about when managing your bookings including:
- How to handle that all important first client interaction
- How to stay organised so you’re always on top of managing your clients
- How to manage your time effectively so you’re not left exhausted and disappointing clients
Plus we’ll give you some tips on making the whole process easier!
Communication is key
Everything starts with that first email enquiry, and how you respond sets the tone for the entire relationship with your client – so you need to get it right!
- Be prompt and professional – aim to respond to emails within 24 hours or less. The client may have contacted several makeup artists so a delay could cost you the job
- Ask the right questions – this will save lots of potential email ping pong with your client or having to decline the job after a lot of needless communication, so try and ask all the necessary questions upfront. To make sure you don’t miss anything important, we’ve created a table of key questions to copy and paste into your first response (details on downloading this at the bottom)
- Maintain contact – once the date is confirmed, make sure to stay in touch. Minimally you should check in within a month of the booking, and then reconfirm with a week to go – on shorter notice jobs touch base the day before. A simple message will suffice to remind them that you haven’t forgotten about them and you are looking forward to seeing them.
Managing Your Bookings Killer Tip No.1
Following that first enquiry, provisionally book the date in your diary/calendar. This should be done immediately after replying to the email to prevent any double bookings. Make sure you include all the client details that you have e.g. name, contact details, event, location etc.
Get organised, stay organised!
However you choose to keep your bookings, you’ve gotta have a system! But we thought rather than just work from our experience we’d find out what other artists were doing too, and here’s the message that came through
- Use an online diary – the benefit of keeping your diary online means you can access it from anywhere. Using a written diary or your phone/tablet calendar is great until you either a. leave it at home when you urgently need to check your schedule or b. lose it. Agency Gerard artist Briana Chapman recommends Google calendars and we have to agree! It is free and super easy to use. But regardless of which calendar service you use, the main benefit is being able to access your bookings in multiple places – as Jacqueline Menconi says, she can access her calendar on her phone or her laptop as the two are synced
- Backup. Backup. And backup again. It is a good, no GREAT, idea to have a backup of all your appointments somewhere. If you are using an online calendar (such as Google calendar) then in theory you shouldn’t need one, but it is always a good idea to prepare for every eventuality (no 3G or WIFI!!) – (Heather Gockel keeps both her phone calendar and a handheld…). Should the worst happen and your diary is lost then it will be a mere trifling inconvenience rather than a complete devastation to your business.
- Know where to look for those emails. It is a good idea to organise all your emails into specific folders so you can return to them for future reference with ease. Grouping emails into month or year, and perhaps with subfolders of Provisional Clients and Confirmed Clients will keep your inbox nice and tidy.
Managing Your Bookings Killer Tip No.2
It’s also a good idea to keep in touch after the job – you never know what jobs can come from a recommendation. And keeping the line of communication open in the future allows you to ask for reviews and testimonials, which will add value to your business. So keep those emails organised!
Manage time, don’t let time manage you…
Another important part of managing your bookings is managing your time effectively.
- Make time for admin– the process of making a booking to getting those brushes out also involves admin. Aim to set aside some time every week to sort the business stuff such as invoices, chasing payments and issuing payment reminders. Little and often will make sure you keep on top if it all.
- Scheduling – arguably the most important part of managing your booking, and maintaining client relationships is to make sure you are on time for the job. Punctuality – it’s not rocket science but to some it doesn’t come naturally and can make the difference between a happy client and successful job to unhappy client with a less than rosy review of your talents. Being late can blow all that hard work that you’ve put in since that initial enquiry. So make sure you know where you’re going and give yourself enough time to get there, not forgetting to factor in potential traffic. Then when you are on the job make sure you keep to your schedule. This is particularly important if you are doing more than one job in a day – the knock on affect of being late can have very stressful consequences.
If you are not a naturally organised person, all this can seem daunting. However, putting in place systems for booking, confirming and managing your appointments should make things much easier – and over time second nature.
If you haven’t already start today! Whether you’re working with a digital calendar or a hard copy, make sure it’s up to date. Brainstorm a list of the key questions you should ask every client before each booking (if you’re not sure download ours below). And in your diary, schedule time for your admin – you won’t regret it!