Your makeup business is ready for launch! There’s just one thing…there’s no business yet! So how do you go about getting those all important first paid clients? In this article you’ll learn:
- How and where to promote yourself online (so work can find you)
- How and where to look for jobs online and offline (so you can find work)
- Two killer tips for streamlining your time on social media
Go Public and Go Social…
Seeing as your website is likely to be brand new, you probably aren’t getting a lot of traffic to it yet, so the trick is to find avenues through which you can promote yourself without breaking the bank.
A great place to promote your work and of course gain followers is through Facebook! If you haven’t already, spend thirty minutes setting up an FB page for your business, making sure to include some of your portfolio work, and a clear description of you and your business.
Once ready, you can use it to start pushing your services. Add updates with images of your work. Post to relevent groups. Make special offers…
e.g. I am now taking bookings for Christmas Parties. Book before December to get makeup for three people for the price of two!!
Encourage people to get in touch. Personally reach out to your friends and family, explain what you’re doing and ask them to help plug your business through FB to their friends.
That said be targeted too – there’s no sense asking your friends in America pushing your services if you’re in the UK. But them liking your FB page will give some social proof to potential customers (100 likes is better than no likes!).
If you are looking for fashion work get onto the FB pages of TV forums and films, and on LinkedIn where jobs are often being advertised.
Twitter is a great place to post shout-outs with your availability for work. Make sure you are following local photographers, editors, magazines and stylists and check it daily. You never know when someone will post a tweet job! It happens a lot, so get into the habit of using Twitter for work.
Social Media Killer Tip #1
If you know the hashtags that are likely to accompany job posts relevant to you on twitter there are tools our there to help monitor these specifically. Tools such as Hootsuite have a dashboard to follow hashtags specific to job seeking MUAs. Tagboard goes even further, allowing you to monitor the same hashtags across different social media platforms.
Google is your next friend! Make sure you are on Google+ and that your services are showing up on there with a good blurb about what is is you do and what you offer with a link back to your website.
Instagram is another great platform. Make sure you are uploading your work onto instagram and #Hashtagging the images as #Makeupartist #makeupwork #fashion #wedding #photography and whatever is relevant. Follow other people in your industry and the areas you work in. These feeds will get picked up and seen. Its almost like a mini online portfolio!
This brings me to Pinterest. This is a fairly new platform that has really taken off in the last two years. This is a great place to showcase your work. Brides especially love this site. So make sure you are uploading your work on there. There are no needs for #Hastags in this as Pinterest picks up the words as tags anyway, but make sure you write in the description box everything this photos says:
e.g. Wedding Makeup & Hair By Sam www.samlovesmu.com – London Wedding – Westminster Wedding, Photographer- Ben.
This will ensure that people will see there is wedding hair, makeup, wedding photography, london etc.
The great thing about Pinterest as it is about repinning, which means your work circulates all over the globe. If you want to make sure everyone knows who you are…watermark your images with your website, in case they delete the description text. BAM, everyone knows you and in turn, you will gain some work through there.
For a more in depth guide on how to make Pinterest work for your MUA business check out our guide.
Social Media Killer Tip #2
If you want to streamline your social media efforts then upload to Pinterest, add all of the info needed, add #Hashtags as well, THEN click the Twitter and FB buttons below and instantly that upload not only goes to Pinterest but goes to Twitter and FB, saving you uploading to all three.
If you’re prepared to part with a bit of cash there are a number of places you pay to advertise, but be cautious at this stage about spending too much.
Make sure you ask where your customers found out about you so you can continue to spend money where it is working, and drop those places that aren’t!
Great wedding sites that will happily advertise your services on their site include:
- The Wedding Industry Awards
Hitched for example is a great when you are starting out because they include you in the NewComer Awards. This is a great way to get nominations and win badges to add to your website! Hitched is also a great place for brides to view your work as they are planning their wedding.
There are other wedding planning websites, all over the world. So check them out and join them. If there is no fee, then get on them. If there is a fee, really look into their stats and make sure, if you were a client…would you go to this site to find your perfect makeup artist?
Every Day I’m Hustling!!
While you can advertise yourself on social media or with paid advertising, sometimes (often times when you’re starting!) the work isn’t going to find you and you’re going to have to find the work yourself.
Generating work is one of the hardest bits when starting your business. This is where you really have to put in some time and effort.
I recommend spending at least 2 hours each day looking for work if you haven’t gone freelance. Already freelance and the work isn’t coming in? Then if you need to make ends meet you need to be spending as much time as you can possibly spare looking for work.
In step 1 of this course we did market research, and noted down a number of businesses working locally in the industry. Well time to use that information and the research skills some more if needs be.
- Contact all of the photographers, especially those you have worked with in the past and let them know you’re available for work, and ask them if they have any jobs coming up. Refer them to your website and portfolio
- Contact local magazines who do small editorials and tell them to keep you in mind. Send them again to your portfolio.
- Seek out wedding planners in your surrounding areas and ask if you can go on their recommendation list and that also you will do the same for them.
- This is not just a great way to get work but that link back to your website will also be vital to pushing your new website up on google ranks and get you onto the first page.
Critically you need to be getting out there and meeting people in the real world too. Do use your local, personal network – make them aware that you’re starting a business. Tell them how excited you are, show them your porfolio, get them to share in your excitement.
Then ask them to spread the word!
Don’t go and do a wedding Fayre just because its ‘THE BIGGEST, BADDEST FAYRE IN THE WORLD!’
There are local fayres that can be great source of income. Stands should cost about £50-150 ($75-200). Avoid spending more than that.
Little fayres, that are well established in beautiful venues tend to be the more successful ones and least expensive with a bigger chance of gaining work. If you get at least 3 jobs out of the fayre then you’ve not only paid back your fee, but you have also got yourself some cash coming in! If you don’t get any jobs, then avoid going back!
This is when that hard copy portfolio comes in handy, as they are great for displays at wedding fayres. It is also a good idea to get some business cards printed for these. Sites such as Moo, VistaPrint or Goodprint will help you to design them and print off a smallish batch cheaply – include your business name, your name (if different), phone, email and your primary online location (be it your website or facebook page – but you don’t need more than one – it’s confusing).
You can also conduct mini trials at these fayres which is a great way to show people what you can do and start building a good relationship with your potential clients. Consider asking a friend to help you out at at the fayre with writing down client appointments if you are taking mini trial bookings and to also help chat to other potential clients while you are doing mini makeup trials.
Irrespective of which avenues you choose to advertise for and look for work you must at all time keep an eye on your finances. If you’re spending on advertising, you need to make sure that the customers you generate through this are worth more than your spend.
If you need to cover rent, food and everything else each month you should work out how many jobs you need to have to cover this, and get hustling to meet this target!
To help manage these efforts we’ve created a spreadsheet to track all the potential options for advertising and finding work. To begin with this will serve as a “to-do list” of places to visit online or offline regularly to generate business. Over time however you can use this to see what’s working and what isn’t – and gradually streamline your efforts so you’re spending your time (and money!) only where it counts!
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Struggling to generate new business, or already killing it? We’d love to hear your experiences and concerns – drop us a comment below and we’ll always reply