NETWORK, NETWORK, NETWORK

Networking is key: and the most powerful marketing tool for your business. To get your business off the ground you want to make sure you properly network yourself and your business. The makeup artist industry is a very competitive industry and word of mouth can make all the difference to the success of your freelance business. Talk to people wherever you go weddings, airplanes, events and get your name out there. Network and make contacts whenever possible. Always exchange your contact information,  make sure to have your business cards on you at all times. Networking is all about building those long term trusting relationships, building them and keeping them strong. Maintain a strong circle of contacts, create a referral network, follow up with clients and build trust.
TIP: WOM Word of mouth is everything and can make or brake your business so always act professional, be genuine, listen and build your clients trust!

SCHMOOZING YOUR WAY TO BUSINESS SUCCESS
NETWORKING TODAY IN CANADA

BUILD YOUR FREELANCE KIT (THE BASICS)

Building a kit separate from your own will take time and money. Start building your kit immediately by deciding what makeup products you are going to use and start to add products. You don't have to have all the same of one company but you do want good quality products. Many clients will look at your kit as a reflection of your experience. 


The following is a list of products you will need to start your kit and later I will get into detail about how to choose the right products/company.
  • Full Brush Set and Brush Cleanser
  • Minimum 4 Liquid Foundations (you can mix to get the perfect shade)
  • Setting Powder (control shine)
  • Minimum 15 Eyeshadows Depending on Skin Tone (palette form will save you space later)
  • Blush
  • Lipsticks/Gloss (don't go crazy most brides will want to carry their own)
  • Mascara (waterproof)
  • Eyeliner (black/brown)
  • False Lashes (assortment)
  • Skin Care (do not ignore, very important to achieve that flawless skin)
  • Primer (need to smooth out texture in the skin and control shine)
  • Tools - Eyelash Curler, Lash Glue, Sponges, Spatula, Tester Wands
These are the basic essentials to have in your kit, now don't go crazy with the cost its better to buy the quality and build your kit slowly then want everything at once and not care about the quality.
TIP: DO NOT BUY ONLINE MAKEUP PRODUCTS from an unreliable source. I need to stress this importance, unless you are buying from the actual website there are going to be fake. Those 50 MAC eyeshadows you got for $50 are FAKE. Shocking right you thought you were getting a great deal, common know one is an authorized dealer but the MAC website so smarten up. I have had so many people come show me these great MAC products they have gotten and I laughed they are ALL fake. From brushes to eyeshadows to foundations to even lipsticks!

GET ORGANIZED/BUY A PLANNER

Once you start booking clients the you want to make sure you can keep your information organized. Keep sometime of planner for all you important dates and keep track of the look that each bride is requests. You want to make sure you know on the wedding day what look the bride desires and if you did a consult you should already know the colours that she chose. Consultations are not always wanted from the bride but strongly encourage them it will make your life easier on the day of and there will be no surprises for the bride. A brides definition of a "natural eye" or a "smoky eye" is defiantly not the same as yours or mine so you want to make sure the bride loves her makeup. One upset client can spread like fire and potential harm your reputation. You might prefer to use an electronic planner or a written one whatever works easier for you. If you have a terrible memory like mine make notes about what the bride likes so you will remember for later.
TIP: Taking a photo of the consultation makeup is a great way to see if the bride wants to add or change anything as well as you can use it as a guide for the wedding day to remember what you applied!

START ADVERTISING - SOCIAL NETWORK SITES

Get your social networking skills on because now is the time you want to advertise and make people aware of your business. Set up a page on Facebook where you can attach photos of your work and a link to your website. Perhaps start a blog and you can give tips and tricks on the makeup you do. Social networking is everywhere, you will be surprised how much work work you will get from your website and your social network site. Once you get started and have a few clients word of mouth is going to be your best advertising. Everyone looks at the bride, at a wedding her dress, her hair and of course your makeup. Photos are posted for everyone to see and next thing you know your bride is sending you new clients from all over that want that same beautiful makeup.
TIP: Make sure to always act professional and try to pamper the bride on her wedding day, do something extra that she will remember you by. Make sure to leave extra business cards before you leave!

ORGANIZE YOUR FINANCES

Depending on the size of your business and how legitimate you want it to be, you will need to keep your finances in order.

  1. Set up a business bank account, this will help you track your business and keep it separate from your personal account. 
  2. Keep track of all your receipts and invoices so you will be prepared and organized for tax time.
  3. Find an accountant that will be able to help you do your taxes and inform you what you can/can't claim based on where you live.         
  4. If you needed any type of loan to get started for equipment such as computer etc. check out the website below and it will give you the detailed information how to apply for a small business loan.                                                                                                                      
I have attached a website that gives you all the detailed information of how to register and properly start your business in Canada, check it out.
TIP: You can buy receipt paper at business depot or make your own with a template to online!


STARTING A BUSINESS IN CANADA

ESTABLISH YOUR PRICES AND CREATE A PRICE LIST

Deciding on prices to charge will vary with every job but you will want to establish a guideline. Your prices will vary depending on location (you could charge a travel fee/gas fee), the occasion (wedding, graduation, and of course your time. You could charge per person or per hour/half day. Many artists will give a special rate for the more makeup they have to do (larger bridal parties). Now deciding on your price is up to you, ask around what the going rate is for your city, go online and check what salons are charging. Remember you want your prices to reflect your worth. If you are new to the makeup industry and need more experience you might charge less vs if you have worked in the industry for years. Also remember that most brides are going to want a consultation so figure out how much you wanna charge for this either separate or included in the price. Once you decide on your price range make a price list that looks professional that you can email to clients when they ask.
TIP: When giving clients your price list inform them that prices vary depending on location, this will save the hassle of explaining later!



MAKE BUSINESS CARDS

Now is the time to update your business cards and invest in cards that are eye catching and visually appealing. Make sure you list all your details including but not limited to: name of business, your name, what you do (makeup artist), contact information (phone number, email) and website. Make sure your business cards give customers a clear, positive vision of what your business/service is that you are offering. There are many ways you can create business cards:
  • Design your own 
  • Pay a professional to work with and help design them for you
  • Use a template online
  • Order pre-made cards online just add your information
Make sure whatever method you choose you are happy with the design and it represents the business. Remember your business cards will circulate and possible adding new clientele, so have your cards stand out and show off who you are. I have added a link to Vista Print below if you are looking for something more affordable. Check out the video below to help inspire and get your creativity rolling.
TIP: Make sure you know the quality of card you are receiving, if you don't get to see the material the cards are printed on read about the different materials they offer and for the extra $30-$40 get the cards that can't rip, they will look better, you will be happy with them and they will last forever!


video


VISTA PRINT

MAKE A WEBSITE

Once you have chosen/registered your business name, you will want to begin networking and putting your business out there, starting with a website. First you will need to find a domain name and purchase it to register the name on the internet (hopefully you already decided on a domain name when registering your business name). I have attached a video that shows how to create a website in 5 easy steps. Check it out.
TIP: Don't worry if you are not technology savvy, building websites are easy and fun. Here is a chance to show your artistic/creative ability. MAC computers offer a website building tool on their computers as well as Bell Canada and many other businesses so get started and have fun!

GUIDE TO BUILDING YOUR OWN WEBSITE 

CHOOSE A BUSINESS NAME

Choose a business name that markets yourself and what you do. Make the name memorable and easy to pronounce/spell. Make sure the name has to do with your business and creates a positive visual for customers. Once you have chosen a name make sure the name is not already used and register it.
TIP: When choosing a business name check out what names are available for websites as well!


CHECK IF YOUR BUSINESS NAME IS AVAILABLE
REGISTER YOUR BUSINESS NAME ONLINE

BUILD YOUR OWN PORTFOLIO

Your portfolio is your resume in the makeup artist industry. When you create a collection of your best work, together it will showcase your talent and get you new clients. This is the easiest way to secure freelance jobs by showing others what you have to offer.  
TIP: When working with photographers at weddings, or on sets get their contact information and later inquire about receiving a photo of your/their work, they will most likely give it to you for free and have their name on the photo WIN WIN situation for you!