Besides your portfolio, there's nothing that will take you further in your career than establishing a reliable and excellent reputation from your clients. This is a business where who you know and who knows you, and the impression that you provide to others, truly matters most. Establishing a career as a professional Makeup Artist is about talent and education, but also a lot about recommendations and about people wanting to work with you again and again. Basically clients (no matter if they are fellow industry professionals such as photographers, private clientele, or even celebrities), people will prefer working with someone that they have good chemistry with and who they are able to trust. This is why word of mouth and always being on your “best behavior” and on top of your game goes a long way!
Now, you might wonder how do you begin to build the best reputation?
It's simple, follow these and you will be well on your way!
1. Work Hard
This goes without saying! The idea is to always be prepared before a job. Have a plan for the look/looks you are going to create (this is why client consultations are always important!) and always have a backup. When you show up, be efficient and get the job done the first time. Also, be ready to adjust if necessary. Clients will always change their mind, and you must be ready to listen and offer them what they want at a moment’s notice.
There are numerous Makeup Artists that lack in this department. This is one of the first things you will always learn in school, but industry horror stories are always shared from models and clients. Part of your job as a Makeup Artist is to keep your client safe from infections and skin disease (and with all of the products on the market, there is absolutely no excuse to take the time to clean each and every tool and include disposable products in your kit at all times!). It is of utmost importance to take the necessary precautions, disposable mascara wands, cleaning brushes, etc. You know the drill. Remember: word travels fast and nobody wants to work with a Makeup Artist with questionable hygiene.
3. Be Nice
In general, people like to work with people who have good energy, and are positive and always seek the best solution to any problem at hand. It makes the long days on jobs pass faster. Clients like people that they can easily communicate with. Remember your job is to work on emphasizing the beauty in each individual, you have to make them feel confident, so your attitude and energy are vital
4. Don't Gossip
As a Makeup Artist you'll always be around models, celebrities, photographers, and private clientele (which includes members of your community!). You'll hear numerous personal conversations and work with different faces, some with different skin issues and personalities. Now, what you have to understand is that what you hear on the job must always stay with you, you must keep all of your work confidential. Nobody likes a gossip and people like working with trustworthy professionals. Keep all information to yourself, be loyal, and you'll build the right network of clients that will always love working with you.
5. Build An Online Reputation
This requires a bit of strategy and work, but a good online network will bring attention to your brand! If you have an amazing online presence, with a professional website, and a well curated Instagram and Facebook account and engaging following, you are bound to attract the right clients. Be active, pick a theme, use hashtags! The number one rule is that you are as strong as your network, so use cross networking with the help of the photographers, models, and clients you’ve worked with. The strength of social media is in numbers and who sees you where. By growing your social media presence, your reputation will get a boost!
6. Advance Your Skills
This is not a requirement, but more of a little tip to take your career several steps further. Specialized training or a certification can help advance your skills and career. Specialized training can include learning special effects applications, corrective techniques, fashion, bridal, etc. Certifications earned can help build a loyal clientele. Makeup Artists with advanced skills will also have the potential to earn more income.
Most importantly, keep in mind that a strong reputation will not be built overnight. It's a step by step process that will eventually bring you to the level that you want to be with hard work and great people skills and networking. Starting on the right foot will lead you to the right track to building the best reputation and establishing yourself as a true Makeup Artist professional. At the end of the day, it is the work that you put into your craft, maintaining good relationships, which will in turn improve and create the best brand image for your business!