5 ways to Build your Network

Networking really is the cornerstone of our business. Make up artistry is a people business and the way to get more business is obviously to build better relationships with more people. Building your Network is one of my 5 Steps to Makeup Artist success, and consistent work on building your network, and nurturing the relationships with those already in your network is a vital part of being a successful makeup artist.

So how do we actually go about building and nurturing those relationships? Relationships are built on value and we need to make sure that we providing value to the people who we are networking with and who we are looking to establish relationships with.  Obviously when it comes to our clients the value in that relationship is quite clear – we provide the value of the make up service, and they provide the value of giving us money! When it comes to other people within the industry sometimes it can be a little bit tricky to determine what the value is that we are providing so this week I invite you to think about that. What is the value that you are providing to the people that you’re looking to network with and to build working relationships with?

Let’s talk about wedding vendors – they can be your greatest source of referral work. I’ve had long-standing working relationships with several wedding venues and photographers over my career which has been absolutely fantastic for me as most brides will book their venue and photographer before their makeup artist, so having those referrals can be a great way to book more brides.

The value that you can provide to a wedding venue can be as simple as being a professional business person.  Always introduce yourself when arriving.  Always be punctual.  Always ASK where they would like you to park your car, and be very appreciative if they give you complimentary parking.  I have recently booked TWO weddings, from two separate resort receptionists, just because I arrived early enough to have a chat with them before I went up to the bride’s room, and I took the time to go back and thank them as I was leaving.

What is the value that you can provide to a wedding photographer? I always say the #1 thing would be to make sure that the bride and bridal party is ready on time. If we are running late we are eating into the amount of time that the photographer has with the bride before the ceremony and that means they’re going to get less of those amazing portraits and getting ready photos that brides love. The bride may then not be completely happy with the photographer and there goes your chance of being referred by that photographer in the future! We all know it’s important to make sure that you allow enough time to get the bride ready so that she is not feeling rushed, but remember your timings impact the photographer as well.

I always like to keep my phone on the desk so that I can keep my eye on the time or if you wear a watch you can keep your eye on your watch.  When you set out your timeline for the day know what time you need to be getting each person into the chair and make sure you stick to those times. It’s a really great idea to have a buffer built-in at the end, I always like to have 30 minutes and I nearly always use that 30 minutes simply because I do all of my lips and touchups at the end.

Another way that we can add value to wedding photographers is to limit the amount of time that they need to spend retouching photos by being really meticulous with the make up that we are doing – making sure our makeup is balanced, our lines are sharp and straight, and everything is well blended. Remember, what might take you two minutes to fix in person, might take the photographer 5 minutes to fix IN EVERY PHOTO…  so never rely on Photoshop to fix your makeup mistakes.  Lately, I have been taking a quick photo on my phone when I finish each makeup, as for some reason, I find I often pick up things on the screen that I don’t see in person, and that way I can fix them right away.

I also allow time for whoever is sitting in the chair when the flowers arrive to get up and go and look at the flowers with everybody else. If the photographer is there in the room when the flowers arrive this is another way that you can add value to the photographer because he or she will be able to get some great shots of the entire bridal party checking out the flowers. The florist will also appreciate these photos too!  Speaking of florists you could add value to the florist by taking a behind the scenes photo of their flowers and tagging them in any social media posts that you did. I find with florist sites they usually just put pictures of the bouquet and not photos with the bridal party. So it’s really nice to tag them in your photos so they get to see the finished product as well.

Take the time to think about what you can do for others you are working with.  Many of these ideas I’ve developed over my career, and particular since I read this week’s “Book of the Week” which is one of my all-time favourite books, The Go-Giver.


I hope you’ve gotten VALUE from this week’s tips, feel free to share this post on your facebook page to provide value to your network and friends!


Photo credits:

Alan Hughes Photography
Tom Hall Photography


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