5 Tips for using Instagram to book more clients

One of the questions I hear over and over from my business coaching clients and other makeup artists, is about how to grow their social media following, and then, get more bookings. It’s like there is this belief that more followers means more bookings, but in reality I have found that this isn’t necessarily the case.  I know artists with large followings who don’t do that much work, and other artists with less than 1000 followers who are booked solidly with either commercial and editorial work or personal clients.

Social media should be just one of the “tools” in your marketing strategy, and I always say it shouldn’t be the only thing you focus on.  However, today I AM looking at social media, and Instagram in particular.  I’d like to share 5 tips for maximising your reach and engagement WITH YOUR IDEAL CLIENTS – because, of course, they are the people we want to see our work, and then, book us!


1. Post on Purpose

Who are you posting for? You should have an idea of who your ideal client is, and the sort of work you want to be doing.  Then you can tailor your posts to suit that client.  This is the same advice I offer for all aspects of your portfolio.  If you want to do bridal work, post bridal images!  If your signature look is natural makeup and that’s the sort of clients you want to attract, don’t confuse them by posting a whole heap of images with halo eyes!

Its OK to post different stuff from time to time (just check out my posts from Formal Week in Nov 2018!), but try to keep your style relatively consistent throughout your posts.


2. Use Instagram as the gateway

Some artists use Instagram as the beginning and end of their marketing strategy, but I encourage you not to put all your eggs in one basket.  You may have heard of people being “shadow-banned” which is like Instagram jail, and apparently usually happens for 30 days at a time, for such simple infractions as using the wrong hashtags!  I also know a model with a large following who had her Instagram account hacked by Russian Mafia dudes and held to ransom!

My friend Dawn Rose from Bridal Business School has a saying I love: “You can’t build your castle on rented land” and of course, any of our social platforms, facebook, Instagram, Snapchat etc, are all “rented land”

For this reason, I recommend you use your socials to drive traffic to your website, where YOU own the content, the layout and the space (ok, technically you’re still at the mercy of your servers, but in my experience, whenever my website has gone down (and its happened a few anxiety-inducing times) I can usually get it all back up and running immediately without any loss of data, formatting, or paying dodgy dudes any ransom money!

One of the best ways I’ve found to do this from Instagram is by using LINKTREE, which is a service where you can put ALL your links onto a page, and just the Linktree link on your Instagram (which of course, only allows you to use one link at a time in your bio.)

Using Linktree on your Instagram profile, you could put links to your Website Portfolio, Bridal Enquiry Form, Pricelist, latest Blog post, Facebook page… you name it!  Linktree is a free service, although you can pay to upgrade to a PRO account if you want more features.


3. Know your Numbers

“That which gets measured, improves”  We all know our follower count, at a glance, and many artists watch that go up (and down) on the daily (seriously though, how annoying is the whole follow & unfollow thing?  I hope none of you do that!!) If you want your Instagram and Facebook pages to really work for you and help bring in more clients, then its important to know more than just the number of followers you have.  Setting up your Instagram as a business profile allows you to view INSIGHTS which can tell you all sorts of interesting information, on your page and on each individual post or story.  Monitoring your insights and taking action on what you learn there will help to boost your ENGAGEMENT and then, your bookings too.

4. Take a better photo

OK, so we are makeup artists, not photographers.  However, Instagram is a VISUAL platform, and therefore, the quality of your photos is important! You don’t need a fancy camera to take great photos.  If you are focussed on booking more personal clients (formals, events and even brides) having “behind the scenes” images that you have taken with your phone is very acceptable.

As a makeup artist, it’s important that you show off your MAKEUP abilities.  When you photograph your work, take some time to get the lighting right.  Position your client so she is facing a window, and the light is even on both sides of her face.  (you stand with your back to the window).  Take LOTS of photos, until you figure out the angles.  I always ask my client if she is good with taking selfies, because let’s face it, if she is, she’s going to know her best angles, and I’ll probably get a much better pic than one I would take.  I just ask for no duck-faces!!  Haha.


5. Connect

It’s called SOCIAL media for a reason.  People come onto Social Media to be entertained or educated, or to connect with other people.  They don’t come there to be sold to.  Keep that in mind when you are posting, and don’t make every post a sales pitch.

When someone comments on your post, make sure you respond to them (even responding to the bots helps your algorithm), and commenting lets the person on the other end know there is a real person behind your page, and lets them get to know you.  And remember, people do business with those they Know, Like and Trust, and your social media pages are an excellent place for you to start that KLT process and develop a relationship with your ideal clients.


I hope you’ve found these tips helpful.  Feel free to share this post with any other makeup artists.  If you have any questions, drop them in the comments below or email me at info@suemclaurin.com


Photo Credits:

Alan Hughes Photography
Richard Whitfield Photography


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