Since I became a Makeup Artist Educator seven years ago, I’ve been fascinated watching my students and former students, and I wonder how some of them become successful very quickly, and how others, who seemed SO talented simply fade away, and are not even working as makeup artists now. While I believe there are several factors that determine if someone is successful or not, today I want to focus on Marketing Strategy and how one simple shift in your marketing strategy can make a world of difference in your business.
Last week in my blog (and video, which you might have caught on YouTube), I talked about the mistake of “passive” marketing, and how “active, value-driven” marketing can yield much better results. So, what is “active, value-driven” marketing, and why is it so effective?
Well, first let me explain what it isn’t. Traditionally, if someone had something to sell they would simply tell people about it with an ad, and people would buy. In years gone by, this was effective enough, as media wasn’t a constant in our lives. Someone could place a sandwich board outside a shop, an ad in a newspaper or magazine, or even a radio or television ad. Consumers would see these ads a couple of times, become familiar with the products and then make a purchase, sometimes even if they didn’t have a need! How many of you have walked past a store with a beautiful pair of shoes in the window, and realised you “NEED” them, or, seen an infomercial and made an impulse buy (did those steak knives sway you??)
However, times have changed. In the modern world, we are constantly bombarded with ads, and most of us are so desensitized, we simply tune out. This old fashioned “promotional” marketing, or “passive” marketing, where the seller simply puts up an ad about their product then sits back and the sales come in, just isn’t effective any more. Consumers are a lot savvier now, they are largely immune to a lot of the “infomercial” tactics – we even JOKE about the steak knives! “But wait, there’s more…”…
People now gather a lot more information and build awareness about your business before they even make an enquiry with you. The internet and the proliferation of social media means there is a lot more options for us to promote our business, and a lot more places for people to find out about us. All our customers aren’t seeing the same ad anymore.
As recently as 15 years ago, it was estimated consumers needed 2-5 exposures, or “touch-points” to a product (or service) before making a buying decision; nowadays it can be as high as from 12-20 exposures (depending on where you get your research statistics from!)
How does this relate to us as freelance HMUA? Well, a Makeup Artist who is promoting their services the old-fashioned way (via passive, promotional marketing only) will maybe have a website where they post their work, but most likely she will be relying on social media, probably Instagram, where she will post images of her work, with “Book Me”, “DM to Book” or “Click link in bio to Book” call to action in the caption of her images. If this isn’t getting them enough enquiries, she probably thinks about paying for Facebook or Instagram ads. These artists are all about getting the sale in a passive way. Our customers are on to that now, people don’t want to feel like they are being sold to, so we need to think a little differently in order to attract them and get them paying attention to our work.
Yes, we work in a visual space, and yes, posting the right images on our socials is important. But posting these images and having our prospective clients see them is just the FIRST STEP in the Customers Journey.
What is a Customer Journey? Maybe you’ve heard that term before, but you’re not sure what it means. Every customer goes on a “Journey” from when they first become aware of you, your products or services, and your brand, to when they actually buy from you (make a booking and pay their deposit). The successful makeup artists and hairstylists are those who understand this journey and are able to guide their prospective clients along the journey so they make the logical next steps and eventually buy, rather than just constantly pitching to them.
The journey takes your customer from initial contact, to awareness of your business (brand), to familiarity, to Know/Like/Trust and then finally to buying. Not everyone lasts the full journey, some prospective clients will drop off along the way, some decide they want something different to what you are offering, some book with somebody else. For this reason, its often referred to as a “funnel” where you have a lot of people entering at the top (seeing your first “ad” – or Instagram post) and then a few passing through the narrow opening at the bottom (making a booking).
So what is this “shift” that we need to make? It’s a shift from passive, promotional marketing to active, value-driven marketing, or “utility” market as Kerwin Rae calls it, meaning to give something USEFUL or of VALUE to your customer BEFORE she books with you. Now, I’m sure some of you are thinking, why should I give something away before a client books me? What if she takes what I give her and books with somebody else? It’s true that not everyone is going to book you, but they never were anyway. But, when you serve first, the money will follow…
Remember, people do business with those that they know, like and trust. Serving, or adding value before a sale (or even before an enquiry) is the BEST way to get your clients to Know, Like and Trust you. This is part of that customer journey, where the customer moves from their initial awareness through familiarity to KLT then booking with you. If you can add value somehow to your prospective clients between the awareness and familiarity stage, she is more likely to end up booking, because you have already given her something, or helped solve a minor “problem” she has, rather than just bombarding her with images of your work, and a request to “book me”. That’s like standing up in a crowded room jumping up and down yelling “Pick me, Pick me”.
So just what can you do as a Makeup Artist or Hairstylist to add value to your potential clients? This is where those who truly understand social media excel. Think for a minute about WHY people come onto social media. Why do YOU go to social media everyday? (or maybe several times every day). People come to social media to connect with their family and friends, and, to be entertained and maybe educated. People DON’T come to social media to be sold to. So the key is, whenever you are posting to remember this, and to ask yourself how can you CONNECT with your clients, how can you entertain or EDUCATE them, and ultimately, how can you build a relationship with them?
I believe that educating our clients is one of the best ways we can connect with them and add value. Whether that is something as simple as listing the products you used in a particular look, to talking about new products or techniques you have discovered, or even offering some hints and tips from your expertise, I know you will find this more effective than constantly posting “Click here to book” posts. Another great idea is to share content from other people, when you learn something, pass the knowledge on (with credit, of course!)
It’s like me publishing blog posts every week, doing webinars, Facebook Live and IGTV. Not everyone who reads this blog post will enrol in one of my courses (buy from me), and that’s OK. I am grateful for every one of you who DOES read my blog and newsletter each week, and while of course publishing a blog is a part of MY marketing strategy, its a great way for people to get to know, like and trust me!
Now, that’s not to say that you shouldn’t ever do posts to promote your business, of course you can! It’s about balance. Most marketing experts suggest that you limit your promotional posts to 20% of all your posts. That means, 4 educational or value posts, then 1 promotional post with a call-to-action. Remember it can take up to 20 touch-points or exposures, 20 times for someone to see your posts, to see your business before they buy from you, so make sure that you have added value, entertained them or educated them, and built a relationship with them along the way. When you build a relationship with your clients you will be the first person they think of when they want to book a makeup artist or hairstylist.
If you’d like more suggestions on how you can add value to your potential clients CLICK HERE to download my Top 10 Ways to Add Value.
What are some of the ways that you have connected with your potential clients?