Old school marketing tips that work!

Are you finding social media frustrating?  You post every day, because you know consistency is so important, but sometimes you wonder if there is anyone out there who’s really noticing?  Or perhaps you’re getting plenty of likes on your posts, but when you look at who is actually liking, you realise its your friends and family, or other makeup artists?  That is, people who are NOT your potential clients?

While I absolutely believe that having a social media presence is important as a makeup artist or hairstylist, I’m also aware that the Facebook and Instagram algorithms are limiting the number of my followers who are even seeing my posts!  10 years ago when Facebook Business pages were introduced, all you needed was for someone to become a fan, or Like your page, and they would see your posts.  ALL your posts.  Those days are GONE…  If your posts are being seen by 10% of your followers, you’re doing well!!

So what can you do about this?  Well, you can pay to play… and that’s what Facebook and Instagram want you to do. Boost posts, take out ads, and spend money with no guaranteed return.

OR, you can do things differently.  Doing the same thing as everyone else ends up in a race to the bottom, as everyone tries to be BETTER than everyone else, which is impossible, so it usually ends up in a price war.

Different is better than better.

I’ve been reading an old marketing book I’ve had on my shelf for ages, called 101 Ways to market your business.  This book was published in 2000 and there are only TWO pages dedicated to Internet marketing (social media didn’t exist in 2000!).  Reading the book, some of these ideas really stood out to me, and I believe they are great ways you, as a freelance makeup artist or hairstylist, can market your business – and most of them will cost less than a month’s advertising on Facebook!


Now, while there’s no way all 101 are appropriate for your business here’s my Top 5, and how you could implement them (don’t worry… I’m not going to suggest you get into a chicken suit!!)


  1. Put an Ad on the back of your car.

I mean, hey, it’s a free mobile billboard (well, once you’ve paid the initial cost).  As a location specific business, this is a great idea, as it’s working for you while you’re shopping, dropping your kids to school, driving to and from jobs, and even parked at wedding venues.  From just a few dollars up to several hundred, you can choose to just have your name and Makeup Artist, along with your web address and socials, or a full colour one-way vision sticker with your logo and other graphics.  Most of these vinyl stickers will last up to 5 years, so it’s a really economical way to advertise your business.

Be careful not to obscure your vision, and of course, you’ll need to make sure your car is kept clean and presentable, because people will judge your business based on your ad, and your vehicle has now become your ad.


  1. Wear a uniform!

Or at least a printed t-shirt.  Having your name, logo & social handles printed on your t-shirt is another super economical way to promote your business.  If you’re doing a wedding, the bridesmaids might struggle to remember your name when you are introduced, but if they are in your chair for 45-60 minutes, and you have it on your shirt, it’s in their face for all that time!  I recommend getting the back printed too – maybe have the back print larger and the front just a small left lapel size.

Bonus points if you’re cheeky enough to wear this shirt when you’re shopping in Mecca or Sephora!


  1. Send out Reminder Notices

This tip works on the premise that “its cheaper and easier to KEEP a client than it is to find a new one”.  You know how your dentist sends you a reminder letter every 6 months urging you to come in for your check up?  Why not do something similar with your past clients?  Obviously not a six-monthly reminder, but you could send out a “reminder” in the lead up to say, Halloween, Valentines Day or even your client’s birthday.

Now while my dentist still sends out a postcard in the snail mail, I suggest you update this tip to 2019 and use email. Keeping your clients email addresses in an email marketing service (like MailChimp) will allow you to send out these emails quickly and easily, to a single client or a group.


  1. Outdoor signage

If you have a home studio (or even if you don’t!) why not put a sign up outside your house.  I know an online/mobile travel agent who had a big sign put up on a retaining wall at her house – and she lives in a cul de sac!  Again, for a small initial outlay, this is an ad that keeps working for you.  Just be sure to put “By Appointment Only” or you might get randoms knocking on your door!


  1. Create a brochure/PDF

This is another tip I recommend you update for 2019.  The author was recommending getting brochures printed, so you could hand them out to your potential clients.  I don’t believe that you would get a good ROI from a full colour glossy printed brochure (but happy if someone tells me they have done).  I do however believe in the power of sending out a PDF to your potential clients.  I teach my students and coaching clients to “add value” with their marketing this way, and exchange a PDF for the potential clients email address.  Make the PDF something USEFUL to your potential clients – for example you could provide your “Top Tips on getting your skin (or hair) great for your wedding day” or “Why airbrush makeup is better on your wedding day” or “How to choose the best hairstyle for your face shape”…  you get the idea…


So often I hear from makeup artists and hairstylists that their biggest challenge is standing out in an overcrowded space, or competing with all the other makeup artists in town.  If you are marketing your business the same way as everyone else, it IS going to be difficult to stand out.  Do something different than everyone else, and remember that while social media should be an important part of your marketing strategy, it should not be the only part.


If you’d like more ideas on how you can market your business differently, you can download my FREE PDF 20 Ways to market your makeup or hair business OFF social media.


Do you have some other marketing tips that have worked for you?  I’d love to hear about them, drop a comment below, or join the conversation on my Facebook Page



Images for this article supplied by Makeup Mastermind member Danielle Johnstone

Photography credits:

Elizabeth Gao
Lucius Yin
Nataliana A

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