Marketing your makeup business: identifying your ideal client

Who are you marketing to?  As a makeup artist or hairstylist, the beginning of the year can be such a busy time for bridal enquiries but if you’re sending out a whole lot of quotes and not getting most of them actually booking you, then maybe your marketing is directed to the wrong people.

Marketing is one of the most important pillars of your freelance makeup or hairstyling business, but it’s one of the most misunderstood pillars too.  Marketing is much more than simply putting some pretty pictures up on social media and watching the bookings roll in (we WISH that’s the way it happened!!)

The first important step in your marketing strategy should be to identify your ideal client.  I know when you’re first starting out, or if you don’t have a full calendar, you’ll take any client who will book you, heck, I sure did when I first started!  Over time though, it’s important to figure out who it really is that you want to be working with, so you can tailor your marketing message to that client.

I see so many artists complaining on the forums about being undercut, and about how there are so many budget makeup artists around these days.  The budget artists have always been there, we just didn’t always have social media making them so visible.  I was hearing “thanks but I’ve booked with someone cheaper” 18 years ago when I first started.  It’s nothing new!


So, who is your ideal client?

Take a look at this image.


They are all red lipsticks.  Everyone of them performs the same purpose – it makes your lips red, but they are all a little different.  Some are glossy, some are matte, some are long-lasting, some are vegan, some are blue red, some are orange red, and some are very cheap, and some are very expensive.  The point here, is that there is a MARKET for each of those lipsticks.

When you are looking for a lipstick, you will focus on the one that is going to filfull what you are looking for.  So, if you’re partial to a matte, blue-red lipstick, you’ll notice the glossy orangey reds, and keep looking.

It’s the same with your clients, if she is looking for cut-crease glam, she’ll scroll on by if she sees images of natural boho looks.

If she’s planning a relaxed beach wedding, she will hone in on images that show her that sort of look, beach wave hairstyles, and not stop when she sees images of classic sleek chignons with tiaras.

And that’s just the look – what she sees in your images.  There’s also the words in your message to consider, your social media captions, copy on your website, and what you say in your email communications.

Identifying your ideal client is about a whole lot more than just her preferences in makeup or hair looks.  What sort of person is she?  Younger or more mature?  Is she looking for a luxury experience or something more laid back?  Is she a party girl focussed on having fun?  Is she budget conscious and shopping based on price.  Not everyone shops based on price, although for some that is a big factor.

Let’s go back to the red lipstick collection.  Some women wouldn’t dream of paying $50 for a Tom Ford lipstick (yes, they cost that much in Australia), and some women wouldn’t be caught dead wearing the $3.95 BYS lippy!! Some women value luxury and prestige, and believe that a more expensive product is better quality.  Some women would rather save money, and just use a product that gets the job done, no matter what the label.   But does Tom Ford concern himself about women buying $4 lipsticks?  Of course not!  Because he understands that there is a market for both (and for everything in between).

It’s the same with us as makeup artists.  There is a market for the $40 makeup artist, just as there is a market for the $200 makeup artist.  YOU get to decide which client you really want to work with.  There is no right or wrong here.  It’s simply a matter of choice.

Of course, given the choice, wouldn’t most artists want to work with clients happy to pay $200 for their makeup?  I’m not saying this is possible for everyone right now; remember it’s a journey, but if that’s the sort of client you want to be working with, then you need to start tailoring your marketing to that client.

There’s nothing wrong with charging a lower price when you are starting out, we all have to start somewhere!  The important thing is to keep your pricing appropriate for your skill level and the market.  A $40 makeup artist needs to do 25 makeups to earn $1000, a $100 makeup artist only needs to do 10.  I know which way I would rather earn that $1000.  (If you’re unsure about your rates, check out THIS POST)

So, have a think about the sort of clients you want to be working with.  Who is your ideal?  What sort of makeup/hairstyling does she like?  What sort of experience is she looking for?  What sort of price point is she happy to pay?

Once you are clear on that, have a look over your marketing material (your website, social media, and your written messaging) and ask yourself does this speak to your ideal client and attract her, or are you sending her away?

If you’re not clear in your message, chances are you’re sending all clients away, because they may be confused, and a confused mind says NO.  You want your ideal clients to notice you – your portfolio or social media,  and sigh, thinking “Yes!  THIS is the makeup artist for me!”


Check back next week when we cover how to get those ideal clients enquiring and booking, once they have noticed you.  Join my newsletter list HERE to be notified when the article is published.



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