What’s the best piece of makeup advice you ever heard?
Today I’m sharing a personal story about the best piece of advice that I heard, right at the beginning of my Makeup Artist journey.
Many years ago when I was a brand new Makeup Artist, trying to get established, I was an active member of an online forum (this was back in the dark ages, before Facebook!) There were some amazing artists on that forum, and some, who like me, were just starting out, who went on to become amazing artists too. It was a great space and I’m so grateful I had that so early in my career.
Anywhoo, one day, one of the newer artist posted a question: “If you could give one piece of advice to artists starting out, what would it be?” There were so many great answers, but it was the answer from Mary, the founder of camerareadycosmetics.com that I remember so much.
I took that advice to heart and it had such a great impact on my career…
What Mary actually said was “I would tell them to go and do a business course – learn how to run a business” (or words to that effect).
And that really hit home! It struck a chord with me. Because when you think about it, as a freelancer, we ARE running a business.
Up until that point, I guess I hadn’t really been serious about what I was doing, because, you know, makeup was FUN and making people look pretty and feel good about themselves was FUN.
But after I heard that advice, I began to think differently about doing makeup.
And that’s the first step: a subtle change of mindset from “this is something I’m doing just for fun” to “this is something I’m doing to make a living, that I really enjoy”.
I knew a bit about business as I’d helped my mum run my step-father’s business. I knew a little bit about accounts and admin (I actually did accounting in year 12 and thought about becoming an accountant at one point. I know, weird…)
I began to take notice of how much money was coming in, and rather than just spending it willy-nilly, I began to really take notice of how much was going out! I set a budget for how much I would spend on makeup each month.
I looked at the rates I was charging and how much it was actually COSTING me to do each makeup, and promptly put my prices up.
I looked at where my bookings and enquiries were coming from (remember there was no Facebook or Instagram back them), and I got more serious about marketing, networking and running ads.
I considered how I was dealing with the enquiries that came in, I started taking deposits, using a contract and confirming my bookings.
And you know what happened???
I increased my bookings from 56 weddings that year to 151 the following year! I practically tripled my business!!
I realised that what Mary had been alluding to was that actually DOING makeup is only a small part of the puzzle – yeah, its the most fun part, and I realise its not very sexy talking about accounts and enquiry processes, but I realised that when I spent some time and effort getting this business stuff sorted out, I could do a lot more of what I really wanted to do, AND make a good living out of it.
If you’d like to know more about how you can become a successful makeup artist, check out my free webinar at suelouise.com/webinar