woman getting a cosmetic treatment

Don't make it up: Cosmetic marketing strategies that actually work

By: Jeff Law

Being talented is just one piece of the puzzle when launching yourself as a Makeup Artist. The other piece involves having clients that are excited to work with you, be that regularly or on an ad-hoc basis. If you’re just starting out, it can be challenging to develop a substantial and reliable client base. 

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This challenge typically stems from a few different factors: Choosing too broad of a market to focus on as opposed to a niche or targeted market, or focusing heavily on styles that are too niche and don’t lead to regular work. A lot of this can be avoided by remaining flexible and adapting to what brings you the most regular work.


Another challenge can be the simple fact that you are brand, spankin’ new! Reasonably so, it’s tough to find clients when nobody knows about you. Thankfully, by implementing a strong marketing strategy you can overcome this obstacle and set yourself up for success.


Now, the question is: What should you focus on, and how can you best set yourself up for success?


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Super fresh? Get some ‘case studies’


This may be seen as comparable to a musician playing ‘gigs’ for exposure, but doing a few free looks will likely benefit you in the long run. By offering to do ‘free’ work in exchange for photos of the look, you have the opportunity to convert this client into a future paying customer and you have demonstrated proof of your craft that you can use to advertise your business. It’s a win-win!


Now, this is not something that you should do for an extended period of time, but acts as a great stepping stone into the industry if you do not have traditional training.


Consider getting a website & blog


Once you have some photos, consider getting a simple website. This way, you have a location where you can easily direct people to. Site builders like SquareSpace, GoDaddy, and Wix allow you to easily design your own site. They also offer sleek templates that will help your photos stand out since visuals are everything for your business!

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Register with Google My Business


While every business should sign up with ‘Google My Business’, small and local businesses should consider this a requirement. Considering that the search term ‘makeup artist near me’ and variations on this term are highly popular, registering with Google My Business would not only bring you closer to the customers who are searching for a makeup artist, but would allow you to control your presence across the web, and provide a space for current clients to review your work. 


Get Social


Makeup is a visual medium, and because of that–– there are certain platforms that will allow you to boost your business with ease. The best social media platforms for Makeup Artists right now are Instagram, TikTok, and Pinterest. 


Instagram is a great platform for documenting your work, and can even be linked up to your website. This is also a great platform to reach out to potential clients. For instance, if you primarily focus on wedding makeup, keep an eye out for engagements via relevant hashtags!


TikTok is your new place to shine. This platform is excellent for bringing in your audience and giving them a glimpse into the process. What is it like to work with you? What’s your personality like? This is also the perfect platform to put together a few tutorials that link back to your Instagram.


Once you’ve set yourself up on either of these platforms, upload your work onto Pinterest. People are constantly searching for inspiration on pinterest, and if they love your work–– they’ll pin it and click through to your Instagram or TikTok. This additional step can do wonders for your online presence.


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Get your work seen with Paid Ads


Paid ads are a great way to build traction when you’re first starting out, and also an excellent way to boost your business. However, setting up and running these ads can sometimes feel a bit overwhelming. Luckily, setting up paid ads has never been easier than it is today. Additionally, it only costs as much as you decide to pay for it. 


While larger spends will make a bigger impact, experimenting with small amounts will help you determine the best ad types and the best groups to target. If jumping around different ad and social media platforms feels difficult to manage, an all-in-one platform like Adfully is an excellent option to alleviate that overwhelm and make the entire process more efficient.


Set up a referral program


Have you ever had to choose between two things, and then ultimately chosen one because a friend or family member told you it was great? That’s called ‘word-of-mouth’ marketing, and is incredibly powerful and pretty easy to start up. 


In essence, you want your clients to be raving about you! While that sometimes will happen organically, offering an incentive for clients to leave reviews or referrals is a great way to ensure it’s happening. When your clients leave you an awesome public review, or refer a friend-- that builds credibility and trust, and also helps to build client loyalty.

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