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Makeup Maverick's Marketing Tips





Updated: 2014-10-04T16:39:02.576-07:00

 



Selling your Services as an Artist

2008-09-15T14:17:22.709-07:00

When I moved to Los Angeles several years ago, I had to start over again. I went from working as a Key Makeup Artist to working in sales. For two years I worked as an outside sales rep for a major fortune five hundred company and I hated every minute of it! The entire time I felt like I was spinning my wheels. I just wanted my makeup career back, but I was a slave to the steady paycheck. I felt like I was wasting my time selling someone else’s services when I could be selling my own. That’s when the light bulb went off in my head: it’s all sales and marketing. It doesn’t matter if you are a carpet cleaner, a freelance business consultant, or a makeup artist; you still have to sell and market your services. How is anyone going to know how great you are unless you sell them on it? As much as I hated working in sales, it taught me a lot about business. The product or service may change but the sale remains the same. That’s when I began applying what I learned working as a sales rep to getting work as a makeup artist.

So, here is some business and marketing advice from a former sales rep:

1. Set monthly goals for yourself. This means that you decide how much money you need to make each month as an artist.
2. Once you determine your goals, set a plan on how you are going to achieve them.
3. Every smart sales rep knows that it’s a numbers game. This means that the more people you contact, the higher the chances are that you will sell your services.
4. Start by making a list of people you would like to have as clients. Then cold call the companies to find out who hires for hair & makeup. Get their contact information and continue to follow up with them at least on a monthly basis.

Remember, “no” doesn’t mean “no forever,” it means “no for right now.” So never take no for an answer. Just keep asking for what you want in a different way until you get a yes! Make this a part of your daily/weekly routine and eventually you will get to where you want to be, I promise. It just takes persistence and patience!

Makeup Maverick
http://www.hmartistsnetwork.com
http://www.mymakeupart.com



Men's Grooming

2008-08-20T16:03:59.625-07:00

Several years ago, when I went to makeup school, they taught us a ridiculous "corrective male makeup". It was a very old school technique of applying foundation, cheek color, and even mascara and lipstick. I remember the first time I did a man's makeup was for an industrial shoot. I really wanted to do a good job, so I broke out my notes from class and began to apply makeup the way I was taught. I have to laugh now, because looking back he looked like a girl! The reality is that men's grooming (or makeup) should be as little as possible. Your job is to make sure he looks clean cut, awake, and his best. This means you should only apply makeup where its needed. Make sure his eyebrows are groomed, his lips are moist, and there aren't any visible dark circles or blemishes. Most men will tell what they want and that is, "as little as possible". Mostly this means you are there to powder them and make sure their hair isn't sticking up. That's a far cry from the "corrective male makeup" they taught me in school. My best advice is to understand what medium you are working in and ask your talent what they feel comfortable with.

Makeup Maverick
http://www.hmartistsnetwork.com
http://www.mymakeupart.com



Working with celebrities

2008-08-19T15:54:57.278-07:00

Last year I got the honor of working as a Makeup Artist for Ms. Geena Davis. It was my first time working with Geena and her hair stylist of fifteen years. Its a strange to be the newcomer in a long standing relationship. Obviously Geena had and her stylist had a natural repore with each other (which made my position even more awkward). I learned very quickly how territorial artists can be with with the talent. However, I learned a few interesting things that morning about working with high profile celebrities. I watched very closely how Geena's stylist pampered her. He combed her hair a million times, made sure the lighting was just right, and waited on her hand and foot. The reason movie stars chose a personal artist is because of the relationship that is built between the talent and the artist. You have to remember that you are providing a service and its the extra touches that make you stand out. So working with stars means giving star treatment. Being a hair or makeup artist is a very personal job. You are the first person they see in the morning, and the last person they see before they leave. Its care that you give to your client that makes them keep coming back. Its up to you to determine the situation and add your personal touches.

Makeup Maverick
http://hmartistsnetwork.com
http://mymakeupart.com



Negotiating your rate

2008-08-15T09:43:58.394-07:00

Its so important in this market to understand what the going rate is for the type of work you are doing. We are living in tough times and schools are pumping out more and more hair and makeup artists every week. Rates are usually affected by several factors: supply vs. demand, your experience level, the budget, and your reputation in the industry. The one thing freelancers hate is negotiating money. There is a delicate emotional balance between wanting or needing the job and standing your ground to get paid what you are worth. The problem is that most people under-bid themselves because they don’t want to lose the job. However, every time we say yes to low pay we drive the price down. I know there is a lot of competition out there, but we all need to stop undercutting each other. Know what the rates are and don’t accept anything less. After all, your time is valuable, stand up for what you are worth!

Makeup Maverick
http://www.hmartistnetwork.com
http://www.mymakeupart.com



Networking with your peers

2008-08-14T12:25:25.899-07:00

It always amazes me when makeup & hair artists tell me that networking doesn’t work. For some reason its like introducing a completely foreign concept to them. I might as well be talking to them in Japanese when I tell them to network with their peers. Most artists see other hair and makeup professionals as their competition. "Network with them, why would I do that???" The truth is that if you want to work on commercials, music videos, film, or television, you absolutely must network with your peers. Most things that are filmed or taped for broadcast have more than one makeup/ hair artist. This means that you have a higher likelihood of being hired or referred by a Key Artist than you would a producer or director. Makeup Department Head, Jori Jenae said it best, “It’s the only way to get work." She receives hundreds of resumes for the hit show Boston Legal. Because she gets so many resumes, she only reads the ones that say, “referred to you by xyz artist” or “I met you somewhere." Networking not only works, it’s the difference between getting work or complaining that you don’t have any.

Makeup Maverick
http://www.hmartistsnetwork.com
http://www.mymakeupart.com



Organizing your union paper work

2008-08-12T11:13:31.385-07:00

I have recently had the joy of organizing my union paper-work for Local 706. As most hair and makeup artists know, if you want to join the union, you have to either work thirty days of union projects or have sixty days each year of non-union work over a three year period. I have taken the 60/60/60 route. To do this, you have to prove your employment with call sheets, pay stubs, and verification letters from the production companies you worked for. The biggest mistake I ever made was waiting until the end of three years to get my letters of employment verification. Not only is it extremely time consuming to contact everyone you have worked for over the last three years, in some cases its IMPOSSIBLE to contact them. Production companies come and go in the drop of a hat in the entertainment world. In my case, not only did some the productions companies go out of business, so did one of the payroll companies that provides the employment letter! So save yourself a lot of time by getting the after each job or at least at the end of every year. It will save you a lot of headache and younwon’t lose credit for the union days you worked.

Makeup Maverick
http://www.hmartistsnetwork.com
http://www.mymakeupart.com



The importance of confirmation agreements

2008-08-11T11:56:12.325-07:00

Just recently I was booked as a Makeup Artist for a Satellite Media Tour with Tobey Keith. After I got the call from the production company I sent over a confirmation agreement. The agreement contained information on the number of talent, date, the rate, payment terms, and most importantly, the cancellation policy. I always write in a clause that states, “if they cancel within a 48 hour period, they will be charged for 100% of the rate”. Two days before the date of the job, I got a phone call explaining the SMT was canceled. The first thing I did was remind them that I have a 48 hour cancellation policy written into the confirmation agreement that they signed. They hung up, double checked the agreement, and suddenly the tour is not canceled! As it tuned out, the tour wasn’t canceled. The client just decided to bring their own makeup artist. Unfortunately, this is something that happens frequently. I have been burned too many times before to not get a signed agreement when booking a confirmed job. It’s a good thing I did send it over because earlier that day I turned down two days worth of work for this job. Always protect yourself from last minute cancellations!

Makeup Maverick
http://www.hmartistsnetwork.com
http://mymakeupart.com



The importance of confirmation agreements

2008-08-11T11:53:55.112-07:00

Just recently I was booked as a Makeup Artist for a Satellite Media Tour with Tobey Keith. After I got the call from the production company I sent over a confirmation agreement. The agreement contained information on the number of talent, date, the rate, payment terms, and most importantly, the cancellation policy. I always write in a clause that states, “if they cancel within a 48 hour period, they will be charged for 100% of the rate”. Two days before the date of the job, I got a phone call explaining the SMT was canceled. The first thing I did was remind them that I have a 48 hour cancellation policy written into the confirmation agreement that they signed. They hung up, double checked the agreement, and suddenly the tour is not canceled! As it tuned out, the tour wasn’t canceled. The client just decided to bring their own makeup artist. Unfortunately, this is something that happens frequently. I have been burned too many times before to not get a signed agreement when booking a confirmed job. It’s a good thing I did send it over because earlier that day I turned down two days worth of work for this job. Always protect yourself from last minute cancellations!



Rate Negotiation

2008-08-01T14:09:42.885-07:00

As a Freelance Artist it is very important that you understand how to run your business like a business. First you need to know how to market yourself. After you get booked on a job you must know how to negotiate rates, invoice, and get paid in a timely fashion.


Let's start by talking about rate negotiation. Rates can widely vary depending upon:

• The project
• The medium you are working in (print, commercial, celebrity, film, music,
video,ect.)
• The amount of people you are taking care of (how much work you have to do)
• The level of your career (are you fresh out of school or Francesca Tolot)
• The amount of hours (full day or half day
• Whether you are doing special effects, makeup, hair, or both makeup and hair

Things that can effect the range in pay are: the level of the artist and their reputation in the industry, celebrity requests, special requests or even who the payment is coming from all are factors in how the rate is determined.

Once you book have negotiated the rate and booked the job it’s important for you to send over a confirmation agreement. A confirmation agreement will clearly state the terms agreed upon in the negotiation process. You will have clarification on:

• Rate
• Number of talent you will be working with
• Kit fee
• Turn around time for payment
• Payment terms based on the amount of hours (i.e. – what the fee is if you go
turn into overtime)
• Travel expenses (if applicable)
• Assistant Rate (if needed)
• Whether you are hired for Makeup, Hair, or both
• Job number and a signature from the person who hired you
• A cancellation clause


It is imperative to have a confirmation agreement in place so that you are not taken advantage of. You must have something in writing in order to have any sort of legal recourse if you are not paid on time, reimbursed expenses, or paid at all.

In the State of California, a verbal agreement in not legally binding. You must put everything in writing!

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http://www.mymakeupart.com
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Getting Paid by Delinquent Clients

2008-07-31T15:22:43.105-07:00

I recently have had the joy of having two invoices over 90 days overdue for payment. I have called the client, begged them, threatened them, and everything else that you imagine. So what do you do when you work a job and they don’t want to pay you? I can’t exactly just brush it off. They owe me $1000.00! As freelance artists it’s bad enough that we live from paycheck to paycheck, but why do we have to fight them for the money they owe us? I have rent to pay and my landlord isn’t going to understand that I’m owed the rent money! I’m not a large corporation with a high-end attorney, so what exactly are my options for getting paid?

Then I discovered prepaid legal. What exactly is prepaid legal, might you ask? Basically, it’s like insurance for legal services. I selected a plan that is only $16.00 a month! For that amount I have legal advice at my fingertips as well as identity theft protection. They can also draft legal documents, and even send over a nasty letter to clients who refuse to pay. So now, if the client doesn’t pay me the $1000.00 in seven days they will be hearing from my attorney! Let’s see how seriously they take me then. Personally, I think it’s worth every penny! It sure beats not getting paid.

If you want to learn more about prepaid legal, check out www.hmartistsnetwork.com/legal_prepaidlegal



Diversify Your Income as an Artist

2008-07-24T10:11:37.596-07:00

Not too long ago I learned a very hard lesson, "never put all faith into one great client". When I first moved to Los Angeles eight years ago, I had to start my freelance business all over again. I had to take a day job and build an entirely new client base. Bit by bit I built a solid client base.

I had one great client in a studio that called me all the time, but the trade off was that I took less money for a larger volume of work. Every year my income grew with this studio. I thought, "yes, I'm finally making progress". Until one day they came to me and wanted me to take a pay cut so they could make pocket the money. I was already making well below the going rate. So I had to ask myself, "do I just keep saying yes to keep the work"? I decided to stand up for myself instead. I took a chance and stood my ground. I really felt that what they were asking for was just wrong. Suddenly, my worst fear happened, they quit calling me. They found someone with less experience that would work for less. Just like that, sixty percent of my income was gone.

I was not prepared to lose that much of my income. I was like most artists: the more money I made, the more money I spent. It was a very difficult time for me to say the least, but I got through it. I learned some very valuable lessons from that experience:

  1. Never be dependant upon one client (no matter how great they are)
  2. Have a financial plan. Make sure you have plan B in place for tough times
  3. Diversify your income! This means to find many streams of income. Don't just rely on your freelance income (the entertainment industry is too volatile).

It was a tough choice for me to make at the time, but I refused to be taken advantage of. I survived a freelance artist's worst fear, saying no and losing the client. Although, I'd rather lose the client or the job and keep my dignity. I will never be a "yes person" again. I realize now what my time and skill is worth and I ask for more. After all, my worst fear has already happened and I'm still standing.


The bottom line is be prepared. Never be dependant upon one client or one source of income, and always always have money in the bank if the gravy train does dry up for you. New stars come an go everyday, production companies open and close, and union strikes happen. Have a plan for those times.

- Makeup Maverick
http://www.hmartistsnetwork.com
http://www.myspace.com/hmartistnetwork
http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1067623896



Roadmaping Your Hair or Makeup Career

2008-07-24T09:51:57.583-07:00

You are probably thinking, "I'm an artist, why would I ever write a business plan"? As an artist, you have to remember that the business plan is for you and not for future investors. It gives you a clear plan as to what your career goals are, who you are marketing your services to, how you are going to get your name out there, and how much it will cost you to advertise each month.

I so often hear Hair & Makeup Artists complain that they "don't have the money or that there isn't enough work". Well there are a lot of shows on television, movies in the theater, and ad campaigns out there, so someone in this industry must be working! The truth is that most people fail in this business because of either poor planning or a lack of networking. Create a clear career plan for yourself and decide how you're going to get there.

So ask your self the following questions:

1. What type of career do I want to have? Do I want to work in film/television or print/ celebrity? Would I rather work in a salon or the bridal industry?
2. Make a list of people you admire and find out how they got to where they are.
3. Decide what gives you the competitive edge above all the rest. What do you do that makes your work unique?
4. How much competition do you have?
5. How are you going to get your name out there? Will you send out your book, will you email you website, take out ad space on LA411, will you go to networking events, will you join networking organizations, will you need comp cards or business card, or will you hire a publicist?
6. How much advertising will you be doing a month or a year?
7. How much will it cost you to advertise your services?
8. How are you going to finance you advertising without going into credit card debt?
9. How do you plan to recoup the costs and still make a profit after taxes, advertising, and bills?
10. What are the trends in the market place or economy: how will you prepare for slow months, recession, or a union strike?

These are the important questions that all Artists should ask themselves. If you plan well you have a stronger chance for success. And it's never too late to start planning your success.


Makeup Maverick
http://www.hmartistsnetwork.com
http://www.mymakeupart.com