How To Make Your 1st Makeup Artist Client Consultation Rock!
I recently had my first ever makeup client consultation, and I learned a few things that might help you out as you prepare to launch your makeup artist business and deal with clients.
Here's 10 Tips To Make Your 1st Makeup Artist Client Consultation Rock!
1. Who Are Your Clients?
First of all, I'm writing from the perspective of a party/prom/special occasion makeup artist. I am trained in Asian Bridal Hair & Makeup, but I was really struggling to make it in that industry so I pared it back to start with special occasion makeup & will build up to bridal.
You might remember from my recent post, The truth about being a makeup artist - 6 months on, I was really struggling to get my makeup artist business off the ground. Recently, I changed my category on yell.com where I have a paid advert from wedding hair & makeup to just makeup, and wouldn't you know, I started getting way more enquiries! Sometimes, trying something new will help you grow your business.
PRO TIP: Know who your ideal client is, and if it's not working out, then re-assess and try a different client. You might be surprised at the results!
2. What Are Your Clients Biggest Pain Points?
This was something new that I discovered, which can be a tool to help target your business to your ideal clients. They need a service, and they're in a spot of bother, but they don't want to look too far out of their area/comfort zone so they need you to provide that service. Appeal to that pain point.
For example, my first client was a busy mum who wanted me to do her daughter's Prom makeup. The Prom is on a weekday, so there's no chance she will have time to get her daughter to a department store and then the hairdressers to do her makeup, which is why she wanted a makeup artist to come to her home and do it from there.
After main conversations back and forth over e-mail, I offered to do a Consultation and FREE trial.
PRO TIP: Everyone loves the word FREE in any sentence. As soon as you offer a FREE trial or consultation, you are much more likely to get booked immediately. This way, you can assess whether the client is right for you or not; the relationship works both ways, don't feel obliged to take a job just because you need experience.
I would only recommend doing FREE trials until you're 100% happy with your style and have ironed out all the kinks in your consultation method, and then start charging a minimal amount to cover kit, transport and your time.
3. Find Out Details In The 1st Interaction
This is common sense, but you need to find out where the client wants you to attend the consultation, what time, what kit is required etc. At this point, I also like to ask about any specific skin issues to know if I can deal with them or not.
So, for my first client, I found out that she doesn't wear makeup at all, and wanted a natural but glamorous look for her prom. It's so important to listen to your clients, and what they want, but also to research and go in with your own ideas.
Ask them what they're wearing including but not limited to the dress, accessories, shoes and even handbag! All these things have an impact on the kind of makeup you will do for them.
PRO TIP: Have a checklist or writing pad with all your client consultation questions handy so you don't miss anything.
4. Arrive Early
I actually ended up arriving 10 minutes early and hanging out in my car until it got too hot. Wear comfortable clothing as you will be bending and stretching a lot. Always leave plenty of time to account for traffic, it's OK to be early, never to be late.
5. Bring Your Own Chair
A bit of an oddball tip, but I cannot tell you how much a good chair is going to help you and your client. High backed kitchen chairs are not helpful as I found out too late when I couldn't get into the nooks and crannies.
Folding chairs with padded seats are so cheap to buy these days, I'll be taking one along to my next client consultation for sure to save my back!
6. Lay Out Your Kit
The best place to do makeup is the place with the most natural light. A good kitchen table that's clear will allow you to spread your kit out, but you could also bring a towel to lay it out on a bed if necessary as well.
My kit bag actually has drawers, so I can work out of my kit, and a smaller bag to take a smaller kit, which I will be doing if she books me for the job. I still laid some kit on the table just to make it easier to access.
PRO TIP: If you have your kit in a suitcase or small bag, divide the makeup into smaller, clear bags for easy access and to keep everything together.
7. Write Everything Down
As you're doing the consultation and trial, make sure to write anything specific down. It doesn't matter if they end up booking you or not, but it's so useful to have everything written down for your own records so that you can re-create the look later down the line and also note if you need to buy any specific products.
When I was doing the consultation, I wrote down something as simple as how many pumps of each foundation I used to get the right colour for my client. I also noted down that I would need a brow pencil that was lighter than what I had, and any key notes like products used for the lips so that I could recreate the look.
8. Ask The Client If They Are Happy At Every Step
Don't zone out and just do the makeup. Ask for reference pictures, and stop every now and then to ask the client how they feel. Having a hand mirror is useful so they can have a peek every now and then to see if they're happy. Bear in mind, some clients may not tell you they're happy initially, but remember you are providing a service, and the customer is always right. Keep asking and perfecting until they are happy with the final look.
9. Close the Deal But Don't Push
I went into the consultation with client contracts and everything, but I didn't want to push the client into making a decision there and then. Assess the mood before you bring up contracts and pricing. If it doesn't look like they're going to book you, pack up, thank them and move on.
If they're hedging, then you probably need to let them think on it for a while, and then send a courtesy e-mail after a couple of days to check if they're still interested. If they don't reply or say they will get back to you, then move on.
10. Keep a Diary
After all your hard work, if the client still doesn't book you, move on and let it be a lesson to tell 10 years down the line when you're successful in your field. Not everyone is perfect the first time they do things, so don't take things to heart and learn from the experience.
Remember, a client can be a lesson or a blessing.
Keep a diary of your experiences, things you learned and things you can improve on for the future. This will really help you hone your craft and make you a better artist and business person going forward.