The Importance of Branding for a Make-up Artist

No longer are make-up artists singular people but many have become well-known household names and big brands. This not only encompasses their professional make-up work but also tutorial videos, product endorsements and in many cases their own line in make-up and brushes.

So if this works for the make-up artist at the very top of their game, how can it work for you? Even if you do not aspire to launch your own make-up range, there is a lot to be learnt from how this form of branding can work for you and your business, no matter how big or small that may be.

The hunger for make-up and beauty information, tips, techniques and recommendations never stops. Even during a recession make up is one of the few areas that still shows growth; this is sometimes coined ‘the lipstick effect’. What this signifies is that people still want to look and feel good during hard times, maybe even more so.  How do you grab a slice of the action?

When I first became a make-up artist a portfolio was all that was required to present your work. This was a hard copy of your pictures and could be used to showcase your work. Now however there are infinite ways to do this and the bonus of many of these is that they are free so it makes sense to utilise these in building your brand.

A website is now a must have, I'm rarely asked for a portfolio. I do still have one as it’s important to be able to present one if requested, but most of the time I'm asked for my web address.

How much you spend on this is up to you. There are many Internet companies that enable you to create your own for as little or as much as you like. Just remember that this is your 'shop front' so it’s important to have a professional looking site. If you can afford it, it’s worth investing in a good web designer to help you create this; I also suggest having a site that you can add to and amend when you want to, without incurring charges by having to get your designer to do this for you. I'm constantly updating mine with new testimonials , blogs and pictures to keep it looking fresh and current , there's no point investing in this if you don't use it!

Social media is the next way to promote your brand

Let’s start with one of the most well known and most used social media sites - Facebook. I have a personal profile but I also have a professional profile too; this is my make-up artist profile which is great to show my work, communicate with people I meet through work and generally create a business network. It's really important to keep a business account professional, as for me this profile is public so anyone can find me and see my work and my comments!

Through this account I have also created a page. This is a business page that people can view and like, they don't need to be accepted as friends and this ensures that your profile reaches more people. These are free to set up and use but you do have the option on your page to pay to promote and advertise if you wish.

The benefit of Facebook is that you can reach a large audience without incurring the costs of advertising and you can build up a great business network. Friends of friends will see your work without you having to do very much at all and this opens up your business network hugely. The page will also be easy to find for your potential clients who can see your work and contact you directly; I've met some of my brides this way!

Twitter is another well-known social media site.  Communicate to the world in 140 characters or less; a great way to let the world know of your work, let people know what you are working on and who you are working with and interact with the top make-up artists. Many of them use Twitter and interact directly with their followers; it’s a great way to ask questions, follow what they do and see what they use. Follow lots of companies, agencies and other make-up artists and you may even get work this way. It's amazing how much work is on offer through following the right people!

You can also link your Facebook and twitter accounts so your Facebook likers can see your twitter comments and your twitter followers can see your Facebook info. This also saves time for you as you don't need to tweet and Facebook twice!

As a makeup artist people want to see your work, what you can do and what it's like to work as a make-up artist, so look at sites that can really showcase your work.

Instagram is an online photo-sharing, video-sharing and social networking service that enables you to take pictures and videos and share them on a variety of social networking services. It’s a great way of sharing snaps you take, when working behind the scenes, and not having to wait for the finished photos. It's also an amazing place to see other people's work, get some inspiration and show the world what you use and how you achieve your looks.

Pinterest is also becoming really popular. It’s a pin board-style photo-sharing website that allows you to create and manage theme-based image collections such as events, interests, and hobbies. Users can browse other pin boards for images, "re-pin" images to their own pin boards, or "like" photos. You can use it to create boards showing your work, pictures you like and inspire you and images you love.

I have found that my clients, particularly brides, now send me their Pinterest link to show me their ideas of hair and make-up they like prior to meeting them for a trial instead of a few pictures. Quite often they will also have created boards for dresses, accessories etc. so you can really get a great ideas of the overall style of their wedding.

I encourage brides to look at my boards if they are looking for ideas for their style and are unsure what they want.

Both these accounts can also be linked to your other social media sites so that you are sharing as much as you can with as many as possible!

There are also great blogging sites like Tumblr and Flickr. The drive for information on what we do is huge so it’s great to blog about your work, products you use and like and recommend.

I promote all my social media platforms on my website too. It’s really important to link all these together as they interact well together and it also ensures one area isn't neglected. If you don't update your status or tweet often how will people know what you are doing and also see how busy and popular you are! It's really important to maintain a consistent presence on social media. There are many accounts that sit idle and this really won't give the right impression that you want to convey to your potential audience.

You can employ someone to help you learn the ins and outs of the world of social media and even do it for you however I found it fun to learn as I went and it’s more relevant and personal if I'm the one doing it. If you follow other make-up artists and see what they do and how they use these platforms you will get the hang of it.

One word of warning though, it’s seriously addictive!

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