Freelancing is not a passive job by any means. You don’t show up, clock in, and go home at the end of the day. If you want to be successful, you need conviction, strength, and drive. You need to make it work. Here’s how I do it.
1. Make a website and business cards: Buy a domain. Showcase your best work. Having a professional online portfolio automatically puts you at an advantage over artists who don’t. Even if you’re just starting out, it’s the best way to fake it till you make it. The same goes for business cards. You always want to have something to hand someone that could potentially want to work with you, and you never know where you’ll meet clients. (Shown below, the front and back of my current business cards.)
2. Update your social media: Make a separate Instagram account containing your work, behind the scenes shots, and photos from events you may attend like IMATS or BeautyCon. Instagram is definitely the most important, so start there, but a Facebook page or Pinterest account will also add to your presence. Be sure to update regularly and make contacts by following other artists, photographers, and other people in your area that you’d like to collaborate with.
3. Set a rate: This can vary. I charge different amounts depending on the project. If it’s an ongoing project, you might charge by day or by hour. If it’s a photo shoot, you might charge by the number of models or the intensity of the look. You should also have a rate set for student, professional, wedding, and celebrity projects, because they’ll all be different. For example, I wouldn’t charge the same amount for a student photo shoot and a red carpet premiere.
4. Get a part time job: Makeup is the most fun job, until you realize that it’s not always steady work. Having another job with a steady amount of cash coming in makes me less likely to worry about making money from makeup and more likely to enjoy the projects I’m working on. If you’re super busy like me, consider working from home. I was lucky enough to get a job as a social media manager for a clothing company I love working for bosses I adore. I work mostly from home, which allows me to have the freedom to agree to more makeup projects without having to take off from work.
5. Sign up for MAC Pro: If you’re a makeup artist, you can get 40% off all MAC products to build your kit and keep up with replacing products. All you have to do is send in two forms of proof and fill out a quick application. I sent in two call sheets from films I worked on, but they have a whole list on their website of documents they’ll accept. If you’re a model, you can get 30% off products, so definitely take advantage! I’m so excited I discovered MAC Pro because it’s made building up my kit so much more affordable.
6. Don’t be afraid: Last year, I was volunteering at Fashion Week and I snuck backstage to talk to the makeup artists and ask them about their jobs. Talk to people you admire. Reach out to people you want to work with. Don’t be afraid of rejection or breaking the rules. Don’t ask for permission, just go for it. You’ll get farther than you think.
I hope these tips were helpful! Now go out into the world and claim your spot in the industry. Good luck!!