Oct 27, 2022

Before we jump into my top five ways on how to build your clientele as a freelance makeup artist, I want to give you a few gentle reminders.

  1. Everyone starts somewhere. This may seem like a no brainer but sometimes we fall into the rabbit hole of comparing ourselves to artists we look up to. Just remember that they started where you are right now – as a beginner.
  2. If you believe in yourself and your artistry, others will believe in you as well.
  3. Take a deep breath and appreciate the journey of building a freelance business.
  4. Have fun in the process!

Now, onto the juicy part of the post. Here are my top five ways you can build your clientele as a freelance makeup artist!

  1. Styled Shoots, Trade For Photos, Collaborations

Collaborations are going to be your saving grace when it comes to building your clientele. Collaborations, styled shoots and trade for photo sessions are when vendors come together to collaborate and share talents without getting paid. This is an amazing opportunity to network, get to know other vendors, create content for future marketing and gain experience. A lot of vendors that you meet and create relationships with will put you on their preferred vendor list. Which leads me to my next tip..

  1. Network 

Networking is no-brainer no matter what field you are in, but it is especially important when you are a beginner makeup artist. A lot of the time you will actually be hired by photographers or other vendors instead of the client itself. Networking and meeting as many vendors as you can will help you out the most. This can be attending events, chatting with vendors during collaborations, replying to posts and commenting on their work.. Anything for you to build that relationship with them!

  1. Community Over Competition

This goes hand in hand with Networking, but I thought this tip was important enough for its own section. Networking with a wide range of vendors including stylists, photographers, etc. is great but do not forget to network with other makeup artists. I immediately followed every makeup artist I could find in my area to show support, learn from them and network. Every niche and community needs more lifters and less comparers. Every makeup artist has their own style and offers something unique with their artistry. Believe me, there are plenty of clients to go around. Build your community up, chat about products, talk openly about your rates and lift each other up! You will build long lasting relationships as well as a chance for them to refer clients to you when they are already booked themselves.

  1. Facebook Groups

Another great way to market yourself publicly is to add yourself into facebook groups. These can be bridal wedding groups, styled shoots wedding groups, photographer and other creative groups, etc. Depending on your area and what your niche is in your business. For example, I live in Portland, OR, and we have a huge bridal makeup industry. When I first started in the industry, I added myself into pretty much every bridal facebook group in the area. I would often search ‘makeup’ or ‘makeup artist’ and see if I saw anything posted from someone who was looking for a makeup artist. I would then comment, say I was available and link my portfolio/instagram. The facebook groups you come across depend on where you are located, but start searching and see what you come across!

  1. Utilize Social Media

Before social media was born, makeup artists would carry around a physical portfolio book. I still love this idea and would recommend having one, but social media is an amazing way to create a portfolio that is accessible to everyone. My rule of thumb when it comes to socials is only to post your top-notch, best work. You do not have to post every single client photo that you have ever taken. Your images should either be professional images or have the best lighting and clearest clarity. Always tag your location and other creatives that you worked with, including the makeup model.

Following these 5 ways to build your clientele as a freelance makeup artist will lead you to bookings, relationship building and a fabulous portfolio. As always, remember to have fun and enjoy the process of becoming a freelance makeup artist. Maybe I am biased, but I truly believe we have one of the best jobs in the world!



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