The One Thing Every Successful Money Making Makeup Artist Is Good At (It’s Not Makeup)
In almost every profession your success depends on two things. Results and relationships. Makeup artistry is no exception. Whether you are rising up the ranks in the fashion industry or establishing yourself as as a local MUA for weddings, if you do exceptional work but no one knows about it then your success will be stunted.
Some would say there’s a missing element to the equation – that as well as results and relationships you also require some luck. I would argue that if you actively build meaningful relationships, if you give your time as freely as you can and if you are generous to all in your circle, you will make your own luck!
Emily’s a great example of this – she’s warm and friendly, and generous with her time (she’s been kind enough to respond to all my emails and take my calls before she even knew me), is engaged with her followers on social media and blog comments and consequently has a great network to reach out to for everything from interviews for her site to help with her business.
So in other words, if you want to be successful you need to be building a network.
But isn’t networking a bit sleazy?
If there is a book that could be said to be the bible of networking, it is Never Eat Alone (and other secrets to success one relationship at a time) by the master networker Keith Ferrazzi. (There is no book I wish I’d read more when I was still in school than this one!)
In it Keith argues that good networking, far from being that cliche of stopping to talk to someone just long enough to find out how they can help you, is in fact all about finding ways to make other people successful. He says this…
“A truly effective networker begins with the question “How can I help this person?” and not “How can they help me?”
This may sound a little back to front. Surely you don’t want to be surrounding yourself with people who need your help?
Well first, consider the people that you think are successful. Have they achieved this success all by themselves? Of course not! Many people have helped them on their journey. And why? Because generosity leads to generosity – perhaps they’ve asked for a favour in the past. Perhaps they just take pleasure in helping someone out.
Which leads to my second point – helping others is actually one of lifes great pleasures! Yes it can be time consuming, but it can also be satisfying, rewarding, fulfilling, all of the above.
As Emily says in her book Market Yourself to Make Money –
“We all grow our businesses by supporting each other. I have learned some of the best tricks and secrets from other makeup artists. I have gotten some of my best jobs from referrals from other artists and I am convinced that it only makes me look better when I have a good person to refer to a photographer or client when I am unavailable.”
And what makes this “help-others” mindset so fantastic when it comes to a room full of strangers? Because it removes every last drop of sleeziness. If you’re thinking how can I help this person every time you speak to a stranger there’s no way you can come across as grasping!!
But I hate to ask…
A mindset of generosity will get you so far, but as willing as you are to offer help, you must also be willing to ask for it. For many people this won’t come easily. Many will not like the feeling of asking for a favour, or potentially owing someone one.
But look at it this way – do you enjoy the opportunity to help out a friend or colleague? Isn’t it satisfying when you can connect someone with just the right person to help them out – a good recommendation for a stylist or an accountant who you trust? Why should your connection feel any differently? Plus we’re all adults here – they can say no if they wish and no harm done. But if you don’t ask you won’t receive!
Don’t delay – start yesterday!
Okay, you’ve come to terms with networking being a good thing and you’re comfortable with asking for help. I cannot emphasise this next point enough…
START NETWORKING AS SOON AS YOU POSSIBLY CAN!
Why do I say this? For two reasons –
- Cultivating meaningful relationships takes time, and getting to know influencers in your field will not happen overnight. Even if you have a clear idea of who you’d like to connect with, reaching out to them directly might not be workable, and getting the right introductions might take some work.
- Because people already in your network will start to slip away unless you pro-actively stay in touch. When I think about all those people at school, uni, former jobs that I’ve lost touch with it makes me sad
And inevitably it will be the opportunities that you haven’t anticipated that will benefit most from beginning now (or suffer most from not!). Have you ever been in a situation where you’ve thought “I used to know someone that would be perfect to chat to about this… man I wish I’d stayed in touch!”. Well never again!!!
Have a plan
While you shouldn’t exclude anyone from your network (you just never know), that is not to say you shouldn’t be clever about expanding your contacts. And the best way to think about this is in terms of your career goals. Ask yourself the following questions:
- As a makeup artist where do you want to be in five years time?
- To get to where you want to be in 5 years time where do you need to be in 2 years time?
- To get to where you want to be in 2 years time where do you need to be in 6 months time?
Once you’ve got answers to these questions, you can use these career goals to define your networking goals:
- Who if you got to know them could help with getting to your six month goal (Person A)?
- Who if you got to know them could be a big help with getting to your 2 year goal (Person B).
- And who if you got to know them could be a big help with getting to your 5 year goal (Person C).
And final step is about using your pre-existing network to make all this happen!
- Who do you know already that could introduce you to person A
- Can person A introduce you to person B, and if not who can?
- Can person B introduce you to person C, and if not who can?
Write the answers to these questions down! It’s a proven fact that people who write down goals are much more likely to achieve them!
(To help with this process we’ve created a work sheet. At the end of this post we’ll be running a competition, with this as a bonus free download for everyone who signs up and enters)
Once you know who you need to know, you can start doing a bit of research and finding ways to connect with them. Ask friends for introductions, which are always better than going in cold. Follow them on Twitter, or their blog if they have one, contribute to conversations and let them know you like their work. Sharing, liking and engaging with their stuff is a great way to get on their radar.
Most importantly, don’t let your first conversation with them be asking for something! Remember – what can you do to help them?
And have a system…
If you’re going to maintain warm, deep relationships with tens, if not hundreds of people that you can potentially call on at a moments notice, you’ve got to stay in regular contact, and this means you’ve got to get organised. It sounds clinical – but the simplest way to do this is have a reminder set up for every person in your network, to prompt you to check in and say hi.
You can do this one of several ways – and this will depend on your personal preference. You could…
- Keep a list of names in the back of your diary and write next to them when you last contacted them
- Use a task manager such as Microsoft Outlook on your PC or Wunderlist on your phone. Set up a reminder (in Outlook the shortcut is Ctrl-Shift-K) and then set the task to recur every 6 months
- Put an recurring appointment in your digital calendar
- Use LinkedIn’s built in Relationship feature – where you can make a note about how you met and set up reminders to reconnect.
Whatever you do, make the time to do these regular check-ins. You don’t always have to have an excuse (“Hey Emily, it’s been a while so just thought I’d say hi – hope you’re doing okay and had a nice Christmas”), or it can be flimsy (“Hey Emily, just passed the bakery and the pie in the window reminded me of your cooking! Hope you’re cool”), seasonal (“Hey Emily – Merry Christmas!!!”) or as extensive as you like.
But trust me – get into this habit and not only will you have this expansive network at your fingertips – but you may just get some nice replies in return too.
Okay, if a message is important it’s worth repeating – start your networking efforts TODAY!! Write down all your potential sources of connections – school, college, work, clubs – for each one try to list the people you’ve perhaps lost touch with, and then start re-establishing connections. No pretense – just a “I haven’t been in touch for while and I just wanted to say hi! How’s it going?!”
For your career’s sake, this is especially important to do for people that you’ve worked, other MUAs you know or anyone working in the industry.
So to both motivate and challenge you we’re launching a special competition! The winner will receive a special career building bundle:
- A copy of Never Eat Alone by Keith Ferrazzi (Chris’ Networking Bible)
- A copy of Emily’s eBook – Picking Your Ideal Client
- A copy of Emily’s eBook – Marketing Yourself – which includes her own tips on networking
(all downloads by Emily can be found here)
But it’s not just any competition – to encourage you to stay in touch with your network every entrant will receive a “lucky link” to share – if some else enters through this link you’ll receive a further ten entries into the competition!! Brilliant huh?!
Click HERE to enter
Plus everyone who signs up will receive free access to our Networking Goals Worksheet!
So no excuses – reach out, build and maintain those connections, help your peers and take your career to the next level!!
Chris is one half of the team at CareerInMakeup.com – a website focussed on how to become a makeup artist and how to run your business once you get there. He’s passionate about helping MUAs to run their businesses effectively so they can get back to doing what they love – Makeup!
You can also use social media as a way to network and connect with artists all over the world. Join us for the February Photo Challenge, get inspired by what your new friends have in their kits and win some products for your kit. Check out this post and see how to win!