15 Ways to Market Yourself as a Freelance Makeup Artist

As a freelance makeup artist, you're the core of your business. Therefore, it is up to you, and only you, to ensure that each aspect of your business is functioning as it should. This includes bookkeeping, invoicing, collecting testimonials, working on clients and marketing your makeup business. One of the most tedious tasks that most makeup artists dread is marketing their businesses. You market your business by using various methods of promotion to spread the word about your business in a positive manner to get clients on a consistent basis. This is quite possibly one of the most important aspects of your business, as without clients there is no business to speak of.

If you're a full-time freelance makeup artist, your livelihood depends on your ability to successfully attract clients. Even if you're a part-time freelance makeup artist, the more diligent you are in marketing your business right now, the sooner you will be able to make the leap to becoming a full-time makeup artist. Therefore, implementing some of the following tips just may be the key to developing a steady stream of income as a freelance makeup artist. Of course, there's no need to stop just at this list. Marketing requires consistent efforts. Implement additional promotional ideas into your marketing plan. It's always better to over-promote, than to under-promote.

15 Ways to Market a Makeup Artistry Business

  1. Business Bookmarks. Rather than simply creating an ordinary business card, create a business bookmark and use it to insert into relevant books in the library. On this business bookmark, include your business information and a photo of one of your best portfolio shots. Then, head out to the library and insert your business bookmarks into random pages of relevant books. For example, a bridal makeup artist would insert her bookmarks into wedding planning books, bridal makeup, wedding craft books, books about prom, modeling, photography, etc.

  2. Film YouTube Videos. Millions of people head to YouTube for beauty advice, makeup reviews and makeup tutorials. Develop a following for yourself as a professional makeup artist by creating high quality makeup tutorials, reviews and giving tips to combat common issues, such as concealing under-eye circles, acne, and making small lips look plumper. When creating your videos use good lighting, speak clearly and opt for a true video camera rather than using one that may be built into your computer. In addition, if you make partner on YouTube (your videos must be quite popular), it'll be an effective way to supplement your income while still following your passion in makeup.

  3. Join Model Mayhem is a website where creative professionals, such as photographers, models, and of course, makeup artists, can connect with one another. You can network with talented professionals in your area and work together to develop all of your portfolios simultaneously. And, photographers, models and interested clients can contact you for paid work through your profile. It's necessary to add value to the Model Mayhem community. Spend time creating a professionally written bio and uploading quality pictures. Also, take the initiative by reaching out to local talent to proactively network your way to success.

  4. Create a website. Most prospective clients research makeup artists before deciding to hire them. If your portfolio isn't online, you very well may lose potential clients to the competition. Create a website to showcase your portfolio, and also add pages that display your bio, and rates. Many makeup artists choose to quote on a case by case basis, therefore you may choose to simply implement a contact form and ask prospective clients to contact you for a quote.

  5. Write a blog. Writing a blog in addition to your website is one of the most effective ways to promote your business. Write blog posts about previous work you've done including photos of the process/client if possible, post tutorials and reviews. Readers generally like list-based blog posts, such as “Top 10 NYX Products” or “My 5 Favorite Lipsticks of all time. As always, write your blog posts in a professional voice as this is an avenue in which you promote your business, rather than rant about your everyday life.

  6. Wear your work. Each time you leave the house, do your makeup in a professional, interesting and awe-inspiring manner. Soon enough, people at the grocery store, mall, school or wherever you seem to be, will begin to approach you to complement you on your makeup. Take this opportunity to inform your admirers that you're a makeup artist, and hand them a business card.

  7. Network with other makeup artist. Networking with other makeup artists opens the door to you receiving their overflow, and vice a versa. When your makeup artist acquaintance has too many clients contacting her for work, she may refer them to you rather than turning them away altogether. This is an I-scratch-your-back-you-scratch mine type of agreement. When you have overflow, send it her way, and when she has overflow she just may send it your way. To truly maximize the potential of this technique network often with a large number of other makeup artists to hopefully receive regular overflow.

  8. Car Decals. Use car decals to promote your makeup artistry business. Car decals are valuable forms of advertisement for your makeup artist business as everyone that sees your car on the road will become aware of your services. Everyone on the road is a potential customer or knows someone that may need your services. Therefore, drivers that are stopped at red lights and spot your car decal may take down your number to contact you or to pass onto someone that they know that may be in need of your services. In order to enhance the visibility you receive through your car decals, have additional car decals made and ask your spouse, parents and best friends to place one on their vehicles. By doing so, you'll have four or more cars on the road simultaneously promoting your business rather than just one.

  9. Participate in social media. Social networking is one of the most effective ways to spread the word about your freelance makeup artist business. Promote your business on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, MySpace and any other social networking websites you're active on. The best way to promote your business is by offering a discount, sending a link to a blog post or YouTube video or updating your fans on the current happenings of your makeup artist business.

  10. Form local alliances. Teaming up with local bridal businesses (if that's the niche of makeup artistry you're in) can be highly profitable for your business. You can simply ask local bridal shops, accessories shops, bakeries and wedding planners to pass out your business' information if they have a bride that is yet to hire a makeup artist. In exchange, you can hand out their information to your clients as well to reach a mutually beneficial partnership. Or, you can offer them a commission for every bride that they refer to you and becomes a client. Both options are equally attractive to complementary businesses as they both result in additional revenue for the shop.

  11. Join local business associations. Though it is unlikely that you'll land clients on-the-spot at local networking events, becoming a part of your local business associations can prove to be an effective way of getting clients as a makeup artist in the long-run. Being an active member of such associations will cause word of mouth promotion of your business on a local level, and this is one of the purest forms of advertising your business can receive. A real estate agent or lawyer may contact you down the road to do their makeup for their head shots. Or, a daughter of one of the members may be getting married or attending prom in the upcoming months. This is an especially effective tactic if you're in a small town, as you'll likely have very little competition from other makeup artists.

  12. Post an ad in the newspaper. Posting ads in the newspaper is a severely underrated method of marketing your business. Brides often look through the newspaper to find advertisements for local businesses, such as wedding venues and makeup artists while planning their wedding. Therefore, it's up to you to ensure that your ad appears in the paper. Contact your local newspapers to inquire about their rates.

  13. Ask your current customers for referrals. Offer your customers a 5% to 25% off coupon for every new client that they refer to your business. To sweeten the deal, you can also offer a discount to the client that is referred to you. This offers a greater incentive to spread the word about your business. If you feel as if you're losing money by offering such a discount, you can choose to totally skip this tip or alter it to your liking.

  14. Advertise on blogs. Find relatively popular blogs that are tailored towards your demographic and purchase advertising. Nowadays, most independently owned blogs will offer their sponsors an introductory post which tells their readers about your business in addition to placing a button to your website or blog on their sidebar. The cost of this form of advertising is unpredictable. A new blog may charge $10 to $35 per month. While a more established blog may charge $50 to $300 per month, or even $700 in some cases. You'll likely be able to get more bang for your buck by choosing to advertise on a blog that is tailored towards your local audience or a location you're willing to travel to.

  15. Host a giveaway. Contact a local blog or business and offer a prize to every reader or customer that enters your giveaway. In exchange for the prize you're giving away, collect e-mail addresses from those that enter the giveaway so you can update them on the happenings of your business through an e-mail newsletter. This is also an effective way of increasing your YouTube subscriber count in order to help your makeup channel increase in popularity and make partner.

Finding clients as a makeup artist can be done by using rather frugal methods that are indeed effective. It is better to slowly build up a following for your business by implementing proven methods than to take out loans or spend thousands of your own dollars on methods that may or may not positively impact your makeup artist business. Remember, you're running a business – it's up to you, and only you, to ensure that you receive a steady stream of clients in order to make your business a success.

Comments 10 comments

TeriNK 3 years ago

You absolutely do NOT under any ciscumstance give a discount to anyone if you are a makeup artist. That ruins you in the long run and it ruins other PROFESSIONAL makeup artists. Giving discounts is unacceptable.

Sassy Simone 2 years ago

Very good tips.Thank you for your ideals.

Marie swain mua 2 years ago

HEY what a fab post :-). Does anybody know which is the best insurance to get as a makeup artist please :-) xxx

Anamika Shrivasta profile image

Anamika Shrivasta 7 months ago Best Institute for Makeup Artist Course and Training

CareerInMakeup 5 months ago

Great post! I think referrals are an often underused goldmine - you just have to be brave and ask. Even before the job - "If this goes well would you be happy to recommend me to others?"

Social media can be a bit of a time sink though - we wrote a post on software for makeup artists ( which includes some ideas for making social media a bit less of a burden

Thanks for the great post

Shweta Gaur 5 months ago

Shweta Gaur is the best freelance makeup artist in Delhi who has expertise and vast experience in all kind of makeovers and bridal makeups. She is regarded as top class Freelance Makeup Artist for all kinds of classical and trendy makeovers. Visit for more information

Jazz 5 months ago


Landon 8 weeks ago

Hope is good for you !

Angel 7 weeks ago, ig: Just_makeupllc

Ashley 2 weeks ago

Do Not offer to do you anyone make up for free it will mess you up in the future. When you get other potential clients, If you're starting out and just out of school or just don't have a lot of experience. It's best to charge around 35 to 65 dollars the highest being 80 to 100 depending on your skill level.

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