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Don’t be Afraid to Charge your Worth (Even in a Saturated Market)

I am a makeup artist in a large market that has a great deal of celebrities, athletes and music and TV production. Sometimes it seems like everyone is a makeup artist and there is so much competition—and just like so many creatives, I am no stranger to imposter syndrome. Here are five tips that I use to help prove my worth and justify my prices—both to myself and to my clients.

1. Recognize what makes you unique.

Many people can capture images, decorate cakes, or apply makeup. But no other person on Earth can approach that task like you can, with your specific experience. You have put in so much time, effort, and practice (and even a little blood, sweat, and tears)—and you should share that passion and unique approach with your clients. When a client sees your drive and hears your story, it makes you so much more relatable. You need to realize that your personal touch and unique skills are something that you can and SHOULD be charging for. You deserve to be compensated for all of that effort you have put in.

2. Be a human.

I am a part-time makeup artist, aka a side-hustler. I love my full-time job as a physical therapist, but when I first started out as a makeup artist, I hid so many aspects of who I am—I only wanted to portray a knowledgeable, professional artist. Looking back, I see that that made me seem so one-dimensional. Ultimately, clients are just people that want to do business with people. And to connect as a “person” and not a “business”, you have to show your human side.

That meant that in addition to showing my professional “makeup artist” side, I had to start showing other sides of myself. Instagram Stories makes that so easy for me—on a weekly basis, I share aspects of my life that aren’t business-related. I have had clients tell me they felt comfortable hiring me because they felt they already knew me based off of what I was sharing.

3. Personally connect with each client over the phone.

This was so intimidating for me at first, but the more I practiced, the better I got. On a phone call, you can ask a lead so many questions about themselves, their expectations, their event, and why they’re interested in you. Based on their answers and tone, you can get a feel for if you’ll be a good fit for one another, and gauge how likely they are to book you. You can also find out how and when they would like you to follow up, and if there is anything else they need from you. I find by keeping the conversation informational—rather than sales-y—the client is more likely to be open and honest, which actually makes closing on the booking much easier.

4. Remember personal details.

Don’t overlook the power of a pen and a pad of paper. Every time you have contact with a client, including that initial call, write as many notes as possible. That way, when you’re following up (whether they book you or not), you can sprinkle personal touches into the messages. This lets the client know that you took an interest in them as a person, which makes them more likely to keep you top of mind for future services.

5. Show off your professionalism.

If you haven’t done this already, use a system (such as HoneyBook, the CRM for small businesses) to put all your business processes into place. This puts you in a position to confidently tell your potential clients how often they will hear from you, the types of communication you will use, how and where they can sign contracts and pay fees, and so on. Explaining these processes to clients up front in a confident manner will help them believe that you are the pro that you claim to be, which will quiet any hesitation about paying your desired fee.

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