The post was originally published on July 1, 2021 and was updated on February 8, 2024.
My name is Natalie Setareh. I’m a professional makeup artist turned beauty coach. When I’m not teaching people how to wear makeup, I’m coaching aspiring and new makeup artists on how to build and become a profitable business owner. Click here to learn more about me and my values >
My Experience and Authority as a Bridal Makeup Artist:
Before we dig in, I want to let you know that I got started in the makeup artistry business as a bridal makeup artist! I had years of experience doing makeup on different faces and different personal preferences before officially calling myself a makeup artist in November 2014. My first makeup artist portfolio showcased all the professional pictures from all my friends weddings and special occasions. Fast forward to now, I’ve been a bridal makeup artist in 3 different states in the U.S. and 2 different states in Germany! I wrote a book, Be Your Own Makeup Artist, that’s being used in cosmetology and esthetician schools around the world.
Ready to dive in? Let’s unlock the secrets to landing dream clients, crafting irresistible proposals, and delivering an unforgettable experience. By the end, you’ll have the tools to turn every “inquiry” into an “I do!”
Don’t delay, brides-to-be (and or wedding planners) are busy! While your amazing website, well-thought out bridal makeup services, online portfolio showcasing your unique makeup techniques, and photos of your best work on social media might make you the obvious best choice, sometimes, it’s as simple as being the first to respond as the winner.
Why? Your timely and well-crafted reply is their first impression of your freelance makeup artist and/or bridal makeup artist business. It’s your first chance to stand out and show you’re organized and professional.
The Key Questions:
If you’re booked, let them down gently with a pre-written email (included in my Bridal Email Template Bundle!) This professionalism might even lead to future bookings or referrals. I know it has been the case for me, especially if wedding dates and/or venues change.
If you are available? Great!
Reply back within 24 hours. Don’t know what to say in your reply back? I’ve gotchu! My response templates are a secret weapon! They’ve earned me big bucks, and they can for you too. Get them (and coaching!) in my Email Inquiry Template bundle.
Should You Automate or Send Replies Manually?
Automate a response letting the potential client/bride know their inquiry has landed in your queue and that you’ll get back to them in xx hours/days. This gives them assurance and peace of mind that you’re working their question. I automate these replies via my contact form, which is connected to my Client Management System. If you don’t have a CMS or a contact form, I highly recommend booking a coaching call so we can get you situated. If you want to DIY this, grab my free MUA Business Systems and Tools guide free.
The actual reply should be personalized. Brides don’t want to book a robot. Using my inquiry template, you can easily, quickly, and effectively reply back to their inquiry (or have a team member or VA send it on your behalf).
Didn’t get booked? Don’t worry! We’ll cover follow-up in the next tip. Even if they choose another artist, your professionalism will leave a lasting impression.
Remember, brides are busy! Just because they haven’t booked right away doesn’t mean they’re not interested. They might be comparing prices, checking schedules, or simply swamped with wedding planning.
Your move? A friendly follow-up. Let them know you’re still there and excited to chat about their big day.
Here’s the deal:
No time to craft the perfect email? My pre-written follow-up email template saves the day! (P.S. It’s part of my Email Templates Bundle. I have two bundles, one for special occasion clients and one for bridal clients). To see all the templates, click here.
Remember: A timely follow-up shows you’re organized, caring, and genuinely interested in working with them. Plus, it might just land you your next happy client!
This is always the best and most exciting feeling when the bride says “I want to hire you for my special day!”
Before you commit, you want to make sure this is client is going to be a great client! Bridal makeup is hard work and the last thing you want is a bridal client who doesn’t respect you, your prices, or your beauty services. And the best way to determine whether or not this client is good for you is to collect as much information about their bridal beauty visions and needs as possible (this will also help you create an amazing proposal, which I talk about in tip 4).
The more you know about their personality, beauty vision, and expectations, the better you can decide if they’re your ideal client.
The questions you need them to answer will help you determine if they are a good fit or not. They are deeply specific and personal to you and your bridal makeup business. Whether you send them the questionnaire via email (I automated this process via my CSM) or prefer to ask them the question over a video/phone call or coffee, it doesn’t matter. You want to give them the opportunity to tell you everything you need to know to make a decision as to whether you’re the right artist for their personal style and makeup preferences. One of the best things about being your own boss is that you have control over the work you take on.
Over the years, I tweaked and perfected a bridal questionnaire template that I used for years — and over time, I could identify dream clients from draining clients. You can grab this questionnaire here.
Knowing if a client is a good fit can happen in a variety of ways:
Pay attention! Brides focusing on price over quality or asking to “squeeze the juice” might lead to picky behavior later. I’m not saying that every bride who asks for a discount is a hard ‘no’ from me — everyone wants to save money, that’s human nature. It’s just the way the ‘ask’ makes you feel. Trust your gut here!
Inspo pic makeup look doesn’t match your makeup style? Refer them to a colleague who aligns better with their style. Would you want that ‘makeup’ look in your portfolio?
Can you do hair? Depending on their timelines and/or needs, if you can’t do their hairstyle or don’t have a hair stylist on call to do their hair, this might not be a good fit! You don’t want to commit to someone who you can’t deliver 100% (because bridal hair and makeup go hand in hand).
Ready to seal the deal? Time for a seriously swoon-worthy proposal.
Forget brochure shopping. Now, I create personalized proposals based on what your dream bride needs and wants. Why? It ensures everyone’s on the same page and avoids wedding-day surprises (yikes!).
But before you whip up a masterpiece, gather all the info! My bridal questionnaire (helps you uncover everything, from their desired look to touch-ups for the fam. Plus, it doubles as a red flag detector – trust your gut!
Your proposal should cover all the costs associated with the following:
Bottom Line: Every service has a price tag. Include them all for ultimate transparency. If you’re looking to pursue the luxury bridal route, check out this content piece in collaboration with Rachel Lusk.
Pro tip: Detailed proposals land jobs! No need to reinvent the wheel. My pro shop offers bridal templates (including a proposal template!) to save you time and impress your clients. (P.S. Proposals and invoices are different – learn more here: link to article).
Sure, making every client feel special is a given. But brides deserve an extra sprinkle of magic! After all, they’re inviting you to be a part of (likely) the biggest moment of their lives. So, let’s go beyond “service” and create a next-level experience.
Sincere gratitude: Thank them for considering you, and express genuine excitement to be part of their wedding journey. Let them know how much you value their trust! It’s best if you do it with a handwritten thank you card.
Personalize their special day: Ditch the cookie-cutter approach. Ask about their favorite music, favorite memories, and even their dream scent. Use these details to create a calming, personalized ambiance that reflects their unique love story.
Teamwork makes the dream work: If they hired you, they more than likely also hired a professional photographer! Discuss lighting, angles, and timelines to ensure flawless getting-ready photos they’ll cherish forever. Make sure to exchange info so you can (with your bride’s permission) use their photos in your portfolio. Making friends with the other vendors (especially the wedding planner or day-of coordinator) is a great way to get new clients (hello referrals!)
Kindness is a superpower: Even if they haven’t booked yet, be enthusiastic and helpful. Answer questions, offer advice, and radiate positivity. It reflects well on you and builds lasting connections. After all, kindness and gratitude never go out of style!
By going above and beyond, you’ll create an experience that’s more than just beautiful makeup. You’ll create a memory they’ll treasure for a lifetime.
Remember, building a successful bridal makeup business takes dedication, passion, and a touch of strategic magic. But with the right tools and guidance, you can turn every inquiry into a loyal and future client and every wedding day into a masterpiece.
Remember, I’m here to cheer you on every step of the way!
So, what are you waiting for? Let’s turn your bridal makeup artist business dreams into a thriving reality.
Bonus: Share your biggest bridal makeup challenge with me at Ask Setareh! I might just feature it in my next content piece! You never know, your question could spark inspiration for other artists and help you find the perfect solution.
Beauty is about perception, not about make-up. I think the beginning of all beauty is knowing and liking oneself. You can't put on make-up, or dress yourself, or do you hair with any sort of fun or joy if you're doing it from a position of correction.