Hi friends! I wanted to take some time to talk directly to my fellow makeup artists and aspiring makeup artists. I’ve said it over and over again — and these days, it’s more true than it’s ever been before — running a profitable makeup artist business, on your terms, is tough.
On the one hand, you want to book as many clients as possible because you know that word-of-mouth referrals are worth their weight in gold. You want to show as many people as possible that you are an AMAZING makeup artist so you can keep your calendar full and create a reliable stream of income doing what you love. Right?
Most aspiring makeup artists simply don’t realize how much behind the scenes work goes into managing each and every single client that books your services. For every hour someone spends in your chair, you’re probably spending at least that much time getting your kit ready, preparing proposals, invoices, and contracts. Then, there’s all the emailing back and forth… it really adds up and cuts into the time you could be spending with other clients.
Once I realized that I could just rinse and repeat the process, the whole game changed for me. I started using makeup artist proposal and invoice templates to communicate with clients and saved so. much. freaking. time. . I mean, I was saying basically the same thing to everyone anyway, so why reinvent the wheel each time when it was way easier and more efficient to just copy and paste from a template.
But — and this part is really important — that doesn’t mean I was giving my clients a crappy experience. My templates have been refined, tweaked, and perfected over the years that I have been using them. I’ve literally gotten jobs over other (perhaps even better) makeup artists because of the professional and timely responses I’ve sent using my own makeup artist proposal and invoice templates.
As a matter of fact, my very first bridal client wrote me a review that read:
“Natalie started this business last year, and you can tell by her work ethic, personalization and perfectionism that she gave it her all…” – Jenny, my very first bridal client EVER in 2015.
So, I’ve already explained how using templates can save you a lot of time because you can simply copy and paste the content for each new client into the template and send it off. No more starting from square one!
However, that’s not the only benefit. Another HUGE benefit of using templates is consistency in branding and process. The last thing you want to do is leave yourself vulnerable to being taken advantage of, not being taken seriously, or worst of all, getting ghosted by a client (we’ve all been there and it’s not a good place to be).
This is why your proposal and invoice process needs to be SPOT ON. Your makeup artist proposal needs to be polished, professional, and easy for your potential client to understand. Your invoice has to be clear and it needs to lay out your terms so that everyone who agrees to work with you understands your fees and policies.
There is sooo much room for error when you’re making these documents on the fly for each client. What if you forget to include your travel fees or the cost of false lashes? You are leaving yourself vulnerable to losing money, and on top of that, you’re making the entire process way more difficult than it needs to be!
Sending a quality proposal and having a professional invoice process will set you apart from the rest. That’s because the interactions you have with your inquiries set the tone for the experience you have with them. Let’s walk through it together:
P.S. Getting this client inquiry is exciting, but it can also be nerve wracking if you’re just starting out. Download my free client inquiry email template so you know exactly what to say to keep that client interested in booking your services!
If you’re creating your own proposals from scratch or building your own proposal template to use again and again, you’ll want to make sure you include these items:
Some additional thoughts on these items:
Expiration Date: Why do I recommend putting an expiration date on the proposal? Because there needs to be some urgency in their decision. You can’t wait forever for them to decide whether or not they want to book you and secure your services. Plus, what if you get another inquiry for the same time/date? You don’t want to potentially lose two jobs!
Deposit: A deposit is an amount of money you collect that is used to secure your services and/or secure the date. The amount of money you collect for the deposit is used towards the total balance.
Retainer: A retainer is an amount of money that may or may not be refundable, that is not factored into the total balance. Essentially, it is like a fee for the work you do prior to services being rendered.
The amount of money (or percentage of the total) that you collect by means of a deposit or retainer is totally up to you. If you are unsure how much to charge and/or structure your pricing, you are welcome to book a call with me to figure out your specific needs.
Format: Never send a document that is editable! Always make sure to save it as a .pdf. I even know people who send video proposals so that they cannot be copied, altered, or shared (yes, people steal other people’s proposals — it’s a shame).
At the end of the day, the proposal is your chance to make sure your potential client(s) understand your terms and conditions — and make it as easy as possible for them to book you!
Once your client has signed your proposal, it’s time to put an invoice together! If you are not using my template, you will need to create something on your own. My invoice is a spreadsheet. This makes it really easy to add everything together and keep it looking organized and polished. Trust me, clients appreciate this and so do accountants if you’re booking commercial work. It’s a great way to land on the “to hire again” list, which is exactly where you want to be!
Here’s what you need to have on every single invoice:
Of course, the makeup artist proposal and invoice templates aren’t the only templates you need as a makeup artist. Your contract is another important document that sets you apart from the amateurs, as well as the questionnaire you send to each client before their session. I use templates for all of these… I even use templates for all my transactional emails! You can find my full suite of templates for makeup artists in my template shop.
As always, I’m happy to work this out with you in a coaching call. It will save you so much frustration and heartache. You can book a call with me here!
I’m Natalie, an American born makeup artist & makeup educator based in Wiesbaden, Germany. I truly believe that makeup, when applied well, can transform us in so many ways. My page is a space for inspiration, education, and advice. Thanks for being here & I’d love to connect with you!