Do You Know What Your Day Rate Should Be?

I think it’s really important to know what the going day rate is for a freelance Hair or Makeup Artist. Before the holidays, I followed up on a job referral that a client gave me. The first time I talked to the producer he was really excited to here from me. It seems this production company took over a lot of work from a former client of mine. I explained to the producer I used to work quite a bit for this company and I’ve been working as a Makeup Artist for 15years. This seemed to impress the gentleman and he told me to call back in the New Year.

Just as requested, I followed up with a phone call at the beginning of January. It seems that somehow in between this month and last month he found a hair stylist from a salon who would work for $200 on a press tour. I was floored! The average going rate for a job like this is $750 or bare minimum of $500! I understand the principle of bidding lower on a job to be competitive, but this was ridiculous. It seemed to me that the salon professional had very little knowledge about production rates and just gave a random number. The problem is that when a producer gets used to paying a rate of $200 he will never go back to paying the regular rate. Undercutting the going rate by $50 is one thing, but when you cut the rate to half or less everyone suffers for it! We are freelancers. We do not work regular days or hours. We piece our bills together by the day rates we get. That is how we survive.

If you are unsure what to charge someone then tell them, “Yes, I’m available for that day.” Then ask them several questions about the job such as: how many hours, how many people, kit fee, are you doing hair, makeup, or both? Then tell the production company you need a minute and will call them back in a moment with a rate. Then take that time to call an agency in your area, a production company, or another artist to find out what the going rate would be.

It is best to know what your rates are before you begin. Take the time to create a career plan, do your research about your industry, and find out what the rate is for your area. Don’t give a number so low that you hurt yourself and everyone in our industry.

For a simple guide on creating a career plan visit our website and fill out the questions. It will give you a much better direction for your career.

Michelle Lee
Makeup Maverick
The Hair & Makeup Artist Network


January 16, 2010. Tags: , , , , , . Hair & Makeup Jobs, Hair & Makeup Marketing, Networking, Working as a Hair or Makeup Artist.

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