The Power of Networking with Your Peers

I was recently told by an artist they didn’t feel like our networking events were working for them because it was “just a bunch of Makeup Artists standing around staring at each other.” Yes we are a network of Makeup Artists and if you attend one of our events you will find yourself in a room full of your peers. I think the real problem isn’t that our networking events are filled with a room full of other artists. I think the issue is that Hair & Makeup Artists are under the misconception that all fellow artists are just their competition. But here are the hard facts: most of your work is going to come from other artists.

1. Film & Television Hair/Makeup Artists work in crews and that crew has a department head or a key that will hire you (not the producer).
2. Makeup Artists often bring the hairstylist onto a project (and vice versa) so take the time to network with them.
3. Network with more established artists (they often need an assistant or extra person on a job).
4. There are many times I am unable to do a job and I pass off work to other artists I know and trust with my clients.

Networking is sometimes an uncomfortable thing. It forces you to step outside of your comfort zone and introduce yourself to strangers. It’s not that networking with your peers doesn’t work because it does. It usually isn’t working because either you feel too awkward to introduce yourself or you feel intimidated by other artists. Or maybe it’s not working for you because you just don’t know how to network.

1. You have to feel confident enough to introduce yourself to others.
2. Don’t be afraid to tell them what you do and ask to trade work with them.
3. Don’t just give someone your card and expect they will magically call you. You have to ask for their card, make a note on the back about where you met, and take the time to follow-up with them.
4. Don’t just keep bugging people for work. Take the time to build the relationship with them over a period of time (lunch, dinner, drinks, event invites).

If networking with your peers isn’t working for you then I would reevaluate your approach. Start by building your networking of peers with a group of five people. Pass off a job with one or two of them and see what starts to happen. I’m sure you will start to see your jobs increase. And if you don’t, you need a new network of artists (either ones who are working or know how to network). Take these steps and your career will turn a corner, I promise.

September 6, 2011. Tags: , , , , , , , , , . Hair & Makeup Jobs, Hair & Makeup Marketing, Networking, Party Event, Working as a Hair or Makeup Artist. Leave a comment.

How Do I Finanically Plan for My Hair or Makeup Career?

When I first started working as a freelancer, I never once considered setting up a budget for my career. I was just like everyone else out of school, I put out resumes and promo pieces using my credit card.

Let’s face it, you have to spend money to make money. Yes, there are a lot of free ways to promote yourself online but that will only take you so far. You still need to have a website, business cards, demo reels, and office supplies for things like your resume, software, a computer, and other tools of the trade, not the mention the cost of networking and having lunch with people. Since most of the work you will get as a freelancer will come from referrals, networking events and “doing lunch” will also be a very important part of your budget. There are many networking organizations out there that hold monthly mixers but they all cost money to attend. My advice is to understand your is income vs. your monthly expenses (rent/ utilities). Once you understand these two things you can:

1. Create a monthly allowance for promotional materials and networking events
2. Open a separate checking account that you use for only business expenses so you don’t overspend

By doing these two things you will never be too broke to advertise your services and you won’t be debt financing your career. So take the time to create financial plan. You will be surprised on how much easier it will be for to get your name out there, and you won’t be stressed out about money while you are doing it.

To create a solid financial plan visit our website and download a financial planning spreadsheet to get started at http://hmartistsnetwork.com/financial-planning

Michelle Lee
Makeup Maverick
www.hmartistsnetwork.com

April 8, 2010. Tags: , , , , , . Hair & Makeup Jobs, Hair & Makeup Marketing, Working as a Hair or Makeup Artist. 3 comments.

Stop Being Lazy & Start Networking!

I’m always amazed at the small turn out of Hair & Makeup Artists at our networking events. As you all my know, we co-hosted the opening night red carpet gala for the Los Angeles Women’s International Film Festival. The event was a huge success! There must have been over 300 people at our event (most of which were filmmakers). Attendees included Sprague Hayden (24), Ileana Douglas, and Director Cheryl Hines. There had to have been over 200 filmmakers presents providing hair & makeup artists with optimum networking opportunity. Still the turn our for hair & makeup artists were low. I really don’t understand the mentality of today’s young professionals. There really seems to be this strange sense of entitlement with our peer group. It’s as if they expect that the work will just fall into their laps, or they believe that getting an agent will solve their problems. Agents certainly help, but there is not substitution for self-promotion. I have talked to agents and top artists alike, and the response is always the same. Agents from both Celestine and The Rex Agency have told me that an agent can only do so much. It would make their job easier if the artist would continue to network. I know an artist at Cloutier Agency who tells me that she needs to self-promote because her agency is only pushing the top artists.

People tell us that they would join our network if they could get work out of it. Our response is always the same. We are not an agency. We are a networking organization. Our job is to provide you with the tools for success by putting you in the same room with producers, directors, filmmakers like Cheryl Hines, and other celebrities so you can promote yourself. However, the work will not come to you unless you show up and participate. Ninety nine percent of all success if just showing up. If you are looking for a hand-out in this business, or if you are sitting around waiting for the phone to ring, you are in the wrong industry. You are self-employed which means it is up to you to bring in the clients. Job referrals will always come from people who know and like you, but that will never happen if you don’t get off the couch and build the relationship yourself. This is not an industry where you can just join a website and the work will start poring in. You must take control over your career and put some real effort into it if you want to be successful. So stop being lazy, stop waiting for the phone to ring, and start networking! For more information on our organization or networking events visit:

http://hmartistsnetwork.com/

http://hmartistsnetwork.com/events

Photos from our Red Carpet Gala:

Michelle Lee
Makeup Maverick
http://hmartistsnetwork.com/

April 2, 2010. Tags: , , , , , , , , . Hair & Makeup Jobs, Hair & Makeup Marketing, Networking, Party Event, Working as a Hair or Makeup Artist. Leave a comment.

Los Angeles Women’s International Film Festival

You should know by now that we host monthly networking event for Hair & Makeup Artists. This month we have teamed up with the Los Angeles Women’s International Film Festival to provide you with an opportunity to meet filmmakers. The festival has been in operation for over six years and is host to hundreds of filmmakers each year. This year we are co-hosting and organizing both the opening night red carpet gala and the closing night party. These events are expected to have over 200 filmmakers in attendance providing you with an opportunity to build relationships and a stronger client base. So please join us Friday March 26th and April 1st for our big gala events both starting at 8:30. This year director Cheryl Hines and Jennifer Tilly are expected to attend the opening night of the festival. For more information or to purchase tickets call us at 323 913 9375. Also be sure to check out our upcoming events:

April 19, 2010 – Networking Dinner with art director from Lord of the Rings Jon Slowsky
June 2010 – Networking Dinner with guest speaker celebrity photographer Stewart Volland
July 2010 – Networking Dinner with guest speaker television director and television icon Anson Williams
August 2010 – Networking Dinner with guest speaker fx artist Edward French

For more information on these events visit: www.hmartistsnetwork.com/networking_events

Michelle Lee
Makeup Maverick
www.hmartistsnetwork.com

March 15, 2010. Tags: , , , , . Hair & Makeup Jobs, Hair & Makeup Marketing, Networking, Party Event, Working as a Hair or Makeup Artist. Leave a comment.

The Hair & Makeup Artist Network’s Testimonial For Success!

About a year and a half ago I got a phone call from a Bollywood production company looking for a Makeup Artist with a background in film. Immediately I started going through the profiles of artists in our database and called all the artists that they worked in film. Out of a hand full of people, only Makeup Artist Robin Slater returned my call. Since we are not any agency, I just gave her the direct contact information for the company. I didn’t know it at the time, but the film had fairly decent size budget. Not only did it have a decent size budget, it is now being backed by Fox Searchlight! Robin Slater not only got to work on the film, she and an assistant spent most of last year working in India. Now that the film is complete, advertisement for “My Name Is Khan” are popping up everywhere including in Times Square! Who would have ever thought one little advertisement for The Hair & Makeup Artist Network in LA411 would provide one artist with such a life changing experience! As Robin Slater puts it, “If it wasn’t for you and your network I would have never worked on this job.”

We may not be an agency, but we do give job referrals. So does our network help people? You bet! The proof is in the Bollywood pudding! And if you don’t believe me, just ask twenty year industry veteran Robin Slater! Now we don’t promise that everyone will get a trip to India by joining our network, but there is something to be said about networking and being in our database. Not to mention we offer a lot support and other benefits to network members.

To learn more about “My Name Is Kahn” visit http://www.foxsearchlight.com/mynameiskhan/
or visit Robin Slater on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/search/?init=srp&sfxp=&q=rob%20s&o=2048&lo=2419698&ed=&wk=#/profile.php?id=1039035657&ref=ts
http://www.imakeup.com/pages/main.html

To learn more about our network: www.hmartistsnetwork.com

Michelle Lee
Makeup Maverick
www.hmartistsnetwork.com

February 1, 2010. Tags: , , , , , , . Hair & Makeup Jobs, Hair & Makeup Marketing, Uncategorized, Working as a Hair or Makeup Artist. Leave a comment.

Are Your Self Promotion Methods Working For You?

I see hair and makeup artists using their social networking websites as substitute for a personal website all the time and it drives me crazy! Social networking websites are great for online marketing but they are not substitute for a personal one. I know websites are expensive, but they are a long term investment in your business. The first thing you have to realize is that your freelance work is a business so you need to treat it like one. Can you imagine if Mac Apple displayed all their company and product information only on Facebook? If they did, would you take that company seriously? I wouldn’t! I would think that they were an inexperience rinky-dink company with little experience in the market place. The same thing is true with your marketing tools. Your website is a representation of you. In fact, in this day and age, websites really have replaced the tradition portfolio. It is what you send to potential employers to review you work and presentation is everything.

My advice is to take the time to create promotional materials that best represent your style and personality. This means you should package yourself in a way that says, “I know what I’m doing.” Your business card, comp cards, demo real, and website should be clean, easy to understand, and have some sort of uniformity to it. In fact, unless you are lucky enough to have been working for twenty years and have clients calling you, I think a logo is a smart investment as well. The idea behind the creating a logo is to brand yourself so you can stand out from the competition. I have a logo. Its on my Facebook page, my business cards, comp cards, demo reel, and website. My logo is my brand recognition and your website needs to yours.Your website should clean, easy to navigate, and have large visible photos of your work. It should contain not only your portfolio images, but your bio, contact information, resume, demo reel, and any press info as well. Each page should be search engine friendly and have its own web address. The individual web addresses are important so you can email specific pages of your work to prospective clients. People are busy and they have a short attention span. They are more likely to view your work if you show them only what is relevant to what they are looking for. They are not going to take the time to look at your work if they have to sort through your Myspace or Facebook profile for it. A website is like getting furniture. You are going to have it for a long time so make sure you spend the money to get something you really like.

For help with your website and promotional materials visit us at: www.hmartistsnetwork.com/business_and_entertainment_news

Michelle Lee
Makeup Maverick
www.hmartistsnetwork.com
www.mymakeupart.com

January 29, 2010. Tags: , , , , , , , , . Hair & Makeup Jobs, Hair & Makeup Marketing, Working as a Hair or Makeup Artist. Leave a comment.

Do You Know How To Negotiate Your Day Rate?

I know, its hard to have to negotiate money. As artists, most of us would rather just do the job and have someone else negotiate the money. However, the hard reality is this; agents only want to take on established artists. So this means you are going to have to do the negotiating until your career is at a level where an agent will take you on.

I think most of us don’t want to negotiate money because there are so many emotional attachments we carry with it. According to Opra.com, ” There are four emotionally charged reasons that this happens:

* You don’t believe you deserve it.
* You don’t believe other people think you deserve it.
* You know you deserve more, but not how much more.
* You know precisely how much more you deserve, but you don’t know how to get it.”

I think as women this is particularly true (whether we want to admit it or not). I don’t know about you, but I was raised to be sweet and accommodating. This a great notion for the 1950’s housewife, but it serves no purpose in the business world. Growing up, I don’t know how many times I avoided the opportunity to make a better deal because I just didn’t want to create conflict. I just wanted to make my purchase and get out of there. It didn’t matter if I could have gotten my item for less as long as I didn’t have to deal with the hassle of haggling. But why? Why do we undermine ourselves? I think in competitive job market we mostly do it because of the fear centered around not getting the work. What if we over-bid for the job? If anything, I think we mostly of grossly underbid. This might happen for a number of reasons starting with not knowing what your rate should be, and not putting a value on your time.

Good negotiation happens when you know what you are worth and you are willing to walk away based on principle. Negotiation isn’t just about a dollar amount. It’s putting a value on how much time it will take you to drive to the job, how many people you will have to prep, how much product is being used out of your kit, how much time they are giving you to prep each of the talent, what the talent you are working along side you is being paid, and ultimately how beat up will feel at the end of the day. It’s not about how much you are asking or put some mascara or hairspray on someone. It’s about how much your time and expertise is worth. So do your homework. Know what the going rate is for your area, level of experience, and the medium you are working in. Then you have to know if your time, effort, and financial investment is worth what they are offering you. If it’s not, then be prepared to take a stand and walk away. CNN Money.com advises:

1. Don’t look at a deal as an either/or proposition
2. Know what you can part with — then part with it hard
3. Figure out the other side’s timetable. Then use it
4. Show people that you understand their position
5. Stifle your emotions
6. Don’t believe everything, but don’t call anyone a liar
7. Devise a backup plan that you could live with

I think that is great advice from a well respected resource. The day we all know what are worth, is the day we all get paid a fair wage. Just ask yourself, “What is that producer or actor being paid for their time?” It’s probably more than what you are getting.

For more career advice go to www.hmartistnetwork.com and watch industry interviews on HMA Network TV. Or watch our virtual classroom video on rate negotiation www.hmartistsnetwork.com/client

Michelle Lee
Makeup Maverick
www.hmartistsnetwork.com

January 26, 2010. Tags: , , , , , , . Hair & Makeup Jobs, Hair & Makeup Marketing, Working as a Hair or Makeup Artist. 1 comment.

So How Will Going To A Networking Event Benefit Me?

I think I have actually heard all the networking stories and excuses. People have asked me, “So what exactly is a networking event, a party?” Or I have heard excuses of, “Oh I’ve gone to networking events and nothing happened.” Once a person called about one of our events asking, “If they thought if was worth it because they had gone to a Chamber of Commerce meeting once and she didn’t get any work out of it.”

So here is the answer about networking and networking events: what you get out of it is what you put into it. Yes, most of the time it is a cocktail party, but the people who attend the functions are there to connect will other people they can do business with. Networking events are not a a one time magic fix to your career. It is something you do in order to build relationship with other people. As we all know, great relationships don’t form over night. You have to build them over time. Our goal at The Hair & Makeup Artist Network is simply just give you the opportunity to meet people. What happens after that is totally up to you. Most people in this town think that they will just get an agent and their problems will be fixed. That isn’t necessarily true. Frank Moore, from the Celestine once told me, “It would make his job a lot easier if his artists would continue to network.” The job of self-promotion cannot just be on the shoulders of the agent. You are in charge of your career path in the end and it is you who must build the bridge with clients, agent or no agent.

He are the top ten mistakes artists make in attending networking events:

1. Not bothering to go
2. Showing up to an event with a friend and only talking to your friend all night
3. Not asking for the person you are talking to for their business card
4. Drinking too much at an event and leaving a bad impression on the people you meet
5. Not bothering to network with your peers as well as directors and producers (you peers can be a huge referral source)
6. Only listening to the guest speaker and leaving
7. Not remembering to bring business cards
8. Not bothering to continue to follow up with people you have met at a event
9. Only attending one or two events and deciding it isn’t going to work for you
10. Deciding you are above everyone in the room (you never know who is connected to who and how they might help you down the road)

I would say the number one reason that networking events don’t work for people is that they don’t follow up with who they have met. All of my guest speakers have come from my networking efforts. If it wasn’t for me being a member of Women In Film, I wouldn’t have ever met our publicity class instructor, Judy Sandra or Actress Sharon Lawrence. Sharon has not only been a guest speaker, she had referred me to other artists and helped out at our UBCF event. Networking events do work but not over night. You have to show up and follow up.

For more information on our organization visit www.hmartistsnetwork.com or attend our February 1st industry mixer http://losangeles.olx.com/international-fashion-entertainment-networking-event-iid-68353392.

Michelle Lee
Makeup Maverick
www.hmartistsnetwork.com

January 21, 2010. Tags: , , , , , , , . Hair & Makeup Jobs, Hair & Makeup Marketing, Networking, Party Event, Working as a Hair or Makeup Artist. 2 comments.

How Do I Jump Start My Hair or Makeup Career?

So you just got out of school, so now what???? Starting any new career may seem overwhelming. That’s especially true when starting a career in fashion or entertainment. The competition is tough and to be successful you really need an entrepreneurial spirit. This means you have to understand how to self-promote. It isn’t an industry where you can just go onto job boards like Monster and apply for a job. You must advertise your services like a new business and network, network, network!

When I started my career as a Makeup Artist an entire fifteen years ago, I was living on the east coast in Virginia. In Virgina, it was easy starting out. I was the only Makeup Artist in the area with any formal training. This alone gave me the competitive edge. In Virginia, I just sent out resumes and followed up with a phone call. The local production companies took my calls because they didn’t have a lot of Hair or Makeup Artists calling them. The funny thing is that I didn’t even have a strong resume because I was fresh out of makeup school.

It wasn’t until I moved to Los Angeles ten years ago where realized I really had to work a lot harder to get the job. No one here cares if you have training because most people here do. In this market, its not about what you can do so much as what you have already done. In other words, it will be your portfolio or resume that will get you the job here. However, in order for you to get the job, you must know people who will actually be willing to look at your work. For every one makeup artist submitting for a position in L.A., there must be at least another 100 people with the same skills applying too. What will give you the edge is networking. You have to keep calling people, asking for a meeting, and asking everyone you know for a referral. Join every networking organization you can afford to like Women in Film, Film Independent, or The Hair & Makeup Artist Network, and attend all their events you can. The objective is to get people to know who you are, and once you have done that, don’t be afraid to ask for referrals.

If you are new to this industry or even new to this town, I suggest you try assisting to as many experienced professionals as you can. The reality is that Spielberg won’t be knocking down your door just because you finished school or rolled into town. There are plenty of experienced professionals that you have a lot to benefit from by assisting them. This is the best place to begin and it all starts with networking.

For more information on networking opportunities visit www.hmartistsnetwork.com or check out our latest upcoming event at http://losangeles.olx.com/international-fashion-entertainment-networking-event-iid-68353392

Michelle Lee
Makeup Maverick
www.hmartistsnetwork.com

January 20, 2010. Tags: , , , , , , , , , . Hair & Makeup Jobs, Hair & Makeup Marketing, Networking, Working as a Hair or Makeup Artist. Leave a comment.

Why Are Good Job Postings For Makeup & Hair Hard To Find?

michelle5I talk to so many artists who are in the industry and they are always looking online for job postings. Most of them will tell you that they go onto Craigslist, Myspace, Facebook, and other sites, but they just can’t find posting for high paying work on these sites. In fact, in the beginning I used to go on these sites myself looking for work. I did actually get a couple of jobs that payed $300 for the day, but that was just extremely unusual.

The more I talk to people in this industry who hire makeup and hair professionals, such as producers, directors, publicists, and so on, the more I understand why good job postings are so hard to find. The main reason is that there is just so much at risk when it comes to entertainment industry jobs. You really have to stop and realize what is at stake for the person who is hiring you. For films, it has taken that filmmaker a lot of time, effort, and convincing to get people to give them the funding to finance their project to begin with. This means that when they start filming there just isn’t a whole lot of room for error. In commercials, the client is paying thousands (if not millions) of dollars to produce that one commercial. When celebrities are involved, that celebrity’s image is on the line.

Let’s face it, the job of a Hair or Makeup Artist is such a crucial part of the production. Your work is seen by everyone because is out there on the talent for the world to see, and if you mess up, it can ruin the entire project (and reshoots are very expensive). There is so much riding on every aspect of the production going smoothly. This might sound a bit over-dramatic, but careers are at stake and this industry moves at a fast pace. There is not time to interview thirty people for the job and hope it works out. That is why the person who hires you can’t just post a job and hire anyone. This is an extremely competitive industry. For every director, producer, and photographer out there, there are a thousand more waiting to take their place. One false move can ruin a career. For this reason, people want a referral and not a job posting. That is why agents and networking are king in the world of entertainment. You want a job in this industry, you have to network and self-promote. Period.

Of course, The Hair & Makeup Artist Network has job postings, but they are really few and far between. The majority of the work that comes to the members of our Network are through referrals or networking. Yes, people call us looking for a Hair or Makeup Artist, but they just seem to want the referral rather than blindly posting a job. That is why networking is soooo important.

If you are interested in setting up a networking event in your area contact us by visiting:
www.hmartistsnetwork.com

Michelle Lee
Make Maverick
www.hmartistsnetwork.com

www.mymakeupart.com

March 30, 2009. Tags: , , , , . Hair & Makeup Jobs, Hair & Makeup Marketing, Networking, Working as a Hair or Makeup Artist. 1 comment.

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