Instagram, being a very visual-oriented social media makes it a perfect platform for artists to show off their work. It will increase your exposure and influence in the field. However, It is not to be mistaken with a professional makeup portfolio, however, it does serve a similar purpose. So it is important to have a plan, a strategy to build your reputation on Instagram, it will take some time. But….
Yes, having a strong Instagram presence will absolutely do wonders for your makeup artistry career.
Makeup is the perfect theme for Instagram given makeup related hashtags count in the dozens of millions. Which also makes it slightly difficult. You need a strategy. Instagram is oversaturated with beauty and makeup, it is hard to get attention. So you just need to have a cohesive strategy for attack and be patient, because consistency wins.
It’s said that a picture is worth a thousand words—but in the world of social media, it turns out the number might be much higher than that.
How to build a following from scratch as a Makeup Artist on Instagram?
#1 Develop a unique style
What do I do VS What do I want to do
A new visitor should be able to figure out within the first 6 seconds (and this gets shorter every year) what you are about, WITHOUT reading your bio. If they can’t, and you’re all over the place, they’ll leave.
So, rule no 1 – Keep your personal account separate from your professional account.
Attract the clientele you want to work with
Sounds much like The Secret, but what you show to the world, the world gives back. Do you want more bridal clients, or maybe do more editorial work? Attract the type of work you want by showcasing the type of work you want to have in the future. If you are a versatile artist, a little show off here and there doesn’t hurt, especially as you can post it in Instagram Story. But, keep your feed nice and clean. Meaning, don’t post an image of every makeup look you do. Think long term. Ask yourself – what type of work you do you want to attract? What is the style you want to be associated with?
Answer those questions and post images that check those boxes. I know, easier said than done, but, once you commit to implementing your strategy every single day it will become a no-brainer. In the end, you are a visual artist and this will come easier to you than to most other people.
🌸 Social Butterfly 🌸 Photography, makeup and modeled by me, @vladamua Retouching by @lifespotsretouch 💙 Using @marthastewart craft glitter 🌸 If you would like to win one of the five sets of the new shades of Always On liquid lipstick from @smashboxcosmetics leave me a 🎲 in the comments while I’m here in Vegas! 💋 #makeup #beauty #macrobeauty #macrophotography #lipart #metallic #sequinlipart #glitter #marthastewart #butterfly #butterfliesofinstagram #makeupbyvladamua #vladamua
#2: Post Instagram-friendly images
Your Instagram feed is only as good as your photographs, so starting with high-quality photos makes your Instagram marketing more effective.
- Shoot Vertically: This way your image will take more space in user’s feed and it is likely to be noticed. Crop them to 4:5 ration for the optimal size. This can easily be done with just one click in the free apps like Lightroom for Mobile.
- Collaborate with photographers as often as you can and you’ll always have professional images for your Insta feed. Collaboration with photographers can help tremendously in boosting your career so read here more about it.
Hashtags for MUA
The hashtags you use will get you discovered or drown you out in the noise.
If you don’t know about proper hashtags beyond: ‘style’, ‘beautiful’, ‘mua’, ‘motd’ and ‘pretty’, look through other MUA’s accounts and see the hashtags they use. Click on those hashtags and see how many times people have used it. If it is over 500 k your images will likely get lost within a few minutes or less.
Experiment with different hashtags until you find the ones that work, write them in the notes on your mobile and simply copy every time you post an image. Instagram allows up to 30 hashtags per post so find as much hashtags as you can. Make two or three such combinations and shuffle them. Instagram can mark you as a spammy account if you are repeating the same hashtags every time. But fighting Instagram’s evil algorithm is a completely different ball game, which I will write about some other time.
There are some tools you can use like the app called Hashtagfy to get ideas for new hashtags. Here is a solid checklist of different hashtags you can use.
- Descriptive – what’s in your photo
- Category – your industry/niche
- Expertise – your sweet spot in your niche
- Brands – tag popular brands in your niche for a chance to be featured (Tag #CossetMoi, we would love to see your work!)
- Community – your community/micro-niche
- Location – where you are
As most of the makeup artists will want to attract clients in their city, geotagging your location on Instagram is vital. Be sure to include all variations of local hashtags like #NewyorkMakeupArtist, #NYCMakeupAritst, #NewyorkMUA, etc.
#3 Insta Stories
Instagram stories have bigger reach than regular posts, so use that to your advantage. Get wild with Stories, and post as much as you want.
Instagram Stories give life to still images on your profile. So give your followers a behind-the-scenes glimpse at how you run your business, and what a down-to-earth moment in your life looks like. Snippets of your workday, how your makeup station and makeup kit look like, give product reviews… There are so many things you can share with your audience to animate them and keep them engaged.
#4 Leverage your network
It’s crucial to remember that although to many Instagram is window-shop to their business, it is above a social media platform so treat it like one. Engage with people and be the one starting conversations, not ending it.
Comment on other MUA’s profiles
They say that Likes are measured, but a nice comment is remembered. Anyone can like an image, but a comment starts a conversation and people will more than likely check out your profile. Find something nice to say and leave a comment on the pics you genuinely like.
Reply to comments
Engage with the people who have commented on your pictures, you may meet your new Insta friends. We are all busy with work but try to set some time aside to social and approachable and use every opportunity to connect with people who like your work. Maybe you’ll connect with Pat McGrath 😉
Do this consistently, every day and you’ll see good things happening in a few months.
#5 Create your Instagram strategy
Start implementing tips from above right now and create a killer Insta strategy for this year.
- Target your perfect customer: Is it an editorial magazine, bride to be, who?
- Competitor research: Check out your competitors’ social media profiles to see what’s already working for them.
- Content plan: This includes what content to post, when to post it, and also how to boost engagement. Organize giveaways, run holiday campaigns, shoot a tutorial, post your inspiration… Whatever fits your style, just be sure to write it down.
“If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.”
In the light of Instagram as the new powerhouse for promoting your work, it is clear that it can bring you a lot of benefits, from new clients to opportunities to collaborate with brands. With a smart strategy and consistency in implementing it, you can position yourself as one of the sought after influencers.