Crystal Wright “Plan Your Work and Work Your Plan!”
MUD welcomed Crystal Wright as our special guest speaker for our Industry Speaks event on April 18th. Crystal is a self-help author, educator, motivational speaker, and advisor to freelance styling professionals. She is an internationally recognized expert on the subject of career building and marketing for beauty professionals, and regularly appears as a guest speaker and educator at fashion and beauty trade shows and events. To change things up, Crystal decided to format this event as a question and answer time for the attendees.
Q: “If you had to start with just one marketing tool, what would it be?”
A: Crystal’s advice is to start out with an online portfolio. With an online portfolio, you can include your still shots with your moving images and have them all in one place. The second most important thing to consider is a Meta tag. Meta tags should include any words you may use to describe yourself, and your profession. The word “makeup” must be included in the Meta tag, and it should be spelled out all the different ways people may spell it. Also included in the Meta tag should be every location you are willing to work in. Lastly, Crystal talked about the importance of your branding name. Once you decide what you want to be called “you need to own it; do not change it.” Make sure you choose wisely, what you want to be called, before you start branding yourself (with business cards, website info, etc.)
Another extremely important thing to have in marketing, that Crystal talked about, is to own the rights to your own name. She advised the group to purchase their names for a small annual fee. In addition to owning your own name, Crystal added how important it is to set up an email account with something easy to remember, as this is something that will benefit you as an artist. “Email addresses should be professional, easy to remember, and should match the name on your website.”
Q: “What are the top two worst mistakes made by makeup artists?”
A: Crystal began by stating that one of the best ways to get ahead in this business is to assist. A very common mistake made by makeup artist’s assistants is when they try to promote themselves on the location of the job. She emphasized the importance of being there to serve and assist the makeup artist with anything they need, even if it does not pertain to makeup. “This is not your job; remember you are there to assist!” She added that assistant jobs are great opportunities to watch and learn. The first thing you should ask upon your arrival should be “how can I help you and what are the things you want me to do and do not want me to do?” The better you are at assisting, the more likely it will be that the makeup artist you are working for will refer other job opportunities to you, when they cannot take them.
Another mistake that is made by makeup artists is in the way they market themselves. Crystal’s advice to makeup artists at the beginning of their career is to get their website done by a company who specializes in websites for this line of work. In addition to this, also learn to update your website on your own so you are not at anyone else’s mercy. When including your resume on your website, upload it as a word document because word is the only document that is searchable online.
It is also important to know about the photographer you are working with. Engage in dialogue with the photographers and know what you’re talking about. “When you speak their language, and are specific, you will get what you want.” Remember to get all the pictures from the photographer at one time, due to the fact that they own the rights to all the pictures they take. “Do not work with a photographer that includes watermarks on their photographs, it is a sign of inexperience and does not look good on your website!”
Q: “Is it ok to turn down jobs that you don’t feel passionate about?”
A: Crystal answered by stating that it is ok to turn down a job, but not to forget the value of networking and relationships opportunities that present themselves when taking what you can get in the beginning. Experience is so important when starting out and taking any job you can get always ends up being valuable. You never know who you might be working with, and future opportunities that could come out of taking a job you might not have wanted to take.
Q: “What do you think of Model Mayhem?”
A: Crystal began by stating that Model Mayhem has improved over the years, however it has an expiration date. When signing up for an account with them, you need an exit strategy and a date set when you plan to leave. If you stay with them too long, the people who started with you will leave and you will be working with “newbies.” She stated that once new artists sign up, you will be working with beginners and your work will be going backwards.
“You should be in this business because you love it!’ ‘Make it about working with the people you love.’ ‘Doing so will help you maintain your passion for makeup, and will also inspire you to produce your best work.” “No one falls to the top; hard work is important and very necessary to make it as a successful makeup artist.”