Updated: Mar 27, 2019
Building Clients vs Building Followers: The Beauty Influencer vs Beauty Professional Debate
You’ve subscribed to your favorite beauty Youtuber page. You’ve elected to receive notifications from their IG page. You see the incredible amount of followers and wonder how can I be a successful Makeup Artist just like them? These days the lines have become very blurry and almost nonexistent when it comes to inspiration and expectation. Being inspired by the way that others are living their life and the expectation that in order to be considered beautiful, successful and even wealthy- a person must look and do things the way the influencers are doing it.
But what does it mean to be an Influencer? Influence is the capacity to have an effect on the character or behavior of someone (New Oxford American Dictionary). That makes sense as our favorite influencers are doing just that. They are absolutely effecting the way we choose what to buy or not to buy based on their reviews and support of products. They show us their style, skincare & exercise regimen, recipes and everything else under the sun. We all love and support it. Because of this love and support many of our favorites have become sales representatives for different companies. You read that correctly. They are now paid a little to lots of money to share their use of products for money. They are sponsored. Please understand that this is in no way the same thing as being a Beauty Professional.
A Beauty Professional- one that goes to school to become licensed, takes classes to learn and keep up with trends and skills, works with other industry professionals to build solid portfolios to showcase their ability to makeup someone other than their own face/hair, purchase their products on their own to build a worthy kit, charge rates that incorporate their skills, experience, time, and products. In addition to hosting lessons, cultivating client relationships, and connecting with other professionals because they know the importance of having a strong network. They work in retail, freelance for different contracted companies, run salons, and the list goes on and on. They have worked hard to earn their right to be called a professional.
Can you be both a Beauty Influencer and Beauty Professional? Yes. It is possible, but what is required for one category is completely different than the other. Making sure that you post new work and videos on a regular basis will not necessarily lead you to having your work on the cover of a magazine (Unless your work is so beautiful that hundreds of your followers tag you to a celebrity artist and you become their personal artist and they choose you once they get to be on a cover- it has happened). Things like that are possible but not probable. Just like being an agency represented artist with high paying clients doesn’t necessarily mean your followers are over 100k. I’m not here to burst your bubble of believing in yourself and your career. I am here to encourage you to really focus on WHAT you actually want to do within this beauty industry and WHY. I can be honest in saying that you never know where you may end up. There are so many ways to be successful in the beauty industry, but start with a good foundation by being clear about how you want to spend your time.