Lesson #1 when I started all of this – I specifically made my LLC name and my website name the same for consistency in branding, JennySue Makeup. Who knows, maybe other things/products/services will spin off from my freelance and blog biz one day!
- Free Advertising. I paid for some print advertising in local magazines and bridal publications in the beginning to get my name out there and to get more makeup jobs, and those ads were $$$. I never had a great return on any of them. So when I ditched the print pages, and focused on putting my efforts into my blog and creating my other social media pages, I started to get approached. And guess what, they were free!! Everyone “Googles” who they want to use for their weddings and other events, from vendors, caterers, flower people, and of course, makeup artists. So having a blog living and breathing on the world wide web is a no brainer. A print magazine gets read once a month, then thrown in the trash, never to be seen again. Not only am I able to advertise myself for free on my own blog, Facebook, Twitter, but I also have Google adsense on my blog, where I actually make money off of their ads on my blog! A win win!!
- Networking. Bloggers are a band of brothers and sisters. I’ve never felt such a sense of community vibe amongst other entrepreneurs. It’s seriously great. Most of us serious bloggers are willing to scratch each others backs and offer advice however we can. There’s no cattiness. And most of us have a business on the side or at the forefront for which our blog is helping to show others what we are good at, selling products, and services. If you have a blog and work hard at it, you have a mutual respect for other bloggers bc you know how much time and effort they’re putting into it weekly. We network for and with one another. Examples of networking are becoming parts of other groups with similar interests. I am a Power Primper for the beauty app for iPHone, Pretty In My Pocket, which has introduced me to SO many other like minded beauty bloggers and has even gotten me a spot on television! A mutual friend through Facebook found out I was a makeup artist and hooked me up with the CEO and fellow UGA grad of the app! The rest is history.
- Credibility. If someone wants to hire me as their MUA for whatever reason, I can send them the link to my blog site which gives them instant visual credibility. It shows then examples of faces I have created, people and brands I’ve worked with, and most importantly, a personal insight as to who I am. Makeup artists have to get up close and personal with you because they’re touching your face so it’s an intimate job. I can’t tell you how many random jobs I have landed because someone emailed me to say, “I read your blog, and even though your makeup and photos look great, I can tell you are a nice and trustworthy person so I want to hire you!” The fact that I am a mother in addition to a business woman, is an advantage in my eyes, not a deterrent. People tell me all the time that they are sure I’m a timely person and organized because I have to be with three kids! And you know what, they’re right. My blog gave a Nashville talent agency instant confidence to hire me just from the information I put on my website, which landed me this music video job! I didn’t meet them or the artist in person until the day I got on location for the job!
- Educating And Becoming Better At My Craft. I’ve learned more about myself and the craft of makeup artistry from blogging than I had ever imagined. Because I want to offer up advice and tips on the latest and greatest in the beauty industry, I have to do research, read other blogs, keep up my subscriptions on plenty of fashion magazines to stay up with this ever changing industry! For example – I applied for my MAC Pro card through MAC Cosmetics and was able to share with them my blog site to show credibility to get my discount. By being a member, I get to take advantage of their master classes which helps to educated me to by keeping up with different techniques and new products. Also, I try out so many products that get sent to me by manufacturers, that I get a feel for what works and even what doesn’t. You learn by making mistakes with the wrong products sometime!
- Social Media Is A MUST. It would be silly to leave out the addition of social media outlets too – Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. I don’t think a blog can survive without them, seriously. So in addition to the blog itself, I started utilizing all of these other outlets to reach my audience as well. I have lots of readers that love me on Twitter, but hate Facebook. Some people only like to look at my Instagram images which drive them to my blog bc they see what I’m up to and products I’ve reviewed. It’s a lot to keep up with, but completely necessary to drive traffic. I could always do better and be more present on all outlets, but I’ll be honest, it’s a struggle because as a mom I don’t want to ALWAYS be on the computer and phone in front of my kids. This part is a delicate balance not to get too too sucked in! Being featured on other blogs is also a great way to spread the word about your business – I’ve been lucky enough to have been featured on Birchbox.com, ElizabethStreet.com, Allure.com (their blogroll), and currently PopSugar.com.