After all is said and done, you become a professional artist when you get your first client. But your career as a permanent makeup artist takes shape when you get consistent bookings. So how exactly does it happen? There is a ton of information on techniques, but what you really want to know is the secret to filling your appointments. We talked to Lizzeth Gutierrez, a PMU artist based in Reston, VA, on how to find clients and boost your bookings. It turns out there’s no secret but a lot of good, practical work. Read on to find out more!
Tell us about yourself! Your background, history & the nitty gritty of all things you!
I was born in Ecuador. Early on I found myself being happy when I was being creative. My parents signed me up for pottery when I was little and I loved making art for our home, friends and family. When I moved to the states I made sure that art was a course I chose in school every year. My favorite was sculpturing, i found it amusing to use my hands to create something from scratch and give it character.
Aside from art, growing up I loved playing with makeup and skincare. I admired my mom and her beauty. She always looked so chic and classy, and her skin was always glowing. I for sure got into her makeup and skincare often. Sorry I’m not sorry mom! Haha
How did you first get into the beauty industry? The PMU Industry?
In my teens I did some modeling which is how I found my love for makeup, I loved playing with it and found that I was very good at it. When being casted I would end up doing other models makeup and that quickly turned into me working behind the scenes. I worked as a counter manager for benefit cosmetics for some time, until I decided to freelance and opened my own makeup and spray tanning business. I mostly did bridal work but also worked doing fashion shows, shoots and worked as a makeup artist doing the TV anchors makeup for the morning show Buenos DC at Univision Washington DC. I was a makeup artist for 12 years.
Skincare was something that also interested me. I’ve always been a makeup and skin care junky. I went to school for master aesthetics, there I was told that I should look into permanent makeup because of my skill in makeup. At the time in 2008 what I saw was not to my liking, the techniques and technology was not as advanced as it is now and I had no interest.
In 2016 I was blown away by the advanced techniques in permanent makeup and went in it full force and left makeup artistry behind. It was a scary yet exciting decision to make. I was one of the very few artists in my area doing Microblading, and because of the high demand of the service and my artistry I got busy very quickly.
Making people feeling confident and beautiful about themselves is the reason of why I got into this industry in the first place. The revolution of today’s science and advanced techniques are so hyperrealistic it’s just amazing to me.
ID ARTSY came to be from years of working with so many different people from all walks of life that wanted to feel good about themselves. There’s in an art of making others feel valued and I love that I get to be part of their journey. Making a difference in one persons life has the power of a domino effect.
What makes you feel the most beautiful?
When I feel most beautiful is when I feel my best both mentally and physically. I’m at peace with myself and the world around me. The way that I make others feel also makes me feel confident and beautiful. Happiness is beautiful and it comes from the things we do, not the way we look.
How did you find your first clients?
Being that I was a makeup artist prior to permanent makeup, I had full support from past clients/network, family and friends who trusted me with their face. They not only booked with me but also sent everyone they know my way.
What booking system/software do you use?
I use booker. Makes it easy to have an all in one software where I can manage everything from online booking to payments and marketing, etc.
What has been most helpful in boosting your bookings?
Social media marketing, partnering with local businesses and my referral program.
What are some red flags to be aware of when booking clients?
Unrealistic expectations is the biggest one of all because that comes with many other red flags.
If you could give someone three tips to grow their clientele, what would you tell them?
Use social media to your full advantage. We have social media at the palm of our hands and nowadays that is the best way to get out there and be seen.
Network, get yourself out there locally, nationally, globally. Sponsor events, attend events.
Partner with businesses in your area and give their clients a discount. Word of mouth will boost your business. Community is everything.
What is one thing you’re going to keep doing and one thing you want to stop doing?
I will continue to take trainings from artists that inspire me. Continued education is key. It helps me become a better artist and a better mentor to artists that contact me for help. It’s a domino effect of good.
I want to stop being the receptionist, the artist, the social media manager, cleaning lady, you name it, I do it. It all comes with starting a business, eventually we need to delegate responsibilities to others, in the next few months ID ARTSY will be hiring.
What is one piece of advice you would share with someone just starting out in the permanent makeup industry?
Ahh I can’t pick just one. If you’re passionate about this industry don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t do it. Stay grounded and master your skill by attending conferences and taking trainings. Learn from your mistakes. Don’t be afraid to reach out to other artists for advice. Have patience, practice is key. Stay hungry, don’t quit.
There’s is that saying “You have to learn to crawl before you can walk.” Do it with Grace!
What is one piece of life advice you would give to your 18 year old self?
Ummm I have so many. So here goes, trust your intuition and believe in your self. Seek out learning opportunities. Be curious. Respect yourself and let go of anyone who doesn’t respect you. Know that the best is yet to come.Want to learn more? Find Lizzeth on IG and visit ID Artsy here.