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. When I was 11, my family moved to Virginia. In 6th grade I didn't know any English, so it was challenging to make friends. It took 2 years to get used to the language and make friends. In middle school and high school I got more comfortable, and art was one of my go-to activities. I did sculpturing. Art was my favorite subject.
How did you first get into the beauty industry? The PMU Industry?
I was a makeup artist for 12 years. I loved being behind the scenes. I started working at Benefit Cosmetics at the counter, then became a counter manager. I learned about sales and management with makeup. I was tired of dealing with the product, so I became a freelancer for events, weddings, and TV anchors’ morning makeup. At some point I had 5 jobs -- that was my life: artistry and running on 3 hours of sleep. I decided to go to school for aesthetics because I wanted to learn about skin. There were times I couldn't understand why certain makeup didn't look good on skin.
In my master aesthetics class, they talked about PMU. At the time, 2008, it was terrible. There were Nike eyebrows everywhere. I was not ok with doing that to somebody. In 2018 when PMU blew up, I decided to get into it.
What makes you feel the most beautiful?
My biggest lesson is following your intuition. When you don’t follow your intuition, things go off the path you’re supposed to be on. I need to follow how I feel.
How did you find your first clients?
I had a large network in this area. That was very helpful. As soon as I said I wasn't doing makeup anymore, I had people left and right going with what’s new, which was PMU at the time. I would open my appointments and it would book in 2 minutes. At the time there weren't that many artists in this area. I started with microblading then did more lips.
What booking system/software do you use?
What are some red flags to be aware of when booking clients?
I review their consent form before they come in. If anything medical jumps out to me, we jump on a call. We talk a lot because you don't know someone until you meet them. They’re a walking billboard for us; your work is on their face.
What has been most helpful in boosting your bookings?
I space out my clients every few hours to give me time with them. We talk about their goals, do the design design, numb them and do the actual procedure. It makes it more personable.
What is one interesting way you have gotten clients?
Social media is everything now. Engage with people in your local area and network in person - go to events, sponsor events, partner with beauty businesses in the area, give their clients discounts.
As much as you want to be known globally, at the end of the day, locally is where our bread and butter is. When you’re just starting out as an artist, that’s different but as a new business the best thing to do is to get on everyone’s mind constantly. In the beginning it’s easy because you’re not busy, so you can get out there. Now you have no time.Want to learn more? Find Lizzeth on IG and visit ID Artsy here.