Do people know who you are? Are you getting referrals from all over the state? Has your work ever been featured on the cover of a magazine?
While I’ve never quite understood our industry’s obsession with fame, I do know how one can attain it. If you want to be “kindof a big deal,” read on for some tips to help you gain local, and eventually national notoriety.
Don’t just strive to be better than everyone in your profession, actually be better than everyone in your profession.
Work hard. Study hard. Practice constantly.
Make a profile on ModelMayhem or OneModelPlace and start building an extensive portfolio that showcases your work.
These sites are a resource where you can network with models and photographers. You can search casting calls in your area and find freelance work. Your work could be featured in magazines or advertisements. Aim to get published. Working TF (time for) is also a great way to establish contacts and to build your portfolio. In a TF shoot, no money is exchanged between any of the participants involved, but the digital prints produced from the shoot (and the rights to redistribute them) are made available to everyone who participated. Fashion shows are also a great way to meet new clients. After the show, mingle in the crowd and pass out cards. For more information on how to get into photoshoots and fashion show work, read my post, Everything You Need to Know About TF/TFP/TFCD.
Build a professional website that details your education, experience, services offered, and contains portfolio images. To learn more about building a portfolio website, read my post: Portfolio Websites.
Get involved in your community. The more contacts you make, the better. Attend charity events, networking events, and do volunteer work. Try and get into newspapers if you can. Organize cut-a-thons to benefit Locks of Love. Get that publicity.
Start making a significant presence on the web. If you Google my name, pages and pages of results lead directly to me. That’s what you want. If your name is available as a URL, purchase it. If you have to start using your full name (including your middle name), go for it. Make profiles on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn, Blogger, Myspace, and ModelMayhem. Make accounts on every popular networking site you can think of. Link all of them to each other and post your portfolio link onto each one. Be easy to find.
This industry is constantly changing. Keep up or get left behind. Take continuing education classes. Go to workshops. Attend the fashion and beauty shows every year. Do your research on new products, new techniques, and new styles.
Start promoting yourself like crazy. Pass out cards everywhere you go. Let clients know that you’re pretty booked but have some availability depending on the day (regardless of whether or not this is true). You want to seem popular, but not unavailable. Let them know what you can do for them. Explain why you’re different and why you’re the best beauty professional for them. Don’t act desperate. Keep the conversation informative. Educate clients on what you offer and how they’ll benefit from visiting you.
Educate online. Make how-to videos on YouTube, write a blog, get on Instagram and Pinterest. Do whatever it is that you have to do to get people to see you doing what you do best. Of course, link these videos to your portfolio, networking profiles, and vice versa.
If you’re going to do it, do it right.
Find a videographer or photographer who has a studio and quality equipment. If you’re going to be the best of the best, look like the best of the best.
Branding. Branding. Branding. When you start making a name for yourself, associate yourself with a logo. Put that logo on the bags you carry and the shirts you wear. Consider investing in private label products and using your name on them. Give out sample sizes to potential clients or as giveaways at fashion shows or other events. Nothing says, “I’m the most awesome salon professional you’ll ever meet,” like a $30 bottle of shampoo with your name on it.
Work as a platform artist. Get on stage and start showing off what you know to the masses. Clients may not know who Robert Cromeans is, but almost every hairdresser in America does. At the very least, you’ll be able to say, “I worked as a platform artist for Redken/TiGi/Paul Mitchell/Matrix.”
Open your own salon. That’s right. To the ambitious, freelancing isn’t good enough. Opening up a high-end salon pretty much guarantees local notoriety.
How about you? What are you doing to get crazy famous? Talk about it in the comments!