freelance beauty professional
What salon owners can learn from freelance beauty professionals

Recently, we had an interview with Alarna Bell, Melbourne makeup legend and Stylemee Ambassador, about starting and growing a freelance beauty business.

For 18 years, Alarna had her own salon, and in May 2018, she took a leap of faith and decided to close the salon and go freelance. Simply because everyone was booking her on location.

As an example, last year, Alarna did over a hundred wedding bookings and only three of those bookings came into the salon. Nowadays, people want you to do their hair and makeup in the comforts of their own home.

Are you a salon owner, looking to maintain a competitive edge? Here’s why you should get in on that wave of the freelance economy trend now.

The no. 1 thing clients want today is to save time

Many freelance beauty professionals are thriving despite competition from salons. In fact, in the current economic climate, salon owners could probably take a leaf out of the freelance beauty professionals’ book.

In modern fast-paced society, it’s all about convenience. The population has become a different type of consumer, one that’s glued to services like Uber, Netflix and Airbnb.

If people are going to a place, like a salon, they want to have a different experience and offering, and they want it yesterday. Otherwise, they just turn to technology.

As a salon owner, you will need to start adapting to these changes in the industry. You’ve got to be able to get out there and service these people where they want you. Otherwise, you will surely get left behind.  


Service both salon clients and mobile clients

Even if you have a well-established salon, that’s regularly busy, and that gives you lots of clients to work with, you probably still have quiet days or moments. So, why not make the most of it, and start offering your services to mobile clients too?

Servicing both salon clients and mobile clients is a great way to gradually crossover to the freelance path, and with Stylemee, you can set up an online booking page for your salon in less than 30 minutes.

Your personal Stylemee page allows you to showcase your work, and manage your calendar, client bookings, and payments in a simple and secure way.

Next time one of your staff members has a quiet day or a few gaps, simply update their availability in the Stylemee Pro app and start taking bookings.

Australian dollars
Here’s what to do when clients say you’re too expensive

There’s nothing worse than getting stuck on-the-spot when a client says you’re too expensive.

Hearing your services are overpriced is just part of being in business. In fact, if a client has never told you that you’re too expensive, you’re probably not charging enough.

Still, it stings, doesn’t it? But instead of getting offended, be prepared with an explanation, and learn to take advantage of the situation.

Here are a few tips to help you navigate the conversation after a client says you charge too much.


Compared to what?

When a client tells you, “you’re too expensive”, they’re actually making an unconscious comparison. They’re measuring your rates against something else, and you don’t even know what that something else is.

Next time you hear a client saying your services are too expensive, ask them, “compared to what?” Maybe they’re comparing you to another stylist who may not be as experienced as you, and they don’t understand the true value of your services.


You get what you pay for

Some clients may have no idea what to expect when it comes to rates, so it’s important your clients understand they’re getting what they pay for. More experience, education, and skills equal a higher quality experience, which means higher rates.

Defining exactly why your rates what they are will teach both you and your client a lot about your services.

Only you know what your services are actually worth, so you must believe in your rates. If you know your rates reflect your experience and skill level, there’s no need to feel discouraged when someone says you’re too expensive.


You will always be too expensive for some people

No matter what you charge, you will always be too expensive for some people. It’s part of running a successful business.

Remember, not every client is a good fit for you, so it’s important to consider if a client is worth your time. If a client isn’t likely to book you again in the future or recommend you to their family and friends, it might be time to let them go.

However, sometimes, a client is genuinely interested but they may not be able to afford you at the moment. These serious potential clients may book you in the future, so it’s important to maintain a good relationship with them and communicate your value.

Your rates reflect your worth, and as long as you provide a valuable quality service, you will attract your sweet spot client. At Stylemee, we leave you in charge of pricing your services because we believe in transparency and flexibility.

Sign up now, join a talented community of freelance beauty professionals, and manage and grow your business on the go.

Sweet spot client
Building a solid clientele for your freelance beauty business

Building a solid clientele is incredibly important when running a freelance beauty business. Clients have the power to either make or break your business so they should be chosen wisely.

Not every client is a good fit, and keeping the bad ones at bay will prevent you from wasting your precious time. In fact, keeping them could potentially ruin your good name, and prevent you from becoming successful.

Sweet spot clients, on the other hand, are keepers. They’re the ones who love your services, who buy additional products or services from you, who re-book you, and who recommend you to their friends and family.

The more you focus on attracting those sweet spot clients, and filtering out the bad ones, the closer you will get to running a successful freelance beauty business.

Are you a freelance makeup artist, or hairstylist, looking to grow your clientele? Here’s how you can build a solid clientele that’ll make your business bloom.


Step #1 Attract your sweet spot client

The first step to building a solid clientele is by focusing on attracting your sweet spot clients. And in order to attract sweet spot clients, you need to put yourself in their shoes. How would a client, looking for a beauty experience, decide which makeup artist or hairstylist is best? Potential clients are most likely to choose the freelancer with the most compelling profile. So make sure your business profile is one that stands out from the crowd. Use Stylemee to create a compelling business profile that converts.


Step #2 Keep your sweet spot clients coming back

When you already get booked by sweet spot clients, don’t lose them. Loyal clients are your gateway to attracting new clients, so remember to nurture them. Email marketing and client notes will go a long way in building trust. Next time you get booked by a sweet spot client, give them an outstanding experience and then ask them why they chose you. You can use this information in your messaging and marketing. Another way to leverage your loyal clients is offering them an incentive to refer their friends and family, as they probably hang around people with similar style and taste.


Step #3 Set boundaries

Are you likely to turn a blind eye to late cancellations, after hours calls, or rude clients? Don’t be. Setting boundaries is an important part of running a successful freelance beauty business. When you’re consistent, and stop making exceptions, you will either turn a bad client into a sweet spot client, or you’ll keep them at bay, which is better for your business in the long run anyway. At Stylemee, you can choose your own cancellation policy and charge clients who arrive late to an appointment, cancel last minute, or don’t show up at all.


Step #4 Keep bad clients at bay

We’re talking, of course, about the penny pinchers, the chronically late, and the rude. They throw off your schedule and stress you out. Frankly, clients who aren’t in your sweet spot are more trouble than they’re worth. And if they don’t learn from the boundaries you’ve set, it’s time to break up. The mature way to do it is by letting them know, either face to face or via phone or email, that you’ve noticed a pattern of being consistently late, unsatisfied, or disrespectful. Tell them you hold your business to high standards and you have strict guidelines for how you conduct appointments and run your schedule. Include that you no longer feel that you are a good match and that their needs will be better met at another professional.


Step #5 Join Stylemee and grow your business

Reach more clients with Stylemee, the one-stop destination for both you and your (sweet spot) client. Create a dynamic profile within minutes, showcase your work, and manage your calendar, bookings, and payments anywhere you want, in a secure way. Growing your freelance business was never this easy. Join now!

Alarna Bell
From start to success with Alarna Bell – Part III

Melbourne makeup legend Alarna Bell knows all about what it’s like to start and grow a business in the beauty industry. In this series of blogs, we share her story of success. In part I, you read about how Alarna’s passion and hard work helped her succeed in the industry, and in part II, we talked about the ups and downs in Alarna’s career. This time we wanted to know: what’s Alarna’s secret to turning a freelance career in a successful business?

Let’s find out!


What has been the #1 key to success in your business?

“Never give up! You’ve got to keep going, even if it gets tough.

And never take your clients for granted. A lot of makeup artists don’t think about this but in our industry, we don’t have many repeat clients. Not like hairdressers, for instance, where you’ve got to go back to every four to six weeks to get your hair done. Most makeup services don’t get done regularly, and that’s definitely something worth thinking about when starting your freelance makeup artistry business. Brides, for instance, don’t come back. I had a couple that has come back for a second time. But generally, they don’t come back. You constantly need to work on expanding your reach and think about how to get clients. So definitely have something to fall back on in those early years and then, as you build a reputation, you can rely on word of mouth.

And that’s why Stylemee is such a great concept. Without having to do anything, my reach has just expanded to as far as Stylemee reaches. Stylemee is just a fantastic way for freelance beauty professional to reach people we otherwise wouldn’t have been able to reach.

Also, rely on giving your client a good experience and that doesn’t just come down to painting a face. It doesn’t matter if you paint the face of a regular Joe or the Queen of England, you should treat everyone the same. Be punctual, makeup isn’t something you can just bump to another day or even an hour ahead. Your client needs to be somewhere and if you’re late, they are going to be late too.

And when you visit someone’s house, put slippers on. It shows that you care about their house.

You also want to be presentable. Our main job is to make people look beautiful. So if we don’t take pride in how we look, then why would someone choose us to provide this kind of service? Make sure you dress appropriately, have clean hair, and clean clothes. I’ve worked on many many events and with many clients and the feedback I got from many of them was: “I chose you because you had your makeup nice, and you dressed really well. I know that if you would dress yourself up like that, you’ll do a good job.” Even though we work in the background, we do need to turn up presentable.”


Where do you see the industry heading in the next 5 years, and what is your advice for the upcoming artists?

“I’ve seen lots of changes in the beauty industry throughout the years. When I started, there was no Internet, and it was quite a luxury to go and get your makeup done. When the Internet exploded, more and more people started asking for my services.

And now, people want things yesterday. They want things to be easy and instant. If people want food, they use Uber Eats, if they want to go on a date, they swipe left or right on Tinder. It’s just the way of the world. If you can’t keep up with that, I suggest you probably start looking for maybe something else to do. You’ve got to be able to travel, get out there, and service these people where they want you.

I had a salon for 18 years, and this year, I decided it wasn’t where my core business was anymore. People want me to come to their house, even if the salon is only two kilometres away. I actually just downsized my car, because I’m driving around so much doing makeup!

Our industry is definitely steering towards the mobile path, and people want you to do their makeup in their own home, in the hotel they’re staying at, or anywhere else for that matter.

Therefore, more and more people will start using apps like the Stylemee Pro app, and I think it would be crazy not to jump on board with that. That’s why I’ve come along and joined.

Yes, I’ve got my own clientele and my reach on social media. But there’s also the process of booking, payment, and things like that. The Stylemee Pro app makes all of that easier. It’s one place where clients can book instantly, converse with me, and see all of my previous work. Plus it’s an easy way for me to monitor my bookings.”

This was the last part of our inspirational chat with makeup legend and Stylemee Ambassador Alarna Bell. If you want to see more of Alarna, check out her Stylemee profile for an overview of her amazing skills, and book your makeup appointment with Alarna now.

Are you a freelance beauty professional, and are you curious what Stylemee can do for you? Download the free Stylemee Pro app on iOS or Android, or get in touch now!

Alarna Bell
From start to success with Alarna Bell – Part II

Last week, we had the absolute pleasure of chatting with Melbourne makeup legend Alarna Bell about what it’s like to start and grow a business in the beauty industryIn part I, you can read all about how Alarna made it to the top, with passion, hard work, and a dash of luck. Next up, Alarna’s most memorable moments in makeup and how learning something new keeps her going when things get tough.


What is the most memorable client you have worked with or event you worked for, and what made it so memorable for you?

“People probably would love me to come up with something really really fancy. An amazing story involving some kind of superstar, or something like that.

I could actually tell you hundreds of stories. But I do have one that really sticks in my mind.

I was working for a debutante ball for the local special school, and for one thing, I was really grateful that I got to work for this event.

There was this young girl who came in with both her mum and dad. That was so lovely to see! It’s quite unusual for a dad to come in while his daughter is getting ready for the debutante ball.

They also had a photographer there as well, and I remember thinking ‘wow, this is really over the top!’, in a beautiful way of course.

While I was doing her makeup, it occurred to me that this girl is probably never going to get married so this is their special moment, with their little girl dressing up in a white dress. I actually got a bit emotional.

It was my job to make that girl look the most beautiful on what’s probably the most important day. Not just for her, but also for her parents. That to me was to the core why I do what I do.

As I said, there are many other stories I can tell, but I’ll never ever forget that moment and how excited her parents were.

Another one that comes to mind, is when Jane Seymour came to Australia. I was her personal makeup artist for nine days. She even took me to the Melbourne Cup with her. That was such a great experience. I build quite a good relationship with her, we had fun and laughter.

It was unforgettable, being with someone that you’ve watched on television when you were growing up. It seems so unreachable. Next thing, you’re with them every day. That’s incredible.

And you know, she’s just a normal person! Definitely, something I’ll never forget either.”


What keeps you going when things get tough?

“At times, it definitely does get tough. I think what keeps me going is how much I love doing makeup. Makeup for me is what I love to do for fun, and I get to do it every day, while most people will have things that they work towards, like doing something fun during the weekend.

Sometimes, when you get in a bit of a rut, it’s good to do some extra training and things like that, just get inspired again. You get inspired by learning new tricks.”

To be continued…

We are grateful to have Alarna Bell on board as our Stylemee Ambassador. She is such an inspiration for freelance beauty professionals. Stay tuned for more about Alarna’s way to success.

If you want to book a one-of-a-kind makeup experience with Alarna. Check out her Stylemee profile and book now!

Alarna Bell
From start to success with Alarna Bell – Part I

In this blog, we have something special for you. Or, actually, a special someone! She’s a Melbourne makeup legend, salon owner and the artist behind some the most beautiful painted faces in Australia and beyond. Miss Universe, Melbourne Spring Races, and New York Fashion Week are only a few of her many achievements. And now she has teamed up with Stylemee to become a Stylemee Ambassador. We’re talking, of course, about Alarna Bell! She just got back from New York and freed up some time to have a chat with us about what it’s like to start and grow a business in the beauty industry.


Where did your passion for makeup come from and what made you decide to turn it into a career?

“I’m actually a beauty therapist and I just love making people beautiful. That’s entirely what drives me to do what I do. Just seeing someone feeling confident about something small that I did, like doing their makeup. Honestly, in this industry, you can never start off with it being about the money. It really has to be something else that drives you to do it. Even if I would have millions and millions of dollars, I would still happily do this for free, because I love it so much! I’m really one of those lucky people who’ve found their hobby, or something they enjoy doing, and turned it into my career. I literally do wake up and get excited to go to work every single day. It’s a dream, even though I didn’t think about it like that in those early days, but it’s something that has organically happened.”


You are a bit of a legend in the Australian makeup scene, what did you have to do to get where you are today?

Alarna laughs shyly: “I wouldn’t really say that. But certainly, in the last few years, it definitely expanded how far I’m working and I’m probably doing things a bit more high profile as well. I started working in a salon when I was 15 years old, which is super young of course! I also started studying beauty therapy at that age.

Looking back now at what sort of student I was, I was one who took criticism really well. My first boss was amazing, ahead of her time. She was quite hard on me and gave me a lot of feedback. And I took it! I took it well, and that really helped me. I even remember her calling me on a day off, saying “Alarna, what you’ve done isn’t good enough. You need to come down here and fix this”. Which is what I did. I’d put my shoes on and walked down to that salon. I was just that sort of kid who thought “She’s right! She knows what’s best because she’s been doing this longer than me. I need to learn from that.”

So the key is listening to and accepting feedback, even if it stings a little bit. Rather than having a bad attitude about it, like giving up and doing something else, just take it on board and get better because of it.

Another thing that really helped me grow was just saying “yes” to everything. I was loving what I was doing, so if something would come up, I’d just say “yes, yes, yes”, and then worry about how to do it later. I mean, what’s the worst that can happen? It’s makeup, right? Not brain surgery. So even if was going to make a mistake, it was going to be okay.

Then there’s skill, of course. I didn’t start out that great, and skill-wise, I definitely had to work really hard to get where I am today. But as I got better, people slowly starting to ask me.

And then the Internet happened! All of a sudden not only my friends were able to see my work, but everyone could see my work. That’s how I started to get picked up in different places and to work on different things. I was asked to work on the Miss Universe team, and through a series of events, I was given the role as director of Makeup for Miss Universe. That definitely gave me a higher profile in the makeup scene and from there it sort of skyrocketed.

I worked hard, was very lucky to do something I love doing, and I’ve got a great family that’s really supportive as well.”


When you are being asked to work with a client or for an event, how do you decide if it’s a good fit?

“If I’m available, I’ll paint a face! I just love doing makeup, so I don’t mind who it is. I don’t pick and choose. For me, it really doesn’t matter if I’m doing makeup for someone who’s going to their 18th birthday party, or if I’m doing a celebrity’s makeup. I do a lot of weddings, both locally, around the country and internationally. That’s my core clientele. However, every day I could be doing something different. For instance, next week, a pro wrestler that’s flying over from America called me up to do her makeup. And next, I’ll be doing photo shoots. Then I’m going to Sydney to teach Miss Universe Australia some lessons before she competes in the international finals.”


To be continued…

Stylemee can’t thank Alarna enough for taking time out of her busy schedule to take part in this interview. We are very excited AND honoured to have her on board as our Stylemee Ambassador.

Want to book a makeup appointment with Alarna? Check out her profile and book now!

iOS Stylemee Pro app
The Stylemee Pro app: the one-stop destination for your freelance beauty business

When running a mobile beauty business, everything happens on the go. Most of you don’t even have time to sit down and have a proper bite to eat. So how are you supposed to find time to constantly dig up things like your paper calendar? Or look for that one message from that one client? You’re pretty sure you talked to her on Facebook Messenger.. Or was it on Instagram? Wouldn’t it be great if you could manage your freelance business anywhere, anytime? With the Stylemee Pro app, you can!


Manage your business on the go

Actually, it’s been around for a little while now, but we’re very excited to officially introduce you to the Stylemee Pro app, available on iOS and Android. The Stylemee Pro app helps freelance beauty professionals stay on top of their life. Not only does the app give you an overview of all of your Stylemee bookings, but there’s also an option for adding private appointments and bookings outside of Stylemee. This way, you’ll stay organized, focused, and you’ll get more done. Plus, you never have to apologize for a double booking again or miss out on some well-deserved me time — yes, you deserve it so you go ahead and schedule it in now!


No more pestering phone calls

Work smarter, not harder! Clients don’t recommend you to their friends and family because you answer your phone in the middle of the night, they recommend you because of the experience you offer. The Stylemee Pro app also has a chat function that allows you to get in touch with your clients wherever you are. This way, you don’t have to deal with after-hours calls. Tip: Block off some time on your calendar every day to answer client inquiries.


Get booked, get paid!

With Stylemee, you never have to worry about following up on non-paying clients ever again. Stylemee lets you get paid easily and secure. We use Stripe as a payment tool, and client payments are safely secured up front. After the appointment is done, your payment will be released directly into your bank account. The Stylemee Pro app allows you to easily check on your monthly earnings, whenever you want.

We believe that every freelance beauty professional deserves a chance to grow and be successful, regardless if you’re a seasoned pro or new to the field. With Stylemee, you can just focus on your work, while we manage everything else. Join our growing community of talented freelance professionals now!

top notch press release
10 Tips for writing a top-notch press release

A little press can be a game changer for us freelance professionals. Press helps to build credibility and will make you stand out from the crowd. However, the fact that you exist isn’t enough to get you featured in a magazine. You need a story. Because with the right story, instead of having to search for new clients, they will come to you. So, if you are done playing the waiting game with your freelance business, here are 10 tips to take matters into your own hands.


Tip #1: Embrace your story

What’s newsworthy about you? Don’t worry, it doesn’t have to be something completely mind-blowing. Just do a bit of soul-searching and come up with something authentic and creative. Once you embraced your story, make it obvious! From your “about”-page to your social profiles, you want to make it super simple for journalists to copy and paste your story.


Tip #2: Make your headline irresistible

You only have one line to capture your audience’s attention, make it worth their while. Check out this article for headline writing tips that’ll knock your audience’s socks off.


Tip #3: Get to the point quickly

Reporters, influencers, or followers don’t have time to sift through a fluffy background story. You have to tell them upfront why they should care. Use the first paragraph to cover the who, what why, where and how of your announcement.


Tip #4: Avoid dry, rigid wording

You don’t want to lose your audience in the first sentence.


Tip #5: Include visuals

Use images, videos, infographics, SlideShares, anything that’ll immediately capture your audience’s attention. Why? Because visual content gets shared more.


Tip#6: Talk about a current trend

Linking your press release to a current trend in your industry can help grab attention.


Tip #7: Summarize the “who” and the “what” of your business in a boilerplate

Describe what you do in clear, plain English — like your Style Philosophy! — , make your boilerplate short and sweet, and include a link to your Stylemee page.


Tip #8: You don’t have to start from scratch

Sometimes it’s easier to replicate success when you have examples to follow. Check out these awesome examples of press releases and be inspired!


Tip #9: A press release is no guarantee

Not everything you write will be picked up and shared. But don’t give up and keep trying. Persistence wins!


Tip #10: Join Stylemee for more tips & tricks on how to manage and grow your business

Enjoy the perks of being a Stylemee Pro and become part of a growing group of talented freelance professionals. You’ll also receive our exclusive guides to creating a profile that converts, getting booked and getting paid.

business boss
How to be the boss your business needs

As a freelance beauty professional, a huge part of our job is pleasing people. We’re mostly taught to be a buddy, rather than a boss. Especially, when you’re new to the independent life, you’re more likely to turn a blind eye to late cancellations, after hours calls, and rude clients. After all, they are clients! But that’s where you’re wrong. If you don’t set boundaries, you are hurting your business. Here are a few tips that will help you become the boss your business needs.


Make your boundaries clear

Being a freelance beauty professional can be very rewarding. You get to choose your own hours and clients, and you can specialise in whatever aspect of the industry you like. If you want to be successful, you need to set boundaries, or you might as well kiss that freedom goodbye. Maybe you’re not that comfortable enforcing boundaries at first but trust us: it’s in the best interest for both you and your clients. Clients who do not respect your boundaries will just end up costing you time and money. Plus, we often don’t take time to think about the importance of boundaries until we are completely stressed out. Check out this article for more tips and tricks to help you keep it professional, without having strict rules that can turn clients off.


Define your sweet spot client

We said it before, and we’ll say it again: stop trying to target everyone. When it comes to clientele, quality is better than quantity. So instead, find your sweet spot client. Marketing to a smaller group of clients is more beneficial in the long run. Maybe you won’t see tons of client bookings popping up in your inbox right away, but the clients you do attract will show up on time, book regularly, and recommend you to their family and friends.


Consistency is key

The Stylemee Pro app is the one-stop destination for both you and your client. Clients can book an appointment with you and contact you via the chat function. However, there will always be those clients who keep calling or texting you, even after hours. Block off some time in your calendar every day to answer client inquiries. If you’re consistent, your clients will form a habit and they will either stop contacting you after hours, or they will be perfectly fine waiting to hear back from you. You may be surprised how easy it is to put forward the best you, boundaries included!

Create a dynamic profile within minutes, showcase your work, and manage your calendar, bookings and payments on your phone in a secure way. Growing your freelance business was never this easy. Join now!

How to stay on track during 2018 spring racing season

The 2018 Spring Racing Season is fast approaching, and along with that comes a vibrant crowd from all over the world, ready for some glitter and glamour. The Melbourne Cup is not just famous for the thundering hooves against the Flemington Racecourse, each year, thousands of celebrities and fashionistas are trotting the track to see and be seen. It’s the best time of year for hair and makeup professionals. After all — everyone wants to look their best and there are lots of hair and makeup touch-ups to be done. For professionals who are new to the industry, managing a massive flow of clients can be a challenge. How do you make sure you don’t end up “off-track”? Let’s find out!


Plan ahead

Knowing that Spring Racing Season is right around the corner, you can make it easier on yourself by preparing in advance. Make sure you’ve got all of your beauty essentials in stock, and old tools replaced before the hordes start coming in. Also, don’t forget to keep an empty schedule, so you’ll have plenty of time to give each and every client the Spring Racing glam experience they deserve. At the end of the day, you do want your clients to rebook and recommend you to their friends and family. Finally, in case of an unplanned emergency, or you falling ill, make sure to have someone you can call for backup. This will help build trust with your clients.


Market yourself

People are already getting overwhelmed by everything they need to get organised before heading to Melbourne, they don’t even have time to think about their hair and makeup. That’s why now is the best time to start marketing your hair and makeup services for the races. Instagram is the perfect platform for marketing your services because it’s free, easy to understand, and it simply looks beautiful. Share your most beautiful photos, throw in a couple of seasonal hashtags (#melbournecup, #springracing), write a bio that’s Spring Racing Season-proof, and add the link to your personal Stylemee booking page.


Stay in touch

The thought of all these new clients coming in can be exciting, but don’t forget about your existing clientele. Just because you haven’t heard from them, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t contact them either. A simple reminder email that your services are available during the Spring Racing Season can build customer loyalty and may give them a gentle push towards booking your services.

Stylemee makes it super simple for your clients to book your Spring Racing Season services, and for you to keep track of your appointments. The Stylemee Pro app (available on iOS and Android) allows you to manage your freelance hair and makeup business anytime, anywhere. Get new bookings, manage your calendar and payments, and discover a new way to grow your professional brand efficiently.