How to Advertise your Face Painting Business
I have been face painting since I was ten years old, meaning I have been doing it for almost 30 years now!! Even though I have been in this business for so long, many of the advertising techniques I used back then still work now. Yet, there is always new ways in which you can advertise and it is good to keep up with technology changes and new trends so that your face painting business can keep up with the changing market.
The following ideas can really boost your face painting business and most of them are TOTALLY FREE!
Marketing is one of the most important parts of your business. You can be the best face painter in the world, but if no one knows you are there, you won’t be getting any business. The same happens the other way around.
I used to be very shy about promoting my own business; I thought maybe people did not want to hear about it, or that maybe I was being pushy, or I didn't want to sound like a car sales man (no offense to those guys, they are great at what they do). The point is, I had a business, but I didn't want people to know, except if they were there watching me paint. That was just crazy!
What I have come to realize is, since you own your own business you have to accept that you are your own sales person, marketing consultant, spokesperson, etc. That can be intimidating for some, but technology can be of great help for those of you that have a hard time being outspoken.
Below I will list a couple of things you can use to advertise your face painting business; the more you do, the better your business will be.
Build a Business Website for your Company
There are many many places that will let you build a free website as long as you pay a hosting fee. A website is one of your most important ways of advertising now days. That is where the traffic is for a business that doesn't have a store front. Make sure that your site showcases your best work, looks professional, has your contact information, is easy to understand and browse, and it is properly set so that search engines can find it. As an example, Flash content is a white page for a search engine, while an image with proper Alt+Text is something that search engines can understand and list. Make sure that your domain name is short and easy to remember too. If it can match your business name, that is even better. Important tip: Make sure to keep an up to date e-mail address on file with your hosting site so that you never miss a renewal and someone else buys up your domain. Set a yearly alarm to make sure that those bills get paid. Losing your domain can be really hard to work around. It happened to me and other painters I know.
This is a screen shot of Daizy Design's website by Christy Lewis in New Zealand. She is not only an AMAZING artist but she also has a super clean and great looking website to help her promote her work.
Run a Facebook Page for your Face Painting Business
This is your biggest friend. Facebook is free and most people use it. There are a few ways to advertise on Facebook. I would suggest for you to create a business Facebook page. That will make you look more professional and will separate your personal life from your business life. Post regularly, post pictures of your work, public events that you will attend, run promotions and contests. In order for your page posts to show up often on your “fan’s” feeds, they should be following you. Also, the more interaction your page has the more often your posts will show on their feeds.
You can pay or hold contests to get more viewers or get more people to like your page. That is a good way to start up your page. Make sure you target those paid ads to the right crowd. If you are in Dallas, you want to make sure those ads are targeted only to people in that area, and not to someone living in California or Florida.
Keep your Facebook page purely business related, that way you will portray a professional image and avoid potential conflicts with prospective clients.
Use your page to keep a closer contact with your clients. Post videos talking to them, showing them new services that you might be offering, or new products that will enhance your designs. Keeping your page active and up to date will also help boost your website ranking on Google.
Open an Instagram and Twitter Account
Managing multiple Social Media accounts can be challenging when you are doing it all on your own. So it is best to only have a few and manage them well and than having too many and not updating them often. So, if you think you have the time, at least open an Instagram page. They can connect with your Facebook page and your Twitter account so that every Instagram posts gets also posted on those accounts, saving you some time. Make sure to use hashtags correctly, for example: if you are located in Orlando then #OrlandoFacePainter #OrlandoEntertainer #OrlandoEventEntertainment etc might be good. Try and play around with a few different combinations for each post, and make them accurate and relevant to your post.
Advertise your Face Painting Business on Google Maps
Adding your business to Google Maps is free and it will make your business easier to find when people are doing local searches on Google. For example, if someone looks for “Face Painters in Orlando” and your business is listed on Google maps, it is very likely that it will show up on that Google search, together with the information you provide to Google. This gives you an extra link on Google search, on top of your regular website link.
As you can see on the screenshot, people can also pay to show up on local searches, but even if you don't pay Google will list your business if it matches the search criteria. Make sure to ask customers for reviews on Google as that will also boost your position within the local searches.
List Your Business with Free or Paid Internet Directories
List your website in as many free internet directories as you can like for example Yelp. Each of those entries will show up on a Google search if they are properly entered. Some are totally free and some now have fees. Talk with other painters to find out which ones are worth investing in.
A word of caution with sites like GigSalad and GigMasters. As happens with most directory sites now days, the more popular they become the higher they show up, pushing regular sites down. If someone googles the words "face painter in ..." it is very likely that GigSalad and GigMaster links will be at the top or close to the top. If you are not listed with them, it can happen that you won't show up on the search results. But, by listing your website with them, you are likely giving up the first positions on Google when someone looks up your business name on a Google Search. Many painters have chosen to remove their website from GigSalad and GigMaster because they are starting to have to pay a booking fee for gigs that otherwise they could have gotten on their own, and because of the annoying bidding process that takes place on such websites.
Run a Face Painting Blog
Blogs used to be about people, about stories worth telling. Now days, blogs are just an extra tool to increase your presence in search engines. The more you blog, if you do it right, the higher your chances for your business to have a presence on Google. Blog post have to have targeted keywords linked to your website for it to be worth it.
For example, if you want someone to find your business when they Google “Face painter in Orlando”, make sure that you include that sentence on your blog post and you make it a link to your business website.
Make sure that your blog is attractive and it says up to date. Think of your blog as an extension of your Facebook page in a way. A blog post could be an extended version of a Facebook post you made. Always share new blog posts on your Facebook page and, if relevant, on local Facebook groups were potential clients might be.
Here is an example of our face painting tips blog:
Face Painting at a job (word of mouth)
This is one of your best chances to get more gigs. Every time you are face painting you are creating and impression and promoting your business. Make sure that you are always showing your best work, showing your best face, and looking professional. Every gig you do you exposes yourself to tens or hundreds of people that could also use a face painter. Make sure that they see the best of you and you are guaranteed to get more jobs. Create business cards with "Face Paint Removal" directions on the back. Now you have a very good reason to give a card to each family, or to give to the hostess to give to the parents.
This can be one of your most powerful ways of advertising and it is totally free! In a way you have to think of yourself as a walking/painting billboard. Even if the gig is hard, you are tired, weather is horrible or you are just not in the mood, you have to always offer your best smile and attitude, keep your look clean and fun and make sure people remember then fun energy you give. No website or Facebook page can replace the impact that the customer experience has on the way they look at your business.
One person that always stands out to me is my friend Sparkles Smith. She always has the most amazing smile and her overall presence is just magical! She is the kind of person that when you see or hear her she brings up and smile on you. You know you want to hire her for your event because you expect she will create the same sensation on all of your guests.
Your Face Painting Setup
Think of your setup as your store front. When people walk by you, can they see who you are? Can they find your contact information easily? A professional shirt with your name on the back, banners, business cards, etc can help you promote your business while you are painting. As a trick, many parents love to take pictures of their kids looking at the mirror after you are done face painting. If you have a hand mirror, put your business information and contact information on the back of it, so that when parents take a picture of the kids looking at the mirror they will also get your contact information. You can also make a banner with a nice background and your business information so kids can stand in front of it for their parents to take a picture.
And don't forget about the look of your face painting supplies. Do they look clean and professional? Or does it look like a truck run over them? Keeping your kit clean and organized is extremely important. A customer won't necessarily know how your kit looks like before he or she hires you (although you could post a good picture of your kit on your website), but if it looks messy and unsanitary, they are unlikely to hire you again for their next event. Think of when you go to the hair saloon, would you go back if you see their scissors filled with hair, their combs all bent and greasy looking and the chairs falling apart? Likely you won't.
Advertise on Yellow Pages
Believe it or not some people still use the Yellow Pages to search for local businesses (although fewer each year). For a long time, we were the only ones advertising on our local Yellow Pages book, and we got some company picnics and smaller gigs out of that. This is not free, but it might be well worth the investment if you just make a small listing under Children's Entertainers or Clowns.
Work with Face Painting and Entertainers Agents
Working with agents can bring in a few extra jobs a year, or a lot of jobs. Make sure that they work with you under your terms, though you may find that you have to do some negotiating. I agree to their contracts but I also make them agree to mine. If you haven't heard of About Faces Entertainment before, they have been easy for me to work with in the past and they let you set your own rates. You also get a profile page on their website so that the party planners can pic the artist they want based on their profile. Keep in mind that when you are working with an agent, in a way, you are representing them and not just your business. Many won't let you pass your cards or use any kind of banner or shirt that advertises your business. But, if you represent them well, they will send a lot of business your way, and you are still free to advertise your business in all other ways outside of those gigs.
Run your Errands while Face Painted
If you walk around town face painted you are creating a great opportunity for people to approach you wondering about your business. You will then have a great opportunity to give them a business card without feeling awkward. Make sure that your business card looks professional, showcase your best work, and has all the information they would need to contact you. Keep in mind the kind of errands you will be running as there might be some occasions where you might not want to have your business in the middle: visiting the court house, going to the city-hall to pay a fine, etc :)
Make your Business Cards Useful
Think about how many business cards you come across each month and how many you actually keep. One of the reasons you might not keep them is because they have no use other than plain advertising. So, think of ways to convince someone to keep your card with them. You can write instructions on how to wash their face after they have been face painted, make the card really funny looking, make it so it can also work as a nice looking magnet or bookmark, etc. Think outside the box and the customer will remember that as well!
These are just some ideas. There are many other opportunities for advertising out there: a booth at a local fair, local media, door to door direct mail, face painting at a park for tips, etc. Make sure you explore all the possibilities and be creative.
This is the back of my business card. I give steps about how to wash off the face paint. This is great to hand out to every parent, and it doesn't seem like you are forcing your business card on them because it has helpful information.
If you have any other ideas that you would like to share with us please comment below, we would love to hear what your creative mind has come up with to promote your business.
Don't forget to check the rest of our face painting business tips and ideas!