From lip blush to permanent eyeliner, the demand for permanent makeup has exploded in recent years. The competition isn’t slowing down, but that shouldn’t stop you from getting your permanent makeup business started.
We already did step one for you: creating a game plan based on feedback from experienced PMU artists. So, get ready to open your doors to eager clients. Here are our top 11 tips and tricks for starting a thriving permanent makeup business.
Tip 1: Make A Business Plan
Your permanent makeup business plan is like your lip liner or brow framework.
For a solid framework, start with your budget. Think about your fixed costs like rental payments, taxes, payroll, marketing, and supplies. Then, consider any variable expenses: utilities, marketing materials, and even décor (a house plant or two can really liven up the place). Taking out a small business loan might be the key to budget for everything you need.
Next (depending on the size of your business), you’ll want to think about your staff and services. Hire professionally trained and certified cosmeticians and figure out what services you can offer. Research other clinics to figure out reasonable pricing for everything from permanent eyeliner to lip blush. Pricing can change based on how experienced your staff are as permanent makeup artists. But don’t worry – as your client base grows, your prices grow, too!
But it isn’t all budgets and pricing.
After logistics comes the fun and crucial work: crafting your message. Your brand and message make you stand out from other permanent makeup businesses out there. Maybe your business is all about complete, dramatic transformation. Maybe it’s about natural beauty and routine maintenance. Maybe you focus heavily on microblading, or maybe you’re the next go-to for PMU lips.
Once you decide your niche, send your message out to the industry. Come up with a tagline. Proudly put it on your business cards, website, billboards, and social media. A clearly defined brand bosses up your business and builds trust with your clients.
Tip 2: Come Up with The Perfect Permanent Makeup Business Name
The name of your permanent makeup business appears everywhere. On your signs, your social media, your Web ads, and your business cards. You want it to clearly communicate the services you offer. You also want it to roll off the tongue. A business name that’s easier to say is easier to pass along from client to client.
So, come up with a business name that is short, pithy, and clear. For instance, if you specialize in permanent makeup lip procedures, you could include the word “lip,” “mouth,” or “pout” in your business name. Business names that have alliteration, (e.g. Perfect Pout Permanent Makeup Studio), also helps to make your business name easy to say. Think of words centered around beauty, happiness, improvement, and self-worth are all winning language for your permanent makeup business.
Tip 3: Find the Perfect Location
You’ll want to set up shop somewhere lively. Think of high-energy urban or suburban areas with lots of shopping, restaurants, and other small businesses. Then, consider your competition. If there are any neighboring clinics that offer permanent makeup, you might find yourself battling for clients – especially if that place is already well-established.
It's also beneficial to start your permanent makeup business near a hair salon, spa, or plastic surgery facility. A lot of times, these places don’t have a permanent makeup artist on staff. That means they’ll refer permanent makeup clients to the nearest PMU specialist: you!
You’ll also want to consider any legal obstacles you might face. Pay attention to local zoning ordinances before you scout out the right location for you.
Tip 4: Get Yourself Insured
Natural disasters. Fires. Plumbing catastrophes. Theft. No one likes to think about disaster, but life happens. You shuld consider getting small business insurance to protect from property damage. That way, you won’t have to pay out of pocket in case of — ahem — misfortune.
You should also invest in liability insurance to protect yourself from potential lawsuits. Permanent makeup insurance mixed with quality insurance is the recipe for a flourishing clinic.
Tip 5: Elevate Your Services
Remember: lots of beauty establishments don’t have a permanent makeup artist on staff. That means clients want to come to YOU. The more you can offer them, the better: microblading, permanent eyeliner, lip blush, scalp micropigmentation, the works!
However, if you’re just getting started, you might stick to one specialty.
For example, if your business is all about microblading, it’s not a bad idea to offer a variety of brow treatments. On top of microblading, you can offer ombre brows, powder brows, brow tinting, brow threading, and brow lamination. This is a great way to keep a steady flow of clients who trust you for outstanding brow work. Threading and tinting can be done regularly; and clients who just came in for microblading might be attracted to a related service.
Always be sure to have your client sign a consent form prior to any procedure. And also be sure to send clients home with aftercare instructions — and maybe even a brochure for other procedures on your beauty menu.
As you grow your staff, you can grow your list of services. Soon, your business will be the permanent makeup hub for all-around beauty.
Tip 6: Network to Stay on Trend
Know any successful permanent makeup artists or business owners? Reach out to them, find out what they’re doing to stay ahead, take notes, and take action.
Networking is easy with Facebook groups. Joining permanent makeup groups is a way to connect with other artists and business owners instantly. You’ll find groups for before-and-afters, business tips, and the latest cosmetic techniques. Join as many as you’d like and say “hello” to artists and business owners just like you, and maybe even some potential clients. Networking on social media also keeps you on top of the latest trends. Staying ahead of the game keeps you competitive. So, join the permanent makeup fam on social media and keep up with the times!
Tip 7: Create A Digital Marketing Plan
Nowadays, digital marketing is a must for your permanent makeup business. Millions of people shop, research, and build relationships with companies online daily. This is a big opportunity for you to connect to future clients. The question is... where do you start?
First, ask yourself the right questions. How will potential clients hear about your business? How can they learn about your services and make appointments? Lastly, how do you make them return customers? Your answers will help you choose the right digital marketing channels.
For any business, it’s worth investing in a user-friendly website. This is the digital core of your business. Your Web page should include your unique message, mission, services, and a portal to set up appointments. Plus, you can include stellar customer reviews once you build a client base.
Speaking of reviews, don’t forget to create Google and Yelp business pages. These pages give you credibility and let clients see everything they need at a glance: who you are, what you do, and where they can find you. Also, your Google and Yelp pages let customers leave reviews after every service. Digital reviews can reach people in a matter of seconds. It’s one of the best ways to get online traffic for your permanent makeup business.
You’ll also want to consider paid ads on Google and social media. With paid ads, you can easily target potential clients who are more likely to be interested in your businesses.
Lastly, email marketing is a great way to stay in touch with your clients. A regular (weekly, monthly, and/or quarterly) newsletter is a great way to stay top-of mind. Let your clients know about promotions, products, and educational material in your email sends.
Needless to say, digital marketing can be overwhelming. As your business grows and you find that you need a hand, it may be worth researching the cost of freelance marketers or a reputable digital agency.
Tip 8: Create Content with Permanent Impact
Ok, you’ve got your social media and business pages up and running. Now, you need content. And it must be content that connects with your client base. It’s easy to jump on social media and start posting up a storm, but remember, you want to post with purpose. Take the time to create a plan and do it right. The pay-off is worth it in the long run.
A great place to start is by researching your favorite permanent makeup artists and businesses on social media. See what content they’re producing. Is it getting a lot of engagement? Are clients receptive to it? If so, think about what inspiration you can take from it. You’ll need to make some changes to match your unique message and speak effectively to your own audience.
Then, consider which platforms are the best way to reach your audience. Facebook and Instagram are extremely popular platforms... but lots of permanent makeup clients are swarming TikTok, too. You’ll also find monthly active users on Twitter, YouTube, and Pinterest. Research your target demographic – or even create a customer survey – to see where your permanent makeup fam is most active. Once you’re set up on your platform(s) of choice, it’s time to stick to a consistent content schedule. Consistency is key to keeping people hooked and your followers growing! With a Facebook or Instagram business page, you can see analytics, tag products, interact with your clients daily through your stories.
No matter the content you’re posting, make sure you’ve got high-quality, attention-grabbing imagery. Permanent makeup is all about end results and visuals, so your audience loves to see some good-looking content. Before-and-after shots are especially effective to show what you can do. To take your before-and-after shots up a notch, include a client profile in the caption. Client profiles and storytelling captivate online audiences.
But it isn’t all about glossy before-and-afters. Your content can be anything from YouTube videos to blogs to a whole podcast about your business. There are plenty of online resources to learn how to make captivating content. If this isn’t your area of interest, it’s not a bad idea to budget for a freelance content creator.
Tip 9: Start Up A Referral Program
Don’t be shy. Ask for that referral.
When your permanent makeup business is just kicking off, it’s totally normal to ask clients for recommendations. Especially in small communities, word of mouth is an organic way to spread the word about your permanent makeup business. But sometimes, just a great permanent makeup experience isn’t enough to get that top-notch recommendation.
Consider starting a referral program that gives clients some added incentive to recommend your business. For example, you can offer a gift card after one referral. Maybe a free service after 5 referrals. Or a package deal after 10 referrals. Above all, make sure you’re supplying excellent service for your referral program to work. A recommendation from a client with lopsided brows can damage your reputation.
Tip 10: Show Your Clients Some Love
Gift giving… it’s effective. Offer clients gift cards after a procedure or during the holidays. Run a giveaway on social media. Hand out gift bags after every visit to your clinic or medispa (think permanent makeup aftercare, cosmetic samples, sweets, and coupons). It’s a simple way to show you appreciate every client.
But sincerity is important too. Here’s where social media comes into play again. Comment on your clients’ photos and compliment their results. Share their stories. Write heart-felt posts on your feed giving a big thank you to everyone who supports your business. If you’re old school, texts, phone calls, and hand-written letters also do wonders to make clients feel valued.
Tip 11: Get Your Supplies from a Reliable Source
These tips and tricks kick off your business right, but only if you’re supplying quality service. For stunning, long-term, client-pleasing results, make sure you’re getting the best products.
High-quality products help you perform at your best... and stunning end results are what matter most. This is especially true when choosing your machine. Finding a thoughtfully made permanent makeup machine is well worth the investment. Choosing a machine that’s lightweight, maneuverable, and adjustable is setting you up for successful, gorgeous, and precise PMU. Reputable brands like Microbeau, Kwadron, and Lithuanian Irons craft machines with cosmetic artist’s needs in mind. Search around for professional artist machine reviews on YouTube or Facebook groups to find the best model for you.
You’ll also want to stock up on high-quality needles with tons of variety. More size, taper, and type options give you more flexibility for your work. Choose well-crafted, razor sharp needles with stabilizers and hygienic, medical-grade housing. Brands like Kwadron and Vertix are excellent choices for slaying any procedure.
And don’t forget about pigments! We highly recommend Perma Blend pigments. Each pigment is custom blended and carefully formulated to give you lasting, beautiful results that don’t fade.
Get Ready to Flourish
If you’re ready to start researching, check out our selection of high-quality permanent makeup supplies here.
Now, it’s time to get started. Put our top 11 tips and tricks to practice. Make a name for yourself and be a total boss in the permanent makeup industry.