When I came into the world of makeup I was a bright eyed, excited young girl with big hopes and dreams. I wanted it all and I wanted it now! Silly girl. Life just doesn't happen that way or at least it didn't for me. I've always felt like I was taking small steps towards my goals. Never leaps and bounds. Always small steps. Sometimes these steps would seem like they were miniscule or maybe I was just at a standstill. Only in the past 5 years have I felt like I was really making big steps, I was feeling confident about my choices, my abilities and the relationships I was forming. Here is where things get sticky.
After running my own business for some years I knew and understood the importance of self promotion. I didn't do it for the accolades or the notoriety. I did it so clients would find me and to book paying jobs. I did it for that reason and because I wanted to help out new artists who are in the same position I was once in. Please know that I am going to be completely transparent here and honest. I do get paid for my Youtube tutorials via Adsense and I do get paid for videos I put out for other companies. I will not and do not put out videos for products I don't believe in, don't use or am not getting paid for.
Now, with this self promotion and what appears to most as a very giving spirit comes those that would take advantage of it. People will begin to come into your life and appear on the surface to be a friend or big supporter of what you are doing with big "opportunities". Well, guess what? If those so called "opportunities aren't paying your rent then, those "friends or supporters" are just a using you. They are getting FREE product advertisement with the promise that "now, you'll have these images to add to your portfolio or now, you can say you've been published or now, people will know who you are or you'll be able to network and meet important people who can help advance your career. All of these things sound great on the surface but, in reality they are not paying your bills or putting food in your mouth.
Let me give you a couple of examples; As a freelance artist for a makeup line I was paid $25- $30 per hour to represent the makeup line and offer makeup application on customers. I was always PAID for my services. I was given a contract to sign and they would give me Gratis or free product to use as a way of saying thanks and so I would wear their products while representing them. Now, being that I've had that experience I know or should have known what to expect from other companies.
There is never a reason to pay to work for a company or to work for free. What do I mean pay to work for a company? I mean do you need to take off a weekend of work? Will you need to pay for a flight? Will you need to pay for food? If you are say working for a bride and she wants you to do her makeup but, is having a destination wedding. She will need to pay you your day rate for each day that you are there, pay for your hotel room, pay for your flight and pay for your meals. This is just the standard and the norm of what's expected. Why would you expect anything less from a trade show, makeup company, convention or corporation?
I hate being or sounding cynical but, there will always be those who try to get something for nothing whether it's a client or a brand or a corporate agency. If a company gives you free product for you to use it should be with either a contract for paid promotion or just because they think you are awesome and not expect anything from you. I currently have a friend who owns a makeup line and I love her. She sends me free product but, has always made it very clear that she doesn't expect me to give her free promotion. If I like one of her products and use it on a regular basis then, I will use it in a video, blog, step by step or photo but, only because I actually use and love the product. We have actually created a relationship from the beginning of my face painting career. An open and honest relationship and that's why it works. I also work putting out videos for a company that actually pays me for each video and sends me products and tools to use. They were very up front with me, let me know what they were offering and sent a contract. I respected this company so much for being honest and transparent so I said yes.
You need to stop and ask yourself these questions before you agree to the next "Awesome deal of a lifetime" that comes your way...
1. What's in it for me?
2. Will doing this pay my bills or will it cost me money?
3. Do I NEED this so called FREE Promotion and how will it benefit me in the future?
4. Do I want to be in the public eye? Am I prepared for what comes with that?
5. Do I have time for this project or will it just cause strain and stress on my life and family?
All of these are now questions I ask myself before I say yes to the next big opportunity. I may seem like a nice, sweet girl but, those who I keep close and know me well know otherwise. I am not a sweet, nice soft spoken person. I am quite the opposite. I am loud, I use swear words and I let people know what I really think. Some may say I am honest to a fault. Can I be "ON" and be Professional? Yes, of course otherwise I wouldn't be in the position I am today. Most professionals know this and know when to hit the switch.
I am calling it like I see it and exposing those who would try to take advantage. I have seen your true colors and will not let you take advantage of me and hope that if you are a new artist and you have read this entire post and are considering representing a company or be a brand representative, that you will ask yourself these questions before you say yes. Get a contract, get paid and do it because you believe in the company. Realize your worth and STOP working and teaching for FREE!