Shannon Fennell's Blog

My life, art, travel, make-up, cooking and the occasional rant!

Business Tips for Face Painters, Body Artists and Make-Up Artists #5 – Advertising

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May 1st means it is time for the fifth excerpt from my e-book The Business of Face Painting.  Of course, if you would like to get all the information included in my book right now you can find out how here.

The Business of Face Painting was published in September of 2009 and I am working on the final stages of the companion book The Art of Face Painting which we hope to have out sometime this year.

Advertising can be expensive.  Deciding if you need to spend money to do some advertising is going to be a personal choice and should be considered carefully.

The following is an excerpt from Chapter Four of  The Business of Face Painting.



Advertising does cost money so you will need to allow some funds in your budget if you wish to do some.  The most common form of advertising would be a listing in your local yellow pages or telephone directory.  Costs vary for this depending on your ad format and the size of your directory.  Usefulness of the yellow pages print version versus the online version is debatable.  I do not have a business listing in any telephone directory but others swear by them for getting work.

Running newspaper ads is an option too, but realistically these do not appear to be of any benefit to face painters as your target market generally will not be looking in the newspaper for your services.

Advertising in local magazines and publications can generate work – local parenting magazines, tourism or travel publications, local business guides and event listings, all provide access to your target markets.  Choose carefully which publications will actually be reaching your target markets so you can get your money’s worth out of the advertisement.

Radio ads are often offered by radio stations wanting you to provide your services in exchange for the ads.  In my opinion radio spots are not likely to get the attention of your target markets – it is difficult for them to make a note of your contact information while they are driving down the highway and hear a 15 second spot rattling off your email or telephone number!

Television advertising on your local cable channel is an option.  These ads are still and are on-screen for various lengths of time for different costs and usually have voiceovers.  You can produce yourself or pay the station to produce it for you.  I know of one painter that is doing this but she has not had it running long enough to assess the success of her investment in this.

Car wraps or signs are very useful.  There are a variety of options available for any budget.  From magnetic panels to attach to your door, to self-adhesive decals you can order and apply by yourself to professional lettering and decal application to actual car wraps in laminated vinyl coating that cover the car entirely.  You can simply put your name and telephone number on your rear side window in adhesive lettering yourself, or, go to the other end of the spectrum and have a customized full-colour wrap applied to your vehicle by a professional graphics company.

I have my vehicle wrapped – I opted to have the rear of my RAV4 from the edges of the rear side doors and the spare tire cover done.  Cost was a factor.  I got a quote for various options and selected the one that fit my budget best.  The recognition factor alone has been well worth it – when I meet people they say, “Oh! You’re the one with the cool car!”  I have had a lot of calls from people who saw my car and most of those have turned into paid work.  Somehow, the fact that my vehicle is covered in photos of giant painted faces makes me more of a professional in the eyes of the public.

I also spent the extra money to order personalized license plates – the cost was not that high and these are my plates now forever.  FACEART works perfectly with my car wrap!  The only drawback is that you need to drive very carefully as everyone, and I mean EVERYONE remembers your car and plate!  That includes every cop in town too!

I think car advertising is one of the best ways to attract attention to your business, particularly if you are parked where you are working and people see the painted faces and can get your details off your car in the parking area.  Or, when working festivals I park beside my set-up and use the car as a large billboard!  I have also had people chase me in parking lots, or come over to me at the gas station to ask for a card.  My car is often parked in the lot at a local mall directly across from a large club – which contacted me as they saw my car and wanted to book me to their staff painted for Mardi Gras.  They have had me back a number of times now to paint the staff.

Depending on how wide an area your target market covers you could also advertising in industry publications like make-up magazines, newsletters of clown alleys and face painting guilds, and using the online e-zines too.  These ads won’t necessarily increase your day-to-day bookings but will increase your profile and perhaps gain referrals for work in your area.

© Shannon Fennell, 2009

with material from “Designs and Templates Volume 1” © November 2007

and “Designs and Templates Volume 2” © March 2008

Author: Shannon Fennell

Multidisciplinary artist, world traveller, make-up artist, and cheese lover. I follow a low carb lifestyle to keep my diabetes in remission. Canadian expat in the UK.

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