Monday, 31 October 2016

Freelancer Talk: Marketing Materials I love

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Hey everyone. Fun fact. It has been 90 official days since I started freelancing properly. By that I mean, I always freelanced before and did work as a make up artist before that, but 90 days ago was the exact date that I bought the daily greatness journal and decided that this was going to be my job! Its been an amazing, fulfilling, action packed 90 days where I have learnt so much I can barely believe i've even retained that sort of information and actually made money!

So I thought today I would share my favourite marketing materials with you that I am enjoying at the moment! 

1 - The Daily Greatness Business Planner
I was thinking of doing a bigger post on this if you guys were interested. For myself, the way  I learn and achieve, I need stuff to be written down. I need weekly goals, even daily goals and structure. Its just the way I was made I guess! This little planner has been my absolute life-saver, my motivation and has kept me on track for my first 90 days as a "proper" freelancer. I won't delve to much into it in case I do a post on it, and this isn't so much marketing but more on the planning side of things - but its definitely a material I love!

2 - Leaflets and Offer cards from Zazzle
One of the hardest things when it came to my first 90 days as a freelancer was committing to marketing materials at the fear of loosing money! I will admit, it will be the next 90 days that will show if these particular materials have paid off. I bought from Zazzle - which is an online creative shop where you browse fellow creatives designs and the money goes to them (as well as to Zazzle I''m sure!) Some are really inventive and eye catching, which is what I liked about them as opposed to Moo or VistaPrint. Although a little more expensive, the quality, I found was lovely. They felt expensive and the printing was of a really nice quality.

3 - VistaPrint Business Cards
The last marketing material I am enjoying recently, has to be my own business cards. The theming behind my brand is very pastel, almost Kate Spade-esque. No reason really, I just really like that style and feel it embodied me a little bit more. Vista Print did this lovely foiled design which shines and catches the light as you turn the business card. I really love the effect and even though it was a tad more expensive than a normal Vista Print business card, the quality made up for it. Plus all the offers Vista Print have, I got 250 business cards for £30 which I didn't think was too bad!

So those are my favourite marketing materials for my business that I have been enjoying recently. I have tried others - including a leaflet in the same style as my business cards from Vista Print (they went straight in the bin sadly!) and a bag from Zazzle. Over the next 90 days, I'm going to be preparing for my first bridal fair, so I shall let you know soon what marketing materials I choose for that one!

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Thursday, 27 October 2016

Kryolan Halloween Kit - Crazy Doll

My favourite time of year for make up has fast approached (Halloween FYI) so when I was contacted to review one of the Kryolan Halloween kits, I was the most excited little child. I get to play with make up, turn myself into a crazy doll AND write about it. Sounds good to me!

Just a little background. I had not previously tried Kryolan. I have actually been in the Kryolan store in Covent Garden, but was actually too intimidated by the wide range of products to even buy anything. So this little kit was a great introduction for me as I got to try a fair few of their staple products and let me tell you - I am a complete convert (practically runs to the Kryolan store)

So starting with what the kit is. These little kits which are quite reasonably priced are pretty much your look in a bag. For my look, I only added a few extra things like blusher, but generally speaking you have everything you need so its really easy. Perfect if you are looking for good quality make up thats super easy, all in one place and comes with a tutorial on how to put it on. 

For me, I was worried that it would be a little bit too "mainstream" (that sounds ridiculous but you know what I mean *cough cough cat for halloween cough cough*. But interestingly the look is definitely what you make of it. It can be as intricate as you want or as simple as you want, there is a lot of room for creative freedom in the kits, which is great for someone like me who craves a little bit more creativity. Lets get onto the look.

The Supracolour - which is Kryolans version of face paint was actually, one of the best I have used and I have used a lot! This one for me, knocks mehron out of the water, really competes with MAC and lets not even talk about snazaroo. It didn't apply patchy AT ALL, which is super hard to find it a white cream paint. I'll definitely be seeing if Kryolan have a bigger size of this because I am a convert. The kit also came with sponges to put the cream paint on AND a powder to set. See what I mean when I said you have basically everything. 
It also came with 2 eyeshadows - although sadly in my kit I was given the wrong shade of eyeshadow! Nevertheless, the eyeshadows I were given were extremely soft and blendable. Once again, blown away with the quality of this brand.

To do the little shatter marks, I used an Aqua colour (this is Kryolans water activated cream) in white and black. They also provided a brush, and once again, I am obsessed with it. Its rare I am actually sent products that I completely cannot find fault it, but seriously guys, this was insanely good. The brush has me SHOOK and I'm definitely building myself an insane payday wishlist. Perfect size and width for creating little shatter marks for the "broken" effect and super easy to use for beginners. 
The eyelashes in the kit come with lash adhesive and are perfect for the broken doll effect. I think the only criticism is the gloss, just because I had to pair a lipliner underneath to get the depth and pigmentation I wanted for the lips. But yeah - a solid 10/10.

So now for the details, because seriously if you are wanting to try SFX make up or still in need of a last minute Halloween costume, Kryolan got you girl. The kit I was sent is a grand old £59.75. Quite a steep price to swallow for a last minute Halloween idea but never fret, they have other kits which are more affordable. Flaming skull which is a lovely £21 (great for guys!) Pop Art and Fairy, which again are similar price points. I cannot stress enough how much I enjoyed trying this out. Kryolan have definitely made a customer out of me and its so nice to have been sent something I can honestly hand on heart struggle to find fault with. As it is so close to Halloween, I would get one ASAP if you still don't have a costume in mind! You can buy from Kryolan online here as well as their other sets and you can get next day delivery if you're in a bit of a hurry. Alternatively, Kryolan do have stores located around the country - London folk, I know there is one pretty central to Covent Garden!

Until next time!

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Sunday, 9 October 2016

Business Talk: Getting Started as a Freelancer

Hey everyone! How are you all? So welcome back! As you might have noticed, I have been absent for a while! I just had my first "bridal season" which is now starting to slow down as we enter the colder months, and to be honest, I loved every minute of it! This is my job now, and I am so so pleased I can say that! On top of that I made the big move to London! Eeep! But it did mean that everything else took a back seat, mainly my blog! But now I finally have some time I am getting back into blogging, and boy have I missed it!

So I thought I would start with a new series, on questions I get asked quite a lot to do with my freelance career. If I have any new readers, you may not know but I am a freelance make up artist. I started freelancing "properly" when I moved to London. Back in my home-town it was hard, as there wasn't much of a make up industry there, so part of the decision to move to London was to further my career! It has worked wonders, as I have honestly never been so lucky with the opportunities I have been given! 

I have worked bloomin' hard though and am still such a small fish in comparison to some of the wonderful artists out there, but I thought I would make it into a series of blog posts, where I detail my journey into the freelance world. Because it is scary! But its also very very fun, rewarding and motivating!

While it may seem like common sense, if you are making money, any money at all from your blog, from freelance writing, from selling a service, you absolutely must declare yourself for taxes. I know a couple of people who have got into mega trouble for this, have had their bank accounts and businesses audited and it just doesn't seem worth it to me! I'm not the most educated on taxes, but I do know there is a whole library of information on the website where you can set yourself up for self employment. Generally, I put 20% off my earnings from freelance endeavours away for tax (it hurts, believe me but its gotta be done). But being self employed does have its benefits, especially if you work from home. Again its something you would have to research yourself, but you can claim your expenses, internet and some bills if you work at home a lot. I can claim back some expenses on my kit and travel to locations, so keep all those receipts! 

When I went freelance, believe me I wasted a lot of money. No amount of research told me the most crucial thing, before you do anything or spend any money do some real thinking about your brand and who you want to be. Create a business plan no matter how silly it feels! Think about the colours you want to use in your branding, think about the theming. Do you want a simple, no fuss structure to your website or do you love colour? Note down every single thing you want your business to encompass and really envision it. The best thing to do is to think, if you had a shop, an empire even, what would it look like. Think about some of the best, Charlotte Tilbury and her iconic packaging. Apple and their no fuss, so easy to use website. What do YOU want? 

I left this step far too long in my freelance career. But no matter what service you are providing, be it freelance writing, hair dressing, make up or camera work... get yourself some decent business cards. The one piece of advice I can give you, is definitely its WHO you know, not what you know. You can be the best make up artist in the world, talent to rival Val Garland and Alex Box, but if you are a hermit in your own home, you won't ever go as far as you could go. Get some business cards and spend some time making them. I loved Vista Print despite the negative reviews and spent some extra money getting better quality cards with a foiled finish. My brand has a slight pastel theme to it, so my business cards are mint green and gold, very Kate Spade feeling. However upon doing this, I realised that the rest of my marketing would really struggle with this theme. Do your research and don't rush into anything - this is the beginning of your future!

The last thing I would say for getting started is to create a business plan. Several amazing blogs offer business plan templates, which I used initially but for me I like more plan and structure, so I actually invested in the Daily Greatness Business Planner. This guy is amazing, it has helped my little business grow and gives me weekly tasks to really push myself. I'll probably review this in more depth eventually, but I do think its amazing if you need structure like myself :)

So those are my little tips for getting started. Next time I will probably go into some more depth about places to get marketing materials if thats something you are interested in! Feel free to leave me a comment with anything you would like to see! 

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