Starting out in microblading and permanent makeup can be stressful. Once you get the hang of it and gain some experience, you’ll definitely love the profession. But until that happens, newbies often find themselves lost and confused.
Okay, you took the course and got your certificate. You keep practicing and perfecting your skill on props. Finally, you got to the point of feeling confident enough in your work to start taking clients. But the business aspect is still somewhat abstract.
Primarily, the question of how much should you charge your first microblading clients?
We present the options and help you work out a fair starting price.
Before We Start…
We have a bitter pill for you – when you start microblading, you won’t be making significant cash for a few months.
The PMU industry has become huge and microblading is now very competitive. There are so many artists out there and it seems every town has at least a handful. As a beginner, you have to tackle all those experienced artists who’ve been working longer than you and who have a rich portfolio and a loyal clientele.
The question is, how do you attract clients to get their brows done by you and not someone more experienced?
The answer – you charge less.
That means you’ll have to set your price much lower than you’d like for the first few months. Here are your options for setting a fair price for your first clients.
Image source: Instagram @pinar.tanriverdii
Option 1 – You Charge Nothing
We know this may not sit well with you.
You probably invested a significant amount of cash into your training and certification. You may have quit your day job to switch to microblading and have virtually no source of income. Even if you do have a nest egg to get you through the transitioning period, you’re naturally eager to start earning.
But you have to be realistic – if you’ve never done a pair of brows on a client before, you may have to do a few clients for free. Obviously, working for free isn’t too inspiring, but think of it as an investment. You’ll get something more valuable than cash: experience, and before and after pics.
Getting your first microblading clients can be a challenge. In order to get booked, you need to show potential clients what you can do, so having even a few examples of your work will encourage them to pick up the phone.
The thing is, if you received a kit as part of your course, which you probably did, the supplies will be enough to cover several clients. So all you’ll need to invest is your time.
The good news is, you only need to do a few clients for free. 5-10 should be more than enough. The best way to find these clients is to post on local Facebook groups that you’re a beginner looking for models and highlight how many spots are available.
After that, you can move on to option 2.
Option 2 – You Charge A Symbolic Price Just to Cover the Costs
Once you’ve done a few clients for free, you can set a low price for the next 10-20 clients. Or, you can start charging this right off the bat.
Figure out how much your costs are. How much do you spend on supplies for one client? What about the aftercare kit? How much is your rent?
A price that should cover your costs depends on where you live and where you work, but $100 per client should be enough for you to break even. If they’re thrilled with your work, they may leave a tip.
Here’s what you need to know – your work will improve with every pair of brows you do, and 2 months in, the brows you do will be more valuable than the work you did right after you got your certificate. At that point, it’s okay to start charging more and finally earn something.
Option 3 – Charge Half of Your Ideal Price
Some artists decide on coming in hot and refuse to undercharge their work just to get clients.
If you’re working in an area where there are so many working artists, you could probably pull off charging your first microblading clients something like $200.
Here’s how to work out your starting price:
- Ask yourself what you’d like to charge within 1 year. Split that in half.
- Research what the competition charges. The average microblading price is $600, but this figure varies significantly from area to area. So review local price menus.
- Is the half of your ideal price lower than what the competition charges? You have to be realistic and set the price of your beginner’s work low enough to get the clients to come to you, and not someone more experienced.
Once you come up with a figure, analyze it and see if it works for you.
Does it cover your costs + earn you something extra, at least 50 bucks or so? If the answer is yes, you have your starting price. From there, you can increase it gradually as your work becomes more valuable and locals start recognizing your name.
When starting any business, you need to figure out a long-term financial plan. So look at the bigger picture and plan on price-raises every 2 months or so until you get to your desired earnings.
Make sure you make the raises gradual and announce them on your social media. You don’t want to double the price overnight and cause negative reactions.
Your first clients also function as advertisements. They wear your work and will likely mention who did them to their friends and family. So it’s a good idea to set up some kind of referral program to stimulate them to recommend you.
What you can get away with charging your first clients has a lot to do with where you got your certificate. If you get certified with a widely-known academy clients recognize, they’ll feel more confident paying, even if you’re their first or second client.
So choose your training carefully.
For more information on the price of microblading, visit our microblading cost guide.
Cover image source: Freepik