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Natty Contrera 

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How To Be a Great Assistant | Philly mua | Philly Bridal | Natty Contrera Artistry | Tuesday Tips

July 23, 2019

 

Welcome to another Tuesday Tips! A friend suggested that I call it “Tuned IN Tuesdays” and I am tempted! Until then, Tuesday Tips it is. 

 

 

I was trying to think of my next blog topic and, as I am currently looking for an assistant for a wedding, I thought it’d be an excellent time to talk about how to be a great assistant! Let me start off by saying that I have hired a LOT of assistants. When I lived in Baltimore, I had one in particular who has created so much success for herself. I couldn’t be more proud! In this blog we’ll go over what made her stand out for me, and what will set you apart from the crowd. 

 

 

First things first, Show up on time. 

 

 

 

 

 

I cannot stress this one enough. I am not a punctual person. For weddings,  I have to tell myself to be there 30 minutes before I actually need to be just so I am on time. I always make the joke that if it makes me money, I'll be there. If it doesn't, don't expect a commitment. Show up on time and ready to go with clean brushes or tools. Use the resources at your fingertips. Literally! Google the place ahead of time. Found out if your destination has street parking or a parking lot. This is your business, show up for it! I know it sounds like common sense, but you’d be surprised how much of a difference this makes.

 

 

 

Wear appropriate clothing

 

 

 

 

For me, it usually means industry wear, which is all black and closed toe shoes. I am not particularly strict, I do let myself wear color...I just don't have much of it in my wardrobe. However, a lot of companies or artists do have strict dress codes they adhere to. I have worked for other artists where I had to wear black pants, a black shirt, and black shoes. No sneakers or dresses. Some companies even provide branded clothing with their logo for the artists to wear. 

 

 

 

Be a step ahead

 

 

When you have a solid plan in place, you’re setting yourself up for success. Time management is so important. This will help you know when it’s time to move forward with your client, when you’ve got a little free time to clean your brushes, and when you need to ask for help. Being aware of your level of experience will help you decide how much work you can fit into your scheduled time.

 

One way to save yourself some time and get ahead is to ask questions before the event. I love to FaceTime with my assistants to talk about our expectations and game-plan. Have your questions and concerns ready, and prepare for the unexpected.

 

 

 

Do not promote yourself while on the job

 

 

 

I do not believe that competition is inherently a negative thing and, in fact, I openly welcome it. We all have a space here. If my assistant really clicks with someone and they vibe well together, that’s awesome. But when my client is with me, that means not discussing how much you’re getting paid, your pricing vs. mine, or working with them again in the future. If the client reaches out to you on their own at a later date, that time is all yours. Right now, this is our time with my client.

 

 

Be prepared with a freshly stocked kit

 

 

 

 

Since I usually have extra product and tools, I don’t always need my assistants to bring their own. If you are expected to bring your own tools, please make sure they’re clean. It looks extremely unprofessional to have to clean your brushes in front of your first clients or to have a dirty kit.

 

 

 

Make sure all your hair tools work properly ahead of time and you have all your bases covered. A few things to always keep on hand to make sure you’re prepared is a trash bag, paper towels, brush cleaner, and 70% alcohol. 

 

(I also love to keep hand sanitizer and lysol wipes with me)

 

 

 

These are just a few little basics that go along way and can help you land great assistant gigs in weddings, films, and anywhere else your career takes you. But remember: always be polite, professional, and maintain composure. Tune In next Tuesday for another great Tuesday Tips. (Cues 1980s sitcom jingles.) 

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