The other day my kids were arguing over who was going to wash dishes and who was going to dry. Having had to do regular chores from the time they were little, you’d think they would have figured the logistics of this out by now. I remembered being a kid and not wanting to do my chores, however, so I could empathize, but it gave me some food for thought.
If I were an employer (versus a somewhat frustrated parent) this kind of argument would definitely not be something I’d want to hear. I’d be looking for the employees who took initiative in finding tasks to complete, led the way with excellence, assisted others, and had an enthusiastic attitude. In my book, those kinds of employees would be Most Valuable Players.
Ask—are you a Most Valuable Painter?
Then I asked myself if I were a Most Valuable Player (or rather Painter) when I worked for my clients. Did my skills and professional attributes make me an artist clients would want to have return for future events?
While there are surely other important MVP traits, I’ve listed a few below which should provide ideas for any face painters hoping to become MVPs for their clients.
Keeping clear communication
Using a contract isn’t just a suitable protection for the artist and the client, but it makes all event information and expectations clear for both parties. Your contract should have every piece of event information you have listed clearly. Also, you can decrease misunderstandings even more by repeating the confirmed event information in one or two emails rather than relying on phone calls. Contact your host or hostess with a text and email confirmation or reminder the week before the event just to make sure nothing has changed, all questions are answered, there are no last-minute instructions, and that the number of projected guests is the same.
Being on time shows you value your client’s event and repeat business. In my neck of the woods, the two biggest obstacles to this are bad planning or traffic congestion, so I aim to arrive at least 30 minutes a head of time, and I mark my driving instructions with the time by which I must be on the road rather than my arrival time.
If you believe a route will have unusual traffic, allow even more time for the drive. It’s also wise to check traffic online before you leave home. If an unforeseen traffic problem arises while you’re en route, immediately call your client to let him or her know what is happening and to give your projected arrival time.
Using extra skills
I recently painted at a corporate event for which they had hired me for three hours. There were not many children there, and only a few adults wished to be painted. I was able to take my time and do exceptional work, but I needed something extra to entertain the children once I had painted their faces and arms and still had time remaining for the event. By pulling out glitter tattoos, I was able to entertain the children with designs that would last a few days. I could have just as easily supplemented with simple balloon twisting (if there hadn’t already been a twister at this event), magic tricks, or puppets. Whatever you enjoy most, bring it with you just in case you finish face painting early. It might be balloons. It might be henna. But whatever it is, it will make you more valuable to your client.
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