Crowd Control for Face Paint Artists
Many face paint artists are in the business because they love interacting with the public while getting the chance to share their art and show off their skill, but the lines can be long and unbearable at times. Controlling the line will allow you to truly focus on the kid in front of you and do your best work every time. Often, it is up to the face painter to manage the line while ensuring that everyone leaves happy and well decorated. Try and create some ways to pass the time from books to browse face paint ideas or games to play for kids.
If waiting customers make you anxious, hiring a line manager will ease your troubles. The line manager can set up a sign in sheet or text message customers when their turn has come. This will help to alleviate stress and avoid rushing jobs. With these tools you can allow customers to wander off and enjoy other festivities until it’s their turn. Be honest when you estimate wait times so customers can come back later when the rush is over. If you are calling their name or contacting a client by text – make sure to be clear about how long you will wait before taking the next customer to avoid confusion and frustration. By using these methods customers will be happy and relaxed when they sit in your chair and will barely think about the wait.
Using cones and strings will help reduce cutting in line, and creating signs that give the customer an idea of how long it takes to paint each child will also help customers decide if they want to wait in a really long line, or come back later. Posting in large print the time that you will paint the last face will also reduce confusion and uncomfortable interactions when it is time for you to leave. Make sure not to ignore the line when you get down to your last 20 - 30 minutes…be sure to cut it off when you think you have the most kids in line that you will be able to paint before you leave. Create a large Line Closed sign, or have the last person in line wear a vest that says that the line is closed. You can hand out stickers or tickets or paint a dot on each kid left in line so you will know if someone snuck in. At closing time, apologize gently, but insist that you have future commitments and you really must leave right away. Sometimes you will know when you need to make an exception, and paint that one last adorable kid, just don’t let it domino unless the client requests that you stay longer.
It is important for face painters to be organized. Tools and materials should be lined up and within reach. Have a mirror handy so that customers can see their new look once you are finished. Having a spot away from your chair that has a big mirror will give the kids all the time they want to check out their new look. Always remember to fill up water buckets and have plenty of sponges to get you through the gig at the start so you never run out of sanitary tools while working. Rainbow cakes, stencils and temporary tattoos are fast to apply and can help you cut down on time while making more complex designs.
Interact with the Customer
Have several spiels ready to make children comfortable while sitting for their face paint. Conversation starters consist of age-appropriate jokes, rhymes and riddles. To include other children waiting in line, be prepared to tell humorous stories or even sing a few tunes if you can multitask while painting. Asking them their age and name is the most simple way to start the fun.
Talk with the children and accompanying adults if needed to try and draw out what they want for their face paint design. Ask specific questions to make sure you know what is really important to them and let your creative juices fill in the rest. Let the child choose a few colors and effects, and explain the face painting process as you proceed. This will help you take all of their wonderful ideas and manage expectations of what’s possible at the same time. Warn them when you are going to paint around their eyes or mouth so they are not surprised, or move suddenly.
Prepare a Selfie Spot
To get the line moving smoothly, designate a photo spot that can be used for before and after shots. This spot should be set off from the work area and decorated with a suitable background. The selfie spot may even be a great way to include some of your branding in the background so everyone knows you created these fabulous looks.
Use Quality Face-painting Products
The best thing you can do to ensure customer satisfaction is to use good, quality face paint. There is no excuse to use inferior face painting products when premium quality brands are available and convenient to use. Whether you prefer to work from solids or split cakes, make sure that each one is hypoallergenic and safe for sensitive skin. When dealing with small kids, face paint may be the first makeup on their skin so use products that are good for everyone rather than trusting them to know if they have sensitive skin. Quality face paint also makes for smoother applications and may be less likely to run, and will not peal or flake off.
Face paint is usually water-based to ensure easy clean up, but customers will appreciate a few tips to make their face paint last longer and how to properly remove face paint once they get home. You can have these instructions on the back of your business card so they can refer to them at the end of the day, and have your contact info for future bookings.
(This cute design was done with the Cameleon Roses Color Block)
Fun is contagious! If you are in a great mood and love what you do, you will inspire that joy in your clients and others around you. At the end of the day, face painting is all about bringing creativity and happiness into the world so take minor frustrations in stride and keep loving what you do.
Have any great tips for dealing with customers from your face paint business? Share your experiences in the comments below!