I have worked as a bridal MUA for 12 years and have taught hundreds of others from scratch. I am also now following the career paths of 1,900+ bridal MUA/Hs from all over the world in the Online Academy. I think that makes me have a really good insight into the different stages of the bridal MUA/H career path.
A lot of people have asked me if it is possible to earn a living as a bridal MUA/H – how long it takes to get to the stage where you can pay the bills, for example. If you are considering this career here’s an overview of the journey and what to expect if you are building your career from scratch and focusing on it full time. (These timelines are from my experience, it can certainly take more or less time to reach each stage)…
The first 3 years you grind. You say yes to everything, you use every opportunity to get experience and network. You assist and often work for free to learn on the job, as well as watch experts in action to learn from them. You regularly take further education, short courses or study online to keep improving. You are not precious about your time or about getting paid for every single job – you are precious about opportunities to perfect your craft, because deep down you know that the real pay will come in the future as a result of your hard graft now.
At 3 to 7 years you are rapidly growing your business. Perhaps you have reached the point of getting a team together, because of the amount of work that is coming your way. Perhaps you have got yourself a studio space to be able to serve more clients and save time on travelling. You are seeing a tremendous growth of business, because of all the effort that went into it during the first 3 years. You have increased your prices to the a desired level and are working with your dream brides, who make you happy and at ease. You are earning a comfortable living that pays the bills and your income is growing every year. You still might accidentally end up with a “dry” month when there aren’t as many bookings as you would like, but every year these dry spells are becoming fewer.
7 to 10 years: you have your systems in place. You have worked out exactly which services you enjoy providing, what types of clients you love working with most and you are now in a very good position to become more selective on which jobs to take.
You know exactly how to generate more work that you enjoy doing. The momentum is there financially and now you can focus on experimenting with doing the work and projects that make your heart sing.
10 years onwards… You are now very clear how many weddings per year is your sweet spot, you are clear on the lifestyle you truly enjoy and you are making your business work around your lifestyle rather than the other way round.
If you commit to staying totally focused, humble, disciplined and productive for the first 3 to 5 years of your career, you will have the freedom to work on what you enjoy, doing and saying “yes” to things that make you truly happy.