Well here it is… my first EVER blog post!
I am super excited to have been asked to blog on behalf of The Face Painting Shop, and, I’ll admit, I’m a little daunted at the prospect! I hope I can, along with the other wonderful ladies on board, manage to share things that are useful and interesting to you all. I thought that I should start by introducing myself to you, and talking briefly about why I LOVE being a working face painter.
I’m Kathryn Craig, I’m 39 (eeeek!) and I live and work in Belfast, Northern Ireland. I am wife to David, and Mum to Ruby, 9, and Jude who is 15 months old. We also have a boxer dog, Bodhi, who keeps me on my toes (when I’m not tripping over him every time I turn around.)
My business is called Magical Masks Belfast, and last week saw our 5th birthday. In the 5 years that I’ve been working as a face painter, I have managed to grow what was initially my little side-line, into a fully functional business, with high profile clients that I could never have dreamed of working with when I tentatively posted my first advertisement on Gumtree, (silently hoping that no one I knew would see it and realise that it was me!) I started when my then 4 year old daughter developed an interest in having her face painted. I have an art background, graduating from the University of Ulster in 2001, with a degree in Applied Arts, and I had the classic “how hard can it be?” thought, promptly buying myself a little Snazaroo kit on Amazon. The answer, as always, was “harder than it looks!” and I fairly quickly got stuck into the process of upping my game, and educating myself about the world of face painting! Since then I have attended training with incredible artists including Juliet Eve, Sarah Smith, Naomi Gay, Jennifer Parker, Teresa Mullin, and Livi Lollipop, which has been amazing, and I now have a complete addiction to changing and adding to my kit, which is among my most treasured possessions!
This year, I have been focusing on growing the business, and it’s been a year filled with lessons learned, which I hope to be able to share with you all in future blog posts.
‘I LOVE MY JOB!’
How many people are lucky enough to be able to say that and mean it? Sure, there are stressful parts, crappy days and times I feel like throwing the towel in, but all in all, I genuinely do love my job! I love being self-employed, and I have the best work life balance that I have ever had. I’m able to walk Ruby to and from school, and hang out with Jude during the day. I can choose which jobs I want to take, and which I want to pass on. I can, for the first time in my life, see a direct correlation between effort applied, and financial reward, and am more motivated than ever.
I love that my job allows me to be creative (although on days were I’ve painted eleventy-billion unicorns, that can be challenging!) and I love how I get to work in places, and with people who I would otherwise never have encountered. I have had the privilege of working with some truly inspirational people, from refugee children, to local celebrities, and everything in-between. I feel privileged to be invited to share peoples happiest, and most intimate moments, from birthday parties to baby showers, big community fun days, to small family get togethers. A face painter is always a great addition!
I Love how there is an amazing community of face painters worldwide who share their work, share their knowledge and are always around to help and inspire other artists, new to the business and long in the tooth alike! I feel very blessed that here in NI, we have a strong face painting community, and are always helping one another out with tips, advice, empathy, comradery, and regularly working together on big jobs. Over time, these people have become friends as well as colleagues and we know that we genuinely have each other’s backs – you can’t ask for more than that!
So yes, I DO love my job, and I can’t see that ever changing. If you have had one of those weeks where you have answered endless enquiries, and not taken a single booking, or are feeling disillusioned with the whole thing, take a quiet 10 minutes and think about all of the positive things about being a jobbing face painter. It’s not always easy, but it is SO worth it, and we are all incredibly lucky to be able to use our artistic abilities and creative tendencies to make a living.
Anyway, That’s enough from me for now, but I will be covering all of the things I’ve talked about today, and more, in more detail over the coming weeks and months, so stay tuned, and a massive thank you to everyone who has taken the time to read my first ever blog post!
Our company director Nathalie has written some top tips on writing effective website content...Read on......
Your website represents your company. If your website content writing is sloppy, bloated or confusing, you’re going to lose sales, no matter how good your product and services are.
On the other hand, great web writing can help you across the board. Your blog posts earn more shares, your pages will earn backlinks and your site will start to earn trust the moment visitors click on.
Here are a few tips on writing content for websites
*Keyword stuffing is never okay
Keywords are a means to make your content valuable, readable and search-friendly. But when you start cramming in keywords, it does the exact opposite.
A page stuffed with keywords looks dubious and untrustworthy — to both Google and human readers. Your conversion rate and SERPs rankings go down, along with your page views. Readers will start to see it as a low-quality page and bounce quickly, and over time search engines will start to decrease you’re ranking.
There are a lot of factors that go into creating viral content. Promotion is a huge factor, and brand identity, timing, and plain luck all play a role. But almost all viral writing shares one thing in common; emotional impact, you need to make the visitor to your website that wants to read on and explore more.
So the next time you’re crafting a piece of ad copy or web writing ask yourself, “What’s good about this story? How can I give this more emotional impact?” Find it, and you might just have viral website content on your hands.
Good intros are hard. It can feel unnatural to skip right to the point. You want to provide some background, warm the reader up and then work your way to the main topic when you feel ready.
By that point, your reader is long gone.
Your website isn’t literature. Visitors aren’t there for your nuanced language or slow, measured flow. They’re there to get information or solve a problem (ideally by buying your product or service.)
And if you don’t give them a reason to care about your article, they’re going to get that information or solve that problem somewhere else.
The latter! Nothing drives us crazier than people putting apostrophes in pluralized words. When in doubt about spelling, capitalization or grammar, Google it!
There’s never been a better time to learn as you go. Double checking the words/grammar/spelling/etc. you don’t know about can help you catch mistakes and internalize the rules, so you can write correctly without looking it up next time.
If your positioning is clear, it’s much easier to stand out on the web and be found. If your message is clear, it’s much easier to create a persuasive web copy.
Be clear. Be specific. Be bold. Be amazing
The Face Painting Shop would like to introduce you to our new fabulous team of bloggers. These artists will be writing about thier experiences, giving advice, product reviews, step-by-steps and more. Keep an eye out on our page www.thefacepaintingshop.com, our Facebook business page and the original face painting tips and tricks group (The Face Painting Shop - tips, tricks and questions), where they will also be available to answer any questions. We are delighted to have them on board, please give them a warm welcome.
Please take a moment to congratulate our very own Ellie Roberts who has been announced as a finalist for Essex Business Awards for Apprentice of the year. She has her final interview soon and the awards night is Friday 25th May, We are so excited for her and of course MEGA PROUD <3
The most important social date in the Face Painting World!
Come and join us for an evening of wine, cake, food, special offers, paint and of course our legendary goody bags to celebrate our 5th birthday.
Every year we love to mix it up and this year we have done that! so get ready for a fun-filled evening with your painting friends.
Everyone is welcome - including little people
From 3pm at The Face Painting Shop
Facebook Event Link - https://www.facebook.com/events/1262290257241599/
The launch of our sister company is happening tomorrow - check out all the details here - https://www.facebook.com/events/159195358040900/
We would like to thank all our customers for their support this year and wish you all a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year
Reminder for our Christmas opening and delivery times
Our last day for UK orders is 20th December
Last date for international orders 15th December
Christmas Opening Hours
Thursday 21st December 2017 - 8.30am - 3pm
Closed until Tuesday 9th January 2018
Please note orders will still be shipped over our closing period - they will occur slight delays
(Please note that internet orders will still be shipped out during the Christmas period when the retail shop will be closed but will be delayed due to posting if your order is urgent please email email@example.com)
Check out this link to our liveface painting tutorial that we posted on Facebook today.