The continued growth of the styling industry over recent years has created an increased opportunity for those with a passion for fashion to make a career as a stylist. But with more and more stylists entering the industry, the need to set themselves apart from the competition has increased. Personal branding has become key to the success of many stylists however it is an area that many, especially those new to the industry and business, struggle with. If you're unsure of your personal brand or how to get started creating one then here are a few tips to help you along the way.
1. Take a look in the mirror - now I'm not meaning that you literally look in a mirror, but what you need to do is identify who you are. As a Stylist, you are your brand so it's important that everything you put out there is a reflection of who you truly are. Look at your personality, your interests, your skills, and your values, and determine how to communicate these in your business. Be true to yourself and don't feel that you have to be someone you're not in order to gain a few clients. If you're not the free-spirited, boho-chic kinda gal then don't pretend to be one. We are all unique and there are clients that are looking for what you have to offer, so sell it truthfully.
2. Put your money where your mouth is - Once again, not literally LOL. But this old saying is very important to business success. If you are branding yourself in a certain way then make sure that you can back it up with your skills. Don't claim to be or do something that you've no idea how to do. Your clients will figure it out and it can do damage to your brand and your reputation.
3. Identify your target market - You can't be a stylist to everyone, so it's important to identify where you are going to start and who your ideal clients are going to be. Once you know who you are trying to reach then you'll be able to market your brand to them based on their interests and activities.
4. Be consistent - whatever you are doing and through whatever medium, be sure that you stick to your branding. There's a big temptation to use things that you see other people having success with, but if it doesn't match your message then it's not going to work for you. Everything you put out there should reflect your personal brand.
5. Engage, engage, engage! - Using tools such as social media should not be just seen as free advertising. Social media is a great way to show people your brand, but you have to engage. Your followers and potential clients will learn more about you through your interactions than just a post, so check their comments and engage with them. Let them see who you are and what you're all about.
6. It's okay to say no! - When you're just starting out and trying to make ends meet, the temptation is to want to say yes to everything and everybody. But it's important to think about how you want to be seen and the direction you want to go before agreeing to work or partnerships. Make sure that you weigh each opportunity and if it doesn't work in line with your goals or even your values then it's okay to say no!
7. Don't overthink things - I've been so guilty of this in the past so I know firsthand about the problems it can cause. When we overthink things, we force ourselves to come up with an answer or direction, and this need to have an answer can actually send us in the completely opposite direction of where we should be going. Your personal brand won't magically develop overnight and that's okay. Sometimes we have to let things develop in a more organic way and that's how we find our true personal brand. Don't be afraid to allow things to develop as they obviously are meant to.
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