Whoever said 'hindsight is 20/20' wasn't kidding! It's so easy now, after over a decade in business, to look back and see clearly why my early strategies didn't work and why people weren't breaking down my door to work with me that minute I launched my personal styling business. Back then, business coaching wasn't really something that was seen as a tool for small business owners like me, and it was definitely not in the budget, so my strategy really came down to learning on my own and a whole lot of trial and error. I wasted a lot of time and definitely a lot of money, but I also learned many valuable lessons that would eventually help me turn my personal stylist business into a success.
Things are very different now in the world of the small business owner and if you're just starting your personal styling business then there are so many tools readily available to help you avoid costly mistakes and to develop a tried and tested growth strategy. But if you're trying to go it alone to keep your start-up costs low then I wanted to share with you the 3 most important things that I learned from the mistakes I made when starting my personal styling business, so you don't make them too.
1. You can't be a stylist to everyone and you shouldn't try!
If you've taken my business masterclass or you've listened to my podcast then you've definitely heard me say this before, but I'm going to say it again, trying to be a personal stylist to everyone will make you the personal stylist to no one! When I started my business I didn't have an identified personal styling niche and I just wanted to get clients and make money so I thought I'd offer my services to anyone. But what I didn't realize is that you can't create messaging that works for everyone and not everyone will be attracted to your branding. When I narrowed my focus and found my niche I was able to create strategies that were specifically designed to reach the people I wanted to work with. And guess what? I started to attract more clients. So, don't wait! Find your personal styling niche now if you want to find clients.
2. You need to be yourself and make a real connection!
Before I became a personal stylist I spent my work life in corporate America. Because of this, I approached my personal stylist business from a place of strict professionalism and was very careful to keep my business and personal life very separate. But the thing about personal styling is that you are your business and people will be working with you and not with a corporate identity so they want to see the real you. Now obviously there still has to be some professional boundaries and you don't want to jump on Facebook Live when you're a hot mess, but you do need to let people get to know who you are. People connect with people and not corporations and making a connection is key to turning people into paying clients.
3. Simplicity is most effective!
As a chronic overthinker, I have the ability to make things more complicated than they need to be, and it's definitely something that plagued my personal stylist business in the early years. I thought that I needed some complex formula to help people find their personal style and that my business strategy needed to be equally as complex in order to be effective. But the truth is that people don't want or need anything complicated, all they want to know is what result you will get for them, how it will benefit them, and how you will do it. Plain and simple! So beware of overthinking and overcomplicating your personal styling business! Pick one target client, pick one signature program, pick one platform, and keep it simple!
There's always going to be trial and error when starting and growing a business and it's not always a bad thing as it helps us to learn and grow, but there's no reason you can't benefit from someone else's hindsight to help you along the way!