One of the keys to a successful personal styling business is to be as visible as possible and share who you are and what you do. There are many ways to be visible, yet many Stylists continue to hide from potential clients and don't make the most of the opportunities that are available to reach them. Sometimes it simply feels easier to use written words or photos and be satisfied with their limited impact, and if you're an introvert or you have some issues in the confidence department then I'm sure it feels more comfortable to promote your business this way. But the truth is, if you want to grow a highly successful business then visibility plays a crucial role and it's time to step out of hiding.
So why is visibility so important? It's quite simple really! Visibility allows you to make a personal connection with other people. It lets potential clients get to know you on a level that cannot be achieved by reading what you have to say or looking at photographs. People are more likely to want to work with someone who they feel they know and have a connection with, so it's worth it to find ways to build that relationship.
While networking in your local community is a crucial part of visibility this is obviously not an option for many right now due to social distancing and lockdowns, but thanks to technology we can still increase our visibility while staying safe. There are many different options that can increase your visibility in a virtual way, vlogs, video posts, live videos, and even podcasts, all allow potential clients to start making a personal connection with you. Now, if you're an introvert then the thought of being on camera or being recorded might bring you out in a cold sweat, but I've got some helpful tips that can help you overcome your fears and bring you out of hiding.
1. Get used to seeing yourself on video - The more you make videos, the easier it becomes, so practice, practice, practice. Take videos of yourself that are not going to be seen by anyone else. Don't worry about what you are saying, just start talking. Once recorded watch the video back several times. The first time you watch it you will cringe and spend the whole time criticizing the way you look and the way you sound. But that's ok. It's all part of the process. Keep watching it over and over, and you'll gradually start to see some things that you actually like. It's also important to remember that we are our own worst critics and while we may see nothing but flaws other people will see something very different.
2. Be yourself - The whole point of creating videos is to help people make a connection with you, so let the real you shine through. Don't over annunciate, don't try to hide your accent, if you flip your hair then keep on flipping. All those small mannerisms are part of who you are so don't be worried about showing them. Imagine you are having a conversation with a friend, that's how your video should be.
3. It doesn't have to be perfect - As a recovering perfectionist, this is something that I have struggled with in many areas of my life and definitely in business. But the truth is that no one expects perfection! It really doesn't matter if you stumble over a word, or you say 'erm' too much or you go off track when talking. People will connect with you more when they see the human side of you. They're not looking for a robot they are looking for a person.
4. Go live when you feel ready - It's always best to debut through a pre-recorded video. This allows you to re-record if you do make a huge gaffe. When you start to feel more comfortable on video then it's the time to start going live. Live videos are great because the people watching have the opportunity to interact with you which can increase the connection, so it's definitely worth progressing to this level. But it's also important that you feel comfortable doing so don't force it until you're ready.
5. If all else fails, use your voice - For some people, video may seem too anxiety-provoking and something you're just not ready for and that's ok. But rather than keep hiding in the shadows increase your visibility through podcasting. Podcasting allows you to use your voice to show who you are and help people connect with you on a personal level. Hearing your voice and what you have to say helps to add your personality to images they may see of you on your website and social sites, so they gain more insight into who you are.
6. Make sure you have something to say - Creating videos or jumping on Instagram live is important, but if you don't actually have anything to say then it defeats the whole purpose. Don't post because you feel you have to, post because you have something to share. You'll probably want to start with an introduction video that doesn't need to be scripted, but for other posts or lives create an outline of what you want to share with people. You don't need to have a script as this can be too impersonal, but you should have an outline.
7. Stay on topic - It's important to remember that people are following you because you are a Stylist. When they watch a video or listen to your podcast they have the expectation that you will be talking about style and sharing your expertise, so if you start posting random videos about your political views or what you had for dinner then you risk losing potential clients. It's okay to add personal anecdotes into your videos or lives to help the viewer get to know you more but don't let it become the main topic.
Whichever medium you decide to use, the most important thing is to find one that works best for you and your business and use it consistently. Making yourself visible on a regular basis will help create the connections you need to make people want to work with you.
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