When I first became a Stylist I wanted to Style everyone! Men, women, old, young, business professionals, ladies who lunch, even my dog had to endure my newfound styling skills when I couldn't find any other willing victims. I learned a great deal from working with a diverse range of people and it definitely developed my skills, but as I went from part-time consultant to creating my own full-time business it soon became clear that my approach would need to change.
My desire to be a Stylist to everyone actually meant that I was becoming the Stylist to no one. My marketing messages had no clear direction and were aimed at anyone that I could get to listen, rather than someone who would be willing to buy. My website was so chaotic and overwhelming that it could easily trigger a migraine. I changed my business name as often as I changed my underwear and I spent way too much money with very little return. It left me feeling exhausted, and at times, wondering if I should just quit my dream. But I didn't actually need to give up on my dream, all I needed was a different approach. Instead of being the Stylist to everyone I simply had to find my niche and once I did all the pieces of my business started to fall in to place. So how did I find my niche? I took the time to learn from other entrepreneurs who had built successful businesses, after all, why recreate the wheel. They had already taken the steps to find their niche and they were more than willing to share. And just as they shared with me, I'm sharing with you. So if you're struggling in this area then here are the five steps to help you find your niche:
1. Identify your interests, passions, and skills - One of the most important things when choosing a niche is that it's something you truly love and enjoy doing, so make sure that you consider things such as, who do you prefer to work with? What types of services do you love to do? What are your areas of expertize? If you really love helping women gain body confidence after weight-loss consider making this your niche, or maybe color analysis is your passion and that's where you want your focus to be.
2. Identify the problems you can solve for your clients - Marketing your styling business needs to focus on the problems your clients have and how you can solve them, so when deciding on a niche think about those problems and how you can solve them. Maybe your clients are busy working moms who have no time for themselves. What type of services can you offer that help them save time in their day and have a wardrobe that works for their lifestyle?
3. Research the competition - It's always important when starting any business that you check out the competition. If the market is saturated by stylists offering the same services to the same types of people then you'll want to consider if there's a place in the market for you. Offering a specialized service that no one else offers can definitely put you ahead of the competition.
4. Determine the profitability of your niche - As Stylists, our ultimate goal is to help people, but obviously we also need and want to make money. If your niche is too focused and there isn't a big demand for what you have to offer, it's important to remember this may affect your earning ability.
5. Test your idea - Once you think you've found your niche then give it a try! The important thing to remember is that creating a business is an on-going process and there's a certain element of trial and error. As you get started you'll see what's working and what's not working, and there's no reason why you can't make adjustments along the way.
Finding your niche may not happen overnight but it is worth putting in the time and effort to find it. Your business will be so much more successful once you have a clear roadmap of who your clients are and where and how you can find them.
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