Are you a Jack of all trades but master of none?
Many image consultants are trained in colour, style, wardrobe and personal shopping. When they start out, they provide all these services to everyone- men, women, corporations – anyone who is interested. They take this approach because they want to get experience and clients.
The thought process is that if I cast my net wide, I will surely get lots of clients.
Most have invested a lot of money in training, probably left a well-paid job and took a huge leap of faith to start their business. They work long hours spreading the word about their style services and marketing themselves despite the fear of rejection and judgement. Passion keeps them going for the first year or so but when exhaustion sets in and their diaries are still almost empty, they start to wonder if this career is really for them.
The problem with the ‘cast the net wide’ approach to marketing is that, in your efforts to serve everyone, you’ll end up serving no one! While it is tempting to think that everyone needs your services, in reality, working off this assumption will invariably take you down what I call the path of ‘no paying clients ’.
It’s a costly mistake – I should know, I took this approach in the first two years of my business before I wised up and niched down.
Once I decided to niche down to small business women entrepreneurs, who needed help with their colour and style, my business took off. My marketing efforts became effective and I started getting clients who were a perfect fit for me. I was finally enjoying my image business and making enough money to stay in business and buy the things I wanted.
This worked great for a while but I realised after a few more years that I wasn’t enjoying work as much as I used to, the clients were starting to dwindle and I just wasn’t that motivated anymore.
I had an epiphany to niche down again after another image consultant asked me if I would train her in colour. The idea really appealed to me and once I got my head around what I needed to do, I was once again excited about my work. I started my image consultant training programs in 2010 and loved working with like minded image consultants simplifying colour analysis and helping them to grow their businesses.
What I learned is that niching down/ ideal client work needs to be done routinely as we grow and change. It is usually not a one-off exercise. I had to do a similar exercise when I restarted my business after taking a break for a few years.
Ideal client work is a must if you want a profitable and fun business. While I find myself resisting doing the work, I have found that it pushes me to expand and grow. I have more fun with my clients, and they have an amazing experience because they get the best of me. Guess what they do then? They go out and recommend me to everyone they know.
In my mind, there is no option but to identify your ideal client and niche down as early as you can in your business. Have you done the work?
I am running a FREE 5-DAY IDEAL CLIENT CHALLENGE starting on 12th Aug.