5 things you can do right Now TO grow your Image Business

As more and more people are asked to stay home, flights cancelled and whole countries put on lock down, people are panicking and thinking of the devastating impact Corona virus is going to have on their business . There are ways you can minimise the impact and here are my thoughts on how you and your business can get through this difficult phase and come out the other end stronger.

  1. Take some time every day to meditate, pray, or sit quietly so you can move beyond the fear and confusion that is bound to be happening in your mind. List at least 10 things you are grateful for and 3 things that you are looking forward to. Better still, write them down. Getting your thoughts and fears down on paper will immediately start clearing the fog. Once you move past the fear and confusion, then you can see the wood for the trees and finding solutions for you business becomes easier.

I live in the space of thankfulness — and for that, I have been rewarded a million times over. I started out giving thanks for small things, and the more thankful I became, the more my bounty increased. That’s because — for sure — what you focus on expands. When you focus on the goodness in life, you create more of it.

Oprah WinFrey
  1. What have you been putting off doing because you have not had time to do it up till now? This quieter period is the perfect time to blow off the cobwebs from a project that you have been trying to get around to. This might be creating a lead magnate for a fabulous product you have, starting a newsletter or writing a blog. These activities will bring more eyes to your website and create awareness about what you do and how you can help people. These activities will also grow your subscribers list and you can let people know other ways they can benefit from your services.

  1. Go online. Do you have a free online group? Do you provide workshops on line? If not, then now is the perfect time to look into how you can do this. Lots of people will be home and they will be turning to find help online. What can you provide to help people feel better? An online colour analysis? A Colour Update? An online shopping experience? If you haven’t done this now up till now then this is your nudge from the universe to just do it.
  1. Reach out to past clients. Check in with them and see how they are feeling. How are they coping during this time? Let them know that they can pop you a message any time? Let them know about any upcoming (online) events that you have and how you can help them from home. I know many of you have online clothes and accessories side hustles; this is the perfect time to promote this side of the business.
  1. Help yourself. There is support out there and every image consultant in the world is in pretty much the same place as you right now! My Savvy Personal Stylists Online Network is my free facebook community where I support and provide training to savvy image consultants and personal stylists from all over the world.

Aside from the list above, I remind myself throughout the day that this extraordinary time will pass too. Remember to stay well and make the most of it. Corona virus will change how things are done in the world for sure. You may even be able to look back and say ‘That was the turning point in my business. That was the time I knew I had to pull up my big girls pants and get serious about making it work.’

Will that be you? Drop me a message and let me know.

The difference a year can make….

This is me exactly one year ago. This picture popped up on my instagram this morning. I know exactly where I was, as I recognise the wall behind me.

Here I am waiting in my local cafe for the participants of my colour workshop to turn up. I am feeling disappointed and hopeful in equal measures.

Disappointed because several of the participants had already cancelled that morning and hopeful because there were at least 3 who said they would be there.

I have all my props set up, my brochures distributed on every table and I am feeling the fear and doing it anyway.

The start time of the workshop has come and gone. No show. I am embarrassed and ashamed as the owner of the cafe keeps glancing from me to the door and back again.

Finally 15 mins after the start time, one of the participants comes running in. I am delighted, ashamed and grappling with what to do. Should I go ahead and run the workshop or just abandon ship?

I decided to focus and give this lovely participant the full treatment and we sat, talked, discussed colour and had a lovely cup of tea together. She did come and get her colours done afterwards.

I think this particular workshop may have been the straw that broke the camels back. I knew I had to do something very different to get the steady stream of clients I so badly wanted.

Within the next month, I had decided to take my colour analysis business online and I knew immediately that it was the right move. I was getting clients with much less effort and I wasn’t restricted to the local market. Very quickly I established a system that worked really well and send clients away delighted.

Several months later I ran my first training program and trained 5 personal stylists to conduct online colour analysis. They are out there providing this service now and sending their clients away delighted too.

Since then, more and more consultants have joined my 5 weeks to online colour training program and are learning how to take their colour and image business online.

It’s amazing what I accomplished in the last year when I look back. I am a million miles away from that disappointed and disillusioned person I was back then.

Where were you this time last year? Go back and have a look at facebook, instagram or linkedin and see how far you have come.

I’d love to know, so do pop me a message. Aileen x

Confusion and how it prevents you from getting clients

Have you ever been looking for something and got distracted?

The thing you are looking for is right there in front of you but you are distracted and you can’t see it.

I see this distraction on a daily basis when I am speaking with Image Consultants and Personal Stylists.

They are completely caught up in the technicalities of colour analysis and have themselves utterly befuddled. I get messages like this frequently :

Dear Aileen! Could you help me a bit? I have problems to differentiate between light and soft summer. And sometimes if somebody has brown hair and brown eyes and they are a summer, they look the same. Are they cool or soft? Do you have any suggestion how to differentiate? I have also learned a method with 24 categories of colour, I know colour analysis is not about being exact but I would like to have more info from the practical side.

Confused Colour consultant

Do you think this type of confusion is preventing you from getting clients?

I think it is.

You know why? Because if you are caught up in these small technicalities and wondering why and researching about them, then you are not focusing on getting clients in the door and helping them.

Having a steady flow of clients is a full time job and requires very clear focus. Worrying about the small details of getting it perfect is holding you back. I see it every day.

Aileen Lane, Business Coach To Image Consultants

I designed my Colour Analysis Made simple program to address the technicalities of colour analysis and to simplify it so that you can stop fussing about getting it right and spend more time doing colour analysis for your clients.

What is stopping you getting out of your own way and having more clients?

If its worrying about getting it right, then my Colour Analysis Made Simple Program will solve this problem for you.

How I tamed my less than flattering Patterned dress

One of our jobs as image consultants is to help clients make less than flattering clothing work for them where we can. I thought I’d use a recent purchase of mine as an example of how I would do this.

The minute I saw this dress, I loved the print even though the colours were not ideal. Print in general is tricky for me, unless it is very subtle. I tend to look better in solid colours.

I went ahead and purchased it anyway ’cause you only live once and I loved it.

It arrived by post yesterday and indeed the colours are not for me but I love the shape and the print so I will be keeping it.

Here is what I plan to do to rein the pattern in and make it work for a Summer girl with a neat hourglass shape ( figure of eight).

  1. I will add a fitted navy jacket so that there is a solid flattering colour up near my face. The fitted jacket is slimming and will showcase my small and high waist. The fitted layer will ensure that the flare of the pleats start lower down on my body which is much more flattering for a figure of eight.
  2. I will be adding a slim belt in a coordinating colour to the jacket to balance all the detail on the skirt and to further emphasise one of the smaller parts of my body.
  3. I plan to add a heavier sandal in a nude tone to balance the weight added by the jacket and belt in upper part of the outfit.

So you can see, it can be easy to style an item to make it work for you.

I think the essential thing to keep in mind is that the shape of the dress much be flattering for your figure. That bit is pretty non- negotiable.

Would you be able to wear this dress?

How would you style it to make it work for your colouring and body shape?

Jack of all trades, master of none

Are you a Jack of all trades but master of none?

Many image consultants are trained in colour, style, wardrobe and personal shopping. You provide all these services to everyone- men, women, corporations – anyone who is interested. You take this approach because you want to get experience and clients.

The thought process is that, if I cast my net wide, I will surely get lots of clients.

You have probably invested a lot of money in training, left a well-paid job and took a huge leap of faith to start your business. You work long hours spreading the word about your style services and marketing yourself despite the fear of rejection and judgement. Passion keeps you going for the first year or so but when exhaustion sets in and your diary is still almost empty, you start to wonder if this career is really for you.

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 24th Feb 2020. It’s a great opportunity to evaluate your ideal client and niche down if you are ready.