Are You Making This Mistake In your Image consulting business?

I just caught myself sitting back and admiring how far I have come in my business!🤣🤣🤣

I don’t always feel like this, but today I noticed that I have come a long way.

Its been about 2 years since I have gotten really clear on my ideal client and what problem I solve for her.

It’s been 2 years of:

  • Showing up every day on social media so you know I’m out there;
  • Creating new programs and training to help you take your colour and styling services online so that you can get more clients today;
  • Helping you in my training & support groups in every way I can so that you get working online during this crazy time.

There is no ambiguity around who I help or how I help. That’s how clear and persistent, you need to be.

Getting your message out there does not happen overnight but once you are clear on who it is you serve and the problem you are solving for them then the way becomes less torturous.

Yet, I see consultants skip this step this step, time and time again.

Its drives me crazy!!😖😖😖

I ask myself- Why don’t they figure it out? Why are they trying to appeal to everyone? Why don’t they make the one investment in their business that could make a difference?

It seems obvious to me – finding out exactly who it is you serve and how exactly (and practically!) you serve them is THE FIRST STEP before investing in anything else.

That’s why I spend so much time on this step in my Savvy Stylists Business Academy. Its the foundation for everything else we create in there – Your Business Plan, Your Offer, Your Program Curriculum & Materials, Your Lead Generation System and Your Marketing Plan. Without knowing who your ideal client is, I would say it is impossible to create these items.

Anyways, rant over. I have it out of my system for today!

If you are in business more than two years and you are still not making the kind of money you want, then my Savvy Stylists Business Academy may be exactly what you need.

You are a good candidate for this programme if…

  • You are still struggling to figure out who your ideal client is.
  • You are selling one-off low value services and have to keep getting new clients.
  • You have little or no business training and don’t know what business models could potentially work for your business.
  • You have no reliable system in place for getting leads.
  • You have no plan or strategy around marketing your services.
  • You struggle with being visible consistently on social media.
  • You don’t get enough enquiries from clients who are ready to buy.

If you’re now BEYOND ready to start having a consistent 5K/month income and getting a return on the investment of hours and money you have put into your business, then drop me a message at aileen@laneimageconsulting.com and I will send you the full details of my Savvy Stylists Business Academy.

How To Dress A Figure of EiGHT Body Shape

Figure of eight body shape or Neat Hourglass

I struggled with identifying my own figure for a long time.  I just didn’t quite fit into any of the main stream figure types of hourglass, pear, rectangle, inverted triangle or round. After much research and deliberation, the penny finally dropped when I attended a talk by Carlas Mathis, one of the top image consultants in the world and a Certified Image Master. Her book ‘ The Triumph of Individual Style‘ is the bible for many image consultants around the world. She talked about a variation of the stereotypical hourglass called the Figure of Eight body shape. The characteristic of the 8 figure are:

  • Shoulders are curved and are relatively as wide as your hips/thighs;
  • Waist is distinctly narrower then shoulders and hips/thighs (8 -10 inches smaller);
  • Weight tends to accumulate on the high hip and tummy  just below the waist (Not so much on thighs/ low hip as happens with an hourglass);
  • Small waist and sudden jut out to high hip give a shelf like appearance to the waist;
  • Waist tends to be short due to high hip – Gets shorter with weight gain as shelf gets higher;
  • Legs can be long and slim (Not always the case).

I have seen this figure type called a neat hourglass in some books. I used to think my figure type was rare but once I made the distinction, I realised it was much more common. The high hip and shelf can be found on other figures types as well as the 8.

Dressing a figure of eight:

Follow the rules for an hourglass except for the lower part of the body where the 8 does better with tapered designs in skirts and dresses.

Silouettes For Figure Of Eight

Silouettes For Figure Of Eight by aileenlane featuring a sequin top

  • Soft drapable fabrics such as knit and jersey are key to working with your cuves. Wrap dresses are great especially those with a straight or tapered skirt.
  • Sharp tailoring such as the little jacket in the 2nd outfit are great for giving definition to curve. Peplum on jacket is especially great for a figure of 8 as it accommodates the high hip.
  • Jeans/ Pants with straight to mild bootcut are best.
  • V necks and scoop necks look best on big busted 8’s.
  • Make the most of your small waist with belts (Medium scale belts that tone with your outfit will minimise shortening your waist further).
  • You can also try belting at the low hip forming a V at the front with the belt to lengthen and slim your body. This will only work with fitted tops though. Baggy does not work on an 8.
  • You can wear a longer skirt but make sure that it does not flare until the knee or lower (See outfit 4).
  • Wear shapewear such as control vests and corsets to control tummy and midriff area’s as these tend to be the area’s of concern.
  • For accessories, try bangles and earrings and avoid too much detail at the neck especially if you have a shorter neck or bigger bust.
  • Avoid tucking in tops as this will shorten your waist further; instead opt for untucked and finish the look with a belt.
  • Try light fitted layers as these will cover a multitude of sins at the midriff and create a more interesting look – See outfits 2 & 3.
  • Opt for a look that’s clean and uncluttered as fuss and frill will add bulk/ weight to this curvy frame.

If you would like to learn more about body shape and learn how to do online body shape analysis, then check out my Unstoppable Style Program here.

HOW TO TAKE YOUR STYLE CONSULTATIONS ONLINE TODAY WITHOUT SPENDING A FORTUNE IN THE PROCESS

I trained in style back in 2004 through a company in the US. It was US$5000 at the time and to say I was disappointed with what I got was an understatement.

All the information was there but I had no idea how to apply this information to a real person. There was no video training or no practical training. As you can imagine, it was pretty depressing after paying for such an expensive course.

I really just wanted something simple that I could customize for clients. I needed someone to show me exactly what to do.I didn’t know how to conduct a style consult based on what I was given.

I didn’t even know what my own body shape was and how I should dress that. No matter how much I read, I didn’t seem to fit into any of the common body categories.

There was little or no support going with the course I bought and really I didn’t even know where to start. It was so bewildering!

I was also quite proud at the time and didn’t want to admit I was clueless. There seemed to be no one to turn to.

I eventually became aware of a company that sold style guides that you could customize for your client. They did get me going doing style consults but I continued to struggle as the information that was presented in the guide often contradicted with what I thought would work for the client. There was no way to edit the guides. Additionally, it wad large and cumbersome and often caused problems when printing. So how it worked was that you bought a hard copy template (which wad bloody expensive at the time), then you plugged the clients data into a computer program which generated personalised information for the client. You would then print out the guide onto every other page on the template. Needless to say there was lots of costly mistakes. While it was the best I had, it didn’t delight the client and it left me less than excited. It put me off selling style consultations altogether.

It dawned on me quite a few times that I should create my own style guide but I felt the amount of work involved would be overwhelming and I put if off for quite a bit.

Then one fine day I just started preparing one!

It went though many revisions and I got different people to help at different stages. I got a student at one of the design universities to do all the illustrations for me and I had an admin person help me put it all together. Publishing back then was not as easy as it now.

I refined the style guide over time so that it was exactly what I wanted.

I was excited to do style consultations again.

My style guide worked really well for many years and I even ended up selling it to other consultants over the years.

Everything was going really well till I had to move my style services online.

I had to come up with a new way of working with my clients is establish what their body shape was to take body measurements without taking body measurements.

So like a lot of things I do, I just started. It wasn’t perfect but I kept working on my delivery and the consults started to be really popular and I got great feedback. My style guide works just as well online as offline.

Round about that time, I was running my 5 Week To Online Colour Expert Program for Image Consultants and lots of them were asking me for a style training.

I eventually got the time to create the program — my unstoppable style program was born. This program helps other consultants get their style consults online.

So what I have learned through the course of my style journey and creating my style training? Here are a few things that you need to consider if you are planning to take you style online:

1. If you are just starting out and considering purchasing a style course to help you get online, be sure to check what support is included. Oftentimes there is none. Just yesterday I had someone on the phone telling me this. This is also what I experienced myself in the early years.

2. If you are working online, you need to learn how to analyze a clients figure without the need to take measurements. I stopped taking measurements years ago because they often confused me rather than helping me. What we see visually is enough to be able to determine body shape, scale, face shape and any prominent features.

3. You need to simplify the style consult process as much as possible and build a consult that you really enjoy. I put off selling style for years because I just didn’t enjoy the process.

4. Stop trying to fit everything into one session. Clients on average remember 3 things you tell them. Spread the consultations out. Structure them the way you want them. How would you like to receive the information?

So there you are, everything you need to know to get started with your online style consults today. You can read more about my Unstoppable Style Training & Support Group here.

10 Easy Ways to fill your online image workshops

Working online is the new norm for us image consultants and looks like it is here to stay for the foreseeable future. Doing consultations online, does require a new set of skills. One skill you will need to learn is to fill your online colour and style programs so that you can continue to have a steady and reliable income.

Here are 10 easy ways to fill your online workshops that will have you booked solid in no time:

  1. Come up with a powerful title for your workshop that draws in your ideal client and includes the benefit they will receive from attending it. Here is a free resource that I use to come up with top titles: http://www.internetmarketingcourse.com/freeheadlinegenerator/
  2. Give yourself enough time to promote the event. 10 days before is a good time to start promoting the event.
  3. Get people to register with their email so you can follow up with them closer to the time. Zoom gives you the option to ask people to register for a webinar.
  4. Set an early bird price to encourage early registration. I have never yet met a client that doesn’t love a bargain.
  5. Use testimonials liberally showing the results you have achieved for other people. Written testimonials are great but video testimonials from previous clients are even better.
  6. Tell people exactly what they will get so and what problem you will be solving for them.
  7. Create scarcity. Is there a maximum number of participants that you can take per session? Be sure to mention this and be sure to inform people as spaces start to fill.
  8. Talk about your event every day on social media in video and in posts in the 10 days leading up to the event.
  9. Think about ways you can encourage people to invite their friends e.g. 20% discount for you, for every additional person you get to register.
  10. Make registration and payment for the event as simple and as painless as possible. Do not make people jump through loops to attend as you will lose them in the process.

With no change in the current way of working for the foreseeable future, filling your online programs will remain a daily necessity.

If you are still struggling to get your services online and/or are looking for help in creating a highly profitable online program that you can sell over and over, then drop me a message.

How to niche DOWN and grow your tribe

You have probably heard that you need to niche down if you want to make a go of your business and become an expert.

What to do though, if you love lots of things? You love colour, style, shopping, wardrobe, men, woman, corporations, teenagers, makeup parties…. The list goes on.

If you are just starting out, then its probably a good idea to try out a few things till you know what you love doing and what works for you. You need to do first and then the path will become clearer. As Marie Forleo says “Clarity comes from engagement, not thought”.

If on the other hand, you’ve been in business for a while and you are still providing the whole canoli to everyone and their mother, then its time to think about narrowing the services and products you provide so that you are operating from your zone of genius and not stretching yourself too thin.

Here are a few questions to help you start thinking about getting more specific about who you work with and what you provide:

  1. What topics bring you to life and light you up? What are you happy to spend hours researching? What questions would cause you to stay up all night to find an answer. What doesn’t seem like work? Several of the stylists I know, love to work exclusively with men but styling men leaves me cold. I have no interest. This was a clear clue that styling men was not a good fit for me. What leaves you cold? What could you stop doing today and not miss at all?

  1. Who are the people you would like to serve? You will be spending time every day interacting, training and answering questions with these people. Are they your people? Will spending time with them be comfortable and fun? I spend the majority of my time every day in the company of image consultants and personal stylists. I provide training, answer their questions and we learn together. I look forward to spending time with and interacting with my clients every day. Do you enjoy spending time with your clients?

  1. Are you making money with this service that you love or is their potential to make money in this area? Once you have decided what you actually want to do every day and who you want to do it with, you need to figure out how to make money from it. This is often where image consultants get stuck as they are rarely trained in business. These skills need to be learned in the same way as you learned how to do a colour or style analysis. Business skills do not come naturally to most people.

So if this article has got you wondering and you think you are at the stage where you need to start to consider to niche down, then my ideal client challenge is a great next step for you.

The challenge will help you niche down so that:

Your marketing efforts become way easier and more focused and you attract people who will be delighted to pay your fees.

➡ You automatically become an expert image consultant in your area as you know exactly what your client wants and needs.

➡ You speak directly to your ideal client in their language which will allow them to get to know, like, trust and buy from you quickly.