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.

Being An Image Consultant; Big Questions Answered.

Image Consultant

I was interviewed recently about being a coach to image consultants and personal stylists. Here are the questions I was asked and my very honest answers.

Q. I understand that you are an image consultant business coach. Can you tell me more about that?

A. Yes, I help image consultants and personal stylists take their image business online, get more clients and be financially independent. I do this through online group training programs. I help consultants take their colour analysis business and their styling business online.

Q. Did you start off with a niche proposition or did you start broader and refine down when you found what the ‘sweet spot’ was in terms of clients? 

A. I was much wider when I started out as an iamge consultant offering everything to everyone but I only really started making money when I got really specific. Its a scary step because it feels counter-intuitive but now I know its the only way to go as you can be super focused and clear in your message and people get what you do and how you can help them much faster.

Q. Do you find that it gives you enough variety? 

A. Yes, I have more than enough variety, as along with working with colour, I have to run a business. That provides more than enough variety!

Q. Do you ever find conflicts of interest, given some of your image consultant clients will undoubtedly be competing with each other, or at least will view each other as competition? 

A. I don’t believe any of us image consultants have competition if we work at what we love and show up as ourselves. I have built a community of consultants who trust and support each other. I have seen no competition within my group so far only comraderie and support.

Q. What is the best and worst thing about your role as an image consultant coach? 

A. Mindset is the biggest challenge as you are continually required to be open and grow and learn from your mistakes as an entrepreneur. You have to keep moving forward despite the fear, despite the criticism, despite everyone not loving you or what you do.

Q. I can see you previously worked in the corporate world (as I do now) – what was the biggest or most challenging part of the transition into self-employment as an image consultant? 

A. I was young and passionate and clueless when I left corporate and to be honest the biggest fear was letting go of the big pay cheque. I was very ready to break free so I just too a chance and did it. The mind will try to stop you to keep you safe. It goes back to mindset again. This will be your greatest challenge so work on this everyday. My biggest influencers have been Tony Robbins, Eckhart Tolle, Denise Duffield Thomas, Susan Jeffries and more recently Marie Forleo.

Why ‘Getting Your Colours Done’ Now is not FRIVOLOUS!

I have been hearing that image consultants and personal stylists are feeling quite ‘icky’ talking about and promoting their colour, style and wardrobe services because of the much bigger and more serious issues going on around the world at the moment.

I think now more than ever, colour, joy and anything that lifts peoples spirits is badly needed. Additionally ‘getting your colours done’ is an investment in yourself, your career, your family and one of the best things you can do for the planet. Now, that doesn’t sound one bit frivolous to me.

Here are 6 reasons why I think colour analysis is a fun and important investment in yourself:

  1. Your skin, hair and eyes radiate health when you wear the right colours and you get to wear less makeup to look fantastic. How is that for a saving in money and time right there?
  2. You spend far less time and energy shopping when you know your perfect colours. You can walk into a shop and walk past the majority of whats in there and go straight to the colours that light you up.
  3. Imagine how much you will love your wardrobe, when you look inside and know that every single colour in there suits you and every colour in there works with every other colour. Think how much stress you will be saving yourself every morning when putting your outfits together.
  4. Knowing your colours is one of the most Eco friendly things you can do because when you know your best colours and you buy only those, you will wear your clothes to death. You will also be able to make the most of shopping in thrift stores and be able to pick and chose pre-loved items in colours that make you look fantastic. How sustainable is that for you?
  5. How often have you come away from the hair salon with a less than flattering colour after paying through your nose for baby fine highlights? Imagine being able to tell the hair colourist exactly what you want. Should you be asking for a cool or warm base colour? A bright or a muted colour? What is your best level of contrast? All this information is part of a routine online or inhouse colour analysis and all for less than what you would pay for one or two trips to the hair salon to get your highlights done!
  6. Colour and colour contrast play a key part in looking professional and put together. Do you know your best level of contrast in the clothes you wear? Do you know how to elevate that level of contrast when your are required to look more professional, confident or authoritative?

As image consultants we know that getting our colours done is life-changing. For gods sake, its probably one of the main reasons we decided to become image consultants in the first place. Now is the time to go out there and share our gift with others and show them how ‘Getting their Colours Done’ is one of the best investments they will ever make both personally and professionally. And did I say how much fun it is?

So what have I missed? Do you have any other compelling reasons why someone should book in with you for a colour analysis right now?

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