Before you waste time registering for every social media platform you think your ideal clients use, attending seminars on how to write a business plan or purchasing certificates that promise corporate clients, get clear on your ‘why.’
It starts with you
Often, we look outside of ourselves to figure out what type of individuals we’d like to have as clients. Trust me; that’s a more costly approach.
Discovering your ideal client starts with you as the entrepreneur.
Plan to schedule a date with yourself to sit down and figure out why you want to become a style professional, be it a personal stylist, a personal shopper, an image consultant, a fashion consultant, or whatever title you’d like to call yourself.
By becoming clear on your purpose and vision, your target clients will emerge.
To help you identify who you want to serve, I reserved the entire first module of the new online course Launch and Grow Your Style Consult Business to guide your self-discovery.
So what are your intentions? What’s the driving force that makes you want to become a style professional? In the simplest terms, our industry is all about helping other people look and feel confident. So why is it important for you to help other people look and feel confident?
Discovering my own ‘why’
I grew up in Nigeria for most of my childhood. I was raised in a culture that’s very expressive and visual. The culture appreciates different colors, patterns, and textures. That’s how we express ourselves. That’s how we communicate, demonstrate our values, and convey our aspirations.
How a person appears and presents themselves is part of the language of the culture from which they originate.
Fast-forward to my grown-up years in the United States where I worked for an insurance company for 11 years. On the one hand, I was confused by the mixed messages between my cultural identity and the work dress code.
The workplace with its black, gray and navy lacked the expressiveness that I loved. Everything that I associated with looking and feeling confident did not appear to fit the setting where I worked.
Even though I had the competence, ability, and experience to be successful in my role and I craved the expressiveness. That part of me was not going to just disappear. At times I felt like a part of me didn’t belong. Eventually, I experienced somewhat of an emotional, personal, cultural identity crisis.
I desperately wanted to be myself and still belong.
How was I going to bring myself to work and still be the best me without being expressive? How was I going to be truly me and still respect the expectations of my workplace?
And guess what? As I looked around, I realized I wasn’t the only one who had this issue of wanting to be expressive and while working in an office environment.
That moment of realization was the beginning of me finding out my ‘why.’
I realized there were other people just like me, who came from different environments that were not cosmopolitan and whose parents didn’t have white collar jobs. Some of them grew up on a farm, in a small town, or in another country. And now here they were in a big city, with big jobs while trying to figure out how to maintain that sense of who they are as a person.
Those were my people. Those were the people I wanted to help because I could relate to them on a personal level. I knew exactly what they were going through. I felt their deepest struggles, and I wanted to help them.
That’s why I started ImageCube. I wanted to speak to these individuals, to help them stay true to who they were and at the same time, guide them in a way that allowed them to stay true to themselves while also supporting the companies that employed them.
There has to be a meeting place where both parties, the company and the employees, feel respected and valued. That’s my space. And that’s how I figured out who to target.
It didn’t happen when I went out and looked for these people. My ‘why’ emerged when I looked within myself as I was identifying what attracted me to this career.
In all honesty, being clear on your ‘why’ is the single most powerful gift you can give yourself. That clarity will fuel the success of your business. It will become easier to articulate your message so that it resonates with your audience, to create programs around their biggest needs and to provide value that encourages them to send you referral clients.
What’s your ‘why’?
On many occasions, I’ve talked about the powerful effects of journaling. Only you know why you want to be a style professional. Building a successful business can be a long and challenging endeavor, but the journey is much easier when the ‘why’ is clear.
You’re able to stay focused and not get distracted, or even worse, quit, because you know why you became a style pro and why it’s important to you and to the people you’re serving.
I encourage you to begin your exploration in a journal–even if you’ve already started your business-building journey. For a deeper dive and more guided exploration, join me at Launch and Grow Your Style Consult Business.