What we wish we’d known before becoming Personal Stylists
People decide to become Personal Stylists for lots of reasons, but however our Personal Stylist Community members got into it, there are things they wish they’d known before starting, and we’re going to share our collective advice here to give you a genuine insight into the life of the people who chose to make their love of clothes work for them.
1. This is a biggie – It’s not just about the clothes…….
There are a lot of training providers out there training people to become Personal Stylists but whilst the technical skills are really important, we think that there are a whole host of other things that are important to understand when you are working in people’s wardrobes or helping them create outfits they love. Founder Emmeline Stevens has almost 15 years of experience working in the fashion industry and says:
‘I wish I knew how much emotional trauma other women keep hidden inside their wardrobes (and their own minds when it comes to their bodies) before I started out. It would have guided me to learn more about people/mindset/body dysmorphia etc at an earlier stage than I did, a lot of it started with direct experience and learning from the client – which is a good lesson and natural progress for most things but if I knew more about this in my training, I would have felt more confident entering a stranger’s wardrobe rather than thinking it was ‘just about the clothes’.
Emmeline’s experience isn’t unique – so many of our stylists talk emotionally about the women and men they work with and the impact their clothes have had on them for so long and the power of helping them feel empowered by embracing their style personality and understanding and accepting their body shape as they learn varied ways to dress it. Personal Stylist Penny Gunter echoes Emmeline’s thoughts:
‘As a stylist, you need to have a brilliant listening ear and a lot of empathy. Clients can find their way to you after all sorts of life experiences, and part of the “come back “is working on their style and how they present themselves to the world – it’s so much more than the clothes and why I love what I do so much. There is nothing more rewarding than seeing the transformation and spring in a client’s step when they put on an outfit that makes them feel “wow”. We use the phrase “look good feel good” a great deal. In my experience it really is true.’
We’ve brought our understanding of all of this into our training courses, using our experience to share valuable insights into how to support clients with their own individual worries, challenges and aspirations. We also bring the client experience to life in our Personal Styling Course by bringing real clients into the personal shopping day so that everyone can build their experience in a safe environment as they put their learning about colour, body shape and style personality into practice. Check out our courses here.
2. You can build your business as a side hustle before leaving your job.
Lots of people don’t realise that it’s totally ok to build your skills in a side hustle, learning new skills and honing them while building your audience before making a leap into a full-time career. So many people take this route into self-employment and it makes perfect sense and can give you breathing space to grow while still earning your salary – in fact, lots of people who train with us do so in their own time or by taking holiday from work.
3. There’s enough room for everyone.
Yes, you will have competition, but just look how many types of bread are on the supermarket and bakery shelves – everyone wants something slightly different and even more versions of bread seem to appear every week, and they all have their own ideal customer. The trick is making sure you know who you want to help or work best with, and who should be choosing you over another stylist and why. So…getting really clear on who your ideal client is so that you can make sure that you connect with them through your marketing. And if you ever wonder whether Personal Styling is a long-term career, just look back at Personal Trainers – ten years ago, they were for the rich and famous and very few other people and today there are accessible and used by a huge number of people. Personal Styling is on a similar journey with more and more people using them every year!
4. Marketing doesn’t have to be scary!
It’s something lots of new Personal Stylists worry about but getting your head around marketing is like learning any other new skill. Marketing is all about getting in front of your ideal clients and connecting with them authentically and with clear calls to action and ways to access your services. We recognise how important it is that you feel confident in this area and so our Personal Stylist course includes a Business Development Module for that exact reason. We also have marketing support available through workshops delivered by experts with experience in the Styling Industry in our Members Community along with Power Hours and a supportive Facebook Group so you can ask questions to at any time. We also store previous workshop sessions for anyone who wants to catch up on them when they join or when they need specific help and membership options that include one to one mentoring or coaching with people who have genuine expertise in growing Personal Stylist businesses so you never have to feel alone learning how to do something new.
5. Social media can be really powerful – but the trick is knowing which platform does what!
We’d recommend following accounts that you find engaging and see how they do things. This coupled with setting up your accounts and looking at what functionality is available can really help you build your audience and hit the ground running when you are ready to. Each platform has its own strengths and again, this is something we support Personal Stylists with in our Members Community where there are over 80 members and a host of experts ready to answer any questions you have so that you can avoid the ‘trial and error’ approach and feel confident in how to maximise your opportunities.
6. It is worth it…even if some day feel tougher than others.
Kath Floyd sums up how many of us feel when she says…
‘I wish I had learnt how time consuming running my own business could be, and I wish I’d known to keep some personal time for myself too…but if you have the passion and the drive it will all be worth it!’
We know just how overwhelming things can feel and so we’ve recently shared video sessions on time saving and productivity, including tutorials on various tools to help our members create a business that works for them. We couldn’t agree with Kath more about taking downtime too – most people become self employed for a better work life balance – and we’d always recommend including your own self-care and relaxation as a priority on your to do list.
7. If we’ve learned anything over the last 18 months, it’s that we can’t control everything – we need to be adaptable.
But truth be told, the world never sits still and so we need to be able to adapt rather than try to control the uncontrollable as Kath reflects:
‘The biggest thing for me, as someone who is used to be being in control, is learning how not to be in control e.g. some days all the best laid plans can go wrong and you need to be prepared for that.’
When all the shops closed and we couldn’t meet face to face with clients, we adapted – we let go of the way we’ve always done things and created new ways. Our Training for Virtual Styling courses were developed in response to changing customer behaviours and on-line becoming so much more accepted and even preferred by so many. Our virtual courses include processes and templates to make sure that anyone using them can be confident that they can deliver exceptional service online, future-proofing your business and also creating the opportunity to work with clients outside of your travel remit – a massive win for growing a business!
7. Finding your community can make the whole thing easier, more successful and more fun.
Having access to a community where you can ask for help, support and guidance can make a massive difference – as our members tell us all the time about our Personal Stylist Community.
Belonging to this members community has been an absolute godsend this year, offering constant learning and support and meeting the most amazing group of ladies. If you are considering starting your journey as a personal stylist, I highly recommend having a chat with Emmeline.
You don’t have to do it all alone – in fact, you were never meant to and finding the right community can make it all so much clearer. Most business owners waste more hours than they should searching online for information to help them with their business but struggling to connect it to their specific product or service. Our members have access to specifically tailored support and content and a group of people who take the guesswork out because they understand your sector and focus on it when working with you to help you accelerate your learning and growth.
We hope that this has been an interesting read for you whether you are already a Personal Stylist, have a plan to become one or just had your interest piqued by the title of this blog.
If you ever want a chat about anything we offer to find out whether it’s right for you and your journey (and don’t worry, we’ll never use any heavy sales tactics or advise you to buy anything that isn’t the right fit), you can book a call with Emmeline below…
FANCY SOME MORE READING?
Browse our latest three blogs here, and catch up with the brilliant guests we’ve sat down with to talk about Body Confidence, Transformations and much, much more!
13th January 2022
1st December 2021
3rd November 2021
30th September 2021