Even though the styling industry has been perpetuating this notion that style consultants must work with companies to be successful, there’s sparse information that explains this stance.
I don’t completely agree because not everyone has the experience to work with companies especially as newer style consultants, which is why I recommend starting with individual clients before approaching companies for opportunities.
Start with individual clients
Let’s look at this from a baseball angle. Before an athlete can play in the major leagues, they usually play in the minor leagues first. Up and coming players don’t just spring up from nowhere and start playing with the big guys, no. In the minor leagues, they have time and coaches to develop, refine and expand their talent. They build their capacity, competence, and experience that will allow them to compete in the major leagues eventually.
The same goes for style consultants starting out. You need to focus on the minor leagues first, and these are individual clients. The major leagues are the companies. They are more complex to manage and require a level of expertise to be able to deliver the types of programs to serve them well.
Working with individuals, however, is not as complex. You are working with one person at a time, one consultation at a time. You’re able to focus on them.
The process is easier because you’re able to understand one person’s needs, challenges, and desires. At the end of a consultation, you’ll have a deeper understanding and know how to guide them to achieve their goals.
Companies are more complex
With companies, you’re dealing with a legal entity that’s made up of many individuals. You’re dealing with a large group of diverse people from various backgrounds and with different needs. It’s not just one person you’re guiding. You’ll have to figure out each need and juggle them all.
When you don’t have sufficient experience, you can feel overwhelmed and worse still, provide a sub-standard service because you weren’t able to understand and cater to the company’s vision.
As you work with individuals, use that time to develop your business knowledge, so you know how the company makes money, sets strategies and defines a successful training program.
People introduce you to companies
One of the best ways to get opportunities to work with businesses is through your individual clients. If you form relationships with them and learn more about them, you’ll find that more often than not, they are employees in companies. So if you take care of them exceptionally well, they’ll become your best advocate to recommend you to their employer.
Plus, your individual clients help you understand why your services and programs will be valuable. They can tell you how the company makes money and which departments will benefit the most from your programs. They might even be able to introduce you to the people who can hire you for projects.
So during your individual consults always ask them questions about their places of work. The following are few questions that are worth asking:
- What company do you work for?
- What is your role or position?
- How does your role help the company to be successful?
- Is the company a service company or producer of goods?
- How long have you worked there?
- How big is the company’s revenue or employees?
- Do they conduct business internationally, regionally, or locally?
- Does the company invest in training and development of employees?
- What types of training programs are offered?
- Who decides on the kind of training programs to offer?
Learn as much as you can from your individual clients so that by the time you get an introduction to the person in charge of learning and development in the company, you’ll know the challenges and how you can help solve them. You’ll be able to convey that your primary goal is to make their company even more successful.
As you consult with each person give them your best experience, so they want to introduce you to their employer. By taking this approach, you’ll be on your way to working with companies.
To discover how to get more individual clients, sign up for my 8 Simple Steps for Stylists To Get More Clients.
To see how I create fun client experiences, sign up for my free course How To Use 20 Tools Style Pros Must Own.