As part of their graduate project students are surveyed about their existing business. They give permission to share their projects and, because they are working consultants, we share their surveys here so potential students can get a birds eye view into the field itself. This week Dana Kuznar responds:
What is your niche? (who are your target clients, what specialty do you consult on):
My niche is the average, everyday woman who's never developed her own personal style, and/or has made changes (example: weight gain/loss, lifestyle change) that make her old style no longer "fit." I also like to educate young women (teens) on appropriate dress and makeup that's classy but still young and fun.
What do you like the most about image consulting/ fashion styling?
I love when a woman's outer image finally matches who she feels she is on the inside. It's a moment of blossoming, and her natural beauty just shines.
What do you like the least about your image consulting work?
Because I live in a rural area, I least like the distance and time needed for the best shopping, networking, salons and other services. I'll also have to drive over an hour to see most of my clients.
What is one of the biggest challenges you have had as a small business owner?
Right now I'm transitioning from being a paid employee to owning my own business. I think that transition is the hardest of all. Not only the logistics of it, but just the mindset of owning my own time and my own future. It's exciting and liberating, but kind of scary, too.
What is a highlight of owning your own business?
I love working and always have. The best part of owning my own business is getting to dream, plan, execute and the get all the rewards of my hard work. The harder I work, the better I'll do financially, and when I deserve a raise, I'll give myself one. Also - I own my own time. If I want to hit the gym every day at 10am, I will.
Do you think Image Consultants need to market themselves?
Absolutely. Most people don't even know that image consultants exist - or what they do, for that matter. Honestly, I don't know that many people know the value of their image.
How should they market themselves? What has worked well for you?
A web presence, absolutely. Also, network with stylists, manicurists, nutritionists, gym owners and trainers. Social media is huge (connect wherever one can). Also, get on style chat forums and join the conversation. Carry business cards and, when the gal behind you compliments your blouse, hand her one with, "I know a blouse that would fantastic on you. Let me know if you're interested."
What have you done to promote your business and generate more clients?
Response: See the last question. (Am still getting started, so haven't yet done all these things.)
A few words of advice for new Image Consultants.
I think it's important to know that every woman is beautiful in a unique way. It's our job to bring out her beauty by using the tools of our trade. The most important thing we do is to help someone become her best self. Keep learning, keep listening, and look at every woman with the intent of showcasing her beauty.
Any regrets or mistakes you made that you would like to share?
I just regret getting started on this so late in life (age 50)!
Response: Dana Kuznar @ Colored With Style
Thank you Dana for sharing your experience with us!