How To Know When Your Ideal Client Changes

January 20, 2016


When you’ve been in business for a few years, it’s not unusual to notice that you start to lose your enthusiasm and motivation. Often when these feelings show up, it’s a sign that it's time to reevaluate your ideal client. Changing who you serve can be an overwhelming thought but not making a change can cause you to feel unhappy, stuck, and unsure of whether to continue as a business owner and personal stylist. What a lot of personal stylist don’t recognize is that changing your target market is a natural byproduct of growth. Sometimes that growth is professional. Other times it’s personal. Most of the time, it’s a combination of both. One thing it's certainly not is a sign of failure.


Below are some of the most common struggles personal stylists who join our Committed Program experience before deciding to change the market they serve.


Hint #1: You’re tired a lot and (maybe a little) apathetic when you’re working.

There will always be things we don’t love but still have to do as business owners. Taxes and paperwork come to mind. However, the majority of personal stylists come alive when we’re working one-on-one with our clients and most of us agree that it’s the best part of our job. If you are starting to feel consistently less energetic when you’re with your clients, it could be because the market and lifestyles you're currently serving do not resonate with you any longer.


Hint #2: You’re unable to serve your clients needs without constantly revising how you deliver your services.

After working as a personal stylist for a while you may start to attract clients who need a different set of styling services because they have a different lifestyle than the clients you typically serve. Often these new clients have styling needs that aren't a great fit with your established services. If you enjoy working with these new clients, but find yourself having to change your existing styling process to meet their needs and efficiently deliver your services, it could be time to change your services to better serve this client. Key indicators of this type of client are clients with big budgets that can’t be spent wisely in one shopping trip and clients with extremely busy and stressful lifestyles that make shopping together difficult.


Hint #3: Your professional and personal goals have changed.

This is one of the most common indicators that it might be time to change your market. What’s tricky in this case is that since your internal desires are driving the change, it’s easy to get trapped into thinking that you need to work harder instead of smarter to resolve this tension. Often working smarter means working with a new market that allows you to honor these internal changes. For example, maybe you want to go from personal styling full-time to part-time because you've just experienced a life change, like having a baby. Or, maybe you don't want to work nights and weekends anymore. If that’s the case, it's a good idea to start to find and attract clients with the type of lifestyle that allows you to take nights and weekends off.


These are just a few examples that we see working with stylists who have established personal styling businesses. If you’re struggling with any of these scenarios, or with business burnout in general, we can help.


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