Last week one of our style mentors, Julia Browning, talked about her journey to finding the right pricing structure for her, her market, and her business. We are so appreciative of Julia’s candor on this topic because it is the number one reason personal stylists reach out to us for help regardless of how long they’ve been in business. Here’s what we’ve found: it’s very common for personal stylists to love the creative aspect of their career but they aren’t always as comfortable with pricing their services. That’s where we come in. Today we’re going to share what we’ve consistently seen as the biggest area stylists struggle with when they price their personal styling services.
In a service based industry it’s pretty standard to charge hourly. And that’s what most personal stylist that join a Paid Stylist program are doing when they come to us. We totally understand the logic behind this decision: it’s easy for your client to know what you charge for your time.
But here’s what a lot of personal stylists forget when they price their services on an hourly basis: your client is interested in both the results they will get when they work with you and the cost of your service.
Charging hourly, without a clear outline of what you’re going to be delivering within a specific span of time, means that clients can easily assume they can’t afford your services. Many of the stylists we work with don't have what is considered a high hourly rate for their geographical area (or even a rate they can live off of) but they lose business opportunities because it’s easy for a client to assume they need a lot of help when they are overwhelmed.
For example, say you have a prospective client - let's call her Amanda - with two overflowing closets that she needs help getting under control. Given that Amanda's a bit overwhelmed by the size of the challenge, she's likely to overestimate how much time it will take you, the experienced professional. Now if she multiplies your published hourly rate by her inflated time estimate, the total price is likely to place you far outside her price range. So how do we break through that misleading assumption that cost you Amanda's business?
We think you need to put yourself in her shoes and be sure you're not only giving her a clear price but also a clear description of the results she can expect.