Mallory Sills is a Chicago-based personal stylist and Fashion Styling tutor at QC Makeup Academy. Today, Mallory gives insightful advice to those working with shy clients for the first time!
Becoming a fashion stylist can lead an incredibly rewarding (and fun) career. It sounds pretty glamorous, right? Dressing people for a living…what’s not to love about that?! Although there are some glamorous aspects to working as a personal stylist, it’s not all glitz and glam. There’s a lot of real, hard work involved in building a career as a fashion stylist.
Of course, part of making it as a successful stylist requires you to, well…make money! That may seem obvious, but knowing how to price your services is crucial to you making real income as a stylist. The profession’s range of income is wide, which tends to cause a lot of confusion for new stylists. So today, I’m going help you get clarity on pricing your services!
Here’s everything you need to consider when pricing your business services!
Do Competitive and Geographic Research
Chances are, there are other personal fashion stylists in your geographic region. Doing a little research on your local competitors is a great way to determine how you should price your services. If your competitors all offer a similar price point, it’s likely because that’s a successful rate to charge for styling services. However, you’ll want to keep in mind that the other stylists in your region may have been in the industry for longer.
Bonus tip: If you live in an area where there aren’t any personal fashion stylists (yet), refer to a region similar to yours in cost of living and average household income. Find out what stylists are charging in that region and use that as a reference point!
Pictured here: QC Fashion Styling tutor Mallory Sills
Speaking of which, you’ll want to look at the average household income and price points for related services in your city anyways. These are great sources of useful information, including how much people are willing to spend for your services. Keep in mind that stylist rates vary significantly from city to city. For example, the rates a stylist in New York City charges will be vastly different from the rates of a stylist servicing Milwaukee.
When first starting out, give yourself room to grow your rates. As you gain more confidence and experience in the field, use the competitor price points merely as a reference point.
Narrow Down Your Services
New stylists tend to fall into the trap of offering every single service they can imagine to maximize income. While it’s great to provide different ways to help clients, it can cause a lot of confusion, especially when it comes to pricing.
To avoid this, try to narrow down your services and avoid including services that overlap. Not only will it help you to better price your services but it will also make hiring you much easier for potential clients.
Don’t Over Complicate Your Pricing Structure
The truth is, if your pricing structure is overly complicated, it can scare potential clients. It’ll confuse them and, honestly, even confuse you at times! It’s essential to make your pricing as simple as possible. Typically stylists charge hourly rates, have package options, or a combination of the two.
If you opt for hourly rates, it’s best to have that rate consistent for all your services. Avoid charging one price for closet auditing and a completely different price for personal shopping, for example. When your hourly rates are different for every service, potential clients find it difficult to estimate what the final costs will be. Make it as easy and clear as possible for potential clients to know what to expect when it comes to payments.
Avoid Giving Too Many Discounts
When you first start your fashion styling career, it’ll take some time to build your confidence in how you price your services. We all want to find fashion clients who are as excited and ready to work with us as we are them. You’re not alone. It’s common to feel like you have to offer new clients a discount to get them to hire you.
It can be a nice bonus to offer a promotion every once in a while, but it can also be a slippery slope if you discount your services too often. The problem with always leading with discounts is that clients may expect you to ALWAYS discount your services. Aside from that impacting your income, it can also lead to you attracting customers for the wrong reasons.
This isn’t to say to never offer promotional discounts on your services. But make sure you don’t overdo it so you don’t end up broke!