Flavilla Fongang, founder of international training academy '3 Colours Rule' shares her top tips with budding stylists for making it in the fashion industry.
1. Find your niche market
Choosing your niche is the most important element of successfully launching your career in fashion. When I launched my business I wanted to style everyone (men styling, women styling and even commercial styling) but it didn’t work.
By doing so I didn’t really connect with my audience. Plus, I also stretched myself thin. I was not getting enough experience to be seen as an expert by potential clients and key influencers.
However when you choose a niche market, you automatically set yourself apart and start getting noticed. I decided to focus on styling women in their 30s only. You can also choose to target a specific ethnicity: black women for example, celebrities, models only, etc.
Focus on building the right experience to get and build a portfolio that will attract the right audience for you. Always keep your audience in mind and showcase a work they can identify to.
2. Keep up to date with fashion trends
To successfully build your career in fashion, you must remain aware of the latest fashion trends in New York, Paris, London, and Milan. They are the most influential fashion capitals.
It’s important as it gives you the confidence to talk with your clients and partners about the next Spring/Summer fashion trends in Paris or the next Autumn/Winter fashion trends in London. Fashion trends are a great source of inspiration, especially when you want to create looks for individual clients or for commercial projects.
3. Do your own marketing
The best way to do your own marketing is with a good website or blog with useful information, resources, and your profile with photo, links, articles, blogs, widgets, and other useful tools which can benefit your audience. If you already have a website, make sure to have a blog page and post regularly.
4. Post a lot of content
For example, you can post articles about fashion events, fashion trends, brands you love, the styles you wear or outfit ideas. The more outfits you can create the more popular you become and get noticed by brands. If you want to work with luxury brands, demonstrate the versatility of their collection and your sense of creativity. Brands will certainly notice it.
5. Create a story to attract media attention
One of the biggest challenges you face when you launch your career is getting press exposure for your business. You know how great you are and you just want the media to know and write about you. In addition, you don’t have the budget of large companies who can spend thousands of pounds.
Unfortunately, the launch of your business or announcement of your new career is not great news. So what can you do about it? Think like a journalist. What they want is a great story not common information they regularly get. So help them write a story their readers will enjoy.
6. Network like your life depends on it
Networking is an important part of running your career. A lot of people hate it. Personally I love it as you never know who you will meet and this is exciting. You can network face to face or on online platforms on social platforms and forums.
Whether you like it or not, you have to network because no one can make it alone and you need people to support you and your business. Networking allows you to meet your future clients and partners.
7. Get experience assisting the best fashion professionals in their field
Getting work experience is an important part of becoming successful and getting paid for what you want. The best way to do it is to look for people who have established themselves in the market like experienced fashion stylists, photographers and designers.
8. Reach as many potential clients as possible
Launching your fashion career is not easy and requires various skills. You consistently have to showcase your skills and expertise to attract new potential clients. You have to consistently innovate to showcase your creativity. Consistently look for other businesses with the same target market, like boutiques, make-up artists, hairstylists, designers and beauticians.
9. Be persistent
Remember, hard work always pays off. The more effort you put in what you do to get noticed (social media, creating outfits, partnerships, business proposals, promotions), the more you increase your chances to succeed. Being successful requires certain attributes – tenacity, positivity, creativity, confidence, courage and of course persistence.
10. Learn from any knock backs
Manage your expectations and expect to deal with difficult situations. Good and bad experiences are always an occasion to learn and grow. Opportunities more than often are disguised in the shape of hard work.