Professional Color Consultant, owner of Spiral Design Color Consulting, and QC Design School tutor Christina Kittelstad is a force to be reckoned with. With over 18 years of experience, Christina is the go-to guru for advice on building and advancing a career in the color consulting industry.
Last month, Christina took to Facebook to give advice on finding and retaining color consultant clients. If you missed it, don’t worry! Here’s a recap of the first part of her webinar!
Market your business
Be clear and be visible! How can clients hire you if they can’t find you? You’d be surprised just how many people are actively looking for your specific services. But many color consultants fly under the radar and don’t outright offer these services visibly to those seeking them! Christina really urges you to make yourself available by investing in your brand. Having a polished and professional online presence is a great way to get started.
Your professional website
A great website can be built on WordPress for a small fee. It gives you templates that allow you to build a website without having to hire an expensive graphic or web designer! You don’t even need to know coding to do this yourself.
Your website should show…
- A short biography introducing yourself and the services you offer.
- An online portfolio showcasing your specific design style with before and after photos. It should show off your strengths and the types of projects you love working on.
- Client reviews.
- Clear contact information.
Embracing social media
This is a huge part of modern marketing! Platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, etc.—you should try them all! But if you feel overwhelmed, it’s okay to focus on just one or two at the beginning. Start with platforms that cater best to your audience. You probably have a good idea of the sites you receive the most traffic from and have the most active followers on.
Keep your profile descriptions simple but descriptive. You want visitors to get a sense of who you are, what you do, and what you offer at a glance. Christina also points out that you should always include a call to action!
What’s a call to action, you ask? It’s a command that begs them to take action. Examples include: “Schedule a consultation today!” or “Email me for more information!”
SEO: Search Engine Optimization
Ensure that your website, social media accounts, and Google listings are all updated. Again, if your clients can’t find you, they can’t hire you! You want potential clients who conduct a search in your area to be able to find you at the top of the list. You don’t have too much time to capture their attention, so you want information about your services to be readily available online.
Know Your Ideal Client
You must know who you want to work with so you can properly market towards them. When you’re realistic about who will hire you, you’ll be able to target your marketing tactics successfully. But it’s more than just presenting yourself ideally. You should also think about who you enjoy working with! What types of clients do you love working with? What sorts of projects are you happiest and most excited about?
Christina personally loves working with clients on medium to small projects so she can dedicate more time and resources towards fulfilling their goals. With more chances to be creative, she also can collaborate with her clients – right down to the details. It’s not always possible from client to client, but it’s super important to know what gives you personal satisfaction on the job!
Get out there and talk to people! This is a critical step when you’re first starting out. Christina’s closest business partners are local painters and paint companies. Her contacts at companies like Sherwin-Williams are priceless to her! Whenever she has a project, they’ll always be there to help her and her client by setting up all the color tools she needs. So don’t overlook these companies! They may seem intimidating, but just knowing one person can get the wheels turning for a longer and thriving business relationship.
When building your preferred vendors list, don’t forget about preferred painters. Christina’s preferred painters are those who offer affordable services while delivering top-notch results and reliability. Beyond that, look for painters who are client-oriented and provide great customer service. When you’re referring them, they become an extension of your reputation and image as a color consultant. Refer them to painters you trust and who you know will take care of your clients as well as you do.
Painters need color consultants as much as you need them! You’re a great marketing tool for them when they’re trying to get a contract signed for a paint job. You’ll also gain clients through them, so it’s a win-win.
Other contacts worth networking with include: real estate agents, home builders, home stagers, architectural firms, and interior designers. You can meet a variety of people from different fields at trade shows, conferences, and design events. You’ll be able to get a feel of current design trends and see what’s happening in the industry. Everything you learn at these events, you can bring back as resources to help your business and your clients.
Pro Tip: Bring your business card to hand out to everyone you meet at industry events!