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.

You did it! You decided to take the leap and become a color consultant. You’ve done the work, received professional color consultant training and are ready to do what you love!

Do you feel equally excited and anxious? Are you wondering if you’re truly ready to be a color consultant professional? Let me ease your mind. You ARE ready, but there are some rookie mistakes that all color consultants make. Don’t fret! With a little planning and focus, these mistakes can easily be avoided.

Let’s dive into them!

Mistake #1: Working Alone

If you want people to know about you and the amazing color services you offer, you must network. It really is that simple. Every color consultant needs to connect with potential business partners, mentors, suppliers, and other consultants. At the very least, you need to reach out to your local painters and discuss partnership opportunities.

two chairs with interior decor that has a pop of color

Networking will generate potential business partnerships, new projects and a support system. It’s an opportunity to cultivate important relationships while staying on top of current industry trends. If networking scares you, think of it as an opportunity for you to practice discussing your services in a professional and concise way. Eventually, you’ll be able to easily and effortlessly speak with any potential client!

Be brave enough to stand out. Ask questions and learn from others who have knowledge to share with you. Connect online, join design groups, attend events or volunteer. Who knows, you might actually have fun doing it—don’t forget those business cards!

Mistake #2: Saying “Yes” To Every Project

This one is huge! When color consultants first start out, they want all the clients,  projects, and opportunities. While it’s exciting to explore your possibilities, this is a surefire way to burn out!

To ensure you bring your best to your business, get specific! Who do you really enjoy working with? What type of client fits with your unique skill set and design style? Focus on that client and don’t stress about the rest.

The projects you do receive will be much more successful because of your focus. Knowing your ideal client allows you to say “yes” to clients more easily when you know they’re a perfect fit, and to say “no” when they are not. You cannot please everyone, but you can thoroughly impress your ideal clients, and they will refer you.

Color swatches in hands of professional color consultant

Mistake #3: Undercharging for Your Color Consulting Services

You’ve had a few successful clients so far. You’re nervous that other seasoned color consultants have more experience than you, yet you really want clients to say yes to working with you. Rookie color consultants tend to undercharge and over-promise. Big mistake!

Lack of confidence will kill a project faster than anything else. Own your skillset and charge accordingly. You must recognize the value that only your unique skill set and style can offer.

Research and compare what other local color consultants are charging for their services. Use that information to create a fee structure you can be confident in. Before starting any project, ensure your clients sign an iron-clad, one-page contract. This will prevent any issues or resentment that can pop up on a project, and you will be motivated to always go above and beyond.

When a rookie color consultant wants a project to be successful, they tend to say “yes” to client requests, even when they are unreasonable. Instead, they should be saying “no” or negotiating a higher or additional fee. Owning your process and setting up projects to meet your needs while going beyond your client’s expectations creates a win-win outcome, every time!

Color coordinated couch with throw blanket and painting

Mistake #4: Not Marketing Your Design Business Seriously

Finding new clients and amazing color projects requires taking marketing seriously. Rookie color consultants don’t pay enough attention to this! Make the time. Spend the money. Get the data!

Create a marketing budget however small, and find out where your ideal clients are spending their time. Don’t underestimate the power of social media as an important marketing tool. Focusing a marketing campaign on social media is extremely important, whether it’s using videos, posts, blogs, or groups to spread the word. Clients will rarely come to you, so you must go to them.

Think like your clients and consider what they want. What gets them excited? What’s important to them? Stand out of the crowd rather than trying to fit in. Do YOU! If you’re consistent with your marketing campaign, you will be successful.

interior design portfolio with color services

Do What You Do Best

Today is the perfect day to make a plan for your business that will help you become successful in the many years to come. By giving some attention to the points above, you can avoid these rookie mistakes, and save so much time and money. Remember why you decided to become a color consultant and don’t forget to enjoy your work. Your clients will notice, and every project will be a raving success!

What other rookie mistakes did we miss? Let us know in a comment!

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