announcing new live training for image consultants

Should you increase your colour and style prices?

July 27th, 2014 by Kim Bolsover

Back in 1999 I started running my first small group workshops in colour and style. It had only taken me 19 years to realise this could be a great add-on to my 1-1 consultations. Doh!

I also spent the summer and autumn of that year re-training in colour, make-up, style, men’s image, corporate image, and how to build a profitable business.

My image trainer and mentor nearly had apoplexy when I told him that I was only charging £17 GBP (approx. $29 USD) per person for a two-hour workshop for 6 people.

“Have you had many takers so far?” he asked.

“Not really,” I replied. “I’ve been advertising them for about 6 months and managed two workshops with 4 people each. Do you think I’m charging too much?”

He took a deep breath, looked me straight in the eye, and said in a very low voice, “Put your prices up immediately, Kim. You are cheapening the entire industry, and also the value of what you offer your clients.”

That moment changed my business forever

That moment, the look on his face, his words and how he said them, changed my business forever.

With total trepidation, I immediately put my fee up to £22 GBP (approx. $37 USD) per person. It felt like a huge increase to me and I was absolutely convinced that no-one would book at that price.

But I was wrong.

  • Within a few days, I had 4 workshops for 6 people booked in my diary.
  • My happy clients told their friends. They wanted more workshops for themselves on different subjects. They kept coming back for more.
  • One month later, under my mentor’s careful guidance, I put the fee up again to £35 GBP ($60 USD).
  • And still they kept booking…

Within three months of being told to stop playing small, and putting prices up again to £45 GBP ($76 USD), I had increased my fees by over 260%.

And the results?

Instead of earning a paltry £102 GBP ($173 USD) for 3 – 4 hours’ work, I was now earning £270 GBP ($458 USD) for the same time investment.

And because of my new-found confidence that I could easily fill my diary, my mentor encouraged me to deliver far better content and service in my workshops.

So it was hardly surprising that the number of workshop clients who went on to book a 1-1 consultation went from zero to around 40%.

That’s a pretty healthy conversion rate, even if I say so myself!

Within just a few short months of changing my prices and my attitude, I had enough bookings and confidence to be able to:

  • recoup the investment I’d made to work with my training and business mentor
  • pay for a fabulous holiday in Canada that we will never forget
  • reduce my day job from 5 to 2 days a week!


There’s more!

All this extra time then allowed me to take on more colour and style customers, which increased my income again.

It also gave me the time to learn how to expand my business and revenues in other ways.


are you playing small?

Are you playing small?

Don’t forget, this was 24 years ago, so don’t start comparing my figures above to your current rates!

But I know there are consultants out there still offering workshops and 1-1 consultations at miserably-low 1999 prices.

Stop it right now!

Put your prices up.


Want my help to play bigger?

I couldn’t have made these changes by myself.

And neither can you.

None of us are meant to do anything on our own. We’re all meant to work together. The only way I turned my business around was by working with a business mentor – someone who:

  • could be objective and look at me and my business from the outside
  • had been where I’d been and knew how bad it felt
  • had turned it around themselves
  • could suggest ideas I would probably never think of myself
  • made me be accountable (or else!)
  • encouraged and supported me

I can offer you all this and more, because I have run my own colour and style consultancy so I can help you with the core skills, as well as the business ones you need to turn your own business around.

Where to start

Take a look at the schedule of training courses I’m offering this summer and autumn.

If you want more details, including fees, and venue, I’ll discuss those with you on a no-obligation call via phone or Skype.

Even if there’s nothing there that catches your eye straight away, let’s talk.

I’m here to help.

A true light-bulb moment

July 24th, 2014 by Kim Bolsover

“Dear Kim, I am having a workshop / posh shed / sunhouse built and was wondering about lighting. I noticed you have the natural daylight bulbs in the wholesale catalogue. The posh shed will be 16” long x 8”depth with a pent roof so no obvious place to put lighting. I did have two very old American daylight diffused lights that I clipped onto the mirror. One has broken and replacing them is not really possible (very old)! All I have considered so far is a moveable double-striplight with 2-3 daylight bulbs in. I would appreciate suggestions.” Petunia, UK

Dear Petunia,

I have never used daylight bulbs.

Many years ago when I first started in this wonderful image business, I learned that daylight bulbs had been invented purely for glass cabinet displays.

They were never intended to replicate true daylight for, say, personal image purposes.

That’s why we had to come up with ways around this.

Waste of energy

There was a time when I would only do colour analyses during daylight hours which, during a typical UK winter, would often only yield a few hours each day.

And consequently I used to refuse bookings in the evenings – what a waste of time and energy – if you’ll pardon the pun!

A true light-bulb moment

Thankfully I soon met my first image mentor who totally blew the lid on this when he told me,

“Unless our colour & style customers live in the desert, they have to go shopping for clothes in department stores, shops and boutiques where the lighting bears no resemblance to daylight whatsoever. It is our job to show them how to shop for clothes in any light source, and at any hour of the day or night.”

Ah, blessed relief!

This made so much sense to me and took away all the daft anxiety I’d been feeling.

I put mirrors in every room in my home. After deciding on my client’s best drapes, I would take her on a tour of the house, looking in mirrors in different light sources.

We would also take a hand mirror outside to check for any differences.

I found this made more sense to the client because it gave her a real experience of checking colours in conditions more similar to shopping, and we all had much more fun moving around.

But this isn’t about me

So if working in natural light (or as near as damn it) is important to the way you work, then…

Things have changed now so you may find a plethora of alternative light bulbs out there. Crafters of all kinds need good lighting for close-up work so craft suppliers may be a good place to start. Google is a great place to start looking too.

If you find anything that proves to be really good for you, let me know and I can pass this on to other image consultants too!