Admittedly the daunting thought of self-employment is scary enough at the best of times, let alone trying to establish yourself during times of crisis. I am writing this to instil confidence and regain positivity that it can be achieved, why? Because I am living proof. Back in November I decided to take the leap from employment to career independency, to use all I have learned over the years and comprise it into marketing my skills to the brands I love and have passion for. By dissecting your skills and talents it enables you to focus on what you are good at and what you can bring to the table for brands in need of guidance, starting firstly with outlining each and every meaningful and relational partnership you have ever made, then identifying their needs, wants and goals. Specifically, in the luxury sector it is a very small circle, so by previously maintaining healthy and beneficial relationships it will grant you access above your competitors in the future. Becoming accountable for achieving a brands exposure and voice in the market is no easy feat, so ensuring you have a fantastic and trustworthy network, international exposure and market credibility you will thrive. Getting started, this is certainly the hardest part, becoming a consultant means self-motivation is your life’s calling, early mornings, late nights and some serious need for creativity and ingenuity. However, if you have connected the dots in your little black book and can see why and how you bring a need and value to your clients, then signing up the monthly retainer is the simple part. Having worked in various different sectors of the luxury industry I have gained access to a whole host of meaningful brands, however, being selective in your choice of brands/clients to work with is crucial, choose the sector you have accomplished the most knowledge and leverageable relationships, not the sector that is the most glamorous or pays the highest. Market your skills, don’t market to sell. I previously discussed how selling behaviours are becoming the quickest way to lose at a new business pitch, you can read more here. If you are looking to work with an established brand or brining a brand to market, outlining your core objectives and process mapping is vital. The luxury market, is it certainly a different ball game than that of the conventional one, so your reliability here and exclusive know how and know who will be your best achievement.
Many luxury brands pass 50% of mainstream audiences under the radar, why? This is due to the profile of the consumer, it is tiny percentage of the globe who represent the luxury purchase market, specifically in my sectors of interest, aviation, yachting and prime real estate. Capturing these audiences is a strategy in itself, procuring market research and a media plan that is direct to the luxury consumer is a lengthy process, usually high net worth audiences and their purchases take longer to secure than others, due to the scalability and mastery of the project, it is the same of that in the brand building process, and remember it is not a one-size fits all approach. It is crucial you are able to offer unique exposure, this could be through identifying and establishing relationships with some of the most read luxury sector publications or by looking into innovative tech developments that you believe can set your brand apart. Like with most things people assimilate with statutory companies, so having previously developed relationships with the most luxurious brands in the market in a diverse range of sectors, will make it easier down the line to reel in effective partnerships and useful press exposure. Once you have built trust and can prove your reliability, deliver, I can’t express this enough if you are a consultant, you are your own boss, brand and representative so ensure the project you take on is something you have analysed and have absolute ability and resources to scale. The luxury industry is reliant on a small market as previously mentioned, so comprising experiential event partnerships in actionable locations will ensure you are visible to your key consumer. By developing a global media outreach that will increase your brands/client’s exposure you can then on-board opportunities such as securing top-tier coverage, key influencers and digital advertisement. Presence at specific luxury events is also crucial, dependant on your brands sector and actionable landscape, plan accordingly. Such events like yacht shows, Grand Prix’s and luxury conventions get you access to your desired high net worth audience in one location, so maximise these opportunities. Understanding the market is a necessity for any business, but as a consultant being ahead of the curve is the only thing between you and the next person, so network purposefully, engage with competitor audiences and ensure you are present at the places that really matter, expressing your market knowledge to the right individual could grant you your next client win! (Mine was on-board a flight midway to Singapore in the lounge bar) Lastly, help where needed, if new connections or clients are asking for a favour or a recommendation, give it to them. Being egocentric and selfish will get you no-where, you are now in a position where your employment is reliant solely on you, showing people you can help in introducing them to another brand or connection, or assisting in gaining them access somewhere will reward you further down the line.