Many people have high aspirations for their careers and for their personal lives. But many find themselves falling short of their goals, even though they have the education and experience needed to succeed. Can you relate to that? What is holding them back? What unknown factor is holding you back?
For many people, the answer is simple, yet unexpected: it’s their image.
It might not seem appropriate, but the truth is that people are always judging you by your physical appearance, grooming, hygiene, fashion sense, behaviors and communication ability. Your job skills, work experience, character and talent alone are not sufficient to guarantee success in your career, your business or in your personal life.
Everything else might be in place, but if your image is sending the wrong message, you will continue struggling to make progress toward your goals.
This is where an image consultant can come into play to help you put your best foot forward in all situations. So if you have an upcoming job interview, acting audition, blind date – or even a political election – coming up soon, seek out the help of an experienced image consulting to give yourself an extra edge over your competitors.
What Do Image Consultants Do?
An image consultant will help you make the best impression possible by coaching you on your appearance, non-verbal behaviors and communication skills. While some image consultants will help you in all of these areas at once, others may specialize in a single, focused aspect of your image such as your work attire, grooming, hair and makeup choices, color coordination or public speaking ability.
But these folks are not merely hairstylists, makeup artists and personal shoppers. While many of them will be able to perform these services for you themselves, others may act in a purely consultative manner while bringing in a team to help execute their suggestions.
Your consultant might take you on a shopping trip to help you properly size your clothing and choose colors that work with your skin, eye and hair color.
They might meet with you once a year or once a week to help you overhaul your entire wardrobe. Or they might have you practice your speaking skills, hand gestures and facial expressions to help you make a stronger connection when speaking to an audience or with your clients, your superiors and your direct reports.
There are many different ways that your image consultant can help you, and different consultants might give you different insightful tips. So it is often a good idea to test out different consultants to find one who is a good fit for you before investing in long-term services.
Who Do They Help?
Image consultants work with a wide variety of clients in business, politics, entertainment and community service. Since all people consciously and unconsciously make judgments about others based on their appearance and mannerisms, just about anyone can benefit by working with an image consultant to improve their appearance, style, communication, etiquette and social behaviors.
Celebrities and leaders in any setting and any industry can benefit by hiring an image consultant. Here are just a few examples:
- Sales executives
- Business managers
But image consultants don’t only help people who are trying to advance in their careers and make more money. They can also help people who struggle with interpersonal relationships and would like to create more friendships and have a more meaningful love life. Sometimes all you need to attract a good match into your life is to work on expressing yourself a little more freely and confidently through your fashion, cosmetic and style choices. Hiring a good image consultant can help you present yourself in the best possible light while staying true to yourself, your values and your interests.
How Do I Go About Hiring an Image Consultant?
Hiring an image consultant might not be as easy as you’d think. There are many people out there offering personal services in this field, and many of them are well-qualified to help you transform your image for the better. But many self-proclaimed gurus are not worth your time and money.
Don’t just hire the first person you come across to give your entire life a makeover. Try out at least two or three different consultants to find one who is a good match for your needs. Also, avoid the one-size-fits-all, cookie-cutter consultants.
Make sure that your style coach truly understands your personality and your personal and professional goals and can give you customized advice that works for you. You won’t get that from a group class, a video series or a blogger who lives on the other side of the world. Meet with someone in person for an in-home introductory session and then take it from there.
How Can I Become One Myself?
If you want to become an image consultant, different routes can lead you toward a successful career. And while a degree is not strictly required, formal training from an accredited institution such as London Image Institute is a must for anyone serious about this career path. This can take several years as there are multiple layers of accreditation and training, even if you’re just specializing in one particular niche. If you want to be legit, you’ve got to put in the work by taking both basic and advanced courses.
Some freelance image coaches start simply by reading blogs and watching videos, and then they put up a website and start selling their services. And there will be plenty of people who will tell you that this is all you need. But passion, creativity and a desire to help people usually aren’t enough to set you apart in this competitive field. You do want to get in-depth training to be successful. If you want to be a professional consultant, you need to take this career just as seriously as you would any other profession. Don’t just try to wing it.
Image consultation is a fascinating field that provides helpful services to a wide variety of clients in both their professional and personal lives. If you are interested in hiring someone to help you advance your career or to reinvent your personal style, consider the tips above when choosing a consultant or team of consultants who will best be able to help you reach your goals.