In some industries like broadcasting and fashion, personal image speaks volumes. Although your academic qualifications will secure you several interviews, your physical appearance, behavior and communication skills will determine whether you get the job or not. Image consultants are the professionals who help people to achieve the look they need to meet their goals.
1. What Do Image Consultants Do?
- Interviewing clients to gather information about their occupations, as well as image preferences
- Analyzing client’s skin tone, hair color, figure, eye color and other physical aspects
- Advising clients on what they should do to create a fabulous impression – this involves advising them on the style of clothes that can improve their appearance (they can even pre-shop for them)
- Referring clients to make-up artists, beauticians, fashion stylists and plastic surgeons who can help them achieve the desired image
- Coaching clients on how to present themselves in public or at private events (etiquette consultations)
- Staying abreast of trends in clothing, make-up artistry and other relevant fields
- Marketing their services to potential clients.
Although many image consultants don’t specialize, some choose to work exclusively with women, men or teens. It is also important to note that some image consultants also help businesses improve their public or online image, but that is primarily the work of brand identity designers or brand managers.
2. Work Environment
Image consultants typically work from 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday, but they regularly adjust their schedules to meet client’s needs. This means evening and weekend work is common. Consultants who work part-time may have irregular schedules.
Although established images consultants have private offices, they often hit the road to meet clients in their residences or workplaces.
According to Indeed, image consultants in the US earn an average annual salary of $51,000.
4. Entry Requirements
There are no set academic requirements for becoming an image consultant. If you have a good sense of style and color, and a high level of commercial awareness, you stand a good chance of breaking into the image consulting industry.
But to give yourself the best chance, it is strongly advisable to pursue relevant post-secondary training. The City College of San Francisco in California, for example, offers a certificate program in fashion image consulting that will equip you with the knowledge of figure analysis, color, and wardrobe selection. Other schools offering image consulting courses include:
- Skyline College, California
- Fashion Institute of Technology, New York.
You can also get started with an associate degree in cosmetology.
5. Important Qualities
To be a competent image consultant, you need:
- A good sense of style and color
- A polished, professional look (to be credible)
- Strong analytical skills
- Strong people skills
- Strong communication skills
- A strong visual sense
- Good business skills
- A good level of creativity
- Good networking skills to develop contacts with other industry professionals like make-up artists
- Good customer-service skills
- Good computer skills
6. Career Advancement
After getting started as an image consultant, it is important to engage in continuing education activities. This will help you broaden you professional knowledge, as well as your skillset.
The Association of Image Consultants International (AICI) should be your one stop shop for continuing education or professional development resources. As AICI’s member, you will gain access to webinars, teleclasses and industry publications.
AICI also offers the Certified Image Professional and Certified Image Master designations, which you should obtain to demonstrate your competence to potential employers or clients.
7. Job Opportunities
Although many image consultants are self-employed or work part-time, you can find a full-time job in established image consulting agencies.
With vast experience and a solid reputation, you can be contracted by large corporate firms to provide image consulting services to their employees.
Success Tip: Be sure to create a blog or website for your business, and network with event planners, wedding consultants and other professionals who can refer clients to you.
See Also: How to Become a Fashion Consultant
Finally, politicians, corporate professionals, professional speakers and media personalities are becoming more conscious about their image. In addition, singles looking to jump into the competitive dating scene need an attractive personal image. With an increasing number of clients, there is little doubt imaging consulting is a profitable profession.
So if you love working with people, and you would love to make a positive difference in their lives, then you could become a successful image consultant.