Career in Image Consulting
Tag and Catherine Goulet
You might have seen them while watching TV shows
such as Extreme Makeover or What Not to Wear.
Or you might have heard that Martha Stewart
needed them to give her advice on how to look
sympathetic to a jury.
We're talking about Image Consultants, and
they have one of the hottest new businesses
Also known by such titles as wardrobe consultant,
fashion stylist, or makeover consultant, image
consultants are paid to show people how to create
a fabulous impression. They might recommend
wearing different colors or new styles, go through
closets to toss out clothing that isn't working,
shop for a new wardrobe, and put together incredible
outfits. They might advise a change of hairstyle,
makeup, or grooming.
However, image is more than physical appearance.
In addition to how someone looks, image consultants
also form impressions based on how someone talks
and behaves. So image consultants may also advise
people on their vocal communication (voice,
grammar, vocabulary, etc.), non-verbal communication
(handshakes, posture, eye contact, etc.) and
etiquette - from dining to cell phones.
Most image consultants also develop a network
of strategic partners they can refer clients
to, such as hair stylists, makeup artists, nutritionists,
dentists, personal trainers, plastic surgeons,
and voice coaches.
Image consultants offer the kind of advice
that can help people land a job, get a promotion,
find someone to love, or just feel good about
It's no wonder they are so well rewarded, typically
earning at least $50 per hour advising individuals
how to present a better image. A particularly
lucrative avenue is presenting training programs
for corporations. Image consultants can earn
thousands of dollars a day teaching seminars
on dressing professionally (including dos and
don'ts for casual Fridays), telephone etiquette
for customer service staff, communication skills
for new supervisors, and other topics.
TIP: If you are one of the rare few who think
image doesn't matter, try shopping at a fine
store dressed in what you would normally wear
to clean your basement or move furniture. Then
visit the same store looking well-groomed and
wearing your best suit. Chances are the staff
will treat you quite differently!
Getting Started in Image Consulting
The first step to becoming an image consultant
is to decide what type of services you want
to offer. You could specialize in wardrobe or
fashion consulting, offer advice on communication
skills and etiquette, or be a makeover consultant
who gives feedback on "the whole package."
The next step is to get some experience. While
there are a variety of books and training programs
you can use to quickly learn the basics, nothing
beats hands-on experience. Offer free makeovers
for friends and family members who will agree
to let you take "before and after"
photos. You can then put the photos in a portfolio
or on a web site to help you get paying clients.
There are many types of clients who use the
services of image consultants, including: women
who want a new look, job-seekers, corporate
executives and their spouses, beauty pageant
contestants, lawyers and their clients, cancer
survivors, television personalities, politicians,
and singles seeking a partner.
"It is a great time to get into the field,"
says celebrity image consultant Gloria Starr.
A 20-year industry veteran, she shares expert
advice on how to get started in the FabJob.com
Guide to Becoming an Image Consultant.
"This is the busiest time in my 20-plus
years. People are looking for the edge in business,"
says Starr. "Presenting themselves for
success by dressing well and using appropriate
business and dining skills opens the doors for
greater recognition and success."
Is Image Consulting the Right Career for You?
Skills that can help you succeed in this career
are a strong visual sense as well as excellent
communication skills. You must be able to diplomatically
tell someone what they need to improve about
Image consulting is a service business so it
doesn't require a large investment to get started.
You can start part-time while working at another
Remember, to be credible, you must have a professional
Based on the FabJob.com Guide to Becoming
an Image Consultant. The complete guide offers
detailed information about how you can break
into this career and get hired as an image consulting.
It is available online through http://www.FabJob.com/imageconsultant.asp