This question is posed to me once a week on average. While the industry has grown substantially since I have been involved it is not yet a household term. At the start of my career ten years ago, I was met mostly with puzzled faces when I said I was starting an image consulting business. Today, it is usually only clarification and correction that is needed.
Image consultants are in the communications business. It’s about perception, self-presentation and disseminating messages. Many of us operate with a wide variety of services in order build and manage the images of our clients. The scope is everything from styling and shopping to coaching on etiquette, body language and presentations skills. Some of us even deal with public image and the associated marketing and PR strategies. The objective is to advance the position of the individual or corporation. This may mean building brand equity for the person or company in the public eye or it may mean helping someone to acquire the relationship or new job they want.
The industry is credible and substantial. Image consultants can achieve internationally recognized certification to demonstrate ability, experience and credibility. My practice is based in Toronto but there are many opportunities to work with clients in other cities. I do travel throughout the year and I am proud to call many of the world’s top image consultants my colleagues and friends. We share information and constantly attend special events and courses so that we remain aware of new techniques as well as ever evolving cultures.
In my opinion, your image consultant should look at the big picture of your life and future directions. Once I have done this for a client, I identify strategies and tactics that apply to the top objectives. Then, it’s time to dive in and get you where you want to go. It might be a head to toe makeover, a small style adjustment or a plan to shape your image in the public eye. Whatever the case may be, you’ve gained a trusted advisor and consultant who is objective and invested in your personal and professional success!