In my 12 twelve years of running an image consulting business, I have come across several myths of what an image consultant does, and hope to debunk these once and for all in this article.
They Give You a Makeover
Often, the term ‘makeover’ is mistaken for a ‘make-up, hairdo, and photography’ session only. I get many requests for just that, and I patiently explain that the ‘makeover’ I provide is not a ‘once-off’ event, but a lifelong set of skills that will eventually result in a real makeover. A professional image consultant helps you to transform from the inside-out, and in a holistic way instead of just a physical change.
They Take You Shopping
If you wish to pay someone to just take you shopping, you go to a personal shopper. These people may be fashion-savvy or know about style, but may not necessarily be trained in the field of personal image. A qualified image professional is someone who equips you with the tools to project your best qualities, and dress appropriately for your work or lifestyle. They can take you shopping, but only after consulting with you on what will suit you best.
They Ask You to Change Your Whole Wardrobe
Wardrobe review is one of the things an image consulting does, but they don’t simply tell you to throw out your old clothes and buy new ones! You may see this in Reality TV Shows, but it is not what happens in reality! In fact, a good image consultant will do their best to salvage the clothes you don’t wear, and find exciting new ways to maximize the workable items in your wardrobe. They help you to save time and money to create a wardrobe that works for your image.
They Focus on First Impressions
We all know first impressions are important, but it is the lasting impressions that matter more. If your consultant merely focuses on your outward appearance, and not relate this to your overall development in your communication or behavior, you may have missed the point about the importance of personal branding. A trained and qualified image consultant will work with you to create a branding that gives a positive lasting impression.
In summary, when you hire an image consultant, do check that they have the relevant training and certification. As a professional, they should also be recognized by an industry association, and have expertise in the three aspects of appearance, behavior and communication.