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Businesses seeking to update their image may call upon an image consultant to train staff in business etiquette, increase confidence levels, offer advice on professional dress or improve communication and presentation skills.
An image consultant advises on all aspects of personal presentation, including appearance, body language, public speaking, dress and etiquette. Image consultants conduct individual consultations in order to identify a tailor-made solution to suit each client.
The majority of image consultants are self-employed and work from home or on a mobile basis; however, some are employed by agencies. The services offered vary, but often include colour and style analysis, public speaking coaching, a wardrobe review and make-up application sessions.
The rise in this type of personal service is partly due to an increase in lifestyle-orientated TV programs. Shows such as 'What Not To Wear', together with rising levels of disposable income and consumer obsession with celebrity lifestyle, are encouraging more consumers to invest in personal improvement.
Executives and wealthy individuals often seek the services of an image consultant. Well-documented celebrity use of image consultancy ensures that the service is perceived as exclusive and luxurious. However, it is becoming a more affordable service for both men and woman wanting to improve their self-image.
Professional women with long working hours and little free time for shopping may employ an image consultant to help them maintain a groomed personal appearance amid a hectic schedule.
People in the public eye, such as politicians, and those who continually have to face the media, may be keen to improve their presentation and public speaking skills.
For any corporation it is very important to create a distinct image in the market. This is known as Corporate Image which distinguishes the corporation from its competitors and provides a picture of it to the general public. It depicts the principles, beliefs, productivity of the company. This image is responsible for increasing the sales of the product and to achieve brand equity. Corporate image creation is a strenuous and time consuming process and is carried out by experts qualifying in perception management. Basically, the creation involves marketing experts who used various kinds of promotion methods and public relations. Since this image is targeted to attract the customers it should be highly appealing. Besides the marketing experts critics play an important role too.
The name of the corporation and its catch line should reflect its belief like Wal-Mart, which says that it sells for less. A logo should also be designed accordingly. Like the corporation FedEx has an arrow incorporated in its logo which depicts its fast and efficient service. Once the image is created by the corporation the next step is advertising and product distribution in the market. Like if the corporation creates luxury products, they should rope in big names in the advertising experts and the models to be featured in these ads should be super stars. Likewise, they should not distribute their products to every other store; instead they should target more hi-fi malls. Time to time, advertising and branding budget should be reviewed to cut down on cost and to be in-sync with the technology. This also helps in revamping the corporate image according to the fast changing demands of the consumer.
Testimonies of news papers, magazines, and labor union can deteriorate a well-created corporate image. Simplest of controversies can be exaggerated by the media and spoil the name of the company. Controversies are born by the interference of organizations related to environment, religion, crime, politics, education and charity. Government, too, is another powerful and influential organization by itself.
Once the corporate image is created, it should be retained. It should not be like here today and gone tomorrow. This image should be reflected in all the brands and product line of the corporation. Even if one of the products isn’t up to the mark, it will lead to confusion among the consumers and will hit the sales of the company. Like recently there was controversy about a particular contact lens solution of a company. It was supposed to be infecting the users with a rare disease. This not only affected the sales revenue of that particular product but also made the customers think and raise question about the authenticity of other products of that particular company.
Another company’s products had hidden non-vegetarian ingredient in a vegetarian product. This led to the decrease of trust among the customers. In such a case the company should either advertise itself as a company selling non-vegetarian food or it should invest in promoting the company as vegetarian by introducing more vegetarian products. So the image of each individual product of the company makes up for the complete image of the corporation. And last but not the least, the image should be very realistic, truly representing its values and should leave a personal touch with the consumers.
Personal Image Consultants
Ever wondered if you looked good enough for a party or for work? Ever wondered if there was a better look that could work for you? Is there anyone out there that could help you out? Look no further and be thankful because there are people out there doing just this for people who have no idea how to look good, these people are called "image consultants."
You might have spotted these people on TV in shows like Extreme Makeover, Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, or Ambush makeover. Or you might have heard of Tim Gunn and his ultimate style guide and how he changes a person's life in one week. This is what image consultants do for a living and by doing what they do they make the world a better place to look at.
They are known by many names and aliases—some of these titles are fashion consultant, wardrobe stylist, or lifestyle consultant. What ever you call them they do one thing in general and people pay them to show people how to make a fabulous impression. They do this by making people experiment and mix and match styles that would look good on them.
On the other hand, when we talk about image, we are talking more about the physical appearance. Aside from the physical side and outlook of a person image consultancy also develops a person's character. Some image consultants also talk to their clients about how they communicate to people and how they deliver their words. Aside form verbal communication they also talk to people about gestures, facial expressions and etiquette. All of these are done so that the client will be able to feel good about himself or she who is the primary goal of image consultancy.
Most image consultants also build up an association of strategic partners they can pass on clients to, such as, makeup artists, nutritionists, dentists, plastic surgeons, voice coaches, hair stylists, and personal trainers.
Image consultants present the type of advice that can assist people land a career, get a promotion, find an important person to be in love with, or just feel good about themselves.
It’s no question they are so well satisfied, normally bringing in no less than $90 per hour advising folks how to present a superior image. A predominantly well-paid avenue is presenting schooling programs for corporations. Image consultants can receive thousands of dollars a day educating on seminars on dressing professionally (including dos and don’ts for casual Fridays), telephone manners for customer service personnel, communication skills for new supervisors, and other topics.
If you are one of the exceptional few who believe image doesn’t matter, try shopping at a superior store fully clad in what you would generally wear to clean your basement or move furniture. Then stopover the same stores looking well groomed and wearing your finest suit.
The most important thing about being an image consultant is to decide on what kind of services you would like to offer. Think of which field you would like to specialize, it could be in wardrobe or fashion consulting, you could also go into the line of offering advises on communication skills and etiquette, or be a makeover consultant who provides feedback on “the whole package.”
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Choosing an Image Consultant
Image consultants are not only for celebrities and politicians. All people need an image consultant especially if they are starting their careers in the corporate world or if they badly need to look into their image at work. This is especially true if their line of work is one where they have to meet a lot of people or have to speak to a large audience.
Image consultants are also not only hired for people. They also take care of products and companies, whose tattered reputation need some immediate fixing. They will often be paid for a specific number of months where they will execute their plans that will bring about the change in image.
Changes may be in the form of appearance and reputation. Image consultants will usually focus on changing the hair, the makeup and the way that a person carries herself. They will also teach their clients basic grooming habits as well as dressing techniques that they will need to stand out in the crowd.
Another area of responsibility is their reputation and how people outside see them. This can include press releases in newspapers for people who have images to keep in the public or those with positions in the government. Even celebrities also need to keep a squeaky clean image if they want to stay long in the business.
With your reputation and your appearance in the hands of one person, it is important that choose the one that will truly help you transform yourself. Below are some of the things that you should consider when choosing an image consultant.
- Credentials - There is no school for people who work as image consultants. Most have become image consultants because of their experience in the field and their connection. So when choosing an image consultant, education is not really important. If they have certificates in grooming, make-up and even basic manners, they will have an edge but everything is basically based on the experience.
- Track Record - When choosing an image consultant make sure that they have sufficient experience in the job. This is especially true if you need a really major makeover. If you can, look into their previous track records and see how their clients have been transformed. Chances are, they will be doing the same to you.
- Clients - The kinds of clients that an image consultant has will say a lot in the field where he and she is an expert and will also determine the level of competency and experience that he has. For instance, if their clients are big names in the industry, chances are they are good at their job and have worked for a certain number of years. This however will also mean that they will be asking for a bigger fee, which is actually the next consideration.
- Price tag - Hiring an image consultant is actually not cheap. Hired only for month or two, they will be asking a lot not only in terms of their professional fee but also for the expenses that they will be incurring when you change your image: wardrobe, salon, spam, etc. So before, you even decide to hire one, make sure that you can actually afford the image consultant. Otherwise, just ask for the advice of those close to you.
What Makes a Good Image Consultant
The motto of an image consultant is that each person they work with to ultimately feel truly confident, be their own individuals and succeed in the things that they want in life. To achieve this they have to know the total image consultation method. This method scientifically analyses the needs and look that suits a person. For an image consultant to make a total makeover for their clients, they need to master their skills when it comes to:
- Color analysis. This method focuses on the colors and the hues that would look good on a person's skin tone, hair color and even eye color. Defining the colors and hues that will make you natural colorings that will come alive in different circumstances is one of the most important things in a makeover. Because of this you would not have to experiment on colors that would not look god on you. Setting the right tone at the right circumstances is important to make you feel confident about the dress you are wearing one of the hardest things to do is to wear dark colors when light colors would be more comfortable on the color of your skin. Courses that include this in their curriculum would be very beneficial to any aspiring image consultant.
- Bodyline and style analysis. This method talks about the kinds of cut and designs that would make the natural assets of a person and flatter the body. It also involves the choosing the right wardrobe for the client that they have. They say that that best piece of wardrobe that you could own is the one specifically made for your body. Image consultant courses that include this in their program are the ones that aspiring makeover geniuses should consider. Because no matter what you do you can't change your bone structure and you can't cheat you curves and lines.
- Personal branding. For some people, this might sound weird but it completes the cycle of method in that image consultants need to master. By definition, personal branding is how to make the person's personal style and look come out and get noticed. For image consultants to become effective, personal branding is important because if this makes their potential clients look good and bring out the individuality and personality of different types of people.
A good image consultant must know that every single person has their own style that they can call as their own, even is sometimes the style that we sport makes us look trying to hard. The combination of color matching, analyzing style and physical attributes, along with personal branding is what makes image consultants effective in bringing out the best in people.
Becoming An Image Consultant
Imagine having an exciting high-paying job showing people and companies how to make a fabulous impression. Welcome to the world of image consulting!
“Image” is the way other people see us. It influences whether people will agree to our requests, hire us, and pay us the salary we want.
As an image consultant, you can give people advice that will help them achieve what they want – whether it is to get a new job, to make a good impression, or simply to feel good about themselves.
To help people make a better impression, you might give feedback and help them improve their overall image, specific aspects of their physical appearance (wardrobe, colors, hairstyle, etc.), or their vocal or non-verbal communication.
You might work with women who want a new look, beauty pageant contestants, lawyers and their clients, cancer survivors, television personalities, transgender individuals, spouses of executives, politicians, or singles seeking a partner. You might also be hired by corporate clients to work with executives, or even earn up to thousands of dollars per day to present training programs.
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