The image Industry has expanded worldwide from its start in the late 70’s and early 80’s in the US and UK when everyone had their “colors done.” Early adopter clients, rather than being mere followers of fashion, embraced the deeper notion of “personal image” and many people started hiring their own (often secret) weapon to look good, an image consultant.
These days, the influence of image consultants has become much broader. For example many of us help clients with the whole interview process from appearance to negotiation of the final package. With our support and coaching clients secure promotions, increase sales, overcome a divorce, learn to navigate unfamiliar social and business situations, get a partner and generally gain confidence. In the professional sectors, participants in our image classes realize that their image is an important element of the organizational brand. By applying the tools of appearance, behavior, customer service and communication, frontline personnel become effective representatives of the brand. Image consultants are asked to train on etiquette, professional conduct, manners and civility, presentation and communication to all levels of the company.
More recently, universities, colleges and especially MBA courses hire image consultants to prepare their students for the interview and the workplace. It is no longer sufficient to be brilliant at your technical skills or have excellent grades. Recruiters and interviewers demand excellence in professionalism and non-technical skills or “soft” skills. On the strength of our expanded role, a relatively new association dedicated to the testing and standards of professional soft skills has emerged. The Image Institute of Training and Testing International, IITTI.org, provides online testing to certify individuals in the workplace.
At one point in the recent past many of us morphed into coaches as well as being trainers and consultants. We worked with people on lifestyle skills such as fitness, nutrition, weight loss and other goals. In organizations we coached individuals on leadership, personal branding and executive presence skills. These agendas cover myriad topics to help people overcome their limitations and groom the fast trackers and promising managers for promotion.
Image consultants still do styling, fashion shows, personal shopping, closet audits and purges, makeovers and color analysis, but now there is a magnificent array of other skills and techniques with which to help people. There is no profession more rewarding than one which enhances confidence and allows people to succeed in life, with easy- to- learn tools and techniques: the ABCs, appearance, behavior and communication. Contact us today to learn what it takes to become a top image consultant.