10 Reasons You Need an Image Consultant to Reach Your Next Level of SuccessJul 12, 2021
What you wear affects and influences how others see, respond, and interact with you. It can also profoundly alter your mood, stimulate your mind, enhance your self-worth, and make you feel more confident and powerful.
The colors, patterns, texture, and even the look of the garments you wear can serve to support and uplift you or stop you dead in your tracks. Of course, you know this intuitively, but you often dismiss it as irrelevant or trivial. Clothing, however, is anything but trivial.
Ninety-three (93%) of your communication is based on your appearance. It's what people visually take in. If you get it wrong, it’s like an umbrella going up between you and your intended audience.
Your appearance is the filter through which everything you say or do is evaluated, and it can have a significant impact on your income. In fact, research has found that those with an improved image enjoyed up to a 30% increase in income. So what would a 30% increase in income do for you?
It’s a hard truth, but what you wear and how you carry yourself makes a difference and will determine if you land the job, nab the promotion, rock the stage or obtain the client.
So, how would you rank your image? Is there visual static, lack of authenticity, or misalignment with who you are and what you want?
With so many bloggers, in-store stylists, subscription box services, and direct sales clothing lines, you would think getting dressed or crafting a strong image would be easier than ever. But, unfortunately, these services have made it harder than ever.
After all, how can any of these services know your vision, aspirations, goals, or future? Can they share the many ways you can wear your eye color or the importance of your eye color in building a powerful wardrobe? Can they account for the nuances of your body and how to find that perfect fit for you?
What is Image Consulting?
Image consulting focuses on the impact a person makes both personally and professionally. It combines psychology, marketing, and fashion to improve and manage an individual's appearance, behavior, communication, and digital footprint. In addition, image consultants help their clients build strong visual and personal brands through a customized impression management strategy.
What Do Image Consultants Do?
Image consultants do a variety of tasks ranging from style assessments, image coaching, shopping, wardrobe edits, color analysis, photoshoots, etiquette training, and digital branding.
While your appearance is foundational, image consultants also work to improve and fine-tune your non-verbal behavior and your interpersonal communication skills. It's what's often referred to as your executive or professional presence. Your visual image is complex and comprehensive and a key aspect of your career or business success.
What's the Cost of Image Consulting?
The price of working with an image consultant can vary dramatically depending upon the scope of work. If you want to focus on your appearance with an assessment, edit, and shopping, it can range from $750-$2,500. If you want to build a professional brand and presence, you'll need to budget $4,000-$7,500.
Who Retains Image Consultants?
It's common for professionals, executives, and entrepreneurs looking to elevate their look, brand, reputation, visibility, and income to retain the services of an image consultant.
So, if you're trying to take your business or career to the next level and don't have an image consultant on your team, you've already limited your success.
How Do I Know It's Time to Hire an Image Consultant?
If you feel invisible, unsure of yourself, and wondering how the superstar you once were got lost, don't feel as confident as you could at work, networking or when making new connections, are changing your outfits 3-4 times each morning before you finally find one that works, want to upscale your look but have NO idea where to begin, are clueless about what looks good on your body, as it is today, feel stuck, complacent, or that you've lost your mojo, then it may be time to add an image consultant to your professional coaching team.
In addition to my training as an attorney, I'm certified as a corporate consultant, career strategist, personal brand strategist, career transition coach, and image consultant.
I decided to undergo the rigor of this training and add this certification because I understand the psychological connection between our image and our confidence, courage, and career and business success. While I use my doctoral studies in gender and racial identity development and social psychology in my career and brand work, image consulting has served as a bridge to help my clients physically personify their professional brand, relevancy, and competency.
Check out my book Your Clothes Speak to learn more on this topic.
It's important to note that not all image consultants are alike. Not every image consultant has the same experience or background that I bring to the table. In addition, image consultants ARE NOT stylists. Stylists do not have the same training, continuing education, and certification requirements, so be careful and highly selective of who you trust with building your visual image and brand.
Now that you understand the power of image consulting and what it can do for you and your career let's go through the 10 reasons you need an image consultant in your life.
Your Top 10 Reasons to Get an Image Consultant on Your Team
1.They Can Help You Master the Art of the Fit
Don't recognize your body anymore? Does nothing seem quite to fit your body type? Image consultants are trained in understanding your body shape and frame and what lines and silhouettes best compliment your frame. If you don't understand your vertical and horizontal plane, you'll get it wrong most of the time. However, when you learn the science of style and understand the variations of your body, you'll find the perfect fit every time. Get it wrong, and you can communicate a lack of confidence, competency, maturity, and skills which can cause you to struggle with advancing your career.
2. Do You Need to Maximize Your Wardrobe?
If you're only utilizing 20% of your wardrobe, like most people in the United States, then the answer should be YES! So why don't we wear everything in our closets? Besides the fit issues we discussed, your closet is probably filled with a few hits and many misses. Since you've never really defined your brand or used it to build a branded image, your wardrobe will reflect your mood, jobs you've held, passing interests, gifts you received, or items you purchased on a whim or from friends pressuring you to buy something they said you "had to get." An image consultant can help you edit your closet by getting rid of the things that no longer fit who you are and instead fill it with the right things saving you space, time, money, and hours of searching for the "right thing to wear."
3. Ready to Change Your Outlook on Shopping?
A good image consultant can make you fall in love with shopping. Even if you currently rather stick needles under your nail than go shopping. When you know when and where to shop, it makes everything so much easier! You'll learn which seasons to shop, how to read color trends, so you shop when your color is in season, and when you should only shop for accessories and undergarments. Also, when you do shop, you'll have a new vision of pieces that are perfect for you that you may have ignored in the past. In the end, you'll have a wardrobe that exceeds your expectations.
4. Do You Know the Formula for Extended Wearability?
Don't worry; most people don't. The formula for extended wearability is called Cost Per Wear (CPW). Cost per wear equals the cost of the item divided by the number of times you wear it. Ultimately it lets you know the value of an item directly related to how much you'll use it. For example, if you purchase $100 pair of jeans but wear them 100 times, your CPW will be 1 dollar. If you wear them 50 times, your CPW is 2 dollars. You get the idea. So, if your closet is filled with items you're NOT wearing, you're wasting a lot of money. However, your cost-per-wear on purchases can decrease dramatically when you learn new ways to repurpose items in your wardrobe and begin to wear them more than once. There’s only one caveat. When contemplating a new purchase, don’t overestimate how many times you’re going to wear something. Be smart and realistic.
5. Redefine and Customize Professional Wear
Working from home or remotely has definitely redefined professional wear. Since casual Friday was introduced and the tech industry revolutionized the idea of "professional wear," we've seen a trend toward a more casual workplace. Unless you're in an industry that requires a certain dress style, there are two things to consider when putting a professional wardrobe together: your organizational culture AND your personal brand. Keep in mind that your branded image should take precedent, but you'll want to align it with your workplace dress code or culture. An image consultant can help you create the proper fusion within your wardrobe, so you no longer feel the need to have two completely different styles of clothing in your closet.
6. Level Up Your Confidence
It takes 1/10th of a second to make an impression, and once that first impression is set, it's tough to change someone's impression of you. When you're feeling authentically confident, it's easier for you to make a powerful and commanding impression. The 2012 study of enclothed cognition found that our clothes impact our mental process and how we think, feel, and function in areas like attention, confidence, or abstract thinking. Working with a good image consultant builds confidence. Your confidence and well-being are intimately linked. When you feel good about yourself, mentally and emotionally, you dress powerfully and authentically, you show up differently and elevate your success. When you're confident, you'll get noticed by your ideal clients, leadership ready to advance your career, and audiences ready to be wowed by your presentation.
7. Ready to Give Yourself a Raise?
Absolutely YES! If you've been worried about money, a branded image can pay off in improved work performance, productivity, and income. However, when your image is scattered, inconsistent, and disconnected from your behavior or who you describe yourself to be, you'll lose credibility and trust in the eyes of your clients, colleagues, and potential employers. That results in a loss of income. And when you compound that over time, the loss can be staggering. An image consultant will help you not only curate the right pieces for your wardrobe but to ensure they're aligned with your goals and personal brand so you can secure your KLT (know, like, and trust) factor.
8. Stay Current, Stay Relevant, Stay Fabulous
Working with an image consultant should not be a one-and-done project. As you grow, change and develop in your life and career, you'll want your wardrobe to do the same.
It's also important to keep it current and fresh. You're not going for trendy, but you'll want to stay on-trend. While the goal is always to build a wardrobe customized for who you are, where and how you work, and your goals and vision, there should always be an aspect of relevancy to what you wear. If your clothes are dated, you come across as out of touch and irrelevant. Remember, your clothes speak. If it's been a while since you've had a refresh, work with an image consultant to bring your wardrobe current and discover those few key missing items that can make all the difference.
9. Can We Talk?
I've shared a lot about appearance but let's spend a few moments on your behavioral and communication skills. After all, the B & C of the ABCDs of image stand for behavior and communication. Many successful people will attribute their success to their ability to connect and build interpersonal relationships, as much as their technical skills or business acumen. While your image is the first thing people will take in, your behavior and communication will either solidify your first impression or detrimentally damage it. Your professional image, projected through your speaking, face-to-face, or Zoom meetings, written communication, and non-verbal communication, can result in greater visibility which translates to greater opportunities. Have you received feedback that you need to speak up more, improve your body language or facial expressions, work on your emotional intelligence, or that you need to learn to "read the room?" An image consultant can help you improve your communication skills, including working on your behavior, tone, pitch, and volume to your advantage.
10. Solidify That "It" Factor
You know that feeling you get when you watch someone walk into a room, all eyes are on them, and it just feels like they own not only the room but the world? It's the way they carry themselves, the way they're dressed, how and when they decide to speak up and share about their work or themselves, and the way they move...it's captivating and feels like magic. That's what's known as the "it" factor, that special je nais quo, or presence as image consultants call it. Professional or executive presence is a skill (which means it can be learned) that allows you to display a general sense of leadership, poise, dignity, decisiveness, and confidence. These individuals inspire confidence in themselves and others and have the ability to draw people in, exuding self-confidence with ease and humility. The result is often a powerhouse presence when you can master this list with an image consultant. You'll end your work by claiming your own "it" factor.
Working with an image consultant can make a huge impact on you, your business, or your career. Your image impacts not only how you feel about yourself but how others interact, trust, communicate, or even relate to you. This is not a small thing. However, before you work with an image consultant, be sure you're clear on who you are and what you want to accomplish in your professional life.
When I initially started my business, I focused on image management with my clients. But quickly into the process, I found my clients were unhappy with their career, unsure of their next steps, and felt stuck and trapped. While their instinct was right to seek out an image consultant, this work often proved premature. That's when I was able to bring my award-winning expertise in career and personal branding and leverage an extensive career in law, corporate and academic leadership. In addition, my training in applied and social psychology, organizational systems, and human development, equipped me to create a custom and holistic methodological approach to career development that helps my clients achieve greater confidence, clarity, happiness, and success. This approach includes image work, but at the right time when my clients need it most and when it can be most effective.
If you're ready to recalibrate or uplevel your visual brand and image, you can grab a few free resources found in my exclusive resource library. You can also take it up a notch, work with me directly in the Career Rebel Academy, and get customized, in-depth, hands-on support to take your life and career to the next level.
Click on one or both of the links below to get started!
Don’t put yourself, your goals, and your dreams on hold for one more day. Instead, position yourself to greet each day and opportunity with clarity and confidence, captivating everyone who has the pleasure and potential to cross your path.
Apply for your exclusive invitation to my free private training!
How to Take Charge of Your Career at Midlife & Finally Have the Life You Deserve (without sacrificing all your hard work, going back to school, or taking a pay cut!)