Real World Image Consultant
A little over a year ago, I wrote a blog about what I thought an Image Consultant was when I was starting my own image consulting business Jennifer Grant International. I was wide-eyed, super charged and ready to transform the world. All I can say is what a difference a year makes! I have so much more knowledge, experience, wisdom and real-world experience. I don’t need to wonder what an Image Consultant does, I know what I do and I am on fire.
Many of my guiding principles have remained the same: I believe every individual has talent, beauty, intelligence, and great potential — even if they can’t immediately recognize these traits in themselves. My biggest reward has been helping my clients to find these traits and in doing so, enhance their image and advance their success. I am respectful, patient, and kind with my clients; but I am also very honest and direct. I tell my clients all the truths about their image that their family, friends, and colleagues may not tell them for fear of hurting their feelings.
I gather a lot of information from my clients and when possible, I make a point to observe them in their work and social situations. I do a detailed analysis of what their image related problems, issues, and limiters are. I create an action plan with specific goals to close the gap between my client’s current day image and what ‘we’ feel their ideal image for success should look like. When a client signs on with Jennifer Grant International, I make sure they understand the commitment they are making towards self-improvement and I hold them accountable to their goals.
There are many different types of image consultants, including, but not limited to: Fashion, Styling and Wardrobe Consultants, Corporate and Executive Consultant, Leadership and Training Consultants, and Business and Social Etiquette Consultants.
FASHION AND WARDROBE CONSULTANTS give advice on what clothing styles, colours, designs, accessories, and materials work best to flatter an individual’s physique, male or female. These consultants work with individuals, business professionals, or anyone looking to improve their appearance. Image consultants with this specific focus have extensive training in doing makeovers, colour draping, personal grooming, wardrobe organizing, and personal shopping.
CORPORATE-EXECUTIVE IMAGE CONSULTANTS focus more on working with clients in the executive, corporate and business sectors. They help executives and business professionals look, act, and present themselves in a way that makes the most positive impression. They help clients to prepare for presentations, speeches, media and celebrity appearances, corporate and social events. Sylvie Di Giusto is one of the top-ranking image consultants in the US and she has many excellent programs for anyone who wants to have a competitive edge with their professional image and digital footprint.
LEADERSHIP TRAINING CONSULTANTS specialize in leadership training for businesses, corporations, and academic institutions. These image consultants do more lectures, workshops, and seminars. An example of an image consultant from Ontario whom I really admire is Barbara Devine. Barbara is currently writing a book on the science behind our image and she does a great job delivering workshops and seminars designed to get her audiences to really grasp how they can enhance their image to be more successful.
IMAGE IS MORE THAN PHYSICAL APPEARANCE It is really a total reflection of everything we are, on the inside and out. In addition to how someone looks, we also form impressions based on how someone talks and behaves — and we certainly form impressions from people’s digital profiles on social media. Image consultants advise clients on vocal communication (voice, grammar, vocabulary, non-verbal communication handshakes, posture, eye contact, facial expressions, and the like) and overall demeanor. Image consultants can also provide great tips and reminders on the importance of business and social etiquette — from dining to cell phones, and what are appropriate manners in different cultures. Gloria Starr is a world-renowned expert in helping clients learn the importance of business and social etiquette, communication, and cross-cultural awareness. Gloria does a brilliant job of training image consultants from around the world and I was fortunate to be one of her students.
WHO HIRES AN IMAGE CONSULTANT An image consultant can literally help anyone, including, but not limited to: individuals seeking a brand-new look /makeover; job seekers, university, and college students; corporate executives; business owners; front line employees; lawyers; real estate agents; land developers, skilled tradespeople; politicians; media personalities; LGBT individuals; singles looking for a partner; entrepreneurs; and people in career transition or preparing for retirement. Amsterdam’s Joanna Polak-Goodman Personal Branding and Corporate Image does great work with her European Clients. In Canada, we are fortunate for high caliber professionals like Karen Brunger from the International Image Institute in Toronto who has been in the image training and consulting field for over three decades.
Image consultants offer the type of expert advice and support that can help individuals get promoted, land a new career, and become more self-confident and assured in all areas of their lives. Image consultants are ‘hot’ in today’s competitive and busy world. One of the most important things I have learned since I started my image consulting business is that my title doesn’t really capture or identify all the things that I can do for my clients. At any given time, I have provided all of the services and features outlined in my blog; but I have also done things that fall outside of the traditional image consulting arena. I have started consulting with airlines, airports, and ground handling companies worldwide; I have written blogs, articles, business plans and proposals, presentations, and speeches for clients. I have counseled people on health and fitness programs, and I have been especially effective in helping others to pursue their true passions in life.
IMAGE MATTERS I strongly encourage you to consider what type of impression you are making the next time you attend a workshop, network meeting, start a business, apply for a job, do a presentation, record your voicemail message, or even send an email. Jennifer Grant International can help you make an ultra-professional, positive, and memorable first impression. Choose from a variety of our services designed to enhance your image in business and in life. Please feel free to contact us to see how we can help you or your company to master a winning image.