michele@mbenza.com

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

What is Image Consulting?
It is a gift you give yourself.

Appearance, image, and beauty are in the eyes on the beholder, but all can be enhanced with the help of an image consultant. Your image is your key! How others perceive you and respond to you affects how you feel about yourself, and therefore, how you relate to others.

The way you dress is part of a non-verbal communication. Your appearance communicates to others who you are and how you see yourself. It reflects your background, your success or failure and most of all, your respect for others.

It takes less than five seconds when we first meet someone to make a positive or negative impression. The style, fabrics and colors of the clothes you choose; your make-up, your hairstyle, the way you carry yourself… these all reflect you. Once the first impression has been made, it will take a lot of work to erase or change the way you are perceived. To define the style we want to project, a gift each of us should give ourselves, at least once in a lifetime, is to hire a professional image consultant. There is room for improvement in all of us, and we do tend to get busy and stuck in a comfortable rut. The right consultant can help us become the most attractive version of ourselves.

The commitment of an image consultant is directed to capturing your individual style. This is done by listening carefully to your personal and professional needs and providing the services that are tailored to you based on your body type, age, life style and career needs and budget. A good image consultant knows how to create the look that is right for you, that is comfortable and will create a positive impression through enhancing your presence and attitude.

Choose a consultant with experience. Image consultants should be specialists in style, color, wardrobe, cosmetics, skin care, hairstyle and accessories. Opt for a full-time image consultant, someone established, with a studio or office space that has an atmosphere that best represents her identity, and one in which you feel comfortable to speak about your goals and needs.

You can choose to work with an image consultant that is not in your geographic area, if she offers phone consultations. For example, I offer image consultation on-line using ‘I-chat,’ Skype, and webcam which allows my local clients to consult with me while they are traveling abroad. It also allows me to work with clients all over the world.

It is very important that you and your new image coach are a good match; with whom you feel that the chemistry is right. Inquire about the process and the fees. A professional image consultant will send you her image consulting policies prior to your first meeting,

Once you have chosen your coach, your transformation will commence with a 2 to 3-hour consultation (based on the consultant, this time may vary). During that first meeting, your coach wants to hear about your goals, problems, needs and dreams. During this first session, you and your consultant will create an action plan; evaluate your style and your needs and requirements. You and your image consultant will then determine the services needed and the amount of time and effort you want to spend to attain your ideal image.

During the next sessions, your consultant will identify your optimum color palette and identify the style of clothing that will enhance your figure and support your lifestyle. In your home, your image consultant will assess your existing wardrobe and show you how to update your current wardrobe to the current trend, including which clothes should be altered and the ones that need to go.

When your in-house wardrobe consultation has taken place, you and your image consultant are ready for a first personal shopping trip. Once you have updated your wardrobe, your image consultant may suggest another in-house visit to show you how to create outfits with your new acquisitions.

In this process, you and your image consultant will decide when you have attained your goals. Once you know what style suits you, you should be able to dress to emphasize what you love in your body and to conceal what you dislike. You should know which colors are best for you, and how to use them in your daily make up and hairstyle. You should know how to accessorize. You should be confident and have improved your overall posture.

I recommend that you stay in touch with your image consultant and visit with her periodically for seasonal shopping and special occasions. Most image consultants send their clients a monthly newsletter to stay in contact and to bring their clients up to date with the fashion world. Image consultants welcome your feedback.

One of the rewards of being an image consultant is seeing clients’ self esteem grow; seeing clients smile with confidence.

If you are happy with your consultant, share the experience with your friends by referring her services.

Michele