What kind of training should I take? How do I reach my audience? How do I manage funds?
I had a lot of questions when I decided to become an image consultant. And if you’ve decided to set up your image consulting business, you must have a lot of questions too. So, to help you better, I am sharing a few important things that I have learned from my experience.
Read on for some very important tips to create a roadmap before starting your image consulting business.
Decide what kind of customers you wish to target
As an image consultant, you can work with a variety of clients seeking different services such as makeover consulting, personal shopping assistance, event consulting, employability skills training, soft skills training, etc. And though a variety of projects will cut the monotony out of your life, you must choose an area of interest where you can demonstrate your expertise. This will help you target exactly the kind of clientele you wish to attract.
So, find out what you’re naturally good at; it could be networking, communicating, presenting, public speaking, grooming, clothing and styling, etc. Now check where your strength fits perfectly under the image consulting umbrella. This will give you a clear idea of your career path even before you set out on it.
Get trained and certified
Once you identify your strengths, opt for formal training to become an expert. You may come across many self-taught image consultants, but believe it or not, a certification immediately improves your credibility. People’s trust that you are trained to assist them on all aspects of fashion, behaviour, and communication will help you establish a better client base more quickly than self-taught image consultants do. Moreover, a structured image consulting course will cultivate business skills in you and give you a great start.
Do not quit the job that pays the bills
When you decide to pursue image consulting, you will be tempted to quit your current job and invest your time completely in training. But that may not be a wise decision. You will require funds to finance your training and to set up your business. And for that, you must have a back-up plan in place. So, continue what you’re doing so that the cash flow isn’t disrupted. You can start out by taking classes on the weekends and practicing in the evenings or on your day-offs. This will help you progress slowly but consistently. And once your image consulting career starts paying off, you can quit your job and take up image consulting full-time.
Network with other people in the industry
In the image consulting industry, networking is the key. The reason is that you won’t have a portfolio as soon as you start. And this is where word-of-mouth marketing comes into the picture. You can get your initial few clients through your network to create a portfolio and build your way up from there. So, expand your horizons and meet experts from different industries such as IT, event management, photography, training & development, education, etc. and communicate that you are open to opportunities. Putting extra effort to create and use your network to your advantage will give you the kick start you need.
Start investing in things you will need for your business
A great thing about setting up an image consulting business is that it doesn’t require you to invest in a brick and mortar space. All you may require is some training material, fashion magazines, a video camera to record clients’ growth, and a few subscriptions to help you stay on top of your game. So, start investing every month in your business as soon as you start training so that these expenses don’t burden you all at once.
This strategy will definitely help you set up your image consulting business without a lot of trouble and surprises. So, make a note and get started. All the best!
Suman Agarwal, cofounder of Image Consulting Business Institute (ICBI), is an award-winning Image Management Professional. She has helped students, home-makers, women on sabbatical as well as people seeking second career alternatives to explore Image Management and Soft Skill Training as a vibrant professional choice. She frequently writes blog posts about the urgent need of image consulting professionals and soft skill trainers in the 21st century and loves guiding people in exploring lucrative career options.