Design a career in image consultancy

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Image consultants advise individuals and companies on all aspects of personal impact and appearance.

As an image consultant with a client base of private individuals you could advise on:

l colour analysis

l style analysis

l choosing and applying make-up

l wardrobe management

l personal shopping

l giving talks and making presentations.

With corporate clients you could also give advice on the following:

l training workshops

l formal talks and presentations

l branding

l audits

l executive coaching

l body language

l etiquette

l neuro-linguistic programming.

You would work with people from a variety of sectors, such as public and private companies, politics, media and retail.

You could work with the media, contributing to television and radio programmes, and to articles in the local, national and specialist press.

You would usually work from home, so would need to have a suitable office space. Alternatively, you may travel to visit clients at home or at work. Your hours will be flexible, depending on your client base, so could include evenings and weekends.

Experienced image consultants with plenty of clients can expect to earn up to £30,000 a year.

Those in the corporate sector who are in demand can earn in excess of £40,000.

Salaries depend on the area of activity in which consultants work, and on how successful they are in building up a client base.

There are no set entry requirements, but you may find it useful to have experience in areas such as sales and marketing, consultancy, public relations, retail, fashion, hair and beauty therapy, recruitment and human resources, management, training and coaching.

To succeed you would need a natural flair for style and colour, an interest in working with people and helping to make a difference to their lives, good communication and ‘people’ skills, the ability to put clients at ease, tact and good listening skills, the ability to get clients to follow your advice, a positive and self-motivated approach, the ability to run your own business.

Almost all image consultants are self-employed. Some work for large agencies (sometimes international), and specialise in a particular area of the work.

You would usually set up your own image consultancy business after gaining relevant experience and qualifications.

You can do degrees, BTEC HNCs/HNDs and foundation degree courses in a variety of related areas, including beauty therapy, design, marketing and media communications.

To search for HNDs, foundation degrees and degrees, see the UCAS website.

Entry requirements for courses vary, so you should check with colleges and universities.

Developing a business can be a lengthy process – you would need to promote your service through advertising and PR, network with local businesses and other groups, and build up a reputation.

You can gain the basic knowledge and skills you will need to start consulting by completing foundation training in fields such as style and body and colour analysis.