How to Become an Image Consultant

Three Parts:Training as an Image ConsultantPlanning your Image Consultant BusinessGetting Clients

An image consultant helps individuals present the best possible image to the world by advising them on their wardrobe, hair, makeup, body language, etiquette, and communication skills. It is a job ideally suited for someone who is a people person and has an eye for fashion and style. Getting your start in the field can seem difficult, though, because there really isn’t an established career path for the position. However, there is certain experience and training that can set you up for success in the industry if you’re willing to put in the work.

Part 1
Training as an Image Consultant

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    Attend a workshop or course. While most colleges and universities don’t offer a degree program to become an image consultant, there are often weekend workshops and short-term courses that last anywhere from four to 12 weeks to help prepare you for the career. They usually teach you what the job entails, as well as help you to develop the skills necessary to succeed in the field, such as how to conduct image consultations.[1]
    • Some workshops and courses offer a certificate upon completion, which can be a nice addition to your resume.
    • If you can’t find a workshop or course in your area, many online schools offer courses in the field, which can be a convenient alternative.
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    Take related classes. If you’re planning to attend or are currently studying at a college, chances are good that your school doesn’t offer a degree program in image consultancy. However, that doesn’t mean that there aren’t available courses that can help prepare you for your career. Majoring in Communications, Marketing, or other related fields can teach you a variety of skills that will help you as an image consultant.[2]
    • Taking art classes can also help you as image consultant because it can help you better understand color theory, which will come in handy when you’re helping clients choose the most flattering shades for their hair, makeup, and clothing.
    • Psychology courses can help you develop skills for a career as an image consultant because you’ll learn how to interpret clients’ behavior and emotions so you can help them feel better about themselves.
    • Fashion merchandising classes are a good idea if you’re thinking about a career as an image consultant because it can help you develop a better understanding of fashion and style.
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    Gain experience in related jobs. You probably won’t be able to land a job as an image consultant right away, but there are opportunities in related fields that can help give you valuable experience. You can develop some of the skills necessary to be a successful image consultant by working as a personal shopper or stylist at a department store, a beauty consultant at a makeup counter, or a hair stylist. Even working as a sales associate in clothing store can help prepare you.[3]
    • Many people who become image consultants start on a part-time basis, so they have a reliable income while they’re working to build a client base.

Part 2
Planning your Image Consultant Business

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    Decide on a specialty. It’s common for image consultants to choose a particular type of service to provide. You might decide to specialize in fashion and style consulting, and help clients build a flattering wardrobe, as well as provide makeup and hair tips. You may choose to focus on etiquette and communication skills to help clients project a more confident, polished image. However, you may prefer to give advice on all facets of a person’s image, providing style, etiquette, and communications assistance to help individuals become the complete package.[4]
    • You can also choose to specialize in certain types of clients, such as job seekers, executives, beauty pageant contestants, singles, or cancer survivors.
    • Some image consultants choose to work exclusively with corporate clients instead of individuals, so they provide advice regarding employee uniforms, communications and body language for sales teams, and multicultural etiquette.[5]
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    Develop strategic partnerships. While an image consultant needs to have knowledge of fashion, makeup, hair, and other image related topics, you may not have the necessary skills to help your clients actually make changes. For example, you might be able to help a client choose a new hair color and style, but you may not have the training to actually do the cut and color work. That’s why it’s important to develop partnerships with makeup artists, hair stylists, and personal trainers, who you can refer your clients to. In turn, these partners can recommend you to individuals who are interested in a complete makeover.[6]
    • You may also want to develop partnerships with dietitians, cosmetic surgeons, dentists, and vocal coaches.
    • It’s important to find partners whose skills you really trust, so it’s best to work with individuals who you have personal experience with. For example, if you have a hair stylist who’s always given you great cuts, ask her or him if s/he would like to partner with you.
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    Offer free makeovers. You need experience working with individuals to convince clients that you’re qualified to help revamp their image. Start by offering friends and family free makeovers. For example, if you have a friend who’s going to a school reunion, take her shopping for new clothes and provide tips for her makeup and hair. Make sure to take before and after photos of all of your makeovers too.[7]
    • If you don’t have enough friends and family members who are interested in makeovers, consider offering your services to local charities, such as a homeless shelter where individuals might need tips preparing for job interviews.

Part 3
Getting Clients

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    Create a portfolio. Prospective clients aren’t just going to take your word for it when you tell them that you can successfully help them improve their image; they’re going to want to see visual proof. That’s why a portfolio of your successful makeovers is a must when you’re trying to get clients. Even if you’ve only given free makeovers, before and after photos show potential clients what kind of results they can expect.[8]
    • Make sure that your portfolio has high quality photos. If possible, take them with a digital camera instead of the one on your phone.
    • Pay attention to the lighting in your photos. You want prospective clients to be able to see all of the details in your makeovers.
    • It’s a good idea to have both a physical portfolio that you can bring to meetings with clients, and a digital version that you can send to potential clients who may not be willing to commit to a meeting.
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    Become certified. While it’s not a necessity, being certified as an image consultant can give you credibility that makes prospective clients feel more comfortable. The Association of Image Consultants International (AICI) offers certification that informs clients that you’ve achieved a certain level of knowledge in the field and are committed to staying on top of new trends and developments. Becoming certified means that you can include the "AICI CIC" designation after your name on your resume, website, business cards, and other promotional materials.[9]
    • To become AICI certified, you’re required to submit a portfolio which includes client evaluations and proof that you’ve performed 30 hours of work in the image field, along with other documentation.
    • You also must sit for the AICI CIC Exam, which tests your knowledge of topics in the image field.
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    Start a website and social media accounts. When it comes to starting any kind of business, an online presence is a must because most prospective clients will start their search online. Create a website that contains contact information, your portfolio, bio, and client testimonials if possible. You should also establish Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other social media accounts to help promote your image consultancy business.[10]
    • It’s a good idea to start a blog that focuses on image consultancy issues and tips. It can help you seem like an authority in the field.
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    Make up business cards. While a lot of people search for businesses online, some connections are still made by word of mouth. That’s why it’s a good idea to have business cards that you can pass out to potential clients. You might meet them at your other job, so it helps to have a card with all your contact info to pass on. You should also give some cards to your strategic partners, so they can give them to potential clients.[11]
    • Include your website and social media account information on your cards, so potential clients can check you out online.


  • It’s important to have the right personality to be an image consultant. You should be outgoing, enjoy helping others, communicate well, and have an interest in fashion and style.
  • It can take time to establish a client base for an image consultancy business. Patience is key -- that’s why it’s usually best not to start on a full-time basis.

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Categories: Consultancy Freelance and Contracting | Working from Home