Underneath the Surface
I firmly believe that people show up how they feel. As an Image Consultant, you walk this delicate line of being honest with someone about their appearance and presence, without them feeling bad about themselves. You have to be honest, but remember that you are talking to a human being with human being emotions. The first thing I like to find out from a potential client is why they would like my services. In other words, what are you hoping will come out of working with me? There are many surface level answers to these questions. The key, however, is peeling back the layers to the answer. For example, if someone responds and says “I just want a new look.” On the surface, that is true. Oftentimes I have found, however, that they are saying, “ I hope that by fixing my outside, you will be able to help me fix my inside.” Please note that this is usually the case with individual clients, and not so much the corporate clients.
We live in a day where a lot of people are silently suffering with so much. Our society is riddled with so many challenges without adding the personal struggles people go through. I’ve made it a habit to look deeper with people. It has led to some real, transparent relationships with some of my clients. An Image Consultant is someone who can get very close to someone; kind of like a hairdresser or personal trainer. You spend a lot of one on one time with an individual, building a relationship. Trust is built and they often times open up and share a lot with you. You learn their personalities, habits and vulnerabilities. The beauty of image consulting is that you get to see who the person is behind the outfit. It is very crucial that you not rush this process, nor take it for granted. It is what will help you create their exterior look. When you realize the heart and soul of a person; you will be able to help them bring that to life.
Some people may be thinking that this is way too deep for an image consultant. I strongly disagree. No matter what look you put on an individual, if they are not okay with themselves, they will never see anything good. I feel that if you’re not ready to take this journey with a potential client, then you have no business being an image consultant. An individual’s image is so much more than skin deep. To be an effective Image Consultant, you have to truly care about your clients from the inside out.
We just finished the month of September, which was Suicide Prevention Month. October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month and October 10th is World Mental Health Day. There are people all around you hurting. Probably closer than you think. Make it a point to check in with people you care about. If you are the one hurting, reach out for help. You are loved and you matter.