Image is the general impression that a person, product, or organization presents to the public. A consultant is someone who offers expert advice professionally. Therefore, an image consultant is a professional who works with people on their behaviour, appearance, and communication skills.
The need for image consultancy has always existed. Be it an image that got us promotion at work, or admission in a particular school or college; we have knowingly or unknowingly tried to put up our best behaviour!
The liberalisation of economy in 1990s created an influx of funds and opportunities in India. It opened a diverse range of job in the fields of management and media. And, so the battle to grab the best possible opportunity ensued among people. While some invested in self-help books, others enrolled in etiquette classes to boost their chances of more lucrative career prospects.
Now that big corporations and professionals are hiring image consultants by the dozen, the job opportunities in this industry have increased. And so has the demand for image management / consulting institutes.
INTERESTED IN IMAGE CONSULTANCY?
The Image Consulting Business Institute (ICBI), New Delhi is the most renowned and prominent institute in India that specifically offers a course in image consultancy. So if you are fresh out of school, then you can choose any of the programs ICBI offers.
The students are equipped with knowledge about the following elements: Clothing and grooming practices, body language and behaviour, general etiquettes and mannerisms and the art of verbal communication.
The students are taught in batches and also attend workshops for wider exposure.
- Diploma in Image Management (DIM)
- 300 hours of guided learning
- Jobs in lifestyle and fashion consulting and related industries
- Cost of course: Rs. 65,000 + Service Tax
- Advance Diploma in Image Management (ADIM)
- 480 hours of guided learning
- Boosts current job profile
- Apt for lifestyle and fashion consulting and soft skills training sectors
- Cost of course: Rs. 1,10,000 + Service Tax
In addition to this diploma course, you can also opt for the following if you are planning to set up an independent image consulting business.
- Image Consulting Partner Program – ICP
- Duration: 1 year or less
- Fee structure: Rs. 3,58,000 plus ST
- Professional Program in Image Consulting and Soft Skills Training
- Duration: 1 year or less
- Fee structure: Rs. 2,50,000 plus ST
PERSONAL ATTRIBUTES REQUIRED
Sure, this job sounds exciting and fun. But it isn’t hunky dory for those who lack the key traits required to excel in this profession. In order to be a successful image consultant, you must:
- Be diplomatic
- Be knowledgeable about physical traits and etiquettes
- Have a good sense of style and fashion
- Have a strong media network
- Know how and where to position the individual, organization, or product
India is the youngest country in the world today. Statistics show that the average age of an Indian by 2020 will be 29. The competition will become tougher and more and more people will try to project an image that exudes confidence and capability. On the other hand, a study by Fortune magazine indicates that there is a positive correlation between an organization’s image and its profits. This means that the market for image consultants is going to get only better thanks to individuals and companies.
The job opportunities for an image consultant are many. However, the designation may not always be of an “image consultant”. He or she can also be hired as a “trainer”. There are various industries that are open to taking image consultants on board.
- Hospitality & airline industry: They set high standards of service delivery. The most important aspect of service delivery is the image projected by the employees of the airline industry. An image consultant can apply in the training department at an entry level.
- Retail industry: Having an image consultant by your side while you are shopping sounds like a great idea. Thanks to the booming retail sector, the opportunities are galore in this industry.
- Recruitment or placement agencies: This industry specializes in human resources, so image management is an important aspect here.
The starting salary of an image consultant is between Rs. 4.8 lakhs to Rs. 9 lakhs depending on the industry they are associated with. However, the job profile is more or less the same everywhere.
- They analyse the client’s present state to get a better idea about his or her requirements. After that, they make an improvisation plan based on the result of the analysis.
- They coach their clients in general etiquettes and mannerisms, social protocols and other behavioural skills, in addition to giving wardrobe and grooming advice.
- Rather than prescribing a rigid behaviour change mechanism, they modify the process as per the behaviour of the client.
- They help their clients in improving their communication skills by providing fruitful instructions on correct usage of grammar, proper pronunciation and enhancing vocabulary.
- They conduct sessions on non-verbal communication where the client is taught about eye contact, posture and other kinds of body language.
- They also offer a variety of services such as wardrobe analysis, fashion advice, style tips, personal shopping, and makeup tips.