When choosing image consultant courses, consider your career goals, your previous professional background in the area of fashion, as well as your ability to attend and afford classes. You should also consider what area or areas of personal image consulting you would like to specialize in. Image consultant courses are offered by a variety of schools and organizations, some of which may offer additional assistance to program graduates in setting up their practices as image consultants. This can be an important benefit, particularly if you are not currently working in the personal appearance industry and feel that you will need help in establishing your business and gaining a clientele.
Image consultants work with both men and women on developing their public and professional image through guidance and instruction in dress, grooming, and etiquette. The services offered by image consultants vary, but often include wardrobe consultations, personal shopping services, and constructive feedback on the way a person carries and presents herself in public and professional settings. In some cases, an image consultant may specialize in certain aspects of developing someone's image. For example, some image consultants focus on helping people develop a wardrobe of clothing suitable to their personal and professional circumstances. Some image consultants may work with individuals who are going through significant life transitions and need to make changes in their personal appearance or behavior in order to function well in new settings and circumstances.
If you already have a background as a hair stylist, makeup artist, or in clothing sales, you may not need to complete a comprehensive series of image consultant courses. Instead, you may wish to take courses in those areas in which you have less experience. Courses may be offered through adult continuing education programs, personal appearance trade conferences, or image consulting businesses and professional associations. As image consulting is not typically a licensed profession, you may have to choose your program according to its public reputation. If in doubt, ask other image consultants about their opinions of the programs you are interested in.
Some companies offer a turnkey business opportunity to graduates of their image consultant courses. If offered such an opportunity, be sure to carefully review the program as well as any associated costs to determine whether a program would be a good business opportunity for you. While these programs can be helpful if you have never run a business before, you may find yourself restricted by having to adhere to the image consulting philosophy of the sponsoring business.