The industry for people who want to help individuals enhance and optimize their appearance, behavior, communication and digital presence.

2804, 2017

How can I get a Radio or TV Interview as an Image Consultant?

Shauna says... [00:00:30] Ah great question. I'm going to give you one of my best tips that I actually give away in the PIC course. One of the easiest and effective things that you can do is create a Twitter list of all of the local news reporters and journalists and the news agencies themselves. [00:01:00] If you aren't on Twitter, you can also kind of do this on Facebook as well, because they all have their own fan page. They all have a public figure page. Essentially, you want to be able to [...]

1204, 2017

As an image consultant, where do you see yourself in 5 years?

Sylvie says... [00:00:30] In five years, I see myself exactly here. There is no reason for me to change anything, somewhere in a hotel room around the world speaking about the importance of image or working with executives. [00:01:00] Why do I see myself exactly here? Because I love what I do. I really, really love it every single day and there is no reason for me to change that during the next five years. If you don't love what you do today, I highly encourage you to start changing what you do soon [...]

1204, 2017

How do you handle your accounting and finances as an Image Consultant?

Sylvie says... [00:00:30] In the very beginning of your career and business, you might be able to use very simple tools like Excel or Word to do all those things necessary. [00:01:00] The more your business grows, the more you have to automate things and that's the reason I, for example, use QuickBooks Online for all my accounting stuff. It's where I create proposals for my clients and I send out a proposal to my corporate clients via QuickBooks. They can sign it online and afterwards, I can immediately send the invoice online and [...]

1204, 2017

How do you suggest asking for referrals?

Shauna says... [00:00:30] Referrals are so incredibly important to your business, because that's where some of your best clients are going to come from. It's the quickest way to grow your client base, to get referrals from existing clients and people who know what it's like to work with you. [00:01:00] Now, there's a few ways to go about asking for referrals. I found this particular strategy to be the best. It is having something of value to pass along. Some sort of sample of what it's like to work with you. Whether that's [...]

1204, 2017

What is the best business move you made for your image consulting business?

Shauna says... [00:00:30] My second year into business, I started getting a lot of phone calls and emails from aspiring image consultants wanting to pick my brain about how I got into the industry, how I got started, and what advice I can provide them for starting their own career. [00:01:00] While I initially did that for a little bit, I eventually ran out of time to be able to take all those phone calls. [00:01:30] What I decided to do, which I was very unsure of early on, was to launch a monthly [...]

1204, 2017

How much money do you invest monthly into your Image Consulting business? (Marketing etc.)

Sylvie says... [00:00:30] Oh great question. Love that one. I can't give you an exact number but what I can tell you is that at the very beginning of my business was probably somewhere between 5 and 10% of my revenue just to create some awareness on the market. [00:01:00] In the meantime, it's of course higher because now I'm somewhere around 15 to 20% but awareness is not so much an issue anymore. It's more growth. As soon as you get into a growth phase, you will have to invest more into marketing. [...]

1204, 2017

What were your biggest fears when you started your image consulting business?

Shauna says... [00:00:30] The biggest fear that I had in the very beginning and on occasion still rears its ugly head is the fear that what you have to sell and what I had to sell was not going to be of value to the people around me. This happens for several reasons and I guarantee you can empathize with the same fear. [00:01:00] We become so close to what we're doing and it may even be completely second nature to us, which is what attracted us to the industry in the first place, [...]

1204, 2017

How often should you blog for your image consulting business?

Sylvie says... [00:00:30] There is no right or wrong, or no specific number I can give you, because it can be once a week, it can be every day, it can be in the middle of the night like I just do here in my hotel room. [00:01:00] But what is important, though, I find, is that you have some kind of routine to blog that you follow, and also that you stay relevant, because to tell you the truth, I don't think that the internet needs one more blog, or one more piece [...]

1204, 2017

What’s the best way to book image consulting clients from a speaking engagement?

Sylvie says... [00:00:30] Some of you might be really surprised to know, but I'm really not the right person to ask this question, because I do not sell from stage. It's one of my rules. [00:01:00] Why? I work with high-end clientele and within the corporate world, and I just don't find it appropriate, and usually those high-end executives are not people who want to be addressed and marketed that way. Instead, I always make sure that I just deliver a performance in such an amazing way that when they are ready to hire [...]

1204, 2017

What are you top 5 favorite smartphone business apps?

Shauna says... [00:00:30] My five most important business apps on my phone, these are probably not going to be as exciting as Sylvie's as I'm a huge minimalist, so all of my apps fit one screen so I don't have to scroll. I don't have that many, just the necessary, and they're not that exciting. The first one is the Notes app, which is already built in. [00:01:00] I'm using that constantly to jot down notes throughout the day, or quotes, or conversations. The second one is Uber. I am constantly needing to be [...]

1204, 2017

For your business name is it better branding to use your name or a company name?

Shauna says... [00:00:30] I like to pose the question to our students and any clients early on in their business and ask them how to they envision their company looking five years from now. [00:01:00] Do they envision themselves touring around, public speaking, maybe writing a book, and them being the sole face of it? Or, do they envision a team, a firm, a group of people involved with them? A growing agency where there's multiple people involved and maybe staff. If so, the latter, then I would probably recommend going with a business [...]

1204, 2017

What’s the one thing you’ve learned from your business partner?

Shauna says... [00:00:30] As you may or may not know, co-ownership over a business is something that's very new for both Sylvie and I. One of the biggest lessons that I've learned from Sylvie is trust. You know, when it's your own baby and your own business, you are fully responsible of what's going on, what needs to get done, if something falls through the cracks, et cetera. [00:01:00] Also, you're in full control of everything that you do. Over co-ownership, you have another entity and another person who's bringing all kinds of ideas [...]

1204, 2017

Do you give your image consulting clients gifts and if so, what are they?

Shauna says... [00:00:30] Absolutely. We always give clients little gifts. They don't even need to be tangible things. I'll give you some examples in a second. A general rule of the thumb is the more the client invests in you the more you want to nurture that relationship. Some clients might purchase a 95 dollar color consult. [00:01:00] It's great to leave them with something that they did not expect. Maybe something that wasn't listed in the service listing, or an extra little tip or treat or something in that consult. If someone is [...]

1204, 2017

How do you process payments from your image consulting clients?

Shauna says... [00:00:30] We handle payments from clients in a variety of ways, but typically, we are utilizing PayPal, or we're utilizing Square to take those payments. [00:01:00] Now, there are all kinds of ways to collect payments digitally; those two happen to be the two biggest players in the marketplace, but your bank may offer a way for you to swipe credit cards and debit cards as well. [00:01:30] Now, on that note, I do have some people that are very skeptical of taking cards, because it charges a tiny percentage every single [...]

1204, 2017

What’s a common mistake you see in the image consulting industry?

Shauna says... [00:00:30] I'm going to give you two common mistakes that I see in the industry. Number one, innovation. Number two, marketing. There are so many things that I see over, and over, and over in several image consulting businesses that are basically the same cookie cutter services with the same titles, same pricing structure, etc. [00:01:00] There are so many different avenues that you could take your business and so many creative ways to personalize it and market it that I really see a lack of innovation and more so, I guess, [...]

1204, 2017

How much do you know about your competitors in the image consulting industry?

Shauna says... [00:00:30] Enough about my competitors to know what they're up to, know what they're doing, the types of clients that they work with, what their price points are, but not enough where it's an obsession or an addiction, or it becomes a distraction with what we do within our company. [00:01:00] If you get too involved with what your competitor's doing, I've seen some of our image consultants get a little too carried away, or a little too reactive, or too concerned about what they're doing instead of really cultivating a really [...]

1204, 2017

What are the best conferences to attend for the image consulting industry?

Shauna says... [00:00:30] Honestly, I think the best conferences to attend are outside the industry. I am a huge fan of participating in local business, especially female oriented business conferences, going to blogging conferences, going to maybe mom based entrepreneur conferences. [00:01:00] It really depends on your target market, and it really depends on what sort of marketing strategies you have in place for your business. I know Sylvie, being more so in corporate, is going to go to totally different kinds of events than I would. So, really, we're getting most of our [...]

1204, 2017

What should you do when someone copies your work?

Sylvie says... [00:00:30] First of all, you have to know your rights. You have to understand copyrights. Also make sure that you prevent that certain things in your business are getting copied, for example by getting the trademark for it. [00:01:00] Then, make sure you are the first person who gets notice when something gets copied. [inaudible 00:01:09] For example, you can use Google alerts to yourself, or Copyscape is another free website service, or there are certain plackets for work who automatically inform you if your content appears somewhere else on the internet. [...]

1204, 2017

What software do you use to manage your clients?

Shauna says... [00:00:30] In terms of a CRM, in the very beginning I kept it super simple. Let's face it; there wasn't enough clients where it was chaotic to really keep track of them. It was as simple as a spreadsheet and client folder list, and then on my calendar, scheduling followups, when I need to make phone calls, etc. [00:01:00] As my business has evolved, I actually have started using Zoho, which is a Google product, and I really, really like that a lot. It is free, there is a paid premium model [...]

1204, 2017

How do I grow my image consulting email list?

Shauna says... [00:00:30] Growing your email list is incredibly important. That is actually one of the things that I wish that I would started doing from day one. I didn't realize until much later in my business just how important that mailing list truly is. [00:01:00] The best way to grow it is to offer the people that are going to be joining it something of value, which we call an opt in bribe. Essentially, we give you a bribe so that you will give us your email address. This usually comes in the [...]

1204, 2017

As an image consultant, what is your Biggest Business Expense?

Shauna says... [00:00:30] Biggest expense is payroll and contract work. Any time I need to get anything done, it's either going to be a sacrifice of time or money, and some things need to be a sacrifice of money. [00:01:00] I happily will pay website developers, assistants, graphic designers, whoever it is to help me get those things done so that I can focus my time on the things that are truly important for me to be doing. Sylvie says... [00:01:30] Most people who know me will think that my [...]

1204, 2017

What are your favorite apps for your image consulting business?

Sylvie says... [00:00:30] Our favorite apps ... First of all, I have to start with one, which I just find amazing, although it doesn't have a lot to do with image consulting. [inaudible 00:00:52] I for example, your first language is not English, Google Translate is an app you can download and you can use to immediately translate everything. [00:01:00] I have a piece of paper here from my kit, I want to show something. I currently started that app, and said "Translate it from English into German", and you look through the app, [...]

1204, 2017

What’s your favorite image consulting book?

Shauna says... [00:00:30] One of my favorite image consulting books that has helped me out tremendously in the industry is called First Impressions: What You Don't Know About How Others See You, and it's by Ann Demarais and Valerie White, two PhDs who wrote this really wonderful book on how to assess first impressions. It gives you a lot of really wonderful tools to work with your clients. [00:01:00] It's not necessarily a deliberate, specific image consulting book, but it's been super helpful. Also, as you might know, in the resource hub here on [...]

1204, 2017

Who is your favorite entrepreneur?

Shauna says... [00:00:30] My favorite entrepreneur is Sara Blakely, the founder of Spanx. Her story is really quite incredible. [00:01:00] She had a failed law school career, and then sold fax machines door-to-door in the Florida heat, which is where she's from. She became one of the top salesman in the nation by the age of 25, and then essentially was solving her own problem with going door-to-door in that heat and having hoisery issues. She created Spanx, like I said, by solving her own problem, and went from the hosiery mill to hosiery [...]

1104, 2017

Who was your first client and what was your first consultation about?

Shauna says... [00:00:30] I got my first customer via my website. I had a very, very, cheaply made website, that did not look great, whatsoever, that simply listed my services. Within a month of having that website live, I had my first three customers, actually, notify me and book services. [00:01:00] The really cool thing about it was that when we got into our first discussions of working together, they said that they had been looking online for so long, for these specific services, and then, you know what, once I started by business, [...]