AICI GLOBAL G R O W I N G
Y O U R
B U S I N E S S
THE WORLD OF IMAGE CONSULTING
TAKING CONTROL OF BUSINESS TIME-WASTERS
NETWORKING: FROM “UHH” TO “AHH
LAY A STRONG FOUNDATION FOR YOUR BUSINESS JANUARY 2013
Education. Experience. Excellence.
2012 | 2013 AICI BOARD OF DIRECTORS
President – Kimberly Law, AICI CIP President Elect – Kathryn Lowell, AICI CIP Secretary – Cindy Ann Peterson, AICI FLC Treasurer – Joanne Rae, AICI CIP VP Certification – Mihaela Ciocan, AICI CIP VP Chapter Relations – Riet M. de Vlieger, AICI CIP VP Conference – Brian Lipstein, AICI FLC VP Conference Elect – Jennifer Howard, AICI FLC VP Education – Christina Ong, AICI CIM VP Communications – Magoe Johnson, AICI CIP VP Fund Development – Imogen Lamport, AICI CIP VP International Relations – Valerie Antoinette Berset-Price, AICI FLC VP Marketing – Zayna Mosam, AICI CIP VP Membership – Jane Seaman, AICI CIP Executive Director – Molley Lopez, CAE AICI HEADQUARTERS 1255 SW Prairie Trail Parkway Ankeney, IA 50023 Phone: 515-282-5500 www.AICI.org Comments about the magazine? firstname.lastname@example.org 2 | January 2013 magazine
VIEWPOINT “AICI IS A PLACE TO MEET LIFELONG FRIENDS.” THESE WORDS FROM THE 2005 AICI CONFERENCE STILL RING IN MY EARS. Time flies. It is 2013. The year that our new baby, the AICI Global Digital Magazine, is born! We are entering a new post-2012 era with this new born E-baby. Energy always generates when something is re-born, refreshed, and revitalized. Synergy emerges also when such a “new” thing is delivered through a great teamwork. As one of the former AICI article writers, I have decided to take up the new role of Editor in Chief to celebrate my 10 years of AICI membership. This journey has been colorful, and like many of you, I walked through stages from being a hesitating enrollee; becoming an Associate; attending conference; FLC, CIP and so on. With such an organized platform of professional advancement, mentorship, events, and continuing education, we are assured that we are not alone. We know hundreds of peer angels are applying the knowledge and skill of image consulting to keep beautifying individuals, and incorporate the society in other side of the rainbow. Business success always relies on the strength of one’s network. With our joint effort over the years, we have built up a global network of image consulting practitioners, which enables us to become more globalized – an advancement that will ultimately enrich our professionalism and business circle. Nothing is better than an official magazine (empowered by digitization) to serve and update members for achieving such global vision! We’ll have the articles from members in the fields, feature stories from around the world, CEU calendars, and a lot more. Most importantly, we have your support! A precious support by simply reading it (what you are doing!) Through this, we are but one, big image earth charter! Congratulations on our new digital magazine – AICI Global! She is waiting for your hugs and kisses!
Dr. Desmond Chan Editor in Chief AICI Global Digital Magazine
INSIDE THIS ISSUE
IMAGE MATTERS Informative Articles of Interest
Issue 1 EDITOR IN CHIEF Dr. Desmond Chan
MANAGING DIRECTOR Magoe Johnson STYLE DIRECTOR Thea Wood
BUSINESS DIRECTOR Karen Brunger
ETIQUETTE + COMPORTMENT DIRECTOR Sangeeta Bahl
All Eyes on You
GLOBALIZING News and Notes from Around the World
BETWEEN US Important AICI News and Information
COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR Dr. Joyce Knudsen PROOFREADERS Beth Strange Bernie Burson AICI GLOBAL is produced quarterly by Association of Image Consultants International, a non-profit organization dedicated to advancing the level of professionalism and enhancing the recognition of image consultants. AICI GLOBAL is published to promote the ideas, activities, interests and goals of AICI to its members. Responsibility is not assumed for the opinions of writers or other articles. AICI Global magazine does not endorse or guarantee the products it advertises. 2012 ÂŠ The Association of Image Consultants International. All rights reserved. No part of this online publication may be duplicated or reproduced without permission from the publisher. While every effort has been made to ensure accuracy of the information included in the publication at the time of printing, the publisher shall not be liable from damages arising from errors or omissions.
The Association of Image Consultants International | 3
MASTERING THE WORLD OF IMAGE CONSULTING:
CERTIFIED MASTERS SHARE SECRETS OF THEIR BUSINESS SUCCESS.
WHO BETTER TO ASK ADVICE FROM ON HOW TO RUN A SUCCESSFUL IMAGE BUSINESS THAN OTHER IMAGE CONSULTANTS THAT ARE ON TOP OF THEIR GAME AND KNOW WHAT THEY ARE TALKING ABOUT! AICI’S (ASSOCIATION OF IMAGE CONSULTANTS INTERNATIONAL) OWN CERTIFIED IMAGE MASTERS, NO DOUBT! THERE ARE 10 MASTERS WORLDWIDE CERTIFIED BY AICI, AND THEY CAN SHARE A THING OR TWO OR MORE ABOUT THE BUSINESS. THESE 10 IMAGE MASTERS OVER THE YEARS HAVE BEEN PIONEERS IN THE FIELD OF IMAGE CONSULTING, HAVE BEEN THROUGH TRIAL AND ERROR, AND ARE HIGHLY QUALIFIED TO ADVISE EVERYONE ON THE SUBJECT.
AICI Global Magazine was able to catch up with AICI’s first two Certified Masters, Dr. Joyce Knudsen
and Judith Rasband, who are the first to have mastered the business of image consulting. Both ladies were gracious to speak with me and share more than a thing or two about the real world of image consulting.
Dr. Joyce Knudsen, PhD, AICI CIM, is the first image consultant in the world to hold the coveted
“Certified Image Master” designation from The Association of Image Consultants International (AICI), as well as being the first AICI CIM trainer to teach abroad. AICI has honored her with its Image Makers Merit of Industry Excellence (IMMIE) award and its Award of Excellence for Education. She also played a leading role in a ground-breaking study sponsored by AICI, which showed image consulting services give a big boost to people’s self-esteem. Read more about Dr. Joyce Knudsen at www.ImageMaker1.com.
Judith Rasband, AICI CIM, is one of the first to hold the coveted Certified Image Master award from the
AICI. AICI has honored her with its Image Makers Merit of Industry Excellence (IMMIE) award. Judith has served on AICI’s executive board, as Advanced Education Chair, and as Ethics chair. Read more about Judith Rasband at www.Conselle.com.
4 | January 2013 magazine
Dr. Joyce Knudsen
HERE IS WHAT THEY HAD TO SAY: WHY IMAGE CONSULTING? JOYCE: It was a great next-step for me, having been a model, teaching modeling, and charm schools and doing voiceovers.
JUDITH: Image management consulting is a natural application of the physical, social, psychological, and artistic aspects of dress, grooming, and body language studied in my undergraduate and graduate years, then later taught at the university level.
WHO INSPIRED YOU OR WHAT WAS YOUR INSPIRATION? JOYCE: It was in my blood. I am a helping person and love all the aspects of image, especially behavior and communication. You can read my latest book on communication on Amazon, Symbols: The Art of Communication.
JUDITH: Years of theater and dance experience taught me that image communicates! Fascination with that communication inspired me to major in the subject in college. Later, my own university students inspired me to develop a more relevant framework for the practical application of foundation theory.
HOW DID YOU FIND OUT ABOUT AICI AND WHY DID YOU JOIN? JOYCE: I was a member of AFIC before AICI became International, so I was a charter member. I joined for credibility for the work I was already involved in.
JUDITH: I was there, at the very first National Image Industry Seminar (NIIS) in 1980, a conference sponsored by PIM, Inc., of Colwell Industries. Attending every image industry conference since, I observed the growing pains of the fledgling industry, joining AICI as a charter member when it formed in 1990, striving to advance the industry. Judith Rasband
DO YOU HAVE ANY IDEA HOW MUCH YOU ARE ADMIRED BY MEMBERS AND HOW MANY DESIRE TO BE SUCCESSFUL BUSINESS OWNERS LIKE YOURSELF? JOYCE: Not really. I never do anything to compete with anyone; I’m only in competition with myself. I am a very hard worker and strive for excellence.
JUDITH: Not really, as I’m the quintessential “outlier” functioning much on my own, apart from an established AICI chapter. But regardless, I feel a tremendous responsibility to do right things right so that others may follow successfully.
The Association of Image Consultants International | 5
WHAT IS THE MOST EXCITING ACCOMPLISHMENT YOU HAVE MADE IN YOUR IMAGE BUSINESS? JOYCE: Getting published by a literary agent/publisher. Now, I work with them!
JUDITH: I’ve made my original Personal/Professional Style Scale, created as a solution to business casual issues, concerns, and confusions. Called “brilliant” by the gentleman who passed me off for my CIM, the Director of the Men’s Apparel Alliance, and by editors at the menswear DNR and Fairchild, I am thankful for inspiration in the face of desperation as I continue to map out the entire language of clothes relative to the Style Scale. Equally exciting, however, are my 12 Wardrobe Strategies, eight Figure Types with 89 figure variations, six Personal Style Types, and three Color sense applications. It’s a legacy I hope goes on.
IF YOU COULD GO BACK AND DO ONE THING DIFFERENT IN YOUR BUSINESS WHAT WOULD IT BE? JOYCE: I would have charged more to show my value in order for others to see theirs.
JUDITH: I would have studied the business end of the image business sooner. I am right to teach mastery before momentum in terms of technical knowledge and professional development, but it applies to business management as well.
HOW DO YOU KEEP YOUR BUSINESS FRESH AND UPDATED WITH THE LATEST BUSINESS TRENDS? JOYCE: I keep up with the times. As a senior, I know that it’s very important to keep up with social sites, smart phones, and websites.
JUDITH: I “keep my business fresh and updated” by being alert to the processes of social change. By being aware, I have always known what was coming, have prepared my market strategy in advance, and have been able to stay ahead of the pack. Hundreds of thousands of supposed image consultants have come and gone since 1980. I’m still here and going strong!
WHAT IS ONE PIECE OF BUSINESS ADVICE YOU CAN GIVE TO THOSE OF US WHO WANT TO ACHIEVE SUCH LEVEL OF SUCCESS IN OUR IMAGE BUSINESS LIKE YOU HAVE DONE? JOYCE: I would tell them not to shop money. There is a substantial amount of investment that comes with every business, and image consulting is no different. You have to have a passion and KNOW that you will make it and be successful.
JUDITH: My advice still stands, “mastery first then momentum.” Master accurate technical information and professional development skills before getting into the momentum phase of marketing your business. As you grow your business step-by-step, keep in mind, family first then business!
6 | January 2013 magazine
WHY REINVENT THE WHEEL? A PIECE OF ADVICE ON ACHIEVING BUSINESS SUCCESS FROM OTHER CIMS WHO HAVE MASTERED THE IMAGE BUSINESS... ANNA WILDERMUTH: “My company’s success continues by being able to adapt to the changes in the business and social environment. Second element that is most critical is always adding new skills that continue to ensure client satisfaction. Third and not last is having working capital to grow the business.”
OHMORI METHOD: “To discover, improve, and enhance your strong point, and keep targeting a unique image consultant of your own. To make your best effort in order to solve your client’s problems and bring confidence, gratification, and new possibilities to your client.”
MARION GELLATLY: “Be clear about your target audience, and keep your marketing messages focused specifically on them. The more focused you are, the clearer your message can be. Don’t try to be all things to all people. It took me a long time to figure that out. My best recommendation for creating business is to be strategic, be decisive, and be deliberate.”
CHRISTINA ONG: “(Re-)Position yourself as a consultant who delivers results. Never stop learning. Seek to understand your clients’ needs. They are the reason we exist. If we listen, their challenges are our opportunities to innovate and offer value-added solutions. Who else has the unique combination of expertise that we as image consultants offer?”
LYNN MARKS: “For the first two to three years, say yes to every opportunity that comes your way. Learn what you do well, then specialize later. You are the Golden Goose of your business: keep learning, growing and developing yourself all your life. That way, you will evolve with your business.”
HELENA CHENN: “Know your business inside and out, determine your clientele base and network.”
CARLA MATHIS: “Building a successful Image Consulting business requires a passion to make a difference in lives, perseverance in outreach, a refined and authentic personal image that communicates effective style, and the discipline to create and follow a business plan.”
ELAINE STOLTZ: “The most important words of wisdom from me is that an image consultant is a business person “first” and an image consultant “second.” You will only be successful if you raise capital to start a business, watch your bottom line each month and stick to your budget.”
The Association of Image Consultants International | 7
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8 | January 2013 magazine
THE PRODUCTIVE PROCRASTINATOR By John Perry John Perry is Professor of Philosophy at Stanford University and Distinguished Professor of Philosophy at the University of California, Riverside. He has made significant contributions to areas of philosophy, including logic, philosophy of language, metaphysics, and philosophy of mind. He was awarded the Jean Nicod Prize in 1999. If you procrastinate, you don’t have to search far to find reasons for feeling bad about yourself. It’s easy to find articles and books that paint procrastinators as miserable and unproductive folk, inflicting stress on themselves and all around them, helping those they work for go bankrupt, and driving our economy into the ditch. But are procrastinators truly unproductive? Often, the exact opposite is true. They are people who get a lot done. They don’t have neat desks or even neat desktops on their laptops. They spend a lot of time playing catch-up. But in the end, they accomplish a lot. Suppose you went through history, and removed all the novels, poems, plays, inventions, and business innovations that people came up with while they were supposed to be doing something else. I think you would gut civilization. The person who came up with the wheel was probably putting off building a sled; Shakespeare probably wrote his first play while he was supposed to be copying scripts for the older actors in his troupe; and so on and so forth right up to the well-known college goofoffs who have been responsible for the computer revolution. The truth is that most procrastinators are structured procrastinators. This means that although they may be putting off something deemed important, their way of not doing the important thing is to do something else. Nevertheless, such people feel bad about being procrastinators and often annoy others. That what my book, The Art of Procrastination, is about. In 1995, for reasons buried in the fog of my memory, I took time out from more important task to write a short essay called “Structured Procrastination.” Nothing I have written has been read by so many, been helpful to so many, at least by their own testimony, and brightened as many days as my little article on structured procrastination. My favorite email was from a woman who said that she had been a procrastinator all of her life. Being a procrastinator had made her miserable, she said, in large part because her brother was constantly critical of her for having this character flaw. Reading my essay, she said, allowed her to hold her head up, and realize that she is a valuable human being who accomplishes a great deal, in spite of being a procrastinator. For the first time in her life, she said, after reading my essay she had the courage to tell her brother to shut up get lost. “By the way,” she added, “I am 72 years old.”
The Art of Procrastination goes beyond this essay. It provides the procrastinator with some ideas for keeping the bad effects of this trait to a minimum: DON’T LISTEN to the advice offered to procrastinators by people who don’t have this particular flaw. For example: “Keep your commitments to a minimum, so you won’t be distracted.” This is a way to become a couch potato, not an effective human being. If a procrastinator doesn’t want to work on something, it won’t help to have nothing else to do. It’s better to have lots of things to do, so you can work on some of them as a way of not doing the task that, for whatever reason, you seek to avoid. DON’T SIT AROUND feeling bad because you lack willpower. That will make you a depressed procrastinator but won’t help you get anything done. Most of us lack all kinds of powers. I can’t lift my car by the bumper in order to change a tire. That’s what jacks are for. I can’t add long columns of figures in my head. That’s what calculators are for. Tools give us the ability to make up for what we lack in native powers. The procrastinator has tools that allow him to manipulate himself to achieve results he can’t get with willpower alone, a number of which I describe. AVOID PERFECTIONISM. I don’t mean avoid doing things perfectly. If you are at all like me, that’s not a problem. I mean avoid fantasizing about doing things perfectly. Often procrastination is just a way of giving ourselves permission to do a less-than-perfect job on something that doesn’t require a perfect job anyway. Or maybe it’s a way of getting those we work with to the point where they say, “For crying out loud, just give me something!” At this point you realize you need to give your boss a memo that provides the basic facts; it doesn’t need to read like Hemingway. Most importantly, avoid annoying the non-procrastinators around you. For starters, be honest. Admit that you are a procrastinator, and admit that it is a flaw. Maybe someday you will pursue some self-help regimen that will eliminate this flaw from your personality. But for now, don’t compound the flaw with denial. If you admit to being a procrastinator, others will probably try hard to find something nice to say about you; if you are a structured procrastinator, they may not have far to look.
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APPEARANCE AND STYLE
INFLUENCERS SET THE STANDARDS
By Debra Linquist, MA, AICI CIP
10 | January 2013 magazine
“THERE IS AN EXPECTATION FROM MANAGEMENT (OR THE HUMAN RESOURCES DEPARTMENT) THAT AN IMAGE CONSULTANT WILL HAVE VALUABLE AND PRACTICAL INFORMATION TO IMPART TO EMPLOYEES.”
At this time in history, specific people rather than industries may shape and define standards for appropriate business wear in the office. There are some conservative businesses that still require traditional clothing, but often it is an “anything goes” environment. Old-school ideas of what is appropriate are often viewed by some company employees as being obsolete. The “Influencers” are calling the shots, wearing what they please, and impacting new employees as role models. Part of the United States culture is a focus on a youthful look. Women’s hairstyles, clothing, and high heels reflect this trend. At one time, sleeveless dresses for women were considered inappropriate for work. Women were told that not wearing a jacket diminished their power. Today, proud of their firm upper arms, women embrace sleeveless styles. Who influences the Influencers? Fashion, stores, celebrities, news media, movies, and the Internet. In the United States, regional areas impact business wear. I live in Denver, Colorado, which less than 250 years ago was called the Wild West. Colorado, with its high mountain peaks and emphasis on a casual lifestyle, has never been known for formality. There are pockets of sophistication in business dress, but the majority of workers do not adhere to traditional business attire. When men wear a shirt and tie, they feel that they are dressed up. As the CEO of a national organization, one of my clients gave presentations all over the United States. My image consulting background knowledge of regional expectations for business dress helped me assist her in choosing colors and styles that would be received appropriately in different areas. She dressed with specific expectations for the audience to which she was presenting. My advice to any image consultant working with a corporate client is to visit the corporation in order to get a feeling for the employees in their environment.
QUESTIONS TO ASK YOURSELF:
+ What is the overall image of the organization? + What feeling do you experience when you enter the office space? + What are employees wearing? + What are people doing each day? If it is impossible to visit the corporation before a presentation, ask for office photos that show groups for different departments. There is an expectation from management (or the human resources department) that an image consultant will have valuable and practical information to impart to employees. To meet and indeed exceed those expectations, an image consultant should probe in order to learn the company’s goals. ASK MANAGEMENT ABOUT THEIR CONCERNS, SUCH AS:
+ Is grooming an issue? + I s the perception that workers’ clothing styles reflect a mood that is not in line with corporate standards or branding? + Who are the best-dressed employees? What are they doing right? + Is the concern regarding the staff as a whole or just a few people? Often, image consultants are hired in order to deliver a message to an employee when management does not feel comfortable doing so. In every office environment, there is often an “Influencer” who is dressing in a very appropriate manner. Image consultants can identify and align themselves with these individuals in order to reaffirm the best image practices that the image consultant is teaching.
Debra Lindquist, MA, AICI CIP, is a seasoned image consultant, trainer on the many facets of image consulting, and the innovator of Color Profiles, Ltd. Read more at www.lindquistassociates.com. The Association of Image Consultants International | 11
APPEARANCE AND STYLE
IS IT TIME FOR A NEW HEADSHOT? By Thea Wood, AICI FLC
Does the headshot you post online and in your marketing materials reflect what you look like so a prospective client could find you in a crowd? If not, it may be time for a new photo. 12 | January 2013 magazine
We build trust with new clients by actually looking like the image we market. Consistency and accuracy in how you represent yourself imply that you deliver what you promise. If you answer “yes” to any of the following questions, perhaps it’s time to call a professional photographer and update your marketing image. You’ll feel more confident and immediately attract more clients who connect with your image and brand. Many image consultants have multiple photos and videos showing them with various looks over a period of time–especially on their websites. Keep them! The goal is to ensure that the first and most repeated image a viewer sees is current and accurate. Is currently your hair color more than two shades lighter or darker than your photo? Is your hair length more than 4 inches (10.2 cm) shorter or longer than in your photo? Is the photo a “temporary” that a friend or colleague took? Did the photographer remove or over-alter your natural features? Do you look noticeably younger in the photo? Is the photo more than two years old? Have you gained or lost 20 pounds (9 kg) or more since the photo was taken? Has a client said, “I didn’t recognize you from your photo”?
Find a photographer who charges a flat fee that includes photo royalties and provides a disc with web and print-friendly versions. The price should also include photo-editing for a clean and polished finish. Thea Wood, AICI FLC, helps women find themselves (connect with who they are on the inside) before they make changes to their appearance on the outside. Author of Are You Ready For Your Close-up? Read more at www.theawood.com. The Association of Image Consultants International | 13
Perhaps no business concept has dominated entrepreneurship as much as networking; however, so many professionals dislike this key to business growth.
Although many of us network as though it were a commandment, we may wonder if it’s actually leading to valuable business growth that makes the hours and sore feet worth the effort. The answer should be “yes”; for optimal growth, we do need to use this powerful tool to make as many face-to-face connections with potential clients and associates as we can. Unfortunately, it’s a lot easier to be a mediocre or even a bad
FROM “UHH” TO “AHH” By Beth Strange, AICI CIP
networker than it is to excel. Here are the 10 best pearls of networking wisdom I’ve gleaned over the years from a plethora of networking experiences and role models:
14 | January 2013 magazine
Beth Strange, AICI CIP, assists individual men and women, groups, and corporations in refining their image and becoming their very best by applying proven principles in dress, grooming, verbal and nonverbal communication, and etiquette and protocol. Read more at www.bethstrange.com.
01. Do Your Homework
Networking must begin with preparation. Not all networking events are created equal, so spend time finding out who is likely to attend the event you are contemplating attending. Make sure it is your target audience. Are people with whom you’d like to connect going to be there? If so, be prepared to talk to them intelligently about their business or industry.
02. Do More Homework
06. Alcohol Is a Garnish
If you must have a drink in your hand, then nurse just one. Oh, the things we say and do when we’ve had one too many. Very few people or firms want to do business with someone who cannot control his or her appetites. This advice may also apply to smoking and over eating.
07. Jettison the Jitters
Many people do not like talking to strangers or feel inadequate in social situations. Image professionals, however, have to be models of Memorize your 15-second elevator speech so that it sounds confidence. If social confidence is not one of your strengths, read the like a natural part of your conversation and not like a . . classic How to Win Friends and Influence People, and then practice . well, like an elevator speech. Become an expert on your wherever you go. It’s a lot easier to rehearse being social in the products and services–not just how to deliver them, but also grocery line than in the heat of a networking event. how to talk about them in a way that’s interesting.
03. Listen and Learn
People are drawn to happy people. Smiling puts you more at ease Don’t be that person who dominates the conversation. and makes you appear more warm and inviting to others. Numerous The secret to being well liked and respected is to be a good studies have shown that we trust people who smile and that we want listener. Ask questions and really listen to the answers. to do business with people we trust. Even if you don’t get to talk about your business right then, you will make a good impression that will pay off in your follow-up communication.
04. Dress for Success
09. Be the Initiator
Put on your smile and initiate contact. You may want to have practiced lines. I approach groups with this line, “Well, this looks like an interesting conversation!” It either is interesting and they’ll want to share it with you, or it was going nowhere and they’ll be relieved that you showed up to save it. Look for people who appear to be shy or out of their element. Meeting you may change their lives.
As image professionals, we have to nail this one. The attendees, the venue, and the time of day provide the clues to appropriate dress. I attended a speed-networking event on a weekday morning at a country club for C-level executives. The owner of an alarm company arrived in faded jeans and a company pull-over shirt. He didn’t understand that he wasn’t there to install or even sell alarm Sometimes it’s hard to remember which face went with which systems. He was there to sell others on himself. business card. Pause before making the next contact to jot down a relevant note on the back of their card. These notes will help you know who you need to contact. Don’t delay your follow-up. Send an email or make a call the next day. Networking is more about making positive connections Networking is not going away, so we might as well dive in and than making sales. Start conversations with something like, enjoy the water. But first, we have to know how to swim. Do your “What brought you here today?” Then turn off the inner research, hone your techniques, and practice your conversation salesperson and really listen. When you get your turn, skills. As image professionals, not only do we need to master the art briefly tell them what image management is; follow that of networking for ourselves, but we should be showing others how with a success story. Don’t tell them how much they need to become networking stars. an image consultant!
05. No Hard Sales
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THE ART OF PROFESSIONAL
COMMUNICATION What communication message are you sending? By Dr. Joyce Knudsen, Ph.D., AICI CIM
What professional communications skills do you want to develop? What actions are
you willing to take in order to commit to this development? Are you willing to practice these communication skills?
These are important questions. Why? It is crucial to know how to communicate in business. People receive messages that involve feelings, thoughts, and emotions. Our messages may not being heard SENDER RECEIVER in the way they were intended. The messages we send go through a process known as “noise.” This is how some view the communication cycle: SENDER CHANNEL
FEEDBACK CHANNEL FEEDBACK
However, here is a better model of what happens when we communicate: INTENDED MEANING INTENDED MEANING
PERCEIVED MEANING PERCEIVED MEANING
HIS REALITY HIS REALITY
NOISE, EMOTIONS, SHARED SPACE THOUGHTS, AND INTERPRETATION NOISE, EMOTIONS, THOUGHTS, AND INTERPRETATION
HIS REALITY WHAT HIS REALITY RECEIVER WHAT THINKS HEARS, RECEIVER AND FEELS
HEARS, THINKS AND FEELS
16 | January 2013 magazine
After you send a message, it goes through a shared space that contains “noise,” such as emotions, thoughts, feelings, and perceived communication. The Receiver has a perceived meaning as to what they hear, think, and feel. It is their reality. So, how do we get our messages across? In the book, SYMBOLS: The Art of Communication, it is stated that we live in a world of signs and symbols. Street signs, logos, labels, pictures and words in books, newspapers, magazines, and now our mobiles and computer screens all contain graphic shapes that have been designed. They are so commonplace we seldom think of them as a single entity graphic design. Yet taken as a whole they are central to our modern way of life. More often than not, people miscommunicate. They hear what they choose to hear. They hear selectively. In our social networking world of texting, tweets, and posts, there are many nuances to consider. The electronic forms of communication offer great value in the communication process. What first comes to mind is the immediate gratification of sending and receiving messages. When people used to write letters, they had to wait for a response, and now you can reach worldwide access in seconds. Another point is that “real time” electronic communication is what we are living in – the real world. Businesses can now send messages via office email, quickly and efficiently. In the book Multiple Intelligences by Howard Gardner, it suggests that we now have the opportunity to go beyond stated expectations and explore specific interests. So, since getting a message immediately does have good traits, we seem to have lost the actual communication in real life. No longer do your children call every week; they text. Everything has moved in a direction of “I need information right now.” It concerns me that we are losing our opportunity to communicate on the telephone, in-person, in lieu of these electronic advances in technology. The majority of the population is born with the ability to hear, but not to listen. There are several reasons that people do not or cannot listen or remember, ranging from physical conditions to cultural beliefs. Albert Mehrabian has pioneered the art of communications since l960. He established an early understanding of body language and nonverbal communication. His research has been quoted worldwide.
His message was: • 7% of a message is the spoken word. • 38% of a message indicates feelings and attitudes, also known as paralinguistic (the way words are said). • 55% of a message has to do with facial expressions. His model of communication relates to the feelings and attitudes shown in the graphics above. This involves facial expressions. This model has become a widely used reference for communication. If you want to become a professional communicator, read all that you can about verbal and nonverbal communication. See yourself in a conversation as if you were just listening in, and practice using Mehrabian’s findings. You’ll be glad you did.
Some questions to consider: 1. Do you understand the “noise” you make? Davis Foulger, Research Consultant at Evolutionary Media in Brooklyn says, Noise is described in the form of ‘secondary signals’ that obscure or confuse the signal carried. Given Shannon’s focus on telephone transmission, carriers, and reception, it should not be surprising that noise is restricted to noise that obscures or obliterates some portion of the signal within the channel. This is a fairly restrictive notion of noise, by current standards, and a somewhat misleading one. Today we have at least some media which are so noise free that compressed signals are constructed with an absolutely minimal amount information and little likelihood of signal loss. In the process, Shannon’s solution to noise, redundancy, has been largely replaced by a minimally redundant solution: error detection and correction. Today we use noise more as a metaphor for problems associated with effective listening.” 2. Do you realize what you are saying to another in the communication process? What you say can be “said” many ways. Perhaps, if you think about what message you want to get across, prior to opening your mouth, this can facilitate the communication process.
Dr. Joyce Knudsen, Ph.D., AICI CIM, a leader in the field of communications, a published author and originator of home study program, worldwide. Read more at www.imagemaker1.com. The Association of Image Consultants International | 17
SETTING BOUNDARIES WHEN YOU GIVE FREE TALKS By Juanita Ecker, AICI CIP
Will the talk enhance your profile, give you a chance to get speechmaking experience and try out new material, or put you in contact with potential clients?
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I was recently asked to give a free talk to a Chamber of Commerce. I explained that I would be happy to be a speaker for their upcoming event. Since it was a pro bono event, I discussed with the contact person that I have a standard talk that I give. It’s a presentation on cocktail reception do’s and taboos, as well as some networking tips. It’s fun and interactive, and includes plenty of etiquette tips that any businessperson can use. A week after our initial phone conversation, the contact person sent me an email. She explained that her “committee” had met and were excited about my offer to give a presentation. However, she also stated that the committee didn’t want just the “basics.” They listed six objectives that they wanted me to cover during this 45-minute presentation. When I saw the objectives, I was shocked. The six objectives had nothing to do with the topic outline I had
originally given them. And, if I was truly going to be able to cover all those subjects, we would need a half-day seminar, not a mere 45 minutes. I telephoned my contact. I offered to stay as long as needed after my talk, adding that I would be happy to answer personal questions relating to those topics after the session. But my contact insisted that the committee wanted me to completely change the presentation to cover their objectives. If what they wanted had been something that I had previously taught, I would have been happy to pull from my notes to customize the program. However, that was not the case. I was disappointed with how they handled this, and had no choice but to gracefully decline the offer to speak at their event. You may find yourself in a similar situation when an organization or association asks you to speak at one of their meetings.
Before you accept the invitation, there are a number of factors to consider: 1. Is the organization worthy? Are they truly in need of volunteers, or are they simply trying to save a few bucks by not offering pay? 2. Does the event and organization fit with your brand? For example, I am always happy to work with charitable organizations that are near and dear to my heart. However, certain groups may be far outside my realm. 3. What are the benefits to your brand? Will the talk enhance your profile, give you a chance to get speechmaking experience and try out new material, or put you in contact with potential clients? 4. How much preparation will you need? If the time, effort, and expense required to give the free talk outweigh any potential benefits, it’s just not really feasible. We small business owners simply don’t have the resources to bend over backwards for a client, especially when we aren’t being compensated. It’s important to stick to your guns, set boundaries, and avoid finding yourself in a situation in which you’ve bitten off more than you can chew. Juanita Ecker, AICI CIP, is etiquette expert, certified in business etiquette, corporate protocol, image consulting, and a success coach. Her column, “Image Matters,” is a regular feature in the Business Review. Read more at www.professionalimagemgt.com. The Association of Image Consultants International | 19
LAY A STRONG FOUNDATION FOR YOUR BUSINESS
By Brian Lipstein, AICI FLC
So you’ve decided you want to become an image consultant. Why? Is it a hobby you’re good at? Did you see a business opportunity in your market? Have you identified a need? All across the world, image consultants are starting their businesses for different reasons. Regardless of the reason for starting a business, the fact is that nearly 50 percent of small businesses fail within three to five years. There are many aspects of building a strong business, but to start, let’s look at three key areas to focus on to ensure your business is one that succeeds! 20 | January 2013 magazine
Start With a Plan I love the saying, “Fail to plan, plan to fail.” Your business plan is the road map of your success. It should detail your opportunities (SWOT Analysis – Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats), objectives (goals), financial projections, market analysis (competition), and your offering (strategic advantage). All of these areas are summarized in an introduction to your business plan called the executive summary. Failing to have a comprehensive plan when you begin means that, as you grow, the foundation of your business doesn’t truly exist. A “mental plan” or one in your head is not good enough. This plan needs to be written down so it can be referenced as you progress. Now, putting together a business plan is not the easiest thing to do if you have never done this before. In many cities throughout the world, there are business support opportunities in your local community. For example, throughout the United States there are government-funded small business development centers (SBDCs) that provide courses to the public in business planning, market research, and other business basics. If something like this doesn’t exist in your area, turn to the Internet for these resources. It can be as easy as reading other companies’ business plans, or looking at a sample plan or template found online. A common mistake in business planning is thinking that the plan needs to be perfect before you can start working it. Your business plan is going to change many times, so don’t get hung up on perfecting it early on. You need to test the initial assumptions you make and adjust based on what the data shows. In the beginning, work your plan and review it every three months. As it starts to solidify, change the review to six months, then yearly. You will see it come together, and this will become a strong foundation on which to build a strong business.
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Track your Data A business professor of mine at the Wharton School of The University of Pennsylvania always used to say, “A turning point for entrepreneurs is when they can go from saying ‘I think…’ to saying ‘The data shows…’.” While our ideas are always well-intentioned, the business world won’t always reward a good idea. A good idea in one market may not work in another. We need to track factual data, which requires research. Taking the output of our research (the data) into account, we can now move forward based on the evidence we’ve collected. The data will show that we are (or perhaps are not) moving in the right direction. Track key points such as your return on investment, lifetime value of clients, client acquisition sources, etc. The more data points you track, the better picture you will get of where your business stands. Go back to your plan and you can see what is working and where you might need to adjust your initial assumptions.
SMART Goals, Strategies and Tactics A key section of your business plan should include your goals, strategies, and tactics. It is important to have written goals you can reference to track your progress. A good template to follow with your goals is to remember the acronym SMART – Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and with a Timeline. If each of your goals can be broken down to fit these categories, you’ll have goals that you will see accomplished and that will move your business forward. Setting your sights high is generally a good thing, but if your goals are not realistic, cannot be measured or attained, and are too general, then you will never truly reach them and eventually discouragement may set in. Don’t reach for the stars right away; we’ve all been told we need to crawl before we walk, walk before we run. The same is true with our businesses and setting unrealistic goals – like trying to run before we’ve started to crawl. I guarantee you will fall down and it will hurt, so let’s not sabotage ourselves from the start with unrealistic goals. A goal is great, but to help you reach that goal, it is important to break out how you’ll accomplish each one with strategies. Specific strategies are the steps you need to finish in order to reach each goal.
Taking it one step further, tactics will help you accomplish each strategy. Break it down to a step-by-step plan that will move you forward. Each goal, strategy, and tactic should fall within the SMART model. Having measurable steps along the way that can show you each one has been completed will ensure nothing is missed and a goal is fully completed. Go ahead and check off the goal (remember they should always be written down!) from your list. It will feel great! I still believe it is important to think big. When setting goals, you may want to set them in stages. Try to set shortterm (3–6 months), medium-term (1–3 years), and long-term (3–7 years) goals. This way, you can set the grand vision for your company and success, but also set out the stepping-stones of how you are going to achieve each of these along the way. These are just some of the basics to focus on when starting your business. If you are a more seasoned consultant and have been in business longer, but haven’t done these steps, it would be a good exercise to go back and do so. Even if you’ve seen success, this could be the difference between having a lifestyle business – one that you run on your own and provides a comfortable lifestyle – to having what I call a “real” business, or one that can run without you and could be sold down the line. Build this strong foundation and stay tuned for future articles that will discuss the next steps integral to making sure your business stays on the positive side of the statistics on business survival.
Brian Lipstein, AICI FLC, works with men on their professional images and provides solutions through custom tailored clothing and accessories. His business was recently recognized as the 22nd fastest growing, privately held business in the Philadelphia area by the Philadelphia Business Journal. Read more at www.henrydavidsen.com.
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PERSONAL BRAND CALLED
“YOU” By Vandita Singh
I am often asked how individuals can brand themselves and if personal branding is as valuable as corporate branding. Human beings by nature are judgmental! They say “a picture speaks a thousand words” – similarly, first impressions from personal meetings or from your social media presence make a lasting impact.
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Just as products and services rely on branding to project a certain positioning and value proposition, people need personal branding to build their image. “Personal branding” is about intentionally influencing how the world sees you. It’s about purposefully packaging that brand called “YOU.” Personal branding, selfpositioning and all individual branding by whatever name, was first introduced in 1937 in the book Think and Grow Rich, by Napoleon Hill. The idea surfaced later in the 1981 book, Positioning: The Battle for Your Mind, by Al Ries and Jack Trout.
Success does come from “self packaging”! Let’s take for example Madonna. She was her brand. From the beginning, she has had the ability to change consistently throughout her career. This made her stand out from other performers. This, in essence, strengthened her individual brand.
By branding yourself effectively, you will: • Establish yourself as an expert in your chosen field. • Build a solid reputation within your industry. • Increase your popularity and improve your perceived value in the marketplace. Set out on a personal branding campaign, using online and offline tactics to network, demonstrate your expertise and show the value your “Self” brand could bring to potential or current employers! When you have a solid personal brand, you’ll be more memorable, you’ll be more impressive, and people will have a more favorable opinion about you – that’s the same thing that good branding does for products! Here are five empowering personal branding tips:
1. Invest in Professional Development Too often, people think of personal branding as just advertising. In reality, it’s about delivering your knowledge to the marketplace. In order to do that well, continue developing your skills, knowledge and network.
2. Stay On Top of It One of the most important tenets of personal branding is consistency. Just as you instantly know a can of Coca-Cola when you see one (and know what to expect once it’s open), your audience should know exactly what you bring to the table and what they’re getting by working with you. Whether you’ve branded yourself as a no-nonsense people-mover who is effective at managing staff, or an industry expert and consultant who provides fresh insights and innovates the way a company operates, be consistent. Decide on your core messages and stick to one image. Know your strengths and
play to them by creating a consistent brand around yourself that’s complete with mission, objectives, and recognizable visual brand elements.
3. Be an Online Content Creator Content creation allows you to build a network by sharing your expertise and analysis. This is not only valuable to employers because it shows you’re on top of industry trends and can implement fresh ideas, but also because they are also buying into your brand’s network and reputation.
4. Live and Apply your Personal Brand The best way to demonstrate your skills and expertise is to put them into practice.
5. Prepare for Exposure Let your professional story be picked up by the media or your company newsletter. This will spark even more opportunities. But just like any job interview, don’t go into these blindly. Make sure to run over the messages you want to get across. Make sure you prepare for each opportunity. It’s important to create a personal brand that portrays you in a professional light and provides employers and contacts with a strong, positive impression of you as a high-caliber individual who would be an asset to their organization. Call it self-marketing, personal branding, professional development, or any other buzzword you’d like. In any case, finding a job and climbing the career ladder are all about investing in the business of YOU! As a professional, you are a brand unto yourself. The target market for the unique value you provide are employers who are constantly bombarded with messages from your competitors (read: other industry professionals) and who are always on the lookout for innovation. Develop and market your Personal Brand effectively by using the above Personal Branding tips.
Vandita Singh, conducts a variety of presentations, workshops and training on professional and personal grooming and image management. Read more at www.imagetia.com. The Association of Image Consultants International | 25
THE CHARACTERISTICS OF A
WELL WRITTEN BUSINESS LETTER Contributed by Professional Edge Consulting
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RESPONSIBLE COMMUNICATION IS THE HEART OF ANY BUSINESS.
Whether it’s an email, telephone communication, a proposal, or a business letter, your communication portrays an impression about your business. Communication is what connects your business with the outside world. Therefore it’s essential that the form of communication adheres to corporate norms and principles of etiquette. We must remember that business communication is different from personal communication. A business letter would differ in length and format from a personal letter. And it’s important to bear in mind that any form of business communication must be precise and concise. As a Communication Etiquette professional, I have had the privilege of meeting many corporate professionals, both in Canada and in the South Asian region. One common question asked by most professionals about the basics of letter writing is how to write an effective business letter that fully conveys their message. Any form of communication can be easily misunderstood as communication differs greatly according to society, culture, and region. Therefore, it’s important to stick with the international norms of corporate communication. What exactly is a business letter and why would a professional write one? A business letter is written to communicate a business matter either within the corporate arena or from business-to-client or client-to-business organization. Being a form of corporate communication, a well formulated business letter would portray a company’s commitment to achieve a high level of communication. Bear in mind that the reader will make his first impression of you within 10 seconds of reading your letter. A business letter should have a purpose, but that purpose is not always to promote business. It can be a letter of inquiry, a letter of acknowledgement, a reply letter, or a claim letter. There are many types of business letters and varying purposes for them. There are basic parts and formats to a business letter: A business letter must always be written on a business letterhead. If the business letter is to take the form of a
business email, it would be considered professional to have the company logo and/or letterhead on the email. A business letter should always bear the sender’s name, address, and email address followed by the date. Next in sequence are the receiver’s name, title, company name, and address. The salutation follows next, with the body of the letter and the closing followed by the sender’s signature, name, and title. The final part of the letter should indicate to whom copies are sent. When writing a business letter, remember the 8C’s of writing. These are eight characteristics of a well written business letter. Complete – A business letter should be complete, including all details and information pertaining to the subject. Correct – It is important to be completely accurate in all the details you include in a business letter. Always make sure you have included correctly any dates, names, amounts of money, etc. Always proofread the letter before sending it out. Concise – A professional business letter should convey your idea with few words, short sentences, and short paragraphs. Concrete – A business letter should be concrete and not contain vague ideas. Information should be specific. Courteous – Be polite in your business letter; mind your P’s and Q’s. Clear – The importance of clarity and accuracy in a business letter cannot be stressed enough. The chances of your letter being misunderstood are minimal when you adhere to this point. An organized letter is less likely to be misunderstood. Consistent – Keep the same format and mood throughout the letter. Being consistent shows that you are professional. Coherent – A good business letter should flow well. Make the sentences and paragraphs short, so that your letter is easy to read and understand. A final word of advice is never to convey any form of communication when you are angry or annoyed. That would change the entire mood of the communication and portray a bitter image of yourself and your company. Always remember that responsible communication is the heart of a business.
Professional Edge Consulting is a Canadian Company based in Ottawa and specializing in Corporate Training, Business Development and Image Consulting. www.ProEdgeConsulting.ca
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BUSINESS TRENDS TO WATCH IN 2013 By Chris Loney
Whether a large corporation or a local mom-and-pop business, all companies should know the upcoming trends that can potentially increase profits for their businesses. All of these trends may not suit your needs or interest, but it is still strategic to learn what your competitors may be doing in the upcoming year.
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1. ECONOMICAL AND ENVIRONMENTAL SAVVY:
as Nordstrom are taking advantage of such technology, and this is only the beginning. The wave of the future is going to be Google Wallet, which is a form of Near Field Communication (NFC,) making your business more customer friendly by adding convenience. Consumers will be able to make a payment by placing their cell phone to a payment station. This technology will increase convenience, which increases the likelihood of increasing business profits.
Businesses are using technology to save money on printing costs for advertising and marketing materials. By going digital they are reducing waste in the environment, e.g., digital business cards; emailed invoices and receipts; and documents on tablets that can be signed and emailed to clients.
2. MOBILE ADVERSTISEMENTS: Smartphones and tablets have become essential, with increasing popularity. Businesses are definitely taking advantage by creating ads, coupons, and promotions that are being sent daily to their customers’ mobile devices. Businesses are able to send a relevant message to the right customer at the right time using apps like Google Places and Zaggot. These apps incorporate the mobile user’s GPS to send relevant ads based on the consumer’s location.
6. SOCIAL MEDIA: If you haven’t hopped onto the social bandwagon, now is the time! Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube are the three must-have social media websites for businesses because they allow you to interact with customers on various levels. One significant benefit is the opportunity for real-time customer insights, engagements, and processes. Ultimately, social media sites allow for recruitment of new talents and deepening the relationships of current partners. Businesses can use check-in apps such as 4Squares or Facebook to cultivate momentum and movement around their companies. These apps require no money from your business because the customer is opting to use the app or site.
3. HTML 5 COMPATIBILITY: Adobe Flash is slowly being phased out. HTML 5 has video embedded into its language code, which will be a valuable asset in reaching customers with iPads or mobile devices that don’t have Adobe Flash capabilities. Businesses should assess their need for a website upgrade.
4. VIRTUAL OFFICES and VIDEO TELECONFERENCING: Companies are cutting back on travel and bulking up on convenience. By using Skype, as well as Facebook or Apple FaceTime, businesses are able to conduct interoffice meetings as well as live meetings with their clients. Virtual meetings cut back on travel costs and increase meeting efficiency by allowing immediate interaction.
5. PORTABLE PAYMENT METHOD: You never know where and when you may strike a deal. Be sure to have your portable payment method in hand, such as the Square or Intuit. They accept all major credit cards. Even major department stores such
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TWITTER: Rob Morton @StudioTreLynn 20 Oct @StyleInANutshel Great Job yesterday!
Your Name @MyCompanyName 26 Oct An AOS Attendee said: I can’t thank you enough for all the info you gave us. It has taught me about myself & now I can confidently shop!
FACEBOOK CHECK IN:
learn what your competitors may be doing in the upcoming year.
7. LOW-RISK TO RISK-FREE OPPORTUNITIES: With the economy still recovering, consumers are hesitant to make large purchases, especially with new businesses or business lacking their brand loyalty. Businesses should offer ways for customers to sample their products or services. Some examples are virtual stores or salons where customers can upload pictures and sample new hairstyles or clothing. Companies can offer free workshops that allow customers to sample a small portion of their expertise. There are daily deal sites such as Groupon and Livingsocial that allow customers the opportunity to try goods and services at greatly discounted prices, sometimes with over 50% savings! Allowing consumers to experience service or products, business increase the likelihood that a person moves from prospect to customer.
8. INTERACTIVE BLOGS: A simple paragraph just isnâ€™t cutting it these days. Consumers want to see application of your services and products. The interactive blog creates a community that promotes ownership of your brand to the customer. Businesses can now use websites such as YouTube to create vlogs (video blogs) that make their sites even more interactive. Businesses can have their customers become part of their brand community by allowing them to send in pictures, question topics, or testimonials.
9. CLOUD COMPUTING: Cloud computing is basically storing your business information in a secured remote network, typically hosted on the Internet. The benefits of a companyâ€™s storing all of its business data in one convenient central location are efficiency and saving time by streamlining processes, as well as cutting costs and security issues. These benefits are because businesses only interact with the one vendor versus many for all their business needs. Bottom line, businesses maximize resources by using virtual servers.
10. BIG DATA: Businesses used to make decisions based on gut feelings, but now data is collected to learn about our consumers from a behavioral standpoint. By using consumer data and statistical forecasts to predict consumer behavior, such as what they are likely to purchase, a company can gather statistical data to make better informed decisions. Companies can buy large chunks of data from data aggregators about specific markets based on different criteria. The use of big data by companies like Acxiom, Equifax, and Nielson has become very sophisticated and predictable. Be sure to research how your business can benefit optimally from each trend before implementing change. By utilizing one or more of these trends you will increase your likelihood for greater business success.
Chris Loney, is in the business of wardrobe styling and offers workshops, seminars and individual services to clients. Read more at www.styleinanutshell.com.
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TAKING CONTROL OF BUSINESS TIMEWASTERS with Jennifer Howard
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TAKING CONTROL OF BUSINESS TIMEWASTERS As business owners, we run around most days with our “hair on fire “. “How and why does this happen.” Four reasons and how to handle them:
#1 – Every request seems urgent The busier you become, the more urgent each request for your time seems. Let’s get real. Everyone is busy, but is everything urgent? Set aside time each day to identify and tackle those things that need to be done while leaving enough margin (extra time) in your day to handle the truly “urgent.”
#2 – We let other people waste our time Back to urgent. Just because something is urgent to someone else, is it urgent to you? We let other’s frenzied pace and lack of time management influence the use of our own time. Don’t take every phone call right away, don’t answer every email on the spot and for goodness sakes, it’s OK to ask someone to wait every now and then.
#3 – Email, the Internet and other electronic distractions Email is hell! OK, I said it and I know many of you will agree with me. It can be a tremendous timewaster if we let it. The key to email is segmenting and prioritizing. Identify a couple of segments each day you’ll dedicate to responding to emails. Then, prioritize the emails into those that are important or truly urgent to answer and those that can wait a bit longer. Regarding the Internet and other electronic distractions, if you are not using them to directly market or sell, find time away from your business to “play” with them.
#4 – Poor Planning This is the biggie. Do you set aside a specific time each week for working ON your business and not In it? Sadly, most business owners do not set aside time for marketing, networking, training and time to think and plan. We are so busy DOING, that our DOING hinders business growth. Today, pull out (or up) your calendar, look at next week, and block out time to work ON your business.
Timewasting wears many clever and enticing disguises. Real, measurable business growth is achievable; you just need time to make it happen.
Jennifer Howard, CEG, AICI FLC, collaborates with business owners to stabilize and grow their business. She is an expert small-business coach and supports clients life goals. Read more a www.nextlevelgo.com. The Association of Image Consultants International | 33
AICI RISING STAR SHINES BRIGHT IN MALAYSIA Other Famous Malaysians Jimmy Choo – Shoe designer Tony Fernandes – Air Asia Robert Kuoch-Shangri – La Hotel Bernard Chandran – King of Fashion Nicol Ann David – #1 women’s squash player
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MOVE OVER Jimmy Choo and other renowned Malaysians, and get ready for Evelyn Ch’ng, AICI Rising Star. Evelyn is rising faster than the elevators in the Petronas Towers, and her profile speaks well of her without her having to say a word! Evelyn Ch’ng joined AICI after running her business for a year and soon was honored with the prestigious AICI Rising Star Award. The Rising Star Award is given to a new member who has achieved accelerated success as a newcomer to the field and has been a member of AICI for four years or less. After three years in business, she started to get speaking engagement for seminars for multinational brands like Amway, and due to her dynamic presentation skills, she has conducted over 100 workshops and seminars continuously all over Malaysia, Singapore, and Brunei. Evelyn’s resume reads like the rising star she has become. Here are a few speaking contracts and works that are reaping lucrative rewards: • Engaged by Herbal Life, an international MLM company, as its first-ever external speaker in 2011 • Spoke at Zurich Insurance Sales conference with an audience of 3,500 people in 2012 • Appointed ambassador of Mayfair, a leading slimming company • Secured an enormous personal styling makeover job with Nestle • Conducted over 100 seminars and workshops across Asia including Taipei, Shanghai, and Singapore • Self published her first book in 2009 after being in the image business for four years And the list goes on... What Does Evelyn Say About Being a Rising Star? “I guess is the passion and believe I have persistency and effort to strive for another level. It’s certainly was a challenge for me when I started and how I developed myself from a woman with no others skill but creativity to an entrepreneur woman who is leading a team and an one stop grooming boutique within seven years. Besides I strongly believe in giving back to society and how we can utilize our branding and team work in AICI to help the needy.” A spontaneous Interview with Evelyn Ch’ng reveals some personal favorites: 1. In what country are you living? Malaysia 2. Favorite dish? Japanese food, especially sashimi 3. Fun splurge? Checking in villa with private pool at Koh Samui 4. What is your most valued possession? Miu Miu retro handbag 5. Secret junk food vice? Häagen-Dazs ice cream 6. Favorite indulgence? Aromatherapy oil massage or Thai massage 8. Durian or Mangosteen Fruit? Mangosteen 9. How do you relax? Massage or meditation “Seize the day is my philosophy of life, and whenever I face a tough time, I always tell myself, close your eyes and just do it. The moments will pass soon and you will be a total different person! “
Read more about Evelyn Ch’ng, AICI FLC, at www.emagestyle.com.
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EDUCATION | LEARNING
LEARN RIGHT WHERE YOU ARE GLOBALLY THROUGH AICIs TELECLASSES AND CEU’d WEBINARS
AICI TELECLASSES One of the many benefits of being an AICI member is attending our FREE monthly teleclasses. These classes are designed to give easy access to the most up-to-date and impacting information in order to enhance business growth and development. We offer a wide variety of topics and hope that you will join us! All teleclasses are recorded for you listening pleasure. MEET AICI TELECLASS MODERATORS North American/Canada Moderator Tracy Rhawn Varga, AICI, FLC Tracy is a Professional Image Consultant with extensive experience in sales, marketing and client relationship development. She helps professionals and businesses succeed by creating a visual brand which communicates their unique skills and values. Read more at www.TracyVarga.com. Asia Pacific Moderator Ms. Olen Juarez-Lim, AICI FLC Popularly known as Ms. O, hosts a segment for the morning television show, Unang Hirit in the Philippines. Olen has been inspiring and empowering individuals and organizations that seek to the develop a competitive and profitable advantage by delivering dynamic training programs in Image Management, Professional Presence, Civility, Business Etiquette, International Protocol and Customer Service. Read more at www.ojlconsulting.com.
Ms. Olen Juarez-Lim, AICI FLC
CEU’d WEBINARS AICI is excited to announce our global webinar platform to deliver our members more CEU’d educational opportunities! No matter where you live or the time zone you live in, you will be able to earn CEUs towards your FLC, CIP or CIM accreditation through AICI Webinar program without having to leave your computer. We will be offering programs covering all the core competencies, in many languages presenting programs to assist you in becoming the best image consultant you can be, running the most effective business you can, to help you gain the highest level of success in this fantastic industry. Class sizes of these webinars will be kept to a maximum of 10 participants so that you gain the personal attention you need to learn effectively. AICI educational webinars will have affordable fees, based on the duration of the program. All programs will require participants to be on the webinar live and will have specific requirements for you to earn the CEUS, but programs will be held during different time zones (depending on demand) so that each member has the opportunity to learn and gain new skills and perspectives. If you are an AICI CIP or AICI CIM and would be interested in running a paid webinar program (minimum of 2 x 90 minute sessions up to 8 x 90 minute sessions) please contact task force chair, Sarah Hathorn , at sarah@ illustraconsulting.com. We are interested in covering all areas of the image business, in all the languages of our members. We see this exciting webinar program as a great winwin for both our AICI Members who educate on image or business related training programs to earn additional income, and for all our members to gain new and important skills and educational opportunities!
CHECK OUT THE TELECLASS AND CEU APPROVED PROGRAMS THAT ARE COMING UP http://www.aici.org/Continuing_Education/CEU_d_Programs.htm
36 | January 2013 magazine
Tracy Rhawn Varga, AICI, FLC
MEMBERS IN THE NEWS Helena Chenn, AICI CIM, received her Certified Image Master credentials at the International Conference in Hawaii. She was honored at the June AICI SFBA board installation by president, Gillian Armour, AICI CIP. Catherine Horgan, Treasurer for the Atlanta Chapter, just styled her client and family for a feature story in People Magazine due out in two weeks. Check back in the next magazine for more details.
Pat Gray, AICI FLC was profiled in May 30, 2012 article titled “Color me a business: Analyzing shades is regional specialty” and quoted in August 8, 2012 article titled “Travel Tidbits: From BB creams to snack-food dreams.” Both articles appeared in the Los Altos Town Crier. Amy Roseveare, AICI CIP was quoted in a August 12, 2012 article in the San Jose Mercury News. Title: ”High-tech help in finding jeans that fit.”
Shweta Wahi showcased her Spring/Summer 2013 Fashion Collection at the Ottawa Fashion Week held in October, 2012.
The Association of Image Consultants International | 37
MAKING AN IMPACT â€“
IMAGE IMPACT INTERNATIONAL How can YOU make an impact as an image consultant? At the new non-profit Image Impact International, our mission is to champion ability, civility, and possibility. Our global philanthropic community includes leaders from the image, corporate, public service, and healthcare industries. We are launching the charitable Image and disAbilities book series and Communicate with STYLE training program to provide invaluable resources to caregivers, the medical community, and those living with disabilities. We are advancing the message of civility to campuses, corporations, and communities worldwide through Global Civility Awareness Month and other exciting new initiatives. Our philanthropic CEU and Train-the-Trainer program Campus to Corporate Impact will make it possible for university seniors, faculty, and young professionals to develop leadership skills and enhance marketability. We invite you to champion ability, civility, and possibility with us. Contact Image Impact International President Ferial Youakim, AICI CIP, at email@example.com to make an impact today!
Image Impact International www.ImageImpact.org 38 | January 2013 magazine
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LondonImageInstitute .com The Association of Image Consultants International | 39
INTERNATIONAL BOARD EXPERIENCES IOWA DURING STRATEGIC PLANNING RETREAT The Association of Image Consultants International (AICI) board of directors gathered from around the world for a strategic planning retreat October 2–4, 2012, at AICI International Headquarters, located at the offices of Association Management Ltd. (AML) in Ankeny, Iowa, USA. Board members invested personally in being able to meet face to face as they traveled from the United States, Canada, The Netherlands, South Africa, Singapore, Malaysia, and Australia. AICI President Kimberly Law, AICI CIP, of Vancouver, Canada, notes, “The AICI Board of Directors is made up of 14 members from around the world. Generally we meet by phone once a month for board meetings and only see each other face to face at AICI’s Annual International Conference. It has been really nice holding our strategic planning meeting at AICI headquarters in Des Moines, Iowa. This has given us the opportunity to plan our strategic direction more effectively and attend to the ongoing business of our organization face‐to‐face. Des Moines is a beautiful city and the hospitality has been wonderful.” The agenda included a review of the function of the AICI board and chapters, the AICI certification process and feedback regarding the AICI Annual Conference. Directors discussed plans to update the AICI website and member publications. Throughout their discussion, Vice President of Member Communications Magoe Johnson, AICI CIP, from Houston, Texas, says, “We feel accountability to our members and we are here to make the best decisions to represent them.” Among the key topics was giving more autonomy to AICI’s 28 global chapters. Valerie Antoinette Berset‐Price, AICI FLC, from Beaverton, Oregon, who serves as AICI Vice President of International Relations, reports, “A great breakthrough was the development of a new model for our organization’s global structure, decentralizing the power and regionalizing it. Previously, AICI was international in that we accepted members and have had 28 chapters all over the world. Now we are going to be truly global by giving independence to the regions, which will have
40 | January 2013 magazine
their own hub, starting with Latin America, which will include Mexico to Tierra del Fuego in Argentina, South America.” Members of the group found inspiration from the professional discussion. Brian Lipstein, AICI FLC, Vice President of Conference, said, “This meeting reinforced what it means to be part of this profession. Being an image consultant is a lead‐in to conversation with clients. I started making custom suits for men, but got into assisting men with their whole image, to help them in accomplish their goals by how they present themselves. “AICI relationships have helped shape my business, which was in its infancy when I joined. This organization has taught me skills, including how to work with clients. It is exciting to be part of this meeting, involved in the decision making to help AICI move forward. We’ve had a productive meeting and brought about new initiatives to grow our organization globally, which will help us, all our members and our industry.” Vice President Education Christina Ong, AICI CIM, from Singapore calls it “empowering” to be part of the AICI board of professionals who volunteer their time out of their passion. “This board is truly a melting pot as each of us brings our unique experience from our own country and clients,” she says. “We sharpen and define our own thinking by being with likeminded peers in a synergistic hothouse. The result is more than the sum of all our individual parts.” In addition to AICI business, the visitors had the opportunity to experience Iowa. AICI Secretary Cindy Ann Peterson, AICI FLC, of Washington DC said, “It was a pleasure to be in the heartland of America. It was beautiful flying in with the sun glistening on the fields and seeing the combines during harvest. It made my heart jump. Our strategic planning meeting was further enhanced by the talent and generosity of everyone at AML thus leading to a very valuable experience.” The group was treated to a number of unique Iowa experiences, including culinary delights at several fine restaurants and shopping at Valley Junction and Jordan Creek Mall.
Membership Vice President Jane Seaman, AICI CIP, of Houston, Texas, was “super impressed by the art and culture of the World Food Prize Center in downtown Des Moines.” But the highlight was a visit to an Iowa farm where they experienced harvest firsthand, including rides in a combine and tractor. “Having been on a farm gives us a fresh appreciation for what goes into the food we eat,” Johnson says. Ong said, “Being the only AICI Board member from Asia,
this was a good cultural exchange experience. Coming from the ‘garden city’ of Singapore with manicured landscapes, Iowa is so different from our modern city with high rise buildings and bustling crowds everywhere. Seeing Iowa’s vast land expanse is awesome. I emailed home with an observation that even amidst the old world charm of Iowa’s historic buildings, farmers have state of the art technology in their huge combine‐harvester machines ‐ complete with hydraulic hauls, air conditioning and music…. how cool is that!”
The Association of Image Consultants International | 41
CONDUCTING BUSINESS THE
ETHICAL WAY ETHICS IMPACTS THE SUCCESS OF YOUR BUSINESS When we think about successful business people whom we know, the fact that they have a good work ethic often comes up. What does that really mean? We are fortunate that our early AICI Board members spent quality time grappling with this issue as they constructed our AICI Code of Ethics and Standards of Conduct, which all AICI members sign when they apply for membership. As well, Board members are asked to sign another copy of the Code when they join the AICI International Board, indicating that they will not only act in an ethical manner in their own companies but also in their day to day interactions with members and each other. Because of the nature of our profession, the eyes of the world are always on us. If we teach others how to appear, behave, and communicate with integrity, how much more are we expected to live by the same principles? When we conduct our business under the high standards of this Code, we will keep current clients and attract new ones because everyone wants a competent consultant who will treat them at all times with respect, civility, and professionalism.
DOING BUSINESS AS A MEMBER OF AICI A. The Code of Ethics states that a member shall: • Act with integrity, competence, dignity, and in an ethical manner when dealing with the public, clients, prospects, employees, and fellow members. • Practice and encourage others to practice in a professional and ethical manner that will reflect credit on members and their profession. • Strive to maintain and improve their competence and the competence of others in the profession. • Use reasonable care and exercise independent professional judgment. In addition, there are three Standards of Conduct covering fundamental responsibilities; relationship and responsibilities to the client; and relationship with and responsibilities to the profession and the Association. Read more about the AICI Code of Ethics and Standards of Conduct.
Catherine Bell, AICI CIP AICI Ethics Chair Catherine Bell, AICI CIP, is a contributing author to New York Times bestseller Masters of Networking, AICI’s Ethics Chair, CEU Committee and Image and Disabilities Committee member, recipient of AICI Award of Excellence in Education, and a Success Coach. Read more at www.prime-impressions.com.
42 | January 2013 magazine
5 Surefire Strategies To Raise Your Rates and Turn Clients Into Raving Fans
Aydika Jack James PowerStylist Co-Founder & COO
GIVE THEM MORE VALUE, MORE OFTEN. Find high-value “life support” services you can offer, that make you a critical success factor in people’s
KNOW HOW TO SPOT OPPORTUNITIES… AND THEN 10X MULTIPLY EACH ONE.
lives… 24/7. For example, if you always manage to “magically” send your busy CEO the perfect outfit right before every big event, and the perfect packing list for every trip… why would he ever live without you?
Triple your income this year without ever lifting a finger… by getting a system that can run easy, detailed reports. This way, you can quickly find every client and prospect to reach out to with each opportunity. For example, if you find the perfect “slim fit” shirt for Client A… why not share it with the 12 other people in your books who might love it too? Too many consultants leave literally thousands of dollars on the table, because they don’t’ know where to look. Don’t be one of them. To locate the hidden gold, all you need is 30 seconds, and a good reporting system to show you the way.
BE EVERYWHERE THEY ARE – EVEN WHEN YOU’RE NOT. Ditch the paper files, Excel spreadsheets, PDF messes, etc. These are a huge profit drain for most image professionals, because they take more time to manage than you can charge for. Problem is: Tracking peoples’ lives and wardrobes is the very foundation of what you do. The solution? Find an easy tool that lets you streamline and virtualize your clients’ profiles AND wardrobes, which also lets you create outfits and packing lists in a snap, so you can respond to those “urgent” requests. This way, you can deliver REAL value in REAL time… AND make the profits you deserve.
ELIMINATE HARD DRIVE ADDICTION. News flash: It’s 2013. Are you still at the mercy of your laptop or computer to run a safe and secure business? What would you do if your computer crashes… or you lost your paper files? How much time and money—and trust—would it cost you if you lost just one part of your system? The best way to eliminate unnecessary risk is to manage your business in a cloud-based system, which can’t ever be lost or destroyed. So whether your house is broken into of your computer dies, nothing can get in between you and your clients. USE QUALITY TOOLS TO DELIVER QUALITY SERVICES. Just as quality trumps quantity when it comes to wardrobes, your business tools are doubly so. Whatever you do, invest in the most professional tools available, so you can represent and deliver the full value
Do you have the tools... To deliver the level of high-value, professional services that keep clients coming back for more AND at HIGHER rates than you’re charging right now?
What if you could... Keep all your clients’ data safely in one place—in the cloud? Create beautiful outfits and packing lists with YOUR logo… and send them to clients in just minutes? Simplify your calendar, meeting requests, time logs, and invoicing… and put all your tasks on auto-pilot? Spot hidden goldmines and opportunities in your business... that could triple your profits overnight? Get insider access to a friendly community of REAL image professionals, who know what it takes to succeed?
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"I take my hat off to you – you’ve built something every image consultant needs… I just wish I’d had this years ago. There’s a real need for this in the industry now.”
Evelyn Lundstrom, AICI CIP First Impressions Image Consultancy www.firstimpressions.com.au
In this survey we are asking some questions about members’ use of Facebook, as part of our ongoing inquiry into social media and the role it plays or can play in our members’ businesses. Future surveys will focus on other social media tools.
DO YOU THANK YOU FOR RESPONDING TO OUR SURVEY TODAY! LOOK FOR RESULTS IN NEXT ISSUE OF AICI GLOBAL
HAVE YOU REGISTERED YOUR BUSINESS WITH GOOGLE? ￼
Go to google.com/local/add and add your business!
Education. Experience. Excellence.
2013 AICI Annual Conference May 16 - 19, 2013 Renaissance Glendale Hotel and Spa 9495 W. Coyotes Boulevard Glendale, Arizona 85305 USA
Reserve Your Room NOW!! http://www.aici.org/Annual_Conference/Conference.htm