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AICI BOARD OF DIRECTORS President – Jane Seaman, AICI CIP President Elect– Cynthia Bronson, AICI CIP Past President – Kimberly Law, AICI CIP Secretary – Lucy Liang, AICI CIP Treasurer – Joanne Rae, AICI CIP VP Certification – Delby Bragais, AICI CIP VP Chapter Relations – Riet M. de Vlieger, AICI CIP VP Education – Keiko Nagao, AICI FLC VP Member Communications – Coca Sevilla, AICI FLC VP Conference Cecilia Stoeckicht, AICI CIP VP Fund Development – Imogen Lamport, AICI CIP VP International Relations – Valerie Antoinette Berset-Price, AICI FLC VP Marketing – Clare Maxfield, AICI CIP VP Membership Development– Melissa Sugulas, AICI FLC Executive Director – Andrew Shelp AICI HEADQUARTERS 1000 Westgate Drive, Ste. 252 St. Paul, MN 55114-1067 Phone: 651-290-7468 Fax: 651-290-2266 www.AICI.org Comments about the magazine? firstname.lastname@example.org
IN THE DECEMBER ISSUE OF VOGUE MAGAZINE (US), THE ARTICLE “GIRL WITH KALEIDOSCOPE EYES” DISCUSSES THE GENETIC CONDITION OF TETRACHROMACY. This is the ability to perceive up to 100 times more colors than the vast majority of the population. While perhaps 12% of females carry the genetic coding for this ability, far fewer are “functional tetrachromats” who actively use this “super” power of sight. Happily, this latent ability may be awakened through training. In pulling together this issue, it seems to me as though we are all being called upon to be “tetra-connectors” these days. No longer is it sufficient to send out holiday cards once a year and a birthday gift to your best clients. And yet, we are glutted with communications. How to cut through the clutter and really connect? This much is clear: just because social media is the current It Girl of marketing communications, that doesn’t mean it is necessarily the best approach for you and your business. If only these pages contained the perfect communications “formula” for our busy lives! There is no such thing. The good news is there exists a full spectrum from which you can choose! In corresponding with many AICI members worldwide for this issue, I was impressed with the sensitivity and nuance you apply to how you stay in touch.You spend a great deal of time and thought customizing your approach for each client. AICI also continues to customize how to best serve you. Read on to find out about significant changes AICI is introducing for AICI certification.There has never been a better time to add this invaluable asset to your professional credentials. And speaking of professional credentials, our April issue will be focused on the value of continuing professional education.The 2015 Conference is fast approaching! Do you have a story of how attending a past conference has made an impact on you? Please send your stories to email@example.com. The theme of this issue is “connections,” but as I review what we have gathered for you within these pages, I see it could as easily be “possibilities.” Here’s to abundant possibilities for each of you in 2015! Proud To Be AICI! Susan Hesselgrave Editor-in-Chief The Association of Image Consultants International | 3
Issue 9 EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Susan Hesselgrave MANAGING EDITOR Thea Wood, AICI FLC VP COMMUNICATIONS Coca Sevilla, AICI FLC VP FUND DEVELOPMENT (ADVERTISING) Imogen Lamport, AIC CIP FEATURED CONTRIBUTORS Delby P. Bragais, AICI CIP Susan Hesselgrave Pamela Judd, AICI CIP Debra Lindquist, MA, AICI CIP Cindy Ann Peterson, AICI FLC Jane Seaman, AICI CIP Thea Wood, AICI FLC PROOFREADERS Bernie Burson, AICI FLC Beth Yvette Strange, AICI CIP AICI GLOBAL is produced quarterly by Association of Image Consultants International, a nonprofit dedicated to advancing the level of professionalism and enhancing the recognition of image consultants. AICI GLOBAL promotes AICI’s ideas, activities, interests and goals to its members. Responsibility is not assumed for the opinions of writers or other articles. AICI GLOBAL does not endorse or guarantee the products and services it advertises. 2015© 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 is made to ensure accuracy of information included in the magazine at the time of publication, the publisher shall not be liable for damages arising from errors or omissions.
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Inside This Issue
APPEARANCE & STYLE A Runway Star Rises, Deep in the Heart of Texas................6
BUSINESS Using the Power of AICI Certification for Validation, Recognition, and Income Generation...........10 Four Reasons Why Now Is the Best Time to Get Your FLC Certification.............................................14 Is a Retail Store in Your Future?.........................................16
FEATURE Staying in Touch with Style................................................19 Managing Communications for Maximum Results............20
COMMUNICATIONS & ETIQUETTE Making Connections – Local Perspectives........................24 How to Stay in Touch with Volunteers..............................26
BETWEEN US President’s Letter...............................................................29 Member Spotlight – Keiko Nagao......................................32 Upcoming Events..............................................................37 2013-2014 Philanthropy Awards........................................38
The Association of Image Consultants International | 5
A RUNWAY STAR RISES
DEEP IN THE HEART OF TEXAS BY THEA WOOD, AICI FLC, MBA
Photo Credit: James Leasure
n the United States, there are two fashion meccas: New York and Los Angeles. San Francisco is a distant third, and then there’s everybody else. That’s how it’s always been…until now.
Austin, Texas, is taking the fashion world by the horns and becoming a contender in showcasing upand-coming designers. Austin Fashion Week (AFW) is working on its seventh annual event scheduled for 23 April – 2 May, 2015, and the parent promotion/ production company, Launch787, is bracing for record crowds. In a town that’s known for its slacker attitude 6 | January 2015 magazine
and aversion to anything considered too high brow, AFW’s growing success and national recognition comes as a surprise to many. “The reality is that Austin probably couldn’t support a fashion week in the traditional sense — meaning something that truly focused solely on major buyers coming into town to view shows and then place wholesale orders. What Austin does have though is a spotlight on all things ‘cool’ and certainly fashion is that,” claims Matt Swinney, founder of AFW and Launch787.
“The reality is that Austin probably couldn’t support a fashion week in the traditional sense.” Sponsoring other industry events like SXSW Music/ Film/Interactive festivals and Austin Film Festival (not to mention the wildly popular Austin City Limits Music Festival), Austin has become a hub for arts and entertainment insiders as well as a tastemaker city. “For us, it was a matter of finding the balance between a live event for entertainment purposes and still attracting not only retail buyers but also endconsumers that are willing to spend money with these amazing emerging designers. We think we’ve struck that balance,” says Swinney. Swinney and his team aren’t stopping in Austin. Fashion X Dallas (pronounced “Fashion By Dallas”) wrapped up its premiere fashion week last November. The Woodlands, a Houston suburb, Fashion X is in the works, and so are mid-market cities in other states; Swinney kept the lid on those locations but he’s got his eye on the Northwest. There are some key elements that define and differentiate these fashion events. Swinney recruited designers whose names you’ll recognize from hit reality shows Project Runway (Lifetime) and Fashion
Star (NBC). Texas-based favorites like Daniel Esquivel of Project Runway and Ross Bennett, Priscilla Barroso, and Amber Perley of Fashion Star created a local buzz. Put them on local runways and you will attract those designers’ fans and expose them to new designers simultaneously — building momentum for fans and artists. The show isn’t the only attraction. A designer gallery is open daily before, during, and after the shows, where attendees can shop local and visiting talents. You’ll see jewelry, leather goods, women’s and men’s wear, and more. Arkansas-based clothing designer Korto Momolu (Project Runway alum) opted to show in the gallery as well as walk a collection down the runway at FXD. After the show, attendees were stripping her mannequins bare and purchasing in a frenzied state, as many of her items are one-of-a-kind and reasonably priced.
“For us, it was a matter of finding the balance between a live event for entertainment purposes and still attracting not only retail buyers but also end-consumers.”
Photo Credit: Fashionably Austin
Binzario from FXD 2014
The Association of Image Consultants International | 7
Mysterious by NPN from DFW 214
Daniel Esquivel from FXD 2014
Through the years, Austin’s show added its most interactive element, with a “Mash-Up Team” photo contest open to local experts and amateurs who’d like to showcase their talents. Each team consists of a photographer, clothing designer, hair and makeup artists, a jewelry designer and wardrobe stylist. Photos are posted online with credits, and the public can vote for their favorites for a People’s Choice Award. Last year 42 teams participated. (See their photos here.) Critics’ Choice awards exist in various categories for designers and teams. 8 | January 2015 magazine
Photo Credit: Shana Anderson
Photo Credit: Shana Anderson
“The production quality has to be second to none — if you can’t give them a New York-level show, then the better emerging designers don’t want to put their brands on it — and who could blame them?”
In 2014, AFW and General Motors launched a Drive The District promotion featuring Project Runway designers driving Cadillacs around Austin, posting pictures with fans at various destinations and ending it with a meet-and-greet party for 100+ attendees. The postings generated 310,000 impressions. The future of interactive sponsorships in action. So, how do you convince the industry that smaller cities are legitimate markets for a fashion event? Swinney answers: “The production quality has to be second to none — if you can’t give them a New
York-level show, then the better emerging designers don’t want to put their brands on it — and who could blame them?” And Swinney’s team doesn’t disappoint. Though it was the first annual FXD week, designers expressed how impressed they were with the production. “Trust me, I’ve been to a lot of fashion shows, and this one was set up really well,” says designer Michelle Lesniak from Oregon (another Project Runway alum). Going backstage at the Fashion Industry Gallery, the designers’ areas were spacious, well lit, and clean.
The hair and makeup stations hummed. No panic, no pushing, no screaming. Amassing experience and industry connections, Launch787 and its sister brands have a great deal of leverage moving into other markets. It will be intriguing to see which cities open up to the fashion event concept and, most notably, are able to sustain it. Thea Wood, AICI FLC, is an image consultant based in Austin, Texas, and serves as managing editor for AICI Global. She is the co-author of Socially Smart and Savvy. The Association of Image Consultants International | 9
USING THE POWER OF AICI CERTIFICATION
FOR VALIDATION, RECOGNITION, AND INCOME GENERATION BY DELBY P. BRAGAIS, AICI CIP VP CERTIFICATION, AICI BOARD OF DIRECTORS
s an aspiring image consultant many years ago, I remember asking myself if I could truly earn a sustainable and financially rewarding income from image consulting.
Back then, while I did have a few invitations to speak and conduct workshops, I soon realized that most organizations, associations, and corporations I encountered expected me to give my services for free or for a measly amount of money. When I was starting, I did not know how to charge for my services and could not even look at people in the eye and give a price for my services. I distinctly remember a time I found myself seated directly in front of the head of a large American company and ended up stammering while groping for words to explain what it is exactly that I do. 10 | January 2015 magazine
AICI Certification forms an integral part of my personal branding strategy and distinguishes me from others, especially in an era of “self-declared” image consultants. I would find myself wondering why I was wasting my time and money on something that I loved but unfortunately could not pay the bills! Perhaps image consulting only works as a viable source of income in
the western world? I thought to myself that whoever said “Do what you love and the money will follow” must be crazy! Today, my speaking engagements and workshops are paid at international rates and could favorably compare to what a bankable and experienced image consultant in the western world would be earning. What changed? I made a whole-hearted decision to make image consulting a “real” business and to be successful in it! Part of my arsenal of tools to help build my credibility and persuade individuals and corporations that I am capable of helping them in the pursuit of their goals is AICI Certification. This forms an integral part of my personal branding strategy and distinguishes me from others, especially in an era of “self-declared” image consultants.
Half Page Academy of Professional Image Ad
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â€œAn authorized qualification leads to the credibility of the individual. In Japan, people will judge your reliability, knowledge and skills according to your certification. When I started my career as an image consultant, my AICI certification was very helpful in securing clients, especially corporate clients.â€? Keiko Nagao, AICI FLC
What I know for sure: I believe AICI Certification is not for everyone. After dedicating my time and efforts toward supporting AICI in the area of certification for almost three years, I have observed different types of image consultants globally. Some are doing well in their locality or uniquely specialized field and thus feel that there is no need for them to go for certification. Some are not driven to succeed, or they treat image consulting as a hobby or part-time business that they can do in their spare time. There are those that might be competent in image matters but lack the business skills needed to leverage their certified credential to build their business and generate more earnings. Lastly, I have been witness to image consultants who have exhibited exceptional growth in their business, taking it to the next level and earning a lucrative income along the way. Most of those I have seen in this category are highly motivated, possess good business sense, and are AICI Certified. For me, AICI Certification is a path towards attaining validation, recognition, and income generation. It is an opportunity given by AICI, and the choice to take it is yours to make.
The AICI Certified Brand Goes Bigger, Better, and Bolder Today we have noted a surge of image consultant groups and educational institutions from different parts of the world expressing interest in attaining AICI Certification. Indications show that it is our certification that has sparked the interest of these groups. I have no doubt that this greater awareness of the AICI brand and our certification opportunities have been brought about by our increased activity on different social media platforms as well as the stories of AICI certified image consultants who have attained a certain level of success, however they define it for themselves. I believe this has also been due to AICI Chapters with leaders who have selflessly volunteered their time and resources to create better opportunities for themselves and their colleagues. Lastly, it is thanks to an international board working together with our new management group, Ewald Consulting, toward accomplishing strategic goals to benefit our organization and our members for the long haul. A great brand develops over time, fueled by authenticity, consistency, and continuous communication toward its 12 | January 2015 magazine
target audience. With patience, persistence, and the support of every member, AICI certification can become a globally recognized seal of excellence for all image consultants. For those who dream of having a successful image business one day, I advise you to take advantage of the opportunity to obtain your AICI certification now. Delby P. Bragais is an award-winning fashion designer and an AICI Certified Image Professional. She is the founding president of the AICI Philippine Chapter, recipient of the 2013 AICI Award of Excellence for Membership, and current VP Certification on the AICI Board of Directors. She is also the author of the newly released book, The Purple Pig Wears Red Lipstick: 8 Steps to a Personal Brand Makeover for Impact, Influence & Incredible Income.
For more information on AICI Certification, visit www.aici.org.You may also contact AICI Headquarters Membership & Certification Director Chris Swanson at firstname.lastname@example.org.
WHY NOW IS THE BEST TIME TO GET YOUR FLC CERTIFICATION FLC Test investment cost now lower by 50% From a prior investment cost of $545, the FLC test now costs $275.
Introducing the technologically advanced LOP (Live Online Proctor) This is an internet-based test that allows anyone with a computer to take the test from anywhere in the world. Unlike our current FLC computer-based test, the LOP will allow any applicant to schedule and take the test using their computer from their home office or preferred location, anywhere in the world. There is no need to travel to a testing center to take the test. This means convenience and valuable savings in travel expenses. Moreover, there is no waiting time for test results, as applicants will know their test outcome right after taking the exam.
Return of the FLC Paper Test The FLC Paper Test can now be run during Chapter Education Days, subject to compliance to certification guidelines. Moreover, the FLC Test will now be offered during the AICI International Conferences once more.
Two application tracks now open for FLC Certification There are now two application options open to applicants. Both have their pros and cons, so all applicants are advised to evaluate which one works best for them.
OPTION 1: Binder First, Test Second
OPTION 2: Test First, Binder Second
This involves submitting your FLC Binder first, and upon approval by the assigned FLC Reviewer, you may sit for the FLC Test.
This option allows the applicant to sit for the FLC Test as a first step. Upon passing, the Binder may then be submitted to the assigned reviewer.
14 | January 2015 magazine
The Association of Image Consultants International | 15
IS A RETAIL S STORE
IN YOUR FUTURE? BY DEBRA LINDQUIST MA, AICI CIP
taying connected with clients who have used your services is one of the best ways you can grow your business. And a retail space can make that easier. Your happy clients are likely to recommend you to their friends and associates. These friends and associates seeking your services may wish to speak with you in person and may want to move forward with you as soon as possible. A retail space can facilitate this budding relationship. Potential clients feel less threatened if they can enter a store owned by someone they trust before making a definite commitment to purchase a service or some merchandise. If your goal is increased visibility and greater revenues, consider the possibility of having a retail location. There are several ways to have a retail presence. Several image consultants could work together sharing a retail location. You could be the sole proprietor of your own retail location. Or you could be the owner of the business and sub-lease or rent the space to other specialists (such as an aesthetician, hair stylist, or tailor) who complement your services. When you have a retail location you have the potential of expanding beyond personal consultation. If you are a good salesperson with merchandise that people find valuable, you have great potential of increasing your revenue. For instance, in my store we encouraged clients to bring their outfits to the store and try them on there. We would show them different accessory options for that outfit. They would often purchase based upon our recommendations. Having a retail store involves an investment and a commitment to a location. However, there are affordable options for small store locations. Small strip malls with related services, such as alterations or a hair salon, can be workable. Seek out a location known locally as a shopping and services destination point. I opened my first retail boutique, The Total Look, in 1984 and continued to use retailing as an aspect of my image consulting for 25 years. During a portion of that time, when my store was 1,600 square feet, I leased 500 square feet to a skincare specialist. This association was very beneficial, as it increased traffic and revenue for my studio. Reversing that formula works as well: you could embed your image consulting business within another complementary retail business, such as a salon.
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Photo Credit: Pam Friedlander
Offering what your customers want is key. Being responsive to requests for new products or services can keep them coming back. When I opened The Total Look, I was the first to bring “twist beads” to Denver. These colorful beads appealed to our clients and were a big hit. We then began selling earrings, necklaces, pins, bracelets, belts, and scarves. We also sold makeup and offered makeup classes for our clients. We had monthly style classes as well as additional fashion classes that attracted our clients. And we had periodic trunk shows that brought people into the store.
One of the major considerations of having a retail store is the economics. Here are a few of the questions that need to be answered: • • • • • • • • •
What initial investment can you afford? What will be the potential return on your investment? Where will you locate your facility? What will your fixed monthly costs be? What hours will you keep? What do your daily sales need to be in order to make your business profitable? Does your space lend itself to sublease a portion of the space available? Who will serve as a store manager, sales associates, and accountant? Where will you get merchandise for your store?
Additionally, you need to decide what type of store you wish to have. What will you offer? Below are a few options: •
• • •
Makeup There exist options to personally brand your own line of cosmetics with the manufacturer, often resulting in a better margin, or you can use an already established brand name. Accessories Makeup and accessories Direct sales clothing lines Doncaster, Worth, Carlisle, Etcetera. Sample clothing This clothing is usually Size 8 and is used by manufacturers’ representatives. These samples are used to show retailers the line so they can determine what they wish to carry. The show owners then place orders in multiple sizes. After the line has been used for a particular season, the representatives will sell the limited size line at 50% of wholesale. If you wish to buy samples, you must purchase all of the pieces in the sample collection. However, the prices are so good that the buyer can then turn around and make a nice profit, offering a wholesale price point to the customer.
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Resale clothing This clothing has been worn and in some cases altered. It can be very affordable for your customers and can be a lower overhead option for you. Your inventory is supplied by the public, usually on a consignment basis. It is essential that only high quality clothing and accessories be accepted. The goal is to merchandise the store so that it looks like a boutique offering new clothing. I owned my own resale store, Experienced Finery, for three years. I referred to the resale items in my store as “previously owned” rather than “used” clothing. A note of caution: I learned that clothing consigners often had an overinflated idea of the value of their clothing. The older the clothing becomes, even though it may have been expensive when purchased, the lower its resale value (unless it is vintage).
Go to www.imageinstitute.com for articles, webstore & training info
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Once you decide upon your objectives and what will work best for your image consulting business, make a business plan. Then track your results in real time so that you can adjust your approach as necessary and ensure your retailing success.
Debra Lindquist, MA, AICI CIP, is a seasoned image consultant who offers distance learning image and retail training as well as individual in-person training. She is the creator of Color Profiles color systems, a source for color materials for image consultants.
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STAYING IN TOUCH WITH STYLE
AN INTERVIEW WITH PAM FRIEDLANDER, BY SUSAN HESSELGRAVE
date. I start sending out invitations via my email newsletter two to three weeks ahead of time. This past fall was the first time I sent out cards by mail as well, to about 50 people. My assistant always posts the event on Facebook also.
One of the ways I stay in touch with my clients and potential clients is by hosting an Accessory Open House twice a year. People have a lot of fun, ask me many questions and buy the accessories that I so enjoy buying for my business. I serve wine, cheese and snacks. It adds to the party atmosphere and people enjoy it.
I don’t feel like I need to sell every item. I am not big on holiday gifts, but when I am at a new client’s home I usually give them an appropriate accessory at the end of the consultation. It is a gesture that has always been appreciated!
I didn’t start out intending to sell accessories! I started carrying them because I realized women who hire me usually do not own a good collection. Bringing a selection of accessory options to closet appointments became my tool to help my clients achieve a polished and finished look. When I first began eight years ago I would bring my own belts and jewelry. I quickly realized that purchasing was the way to go! Since then I have been purchasing scarves, belts, cardigans and jewelry from vendors at the Javits Center in New York City. Sometimes I go to the showrooms. I only purchase wholesale and usually have a stock on hand year-round. I always bring some stock to a client when I am working with them in their wardrobe. The only downside is that I worry sometimes if I am spending too much. Will I sell it? Happily, so far it’s working out! Clients really look forward to the Accessory Open House, and are disappointed if they can’t make the
Pam Friedlander founded Positive Reflections in 2006, following a successful 30-year career in real estate. She is a member of the New York/Tri-State Chapter of AICI.
Photo Credit: Pam Friedlander
Photo Credit: Pam Friedlander
The Association of Image Consultants International | 19
FOR MAXIMUM RESULTS:
5 STRATEGIES AN INTERVIEW WITH SANDY JONES-KAMINSKI INTERVIEWED BY SUSAN HESSELGRAVE
The most frequent complaint I hear from my fellow independent consultants, and one I struggle with as well, is this: “How do I keep in touch effectively with all these individuals through all these communication channels?” Sandy Jones-Kaminski has a very straightforward approach to managing communications, making her just the expert I wanted to consult on this topic. As a social media expert and business mentor, it’s Sandy’s job to cut through the clutter and help her clients make the most of the time and effort they spend on social media and other communication channels. With over 20 years of business development and marketing experience, her career has 20 | January 2015 magazine
evolved right along with the explosion of online communications. At her company, Bella Domain Media, she describes her role as “Chief Connecting Officer.” She helps entrepreneurs boost their brands, generate leads, and grow their businesses through a proprietary process of online and offline networking tactics, social media marketing, and by developing a customized content marketing strategy. Sandy has worked with startups as well as at the corporate executive level and has been interviewed and quoted by MSNBC, Fox Business News, and many other media outlets. She’s also the author of I’m at a Networking Event–Now What???: A Guide to Making the Most Out of Any Networking Event, which was the #1 pick on the Inc.com 2010 Business Book Wish List.
Q: What are the top communications mistakes you see made by entrepreneurs and independent consultants and what should they be doing instead? 1. USE THE RECEIVER’S PREFERRED CHANNEL SJK: I see people aren’t paying attention to the receiver’s preferred channel. There are phone people, social media people, email people. What are you? We tend to use the channel we prefer, rather than adapting to our recipient’s preference. We don’t respect their preferences. Instead of doing what’s easiest for you, respond in kind. Think about how they reached out to you originally. Don’t call somebody who reached out to you via email. They may be more inclined to do their business through email. Respect that. It can be a generational thing – for younger people, they’ll say, “Just text me.” SJK: Assess your audience’s comfort level. Again, this is a matter of respecting the receiver of your message. The first few communications need to be neutral in tone, intimacy, and depth. Your recipient may be turned off by an approach that is too formal, too
informal, or overly friendly. Do some research into their communication style, and pay attention to the cues they offer. What’s their sense of humor? How formal? Are there cultural or language differences you need to take into account? I know that someone being too formal sometimes makes me uncomfortable. I’m not going to be inclined to be responsive to that. Make more of an effort to understand your audience. SJK: Develop your soft skills. In all effective communications, you need to realize it’s not about you, it’s about the other person. Being more tuned in to other people is so important. You really have to develop your soft skills. To succeed anywhere, having good sales/marketing skills is essential, becoming comfortable with social interactions whether in person or in writing. I realize how much people struggle with that. Investing in that training is really important; it will make a huge difference to how successful you are. I recommend taking an improv workshop. In improv, you can’t help but always be thinking about the other person. It’s about being in that moment, hyper-aware, picking up on the cues, really paying attention to what [that person] needs or wants from you.
“I’m very weird sometimes when somebody’s calling me whom I don’t know yet. I don’t answer the phone necessarily. Telemarketers have ruined that [telephone] channel for us.”
The Association of Image Consultants International | 21
Q: Triage and prioritizing tasks are essential to the independent consultant. What do you recommend focusing on when time is very limited? How do we cut the communications clutter?
better ROI [return on investment] every time. The fortune is in the follow-up. Q: What would improve our business communications and relationships most?
2. FOCUS ON YOUR HOME BASE 3. SEEK OUT HIGH-VALUE RELATIONSHIPS SJK: I pay attention first to follow-up. That is key. Stop and look at cultivating the connections you’ve already made before you turn attention to new ones. Most of your business comes from referrals. People you know, clients you’ve had. These first few clients are your most important referral sources. They give you endorsements, references. It’s a very easy way for me to focus, in terms of outreach or new activities. Who do I need to check in with? Always make sure that your overarching priority is following up with your home base, because those are the people that make the biggest difference in your success.
“Follow-up is going to have a better ROI every time. The fortune is in the follow-up.” We all know about high client acquisition costs. Trying to find a new client is 10 times more work than keeping a current one. Follow-up is going to have a
22 | January 2015 magazine
SJK: Ask yourself, “Who do I know who’s working with the people I want to work with as well?” Identify and cultivate those relationships. It will be mutually beneficial. I’m always looking for synergy. Propose doing something together: co-author an article, guest blog for each other, put on a joint presentation or workshop. The key word is collaborate. You both will be maximizing your marketing efforts. SJK: Let go of low-value relationships. There was a time when I was willing to have relationships where I wasn’t fully valued, but as the years have passed I have gotten much more viable work from my highvalue clients. Now, if a person schedules and then cancels on me twice, I’m done! If you don’t make room for the right people for you, then the right people can’t get in—they’re being blocked by the not-right people. You’re just not going to have energy for everyone. You have to clean house. I’m a big believer that what starts well finishes well. How you start is how you finish. Trust your gut on this. And “break up” with those
low-value relationships in integrity. You can’t just not answer the phone. As you tie-off these loose ends, some form of communication is going to have to take place. 4. STRUCTURE YOUR DAY AND YOUR SCHEDULE SJK: In the corporate world, there’s always structure to your day. But when you’re on your own, you’re left to your own devices, you start your morning working on this, then that…the next thing you know, it’s time for lunch! It can be hard to keep track of a day. Try to focus on structuring your time: your day, your week, your month. This is huge, with a big payoff. Organizational tools are available, but first look at your week as though you were in a corporate job. Don’t leave anything out. Schedule your workouts. If you work from home, make sure you schedule the laundry day. No one else will do this for you. I put everything on my calendar. And set alarms on my phone for each time I need to transition to the next activity. Say that the first thing in the morning I’m going to spend 15 minutes on social media. Put a time limit on it, and then it is easier to manage. SJK: Should YOU be doing this? For every task, ask yourself, “Is this the highest, best use of my time and talent?” Is this something you need to delegate, or downgrade in importance, putting it as a third priority. Is it something you can outsource? For example, I just hired somebody on fiverr.com to find a bunch of relevant quotes I needed for my newsletters.
Q: What one change should we make right now? 5. ONLY COMMIT TWO-THIRDS OF YOUR DAY SJK: Only commit two-thirds of your time each day. You focus on those top two priorities for the day. You’re going to need that “final third” of your workday for the things that just show up. Trust me, they’ll find you. Focus your time on the things that are most likely to bring you what you need. And be sure and leave that opening, that last third, for new opportunities. You have to leave space for that. Business development is always happening if you allow it.
For more of Sandy Jones-Kaminski’s insights, go to www.belladomain.com, @sandyjk on Twitter, and her blog on LinkedIn.
Susan Hesselgrave entered the field of image consulting in 2012, following a career in brand research and marketing. She serves as editor-inchief for AICI Global and is currently writing a book exploring the intersection of values, identity and personal style.
The Association of Image Consultants International | 23
INITIATING CONTACT For the corporate customer, it’s very important to initiate, make your move, and actively propose the service to them, because not many companies know that they can include image consulting in their corporate communication plan or in their executive coaching plan. For individual customers, a spontaneous request is my favorite way to connect with a potential client. Basically, my marketing strategy consists of cultivating personal relationships, making presentations during conferences, and publishing articles and interviews in magazines. My experience has shown that for me this is the right way to initiate a contact with potential clients and is certainly the most consistent with my personal style! (Italy)
INITIATING CONTACT If it is a personal client, I usually wait till he or she approaches me, so I won’t feel like I’m being pushy or rude to them, but I certainly find a way to let them know about what I do and what I can help them with. If a potential client is a school, a public person, or a corporate client, I do some research on them and on their possible needs so I can knock on their door with a viable proposal. (Mexico)
STAYING IN TOUCH Mostly, I connect with clients every six months, unless there is something specific that needs to be taken care of sooner. I give them a call and send them an e-card on their birthday. (Mexico)
INITIATING CONTACT Here in Chile, when we are trying to sell to a company, we usually make phone calls to contact a manager. Some are very difficult to reach, and we need to send them an email. The easiest way to ensure contact is when a friend can get you in touch with a potential customer, and then we can do our marketing job. Customers also call our company directly when they have a special need that we can satisfy. A bidding process is normal. They usually contact three companies to select one. (Chile)
STAYING IN TOUCH After we have provided our services, we follow up with a minimum of two contacts during the year. This is usually done through email—we offer new services, ask them about new needs, etc. (Chile)
AROUND THE GLOBE:
LOCAL PERSPECTIVES ON EFFECTIVE CONNECTIONS 24 | January 2015 magazine
INITIATING CONTACT In the case of most of my bigger contracts, I get introductions and referrals from business owners in other fields. They introduce my services to their important customers. To be trusted as a professional in a specific area, it is important for potential clients to be very familiar with me and know my strong points. Referrals provide this level of trust. I’ve never used a “cold call” or direct selling approach. In Japan, direct selling emails or phone calls are not welcomed and rarely result in obtaining clients or closing contracts. (Japan)
INITIATING CONTACT I find that the best way to get new clients as an image consultant and corporate image trainer is through networking and word of mouth marketing. I think it’s mostly because our clients here are very particular about the quality of training, so they are more dependent on what actual past participants think of the training or consultancy you have conducted before. (Philippines)
STAYING IN TOUCH In the Philippines, it has been a business practice to send corporate gifts during Christmas time. This is an excellent time to re-contact a client, remind them of your existence, and update your contact information, just in case there are new hires in the department that you usually engage business with. (Philippines)
STAYING IN TOUCH Sending emails is the most popular method of follow-up in our region. From my experience, sending messages through Facebook is also very popular. It’s amazing how we succeed in connecting with clients who don’t even bother to read their emails. Posting letters happens only if a particular client requests it. (Philippines)
STAYING IN TOUCH Email seems to be the most common method. I do prefer to make a telephone call as there is a level of personal touch. People receive 50 -100 emails a day and thus an email can possibly get lost in the sea of more urgent emails. (Singapore)
INITIATING CONTACT I believe that being proactive is very important to show sincerity and interest; I will definitely be the one initiating contact. (Singapore)
SINCERE THANKS TO THE CONTRIBUTORS: Karen Loren Agustin-Ostrea, AICI FLC, CPC; Abbygale Arenas-De Leon, AICI FLC; Lilian Bustamante, AICI CIP; Sarah Cossu; Silvia Guerra; Aziah Azizul Hassan; Dina H. Loomis, AICI FLC; Keiko Nagao, AICI FLC; Cindy Tien The Association of Image Consultants International | 25
A PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT BROUGHT TO YOU BY IMAGE IMPACT
HOW TO STAY IN TOUCH WITH VOLUNTEERS—
REACH OUT FOR SUCCESS BY PAMELA JUDD, AICI CIP
on-profit organizations move their mission forward with the help of volunteers. Small businesses can too. At Image Impact International, we reach out to volunteers to tap the passion and productivity of our Board of Directors, Civility Council, and College 2 Career 2 Community Impact teams. As an image consultant, you may benefit from the following easy-to-use tips if you are thinking about bringing volunteers such as interns into your business.
First, identify potential opportunities for volunteer support. Ask yourself what your top three projects are over the next 3-6 months. Think about the skills needed to achieve these goals. Do you need an organized, detail-minded administrative assistant or an outgoing sales champion? Create a compelling list of attributes to describe who you want for your dream team. Spell out what you want your volunteers to focus on and show how they will benefit from these opportunities. Craft an authentic outreach message that resonates and attracts potential volunteers. Second, look at new ways to find volunteers such as Idealist.org and popular internship sites. Consider reaching out to a local college or university. Try offering schools experiential or “service learning” opportunities, an exciting trend in education today. For example, Image Impact International recently collaborated with two professors and their classes at the New York Institute of Technology (NYIT). College student teams produced invaluable results for our nonprofit. Student projects included developing different competitive analyses, offering branding and social media 26 | January 2015 magazine
recommendations, and conducting student focus groups. Valued supervision was provided by AICI members Daphne Magna, Tamara Glick, and Cindy Ann Peterson, AICI FLC. Student volunteers got the chance to give back and add real life experience to their resumes. In return, Image Impact International benefitted from the feedback of college students, the very millennial population we serve through our College 2 Career 2 Community Impact philanthropic program. Their creative ideas were also an added bonus in our needs analysis process, which is a requirement to become an IACET.org Continuing Education Unit (CEU) provider. Finally, stay in touch with volunteers and keep them active in your cause or business by recognizing their contributions during and after your collaboration. Profile their passion and productivity through online success stories plus a simple but effective volunteer recognition program. To find out more or reach out to us as a volunteer, contact Image Impact International VP Governance Mary Spalter at email@example.com or visit www.imageimpact.org.
Pamela Judd, AICI CIP, is the President of Image Impact International, a global philanthropic non-profit community of trainers, which empowers students to successfully transition into the workforce by equipping them with leadership, communication, and presentation skills. Contact Pamela at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Telling Our Story Full-page graphic (Do we have this already?)
LETTER FROM THE PRESIDENT “HE IS ABLE WHO THINKS HE IS ABLE.” – Buddha
aining an AICI professional certification isn’t easy—but then again, it’s not meant to be. Completing each level of the AICI Certification is a major, time-consuming task. For many of our members, just reading the application process raises concerns. I know, I was one of those members. In early 2007 I was still questioning whether at the age of 49 I could start a brand new career in image consulting, let alone sit for an FLC exam. Why? Well, I was afraid that I might fail, and I didn’t believe I was capable. Then I remembered what my mother would always tell my sisters and me: “Every accomplishment starts with the decision to try.” She would always tell us, “If you want to be truly successful in life, then first you have to learn to believe in yourself. If you don’t think you’ll be successful, then who will?” Knowing that someone is going to test our knowledge can often instill fear in us, so we stall for the fear of not being instantly good at something or the fear of how long it will take, the unknown, that we might never achieve it, of making mistakes! But with my mother’s words in my head, I reached out to my fellow AICI members and asked for help, and before too long the process became fun. I got to interact with some incredible AICI members, and finally I started to say, “Hey, I’m kind of good at this.” As I reflect back now, it was in the process of preparing for the FLC where I actually learned the most. I had to learn fast, and I was amazed at how much better I became as an image professional. The more I tried, the better I became. The day I got my letter from AICI saying I had successfully passed my FLC exam was probably one of my proudest moments because now, at 50, I had learned something entirely new, and I had a certificate that set me apart as an image professional and identified me as someone who really knows their job. I encourage every AICI member to start the certification process. I started by setting myself some incremental milestones, mini projects that I felt I could tackle one at a time, and on completion of each I had intermediate successes. I promise you’ll get so much pleasure from trying, learning, and succeeding. Always remind yourself why you wanted to make this change in the first place and why failure is just intolerable. Use that as motivation when you find yourself stalling. Reach out to other AICI members who are certified. They will make the process so much easier for you. Read books, sign up for our AICI educational classes, and then pick up your pencil and take your FLC exam in Washington DC in August 2015. We’ll all be there to celebrate with you. Nelson Mandela wrote, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” I change the world every day working with clients, and I can do this thanks to the education and certification process of AICI. I encourage you to come join me and the many other certified AICI members in changing the world of image.
WARMEST WISHES TO ALL, JANE The Association of Image Consultants International | 29 The Association of Image Consultants International | 29
MEMBER SPOTLIGHT: KEIKO NAGAO BY SUSAN HESSELGRAVE
A “People judge your image from your etiquette, and that’s where they get to know your personality.” 32 | January 2015 magazine
n appreciation for beauty lies at the heart of Keiko Nagao’s career choices and led her to the field of image consulting. Hers is a distinctly Japanese understanding of beauty: a sense of the inherent grace that can and should be expressed in all of life’s gestures. Be it in the hospitality extended to guests or the modesty of a presence that glows rather than demanding the spotlight, Keiko is an exemplar of this grace. It was no surprise, then, to learn that hospitality and etiquette laid the foundation of her career. She had 25 years of experience at Japan Airlines (JAL) when she established her own company, Global Image Co. Ltd. “I had been having the dream to run my own company, so that I could use my creativity fully, for about 15 years while working at JAL. I began studying color theory and personal color analysis on my free time. In 2006, I finally discovered the image consulting business, which was not well known in Japan. It was an occupation that needed superior skills in communication, etiquette, and protocol, all of which I had cultivated for many years at JAL.” Another important aspect of Keiko’s background is her qualification as a Master Sommelier, obtained in 1993. She explained that for JAL, as the best airline in the world for service, this was an obvious enhancement to the service they could provide to their passengers. “We invested in dining at the best Michelin-rated restaurants in Paris. Why were they considered the best? What made that experience superlative? I was able to learn the etiquette regarding wine from both perspectives, as a guest and as a service person. “In the years since, I’ve found that doing Wine and Dine trainings for my corporate clients is one of the best ways to instruct people in the role of etiquette in their social image. People judge your image from your etiquette, and that’s where they get to know your personality.”
And the biggest challenge in launching her own business? “Marketing. I knew it would be the biggest challenge beforehand. I’d started to learn a lot of marketing skills on my own — books and workshops, especially regarding internet marketing — while still at JAL. “Fortunately, through my sommelier training and association with the wine lovers’ association, the Commanderie de Bordeaux à Tokyo, I knew a lot of doctors. I discovered that there was a real need
in China. When asked about the challenges of crosscultural training, she didn’t find it daunting at all. “From my experience, what a person hopes for and expects regarding hospitality and etiquette is the same, regardless of country or culture. When I instruct them in the practices in Japanese hotels and restaurants, everybody is truly impressed.” As to where she starts in training staff to adapt to globalization, Keiko says, “What I understand is that we all need to learn what is going on outside of where we
“What I understand is that we all need to learn what is going on outside of where we happen to live. This is not just relevant to Chinese or Japanese people. It’s important for all of us, globally, to understand and be inspired by the various cultures in the world.” to train hospital staff in hospitality, etiquette, and communication to better serve their patients and support the brand reputation of the hospital. There was also the consideration of use of color within the hospital setting to support the well-being of the patients and staff. I focused on this niche in the beginning of my business and the demand for my services grew.” Keiko’s business also extends to conducting customer service trainings and image consultation
happen to live. This is not just relevant to Chinese or Japanese people. It’s important for all of us globally to understand and be inspired by the various cultures in the world.” In addition to her volunteer roles as president of the AICI Tokyo Chapter and VP Education for the AICI Board of Directors, Keiko is dedicated to the philanthropic duties she believes are incumbent on her as an image professional.
The TheAssociation AssociationofofImage ImageConsultants ConsultantsInternational International || 33
She explains her service as an AICI Civility Ambassador: “In Japan, enhancing a sense of moral propriety is foundational in our traditions and education. Thus, the AICI Code of Conduct and P. M. Forni’s work Choosing Civility: The 25 Rules of Considerate Conduct are something we resonate with deeply. Unfortunately, in our stressful society, people’s conduct and business dealings can be strained, even including violations of ethical conduct. “AICI Tokyo Chapter began a continuous campaign on our Facebook page, starting in 2012, to promote the 25 Rules. I am very proud of our chapter for this initiative. “Our philanthropy project, the ‘Sawayaka’ at the Tokyo Rehabilitation Center, is also very meaningful to me. [‘Sawayaka’ is a distinctly Japanese word,
34 | January 2015 magazine
impossible to adequately translate, which conveys a sense of delight, refreshment, and clarity.] “We’ve visited the Center now once every month for over three years. Most of the residents are in wheelchairs and very frail. We give them a beauty treat with makeup. When we started, some of the elderly ladies were too shy to even look at their faces. But when we added that little touch of color to their eyes and lips, their faces lit up and they smiled like young girls. That’s sawayaka. This experience of care restores their sense of being a woman. Every time we go, it surprises and delights us as well, this power of makeup for women and what we can do to share that. “And I want to add that I am extremely proud of AICI Tokyo Chapter’s members, who are continuously and generously contributing to AICI with great motivation and teamwork.” Keiko has a new passion she is adding to her already full palette: “Omotenashi” service. “I’ve just established a new association with the goal of educating people working in the customer service industry, providing them with the knowledge and skills for global communication. ‘Omotenashi’ is a word that captures the traditional Japanese sense of hospitality, ‘the superlative consideration for the guests.’ Undemonstrative, unstinting service is what we aspire to in Japanese culture and from which we derive much pride.”
Susan Hesselgrave entered the field of image consulting in 2012, following a career in brand research and marketing. She serves as editor-in-chief for AICI Global and is currently writing a book exploring the intersection of values, identity, and personal style.
UPCOMING EVENTS AICI WEBINARS FOR CEU’S
ESSENTIALS FOR STYLING MEN Carla Mathis, AICI CIM, BodyBeautiful.net January 14 & 21, 8:00pm EST-NEW YORK (0.3 CEUs) Take this course with Image Master Carla Mathis to gain insights from her 30+ years working successfully with male clients. Whether you already style men or are thinking about entering the men’s market, you’ll discover key tools and information you can use immediately after this course. Learn how to speak effectively with male clients, how to work with distinctive features, best fabrics for different body types, critical points for good fit, and much more. This course will give you confidence and skills to work with your male clients; to successfully analyze and solve their clothing and image needs. In these two 90-minute webinars (0.3 CEUs), you will: • Identify 12 Personality Styles for men and how to speak their language • Identify the psychology of men’s style and nonverbal communication • Identify 4 levels of business dress… when and why to choose which one for what purpose • Assess silhouette and proportion to determine the best cut of suits and length of casual shirts and jackets • Describe how to dress men’s Distinctive Features: belly, flat or full buttocks, bow-legs, sloping shoulder or neck, thick rib cage and full pecs • Identify how to speak to male clients in a way that is most effective • Evaluate and fine-tune the critical points of GOOD FIT for Men’s suits and jackets For more information visit: Essentials for Styling Men
LEVERAGE BLOGGING TO PROMOTE YOUR BUSINESS Heidi Richards Mooney, RedheadMarketingInc.com January 15, 2015, 2:00pm EST In this AICI teleclass, you will learn the basics of good blogging, create an account and set up your blog, learn what to write about and how to spread the word using a variety of online tools. In fact, before you even dial into the teleclass you will receive instructions for getting your blog domain/software AND hosting set up. Topics covered: • Why Blogging is Important • How to Create Content When you Don’t Like to Write • How to Find Your Audience • How to Curate Content Your Audience will Appreciate • How to Use Blogging to Increase your Search Engine Rankings For more information visit: Leverage Blogging to Promote Your Business The Association of Image Consultants International | 37
IMAGE FOR A CAUSE | AICI GIVES BACK AROUND THE GLOBE DURING 2013-2014 AICI MEMBERS INVOLVED IN “RESPONSIBLE BEAUTY” Maritza Desjonquères-Añazco France Chapter Catherine Duhalde France Chapter Marie-Noëlle Martin-Avenet France Chapter Yasmin Anderson-Smith, AICI CIP Atlanta Chapter Rossy Garbbez, AICI CIP Guadalajara Chapter Lilian Bustamante, AICI CIP Chile-Santiago Chapter Diana Cornea Colombia Sandy Cornejo Argentina Chapter Claudia García Guatemala Delphine Genard Belgium Lorena Gurjão Brazil Chapter Doris Horn France Chapter Edith Manent France Chapter Cinzia Fassetta Italy Elisabeth Kaempffer France Chapter Riet de Vlieger, AICI CIP France Chapter Carmen Okabe France Chapter Regiane Reziade Brazil Chapter Clara Sera Colombia Victoria Sommaire France Chapter Ayrin Pons France Chapter Irina Gardea Romania Angelika Dgribrova Bulgaria Amparo Dueñas Colombia Jahnnette Villanueva Dominican Republic
38 | January 2015 magazine
AICI MEMBERS INVOLVED IN “CAMPUS 2 CAREER 2 COMMUNITY IMPACT” Vanessa Weatherspoon Atlanta Chapter Kelly Duggan, AICI FLC Chicago Chapter Sunshine Story Chicago Chapter Diane-Monique Adjanonhoun France Chapter Maritza Desjonquères Añazco France Chapter Pamela Judd, AICI CIP New York/ Tri-State Chapter Sharon Kornstein, AICI CIP New York/ Tri-State Chapter Ann Lindsay, AICI FLC New York/ Tri-State Chapter Ann-Caroline Van Der Ham New York/ Tri-State Chapter Delby Bragais, AICI CIP Philippines Chapter Leila Lomongo-Carpenter Philippines Chapter Bronwyn Clarke Sydney Chapter Donna Pace Sydney Chapter Julie Rollinson Sydney Chapter Ferial Youakim, AICI CIP Sydney Chapter Tamara Glick Toronto Chapter Daphne Magna, AICI FLC Toronto Chapter Cindy Ann Peterson, AICI FLC Washington DC Metro Chapter Jahnnette Villanueva Dominican Republic
AICI MEMBERS INVOLVED IN “III DISABILITY AUTHORS” Aury Caltagirone, AICI CIP Mexico City Chapter Alyce Parsons, AICI CIP San Francisco Bay Area Chapter Bernie Burson, AICI FLC San Francisco Bay Area Chapter Catherine Bell, AICI CIP Toronto Chapter Cindy Ann Peterson, AICI FLC Washington DC Metro Chapter Delby Bragais, AICI CIP Philippines Chapter Ferial Youakim, AICI CIP Sydney Chapter Kelly Duggan, AICI FLC Chicago Chapter Kelly Machbitz, AICI CIP Florida Chapter Li Kin Pang, AICI CIP Singapore Chapter Magoe Johnson, AICI CIP New York/ Tri-State Chapter Maritza Desjonquères Añazco France Chapter Pamela Judd, AICI CIP New York/ Tri-State Chapter Carole Ann Lyons San Francisco Bay Chapter
AICI MEMBERS INVOLVED IN “III CIVILITY COUNCIL” AROUND THE GLOBE Cindy Ann Peterson, AICI FLC Ferial Youakim, AICI CIP Pamela Judd, AICI CIP Alvyda Jasilionyte Maritza Desjonquères Añazco Soraya Raju Cheryl Walker-Robertson Katherine D. Wurzburg, AICI FLC
Washington DC Metro Chapter Sydney Chapter New York/ Tri-State Chapter France Chapter France Chapter Sydney Chapter New York Tri-State Chapter San Francisco Bay Area Chapter
THE PHILANTHROPIC SPIRIT BY CINDY ANN PETERSON, AICI FLC 2012-2014 AICI INTERNATIONAL PHILANTHROPY CHAIR
What is philanthropy?
t is the love of humanity. Thank you to our extraordinary AICI chapters and members for the many Image for a Cause | AICI Gives Back projects they conducted around the globe this past year. Projects for Image for a Cause are selected by AICI chapters and individual members, and are based on personal passion, community needs and educational expertise. AICI is proud to recognize and share their initiatives.
THANK YOU The Association of Image Consultants International | 39
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MEDIA’S CHANGING INFLUENCE ON BODY IMAGE
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THE MAN IN THE MIRROR!
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