In this week’s Creator Conversation, I got something different with life and style coach, Kevin Samuels. Kevin helps create personal and professional brands and has a YouTube series of videos on self-improvement for professionals. In this Q&A session he talks about his history, what he does, the importance of first impressions, and useful advice to better your image.
Kevin, talk a bit about yourself and what you do.
I help create personal and professional brands. As a result of working with people develop a whole new sense of confidence in themselves. Something I called B.I.T.Z. Being in there zone. I help solve the main problem of having a lack of time, knowledge, skill, & money by taking the guesswork out of designing signature looks that work for them during any occasion. And, ultimately making their wardrobe both stylist & more efficient. And I absolutely love what I do because of the why. When you work with someone who’s never seen the best version of themselves and you truly help them construct that personal brand it’s awesome. And to see the look on their face when they turn to the mirror for the first time and see the “new” them. Intoxicating. In the end I don’t make people something that there’re not, but instead I help them show who they really are.
What can people expect to learn from your Life & Style videos?
People can expect to receive high level fashion and style ideas distilled down to the practical level that the average, everyday man and woman needs, finds useful, and can immediately act upon.
What’s the one video you would want people to watch first?
There are 2. 1st would be the 1:04 video entitled Life & Style by Kevin Samuels. In that video the viewer will hear my previous business name Made Men Image Consulting, because I started out servicing men, and quickly realized that I needed to expand to men, women, and businesses. The need is there and I have the knowledge and skill to service all of those segments.
The second would be the 2:37 video All You Have Is 7 Little Seconds. This video is quick and gets to the point of just how short of a time a person has to make a personal and professional imprint on another which often happens before a single word is exchanged.
Both are very valuable and will give the audience a pretty good insight to who I am as a provider.
How did you get involved in fashion and being a life and style coach?
It’s funny you mentioned this after the last question. I’ve been into fashion and style my entire life and have always helped people around me or who asked to help them with anything fashion, style, or fragrance related. My fragrance knowledge is one thing that really separates me from most. The final push for me was when I was working on a PR project for an attorney who asked to put everything on hold because her name had just been put forward for a Judgeship and she had an upcoming interview with the Governor. She was so nervous because as a Business Law attorney she really left her office and it wasn’t necessary for her to care about her appearance for years due to how her business was set up. So she asked if I could give her some advice since I was always so well dressed and of course I should yes. Then she asked if I could actually go with her and help pick out the ensembles, to which I agreed because I wanted to help and see her succeed. The magic question was “how much do you charge for that” then the bells went off. There’s a business here and it’s based on doing the thing I have a real love for. So I did my research, spoke to other image consultants and found out they had similar origin stories and in turn got some great mentors along the way. I also got my certifications to separate myself from many others who are stylists in the sense that they know how to dress themselves well, but may not be able translate it to others.
Why are first impressions vital?
“Deep down everyone makes 11 different decisions about a new individual within the first 7 seconds of meeting them and it supports confirmation basis. Once that opinion is set the inertia to change it is near impossible to change.”It’s automatic and in the subconscious. Deep down everyone makes 11 different decisions about a new individual within the first 7 seconds of meeting them and it supports confirmation basis. Once that opinion is set the inertia to change it is near impossible to change. This point has been scientifically proven and I know it seems shallow to some, by today’s standards, but our ancestors had to make snap judgments about a new person long before civilization was the norm. For example, is this person a friend or threat? Will they be good or the the group or a drain on the group? And on. Here is what gets decided/assumed and order changes depending on whether it’s a personal, professional, or social meeting.
1. Economic Level
2. Education Level
3. Competence, Credibility, Honesty,
4. Sex role identification
5. Level of sophistication
7. Level of success
8. Religious background
9. Political background
11. Ethnic background
How can one recover from a bad first impression?
You can, but it’s like trying to get out of the “friend zone”. I asked a class of college student “how many have been dropped into the friend zone and how many have gotten out?” Of course, ego kicked in and they all got out of the friend zone, but that’s not reality and most understand that point. Like I said earlier it takes a massive amount of time and inertia to recover, so much so that the average person realize that point and decide it’s easier not to try. However, with behavior and communication it can be overcome albeit very slowly as to where it can almost seem like “No”.
What are three items every man and every woman should have in their closet?
-The perfect little black dress
-Well cut dark suit
-Classic lace up black shoes
-Lots of crisp white cotton shirts
How do you start your day?
Then I go make my coffee and check my vital emails and vital social media.
Afterwards I do my morning routine and dress for the day.
What services do you offer?
A la carte services, package type offers, and complete makeover. Both available in either virtual or in person methods. Ultimately they are all based upon creating and maintaining a great initial impression, personal, and professional brand.
Anything else you want people to know?
First is Cost. The right stylist actually saves you money in the short term and long run. Next, that the process should be simple, easy, fun, and something you can learn and continue yourself if they choose. Last, everyone can use a stylist even those that wear “uniforms” or the like to work because it’s during the off work time where most people find the greatest difficulty.