Personal branding is not unlike corporate branding. Just like corporate brands succeed or fail based on how consumers perceive, think, and feel about them, so your personal brand on the job is based on how others perceive, think, and feel about YOU. Don’t think that just because you’re not Nike or Coke that you don’t have a brand. You ARE a brand.
Sometimes we don’t know what our clothing is saying about us. While the way you look is not a substitute for the knowledge and discipline you need to perform in your role, knowing you are ‘branded’ for success will give you the confidence to pursue more opportunities.
Study after study has shown us that people who take care with their clothing, grooming, and overall appearance are:
- paid more
- promoted faster
- receive more opportunities
- have a higher profile
- receive more positive evaluations than those who don’t.
As an Image Consultant there are many aspects of “Image” that we evaluate together with our clients. These range from grooming, clothing, make up, vocal coaching, networking and etiquette. By evaluating all these aspects of your “Image” it will help you capitalise on your personal brand. Following are some tips for creating your own personal brand:
Dress for now
There’s no point waiting until you’ve lost weight, or have more time or money, to make changes.
Waiting for the perfect circumstances is the highway to failure. Dress the body you have now and you’ll instantly feel stronger. Sort out your wardrobe today and tweak the clothes you own and you won’t spend big buying new outfits.
Take action: What is holding you back from creating a winning personal brand? Commit to make a move in the next seven days and follow it through.
Take the lead
Being known for immaculate presentation is a smart business move. Dress a cut sharper and you’ll be seen as ‘promotable’ when opportunity knocks.
Take action: How can you take your personal brand up a notch? Choose one thing at a time, like adding colour or accessorising better, and stick with it for a month to make it a habit.
Keep context in mind
Just as you might not be considered trustworthy if you appear under-dressed or sloppy in comparison to a prospective client, being over-dressed can also be alienating. As shallow as it seems, most people jump to conclusions based on what they see and the messages they interpret. Your appearance is a source of non-stop visual information. To connect with clients better try to match your clothes to their expectations.
Take action: Check your diary commitments and ask yourself: ‘What will people think of me when I walk into that room?’ Plan your outfit according to your desired branding.
Once you have defined your brand, carry it out in everything you do, whether it’s the way you dress, your online presence, or your e-mail signature.
Take action: Go to your wardrobe and review your outfits. Do they reflect your brand? Re evaluate your on-line presence; does your photo on your website, Facebook page, LinkedIn profile and Twitter reflect your brand?
Remember: What you say is very important, but what people think of you BEFORE you speak your first word is vital in determining your success!