Most of the time, here on my blog, I’m sharing information about the business building side of personal branding (connecting with your audience, being authentic, maintaining clarity and consistency with your brand messaging), but today I want to approach personal branding from a more visual standpoint. In order to get to the conversions you want, you have to pass the “First Impression Test”. This is where the initial decisions about whether to move forward with a business transaction or not takes place. Under most circumstances, consumers and potential collaborators take their first step towards doing business with you after making assumptions from your visual messaging. The goal of this blog post is to open your eyes to 3 Personal Branding Victories won with the right wardrobe.
A “Compatibility” Win:
Believe it or not, people make assumptions about their ability to work with you based on your appearance. Your clothing choices are (or should be) a reflection of your true personality and when done correctly, the visual of your wardrobe choices speak for you. It controls your visual narrative and says you’re approachable to the consumer you are trying to reach. The goal is to appeal to those who truly want what you have to offer – the way you’re offering it. Depending on your choice of attire, you could be seen as someone who takes themselves too seriously/or just seriously enough (i.e. looks too buttoned up) or someone who doesn’t get it at all (i.e. sloppy and/or disheveled). The goal is to find a happy medium that fits your personality while maintaining a polished look that speaks your nonverbal message.
A “Competency” Win:
People assume you have the ability to get the job done. If this weren’t true there wouldn’t be a need for the “Don’t judge a book by its cover” quote. We all have an idea in our heads about the way people we hire should look. It’s what we base our opinions on, at least in part, when deciding if we should use them… c’mon, you know I’m right. Be honest.
If your choice in wardrobe matches your personality, it gives an impression of self-assurance and that you have a grasp on the subject you’re claiming to have knowledge about (your product/service). It’s likely you will be perceived as credible despite a lack of definitive knowledge about your abilities.
A “Conversation to Convert” Win:
Once you’ve gotten past the initial nonverbal visual, your chances increase that people will take a chance on you and pay to play. When the lines of communication open up, you can begin the task of verbally explaining your value. The point is, conversations that convert happen as a result of you appealing to your consumer in a way that resonates with them. Personal branding is about presenting yourself to your consumer in an authentic way. It’s an organic approach to your brand promotion that goes as deep as your personal choices. That includes your wardrobe. When you look the part, people will take a chance on your abilities.
These visual victories work for professionals as well. In a study done by the Wisconsin Job Center, 95% of the employers interviewed said a jobseeker’s personal appearance affected the employer’s opinion of that applicant’s suitability for the job.
Society has shifted its focus from branding being the ONLY thing that affects their decisions. With the emergence of reality T.V., people want to know even more about the brands they purchase. Can they be trusted? Do they believe the same way? Are they making an effort to relate? These answers need to be apparent from the very first time a brand is introduced. A logo isn’t enough anymore. I’ve said it before and you’ve heard it many times… You never get a second chance to make a first impression.
Use this post as a guide to achieve visual victories with your personal branding.
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