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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As you know, often as entrepreneur we are relying on the perceptions of our clients and/or potential clients to drive our business. That said, it’s important for us to understand and invest in how we communicate.
Communication is 55% Non-Verbal. So this means you’re seen before you’re heard, right? Your target audience is going to look you up, stumble on to your website …basically, judge your appearance long before they speak to you or a representative of your brand directly. How can you minimize any negative perceptions? What can you do to increase the odds that people new to you and your brand stick around long enough to use the other 45% of communication?
For those answers, I want you to consider my tips to F.E.A.R. the unknown. Before you can do that, you have to first answer the question, What are your unknowns? Are you afraid of getting in front of the camera? That was one of mine. I actually don’t like seeing myself on camera. I don’t like thinking about the judgement of others so I am going to use that as our example today. While you’re reading though, replace my fear with your own and apply the information to your own situation for growth…
The “F” in FEAR stands for Face your Fear head on…. Whatever your fear is, bite the bullet and stare that fear down. Acknowledge it and walk through it. What’s waiting for you on the other side is success & knowing that whatever happens you no longer have to wonder what WOULD HAVE happened. Sometimes that in itself is enough to propel us into the right gear.
The “E” in FEAR stands for Elevate your thinking… Our fears come from a track we have playing in our head that tells us there is a down side to facing our fear. When we elevate our thinking, which could look like taking a class, reading a book on the subject, or talking to someone who has been there and done that… chances are we will scare away the boogie man preventing us from moving forward.
The “A” in FEAR stands for Accept failure… Okay, you tried it and it didn’t work.. so what, at least you tried. I have been criticized (not face to face, of course) of being a serial entrepreneur. Yes, I’ve had several businesses but each has been a derivative of beautification. I love making people and/or businesses look their best to those they want to attract. ALL OF MY BUSINESS VENTURES have been centered on this concept. I don’t look at any of them as failures because each was a stepping stone to get HERE! Failure may occur though and it’s okay. Just get up, dust yourself off and try, try again.
Finally, we look at the “R” in FEAR. It’s for Repeat until you get it right…. If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again…. The best way to become successful is to keep moving. Be a shark, don’t look back… look forward, make the necessary adjustments as you grow, but accept and learn from your mistakes.
So now what??? Are you ready to follow me and F.E.A.R the Unknown? Follow the link by clicking the picture below. It will help you elevate your thinking and cease to be have any fear at all..
When you realize you’re making a mistake, don’t you want to STOP making the mistake? Don’t you want to self-correct and get yourself back on the right track…doing things right? Today’s post is quite possibly what you need to stop making mistakes with your social media posting. Below, I’ve listed 4 mistakes I think many small business owners make with social media in hopes it will help with the whole “self-correcting” process.
- “Cliff Jumping” – Posting on social media without a plan or strategy. The difference between you, an entrepreneur, and the average social media user is PURPOSE…. Why are you posting where you’re posting, and how are you planning to measure your efforts?
- “Molding” – Making a mold out of your social media posts and using it for every platform. To optimize the success of your social media campaign it’s important to differentiate the platform messages. Though you may have some of the same followers across the social media sites, those followers are looking for different types of information.
- “Purpose-LESS Pictures” – If you are going to spend the time and energy on taking the perfect picture OR spend the money for a professional photo shoot, make sure to use them for the building of your brand. Websites like PicMonkey, Canva, and even software like Power Point are available to make amazing promotional material. Use these sites (and software) along with artistic typography to brand yourself as an expert in your industry. Andrea Beltrami of The Branded Solopreneur does a great job describing what could go wrong when you aren’t cognoscente of the branding pitfalls.
- “Number Numbness” – Ignoring the numbers that make up your analytics. Going back to #1, your social media marketing strategy starts with a GOAL. It’s important to have an idea about how you want your campaign to perform. The way you measure the success of your goal is through the analytics from your social media activity. See what worked then rinse, wash and repeat!
If you’re like me, when you finally figure this all out it’s like a light bulb came on. I finally felt there was a light at the end of the tunnel. Don’t continue your social media campaigns (or any campaign for that matter) in darkness. STOP making these mistakes with your personal brand. Get clear about the message you’re sharing and remember, these are the “4 Mistakes To AVOID With Your Social Media Strategy”.
I’m here to help. Click the link below for a FREE consultation. I’d be happy to listen and help you get your personal branding fire lit.
July 4th is right around the corner and just as our forefathers before us got fed up with the status quot and declared their independence (some easier than others), so is the time for you to declare your own independence. Just as Abraham Lincoln referenced the declaration of independence in his Gettysburg Address, you should declare your legacy to be one of entrepreneurial independence. That independence starts with doing something different to get a different result. Stop that vicious cycle of feeling stuck in the mud, like your spinning your wheels or worse… paralyzed with fear. Choose today as your day of independence. According to Psychology Today, there are 5 stages to changing behavior so get started with your own change (right after you finish reading this post, of course). In my podcast this week (Friday), I’m talking about each step in this process so be sure to listen in.
Next, to declare today your independence day, you need to rely on your strengths, as well as recognize and work on getting better at your weaknesses. This is true even if that means recognizing them and then working hard to build a team that can help you by using their own strengths to fill in the gap for your weakness. The point in declaring your independence is to shed that negative or complacent attitude and begin behaviors that facilitate GROWTH. Whether that growth is in business or personal, standing on your own (at least when it comes to your attitude to do and be better) requires knowing and believing in yourself. Operating within your strengths and recognizing areas of weakness give you the confidence needed to branch out and take steps you wouldn’t have considered before.
That brings me to the next area that will help you declare your independence today. Take the risk! If you’re like me, the risk won’t be too risky at first, but the more you begin to trust your knowledge, the riskier you can be. Sometimes it’s good to feel those butterflies before you make decisions. It doesn’t have to mean something is wrong, it could mean you’re stepping out on faith and believing in the outcome even though you can’t see what the end will bring. When I think of a calculated risk, I think about the work I’ve done in preparation for what’s to come and all the different outcomes (that I can think of, of course) and what they mean for me. As long as I am okay with them, I am willing to take the risk.
Finally, to declare your independence today, you have to actively participate in your business. Get down and dirty with decision making, marketing, analytics, and research. Social media can be scheduled, but consumers like relevant content. You have to roll up your sleeves, research and develop answers to the most asked questions and most importantly….BE PATIENT! Success doesn’t come overnight (for the majority of us anyway).
For more on my take on the 5 stages of behavioral change, listen to this PODCAST. You’ll find a link to my
30 Day Behavioral Change Challenge there too!