Your personal image can make the difference between someone interpreting you as a home based business opportunity or a mature professional with a brand that demonstrates high value.
Of course if that is your perception then you have to deliver, but if you do not present yourself in such a way, then you will have a hard time winning big clients. High level executives have asked me in advance of events and meetings, what they should wear to make sure they were dressed appropriate for the occasion since they are well aware it is important.
My business partner and I hosted a picture day with a photographer for a few of our older clients that we thought were in heavy need of something more current and relevant. We felt that their old photos no longer reflected who they were and their backdrops screamed update me. Your presence, the words you speak and values you live by will all help people to learn more about you.
GET A FRESH HEAD SHOT
Help manage your online reputation by having a current head shot. People will research you personally and professionally and this won’t be going away anytime soon.
When my business partner and I got our own professional photos done for our consulting company, soon after we posted them to Facebook we got asked to give a presentation to a notable Women Entrepreneurs group. They have more of an impact than you realize especially if they articulate your brand and what you are about.
Manage your brand on purpose since people will be evaluating it anyways if you are a professional. They are well worth the investment.
PRESENCE AND POSTURE
People read body language and often decide what they think of you within the first few minutes of meeting you.
With a background in sales and studying body language, I can now tell if a person is engaged, actively listening or not receptive. Be conscious of your own body language when communicating with people. Anyone who has been a professional for a period of time will often be tuned into it. Your demeanor and confidence will influence whether you are someone they would like to get to know better or not.
LEVERAGE YOUR VALUES
Your style is not just how you dress but also your values and beliefs that govern your character and behaviour. When your values are obvious and clearly communicated, then people will have a sense of who you are. Many people make career changes because they decide to start viewing their work as an expression of their personal values.
In the case for entrepreneurs’, the values of the company created often reflect the founders’ own.