In the past personal branding was just about having a nicely designed business card. With the explosion of social media and huge shift in technology it is now almost like a fine art for professionals.
While many successful companies practice branding to define their brand identity for their products, the same can be said for individuals. Similar to business, the objective of nurturing your own personal brand is to create success based on not only self improvement of skills and knowledge, but also your own self-packaging.
Within seven seconds of someone meeting you did you know that almost a staggering 65-70% of people will judge you on what you’re wearing? Before you’ve even had a chance to finish your first sentence, most people have already made up their mind about you. After judgement is made, a first impression is very difficult to shift. While the art of being perceived positively is strongly dependent on a well-presented style of dress, we still must still place high importance on personal demeanour and body language.
Social Media Presence
In the connected modern world, online spaces are increasingly visual, with Skype calls, online conferences and social media images. Then there’s the social media community making a well managed Facebook, Twitter, LinkdIn and now even Instagram profile essential. Now this extends to even more social media platforms. Be purposeful and strategic in what you share. Start by doing an audit on your current accounts.
What do you wish for people to associate with you when they think of your name? Proactively differentiate yourself from the competition which still maintaining authenticity. A strong personal brand will help establish you as an expert in your field.
In an attempt for a complete ‘re-brand’ particularly in a career transition, the use of some clever tools such as personality profiling and image consultancy is encouraged for a better understanding of yourself. Below is just a little inspiration to assist you with your personal brand.
- Small Details – Judgments are based firstly on what people see. Polished shoes, a matching belt, tidy hair, simple but elegant accessories – all these small details go a long way when meeting a prospective client or for the first time.
- Crisp, Well Ironed Shirt – Don’t underestimate the power of a well-tailored shirt. If wearing a shirt make sure it is clean, in good condition and well ironed. Make sure the collar is sitting crisp and the shirt is tucked in neatly.
- Dress Code – Acquire some knowledge of the culture of your industry and the appropriate dress code.
- What’s Your Signature Style – Develop a signature style with dressing – without taking any big risks. Maybe you have a wardrobe filled with bold check business shirts or pearl earrings are your trademark. If you are flamboyant and confident maybe you can afford to wear something to reflect that side of you. Alternatively, opt for a sophisticated corporate look with tailored suiting infused with some fashionable pieces. If in doubt wear something that is classic and timeless.
- Choice of Words – Once you’ve nailed your wardrobe and personal brand, focus on your choice of words, be on time, maintain positive body language, and focus on the other person. People love to hear their name. Use the other person’s name as soon as you learn it and be sure to repeat it throughout the dialogue.
- Tone of Voice – Having the right tone of voice is important but not always easy. Reflect confidence without being arrogant. Be enthusiastic whilst still relaxed, focused, but not desperate or obsessed. When out and about observe yours and others’ tone. Mirror and match their tone. If they are relaxed when speaking and softly spoken, try to maintain a similar tone and pace.
Are you creating a unique, distinguishable and lasting impression? Some more Style Tips to help with your personal branding.