We’ve heard it over and over. Don’t judge a book by its cover. It may be a nice saying, but the truth is, people DO judge you and your business based on the image you portray. Your first impression happens in the blink of an eye. Case in point. I was attending a women’s conference where an esteemed speaker was about to present. She is an expert in her field–Expert with a capital “E”. As the speaker took the stage, the woman sitting in front of me whispered to her seat partner, “I would NEVER work with someone who cared so little about her appearance.” YIKES! The speaker’s level of achievement that should have garnered her respect and influence could not overcome her lack of preparation, poise and polish. Because of her mismatched, wrinkled clothing and unkempt hair she was missing a golden opportunity to communicate honor and respect for her audience.
By definition, image is the representation of the external form of a person or thing. YOU are YOUR visual representation and an entry point to the storefront of your customer’s overall experience. One of my corporate clients expressed her appreciation this way, “Thanks to JuliAnn for inspiring our team. She taught us that the ‘sum’ of our image is the ‘total’ of each individual employee’s.” Whether you are in corporate or a solopreneur, it comes down to each individual taking personal responsibility for her image.
YOUR SUCCESS STYLE
THREE P’S TO A STAND OUT IMAGE
PREPARATION: Picture yourself as the person you ultimately aspire to be. Are people easily drawn to you? Do people often ask for your advice? Are you frequently offered positions of leadership? Are you prepared for new opportunities should they arise? Do you project a professionalism that portrays credibility, competence and ultimately success?
People are attracted to vibrant, well-balanced people. So, having said that it follows that your image is not about how you see yourself. It’s about how others perceive you. And the foundation of your image begins with how you care for yourself– mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually. Are your daily personal practices in alignment with the person you aspire to be? Are you taking pride in your wardrobe and grooming? Can you imagine the number of customers you would attract simply by taking care of yourself? Can you imagine the increased bottom line?
Your Success Style prepares you to consistently portray an image that others are attracted to. More attractions, more prosperity.
POISE: The graceful and elegant bearing of a person. Who in modern times has better exemplified that than Former First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy? Author Leticia Baldridge, former social secretary to Jacqueline Kennedy, points out in The New Complete Guide to Executive Manners, “It’s thinking about somebody other than yourself. It’s being aware of other people and helping them out and not doing anything to offend them and just being nice.”
I love the simplicity of it! The philosophy of poise is about communicating from a place of great respect so you connect with your clients in a way that convinces them they are valued. Application of this ‘golden rule’ to live events, correspondence, phone etiquette and social media will improve how others see you and your business.
Your Success Style will support you with practical imperatives that will reflect poise in all areas of your life. Building your confidence and the confidence others have in you.
POLISH: Polish is something finished, refined and elegant. Is EVERYTHING that represents you polished and consistent: you, your marketing materials, your follow-up routine, your products and services, others who represent you?
So often business professionals, when branding themselves, spend time and resources on a website, pictures, videos and marketing materials and THEN reach out to me for Image Expertise. The image comes FIRST and then the branding elements follow. This is a point I WANT TO STRESS! When you have clarity about your image, it carries forward into your branding process. For example, knowing your best colors and incorporating them into your branding is key. After all, you’re surrounded by those colors constantly. Identifying and polishing your image is no longer just a luxury. It’s a business investment that is also a luxury. A win-win.
In a corporate environment, there are ways to integrate your company’s philosophy and branding into your personal style. Even weaving one of your company’s branding colors into your wardrobe adds an effective polish to your image. Presenting an image that aligns with your company‘s principals will add the finishing touch that will make you shine.
Your Success Style polishes your image to reflect your individuality while allowing you to more easily engage and ultimately captivate your perfect clientele.
Your image is VALUABLE and very closely tied to your level of success. Your Success Style’s Three P’s—preparation, poise, polish—will pave the way to an up-level in all areas of your business and life. Here’s to YOUR Success Style!