What is personal branding? Personal branding is what makes you unique, the brand you create for yourself and how others perceive you. Creating the right personal brand for you will maximise your potential and ensure others will see you in the way you wish to be perceived.
So how can you get started? We judge people within the first few seconds of meeting them The majority of this judgement is based on the way you look and how you behave as we have nothing else to go on. Therefore your handshake, voice, eye contact, business card and online presence says a lot about you as well as the way your dress.
What are your business corporate brand values? Think of 3-5 adjectives that would represent these values. How can you interpret these values into the way you portray yourself?
If you work as a designer and want to look “creative, professional and approachable” a black business suit is unlikely to give the creative flair you are hoping for. However, if you are a solicitor wanting to look professional then the black business suit will instil confidence in your clients.
Think about how you can use colour in your dress. What colours suit you and do you feel comfortable in? What do those colours mean? For example, red is a dynamic, confident colour but be careful not to wear too much of it as it can come across as aggressive. Whereas blue is a much safer colour and seen as professional & trustworthy. The darker the shade, the stronger the message.
Pick out a few colours that you love to wear and create a theme throughout your clothes to make dressing easy. What shapes suit you? Dress to suit your body shape. If you have a waist, ensure you accentuate it as big and baggy clothing will always make you look bigger than you are. If you have a big bust ensure necklines are not too high, but not too low to be inappropriate for the workplace. To make life easy you could create your own ‘uniform’. For example, if you are most comfortable in a certain style of dress then buy 5 or 6 dresses in similar styles, but different colours. Then accessorise with a jacket or cardigan, scarf and jewellery with the colour theme running through. Ensure you wear make up, even if it is just lipstick and mascara as it shows you have made an effort.
Use these colours and styles in your marketing. This will create a consistency and a brand that people will trust. Finally, always check yourself in a full length mirror before you go out of the door to ensure that your clothes are shouting those adjectives back at you and are instilling you with confidence.
Niki Hall runs The Style Hall, a Buckinghamshire based Image Consultancy. Helping you to feel great about the way you dress. www.thestylehall.co.uk If you would like Niki’s help she would love to hear from you, give her a call on 07891 086162.