Personal Branding Image Consulting ,Atlanta
As I explained in the introduction of this series last Wednesday, there are four elements that I refer to as the ABCD of a personal brand: Appearance, Behavior, Communication and Digital Presence. These are not only important for making a positive first impression, but imperative to our lasting imprint--that for which we want to be known. Since image is visual, the first aspect I will discuss is Appearance and how people perceive us.
Appearance includes our clothing choices, fit, quality and grooming. A professional appearance is not only important when trying to make a positive first impression, but must be considered every day as we dress for work. Appearance is imperative to one's lasting imprint. Everyone understands that who you are, what you think, your performance, and your values ultimately define you, but the fact exists that we ALL have biases about appearance. In fact, we make up our mind about someone within the first seven seconds of meeting them.
The first determination we make about someone is their trustworthiness and competency. "That, from appearance?" you ask. A recent study, conducted by Harvard social psychology professor Amy Cuddy, confirms that when we meet someone, we first evaluate their trustworthiness and second we determine their competence. There are nine other attributes that we consider within those first seven seconds including intelligence, socio-economic status, and sexuality--all determined by a first impression.
We owe it to ourselves to be the best we can be--from the inside out! We don't want someone to stop at the distraction of a wrinkled shirt, a jacket that is too tight, scuffed up shoes, an ungroomed face or a blouse that is too low. These faux pas can give the impression that we are lazy, sloppy, incapable of details, lack confidence, are unintelligent, and more. Iconic designer Coco Chanel said, "Dress shabbily and they remember the dress; dress impeccably and they remember the woman." Of course this applies to both men and women. Our appearance can help people see our core values--who we really are--by helping them get past what's on the outside and get to the nitty-gritty good stuff inside. We want to invite people to come in and get to know us authentically. Don't let your appearance be a distraction! The goal is not to be remembered for what you wear, but who you are, what you said, your ideas, and your actions---that for which you want to be known.
Last week I asked you to come up with three things--core traits or values--for which you want to be known. Did you write them down on a sticky? Grab that sticky and contemplate how you express those three adjectives in your life and work. Does your appearance reflect those values and traits? Or does your appearance distract people from truly seeing who you are?
"helping you express your most authentic self"
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I write about the topics that make you stand out and help you be that for which you want to be known. My passion is helping you as a professional to discover your values: your inner style and project it authentically and confidently though your words, actions, appearance and digital presence.