Recently there seems to have been a number of ‘conversations’ on various online forums which have been talking about business impact and how clothes affect your personal brand. Including things like “do clothes maketh the woman?” and “Does My Career Look Big in This?” - which have been interesting to browse through – but at the same time every now and again make me wince.
Don’t get me wrong – the thoughts in the main are absolutely fine - that said there have been no stunning revelations or newly discovered eureka moments ... and I do agree that clothes can play a key part in defining your own personal brand.
BUT .... simply wearing certain clothes and dressing a particular way are a long way from developing your own personal brand.
Your personal brand is everything about you - it is the sum total of the perceptions, meanings and understanding of what your ‘audience’ believes you to be in their heads and hearts. It is everything they think, feel, say, read, hear, watch, guess, imagine, believe and suspect about you – and when it comes to being self employed that is also reflected in your business, your services and/or your products.
You need to think about your personal brand way before you ‘launch’ yourself (eg: try to win new business, make a presentation, go for a job promotion or any other situation) where you are seen by your employers, your employees, your clients, your prospects, your fans ... whatever and whomever your audience might be... It is more than sensible - it is critical - that you to understand where you think you are with your own personal brand and where others put you.
Your personal brand is serious and a massively important aspect to you, and your future. In business it also gives you potential - If you build your brand to be something particular – others understand that there is a premium to using you and your services or products – cost and convenience factors do not sit as prominent deciding factors.
In business (and in your personal life) managing your own personal brand can help you achieve your goals and stop you from falling in to the cheaper or more convenient business provider categories. To find out more email firstname.lastname@example.org.