The Importance of Looking the Part in Your Business Building Process

business-styleWe live in a very visual society.  We judge every book and person by its cover.  We see people and based on that first impression we determine whether or not we are interested in learning more about them for the purposes of perhaps doing business with them.

It’s the truth and it’s just the way it is.

From the onset of my professional career, I recall distinctly having a senior manager at the company where I worked share with all of the new employees and me about the importance of image.  And her words still ring true in my head:

Dress for the opportunities you want, not those you have right now.

That is exactly why answering Rebecca’s question is this week’s episode of Incredible Factor TV is going to be exciting:

“Hi Darnyelle. Earlier this year, I made the decision to step out of my comfort zone and finally start my dream business.  I’ve written the business plan and am feeling really good about my strategy to turn the plan into profit. My question – I know it will sound weird – is around image.  In my former job, I worked in a male dominated industry but we could wear jeans and sneakers to work.  So now that I am stepping out into my own business, I need to know how important looking the part is in being successful in business?”

Check out my response to Rebecca’s question here:

As I share in the episode, 55% of an interaction is based on appearance (38% on non verbal communication and 7% on your word choices.)  So if like Rebecca you find yourself outside of your comfort zone but truly desire to position your visual brand so that you can attract and warrant opportunities, you should consider the following:

1. Get clear on the kind of style and image you desire. As you complete this step, you may want to look at your industry and identify what is considered “standard” in your industry amongst your colleagues. Once you know what your industry dictates, how do you see yourself stepping into that?

2. Hire an image consultant.  When you need help getting your image together, working with an expert is key.  They will help you to determine your image and what styles will work best with your image.  You also want to be clear on what you want your business to stand for in the marketplace so that you can build a bridge between the two.

3. Hire a stylist. Often the stylist and image consultant will be one and the same but sometimes, they may be separate.  Your stylist and personal shopper will take the assessment from your image consultant and find clothes that help you to look amazing.  And you want to do this at least once so that you can get approximately 5 outfits that you look amazing in and feel like a million bucks so that when you go to your business meetings, you walk in confidence – confidence is the new currency after all :-).

You may want to take a class on how to apply makeup if you’re a woman business owner.  A great makeup artist can show you a day look and an evening look so that you can get familiar with application and don’t need to hire an artist each time you leave your house.

4.9 seconds is all you get. To wow them, intrigue them, to get them to want to learn more.  How will you manage yours?

The fastest way to maximize your 4.9 seconds is to look like working with you is their best option.  The right look builds credibility and positions you for your next level. The bottom line is this: image is everything and it can be the reason why (or the reason why not) you get an opportunity.  I’d love to tell you that what you look like won’t matter, but I’d be lying to you.

When I was a Mary Kay Director, I couldn’t show up to network without looking like a beauty consultant – hair done, nails manicured, makeup laid etc.  To do so would have diminished my credibility.  And, I tend to buy into the belief that you dress for the job/business you want, not the one you have now.  So, if you desire to be taken seriously and work with other business people for whom image is important, you need to look the part.  Hire a stylist and image consultant to help you find the right look for you so that it’s a natural extension of who you are inside, but positions you to build credibility and boost your brand and business.

Now I want to hear from you, what’s your two cents?: 
Have you ever had your image professionally managed?  Have you hired a stylist, image consultant or makeup artist? How important is your image to your business and can you directly attribute any opportunities to your overall image and first impression?

©2014 by Darnyelle A. Jervey. All Rights Reserved. Darnyelle A. Jervey, MBA, The Incredible Factor Speaker, Business Coach and Marketing Mentor, is the founder of Incredible One, Incredible Factor University® and the Leverage Your Incredible Factor System®, a proven step-by-step program for more clients, more income and more leverage in your business. For more information and a FREE audio CD “7 Critical Mistakes Entrepreneurs Must Avoid When Unleashing Your Incredible Factor So You Attract More Clients, Make More Money and Gain More Leverage” just fill out the form below.

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