What do people see when they look at you? Since you represent your company, the way that people see you has a big impact on how they perceive your business. You are the living, breathing embodiment of your brand and if who you are is not consistent with how you want your customers to perceive your company, then you have a problem. Imagine a company that brands itself as being environmentally friendly. How credible would this company be if its owner drove a large, gas-guzzling vehicle and didn’t recycle? As a business owner, you need to know that your appearance and actions are an important part of your company’s brand. Here are some tips to help you ensure that your personal image is an asset and not a liability.
Be aware of your company’s brand. How do you want people to perceive your business? If you have already gone through a branding exercise, then you may have keywords in mind. If not, then sit down and try to determine what sets you apart from your competition. What is it that makes your business special?
Be aware of how people perceive you. How would most people describe you? If you don’t know, then you need to get this type of feedback. Ask a few friends and trusted colleagues; you may be surprised by what you hear. Sometimes the way that you dress or an unconscious habit can make a big difference in the way that people view you.
Be deliberate in the way that you present yourself. When you are getting dressed in the morning, consider your brand. What image do you want to project with your appearance? Also, make sure that the way that you conduct yourself reflects positively on your business. Even if you have a flawless appearance, bad behaviour will damage your credibility.
Create an elevator pitch that is consistent with your brand. Through your elevator pitch, you have the opportunity to tell people about your business and to demonstrate how you embody your brand. Take the time to carefully craft a message that communicates your brand effectively and practice it until you are able to showcase your personality when you deliver it.
When you became a business owner, you gave up the freedom to wear and do whatever you want and became the primary representative of your company. While this may initially feel like a big responsibility, if you are always mindful of your personal image, you shouldn’t have any problems.