Are you Branding Your Image - Part 1
By Janet Adetu
When you walk through the door in any gathering, instantly we can tell a number of things about you. Believe it or not up to 11 assumptions are made regarding your economic level, education level, social position, exposure level and many more. It takes seconds to form a good first impression; it may take a life time to get rid of a bad one.
Everybody is unique with their own style; the way you present yourself creates your image and that of your business. People will do business with you based on what they see. Do you look authoritative, approachable or aloof? You are a brand how you package yourself makes a big difference. Attractive packaging will set you apart from competition. Essentially the way you look and carry yourself is your very own Personal Brand. Believe it or not your self-brand is directly affected by your level of etiquette savvy. Identifying, recognizing and enhancing your personal brand is key today for career and professional success.
Putting it all into perspective you can consider yourself as a package that is boxed, labelled and priced both consciously and unconsciously by all. How do you set yourself apart for distinction, that package that stands tall among the rest.
You want to dawn with seven C’s including character, charisma, charm, class competence, credibility and clout. These will help you build and sustain both your elf and professional image.
Are you a prized package?
Let me leave you with 8 success strategies forbecoming a prized package.
8 Success Strategies forbranding your image
(1) Define who you are
How would you feel if you discovered that someone has the same name as you?Almost like a case of stolen identity.
A friend of mine, a medical doctor had her identity stolenfrom her by someone who had been using her name for 8 years before she found out. The medical board could not and would not change her name on her qualification by virtue of their strict policy. Her medical career was ruined because that person had a stream of criminal records.
Brand your unique name it should have clarity, consistency and constancy.
Be clear and know who you are and what you stand for. If you are a banker; act like a banker at all times in the business and social settings. Be consistent in the way you communicate your brand when writing or talking or even through emails, text messages or on social media. Ensure that to all who need to see you, you are constantly visible.
•What are your unique attributes
•What makes you tick
•What motivates you
No matter how different we appear to be we all have unique characteristics.
Are you determined, dedicated, devoted, (what is most important to you?)
(2) Create and complete a SWOT Analysis:
This is quite a familiar term so take time out to :
*Identify your internal characteristics that accentuate your strengths
*Know your internal weaknesses that you must improve upon
*What does the environment offer you in terms of opportunities?
*Do not overlook the underlying threats that could also arise.
Take a moment to honestly assess yourself and find out your swot analysis.
(3) Identify your Grooming Style and Dress Sense
Be careful to pay attention to detail when it comes to good grooming as nothing goes unnoticed. If you cannot take care of yourself well; in the business world we look at that as one who will not pay attention to projects, assignments and duties. Simple things like wearing a signature fragrance, properly applied makeup (if a lady), wearing clothes that fit the body you have now and not the one you want or wish you had or praying to have.
When you wear clothes ask yourself-
•Do they fit your profession, age and status
•Have you considered color coordination
•Do you look respectful, reliable and representative of your organization.
(4) Watch your Posture
Your posture shows signs of body language saying a lot withoutsaying a single word. It makes all the difference when you do not carry yourself well. Our first impression of you is tied to what we see. 55% of the time, we look at your appearance, body language as well as attitude. Imagine being well dressed at a conference, slouching in your chair and picking your nose.
It is about being conversant with the way you sit, stand and walk. Always sit upright, stand erect and walk with a purpose. if you are the boss the worst thing that could happen is if a client were to enter your office and walk right passed you looking for the boss.The way you perceive yourself is not necessarily the way others perceive you. Like I mentioned in part 1 you will always present yourself like a package. People will box you, label you and put a price to you. Your true value encompasses many things that as an individual you will need to build and work on.
(5) Your Vocals
Your voice commands audience. I always tell my trainees that to project your voice well you will need to be standing. Monitor your choice of words with maturity, how you deliver your words in the pitch, pace and speed of your voice. Your voice can give you away, speak with confidence. When I say vocals I also mean spoken and unspoken. If you are still using abbreviation text messages in a business setting you are indeed killing your image.
(6) Master your Business Etiquette Savvy Skills
Business etiquette savvy is very important for your business. This is the secret that will grow your business and put you on the success ladder.
·How do you introduce yourself? First name only or first and surname.
·How do you introduce others you know to each other?
·How do you present your business card?
·Do you have a business card?
·Where is your business card?
·Handshake: what does your handshake say about you?
·Remember Names: you just met someone yesterday, do you remember their name?
It is not about your talent, it is more to do with how you build and sustain your relationships.
(7) Mix Mingle / Networking skills
How do you feel walking into a room of strangers? Are you shy, anxious, confident, or extrovertive? Your ability to build your network is what will keep your brand alive. Master how to mingle, generate small talk and keep a conversation going. Begin to join relevant groups or associations to ease the networking experience.
(8) Establish your Goals
To become a prized package involves planning and a desire to want to succeed. Let me emplore you to set your goals with SPIRIT, you cannot survive without goals whether short, medium or long term.
Let me implore you to set your goals with S P I R I T as follows.
S (Specific): Be specific about what you want or don’t want to achieve. The result should be tangible and measurable. Let those ideas be yours and driven by you not someone else. Have a dream, make it a vision and follow through with determination. The key word is to start NOW not later and begin to take baby steps towards achieveing it. Procastination is a dream killer purpose in your heart that come what may will will make a great effort.
P (Prizes): Reward yourself at different parts in the goal to be encouraged. Everytime you reach or achieve even just a little bit of your goal or you see yourself moving one more step forward give yourself a pat on the back for a job well done. You deserve to be celebrated as you are your own Ambassador. Keep motivating yourself to take one more step Towards the right direction.
I (Individual): The goal must be something you want to do, specific to you. If your spouse
wants you to lose weight and you think you look good, this goal will not work.
R ( Review): Review your goals periodically. Does your goal still make sense to you? Does it still give you energy and motivation? Do you need to adjust parts of it?
I ( Inspiring): Your goal should be fun to accomplish, inspire you and others along the way.
T ( Time Bound): Give yourself a deadline for achieving the goal. You can make your goals
smaller and give them individual deadlines.
Think of yourself as an ambassador, you are your own public relations expert. You represent yourself, your company, your family, your country and your lifestyle every day. - Janet Adetu