I’ve been talking about this for years because it’s essential. And, because so many people loath the idea. I’m talking about executives too, not just small business owners. We’re becoming an increasingly visual world and there’s no looking back. It’s the secret that realtors knew and mastered long before the rest of us. Attaching your visual image … your face … to what you do. It increases your visibility and opens doors to more business and promotions.
Key the moans and groans. I’ve heard them all! I’m not attractive, I’m too fat, I have no style, no one wants to look at me, I’m not comfortable, I shouldn’t have to, I don’t want to, my voice sounds funny, I’m awkward, I’m still that geek from high school. No, no, no. NO! None of that is true. People do not care about the insecurities you have about you. They don’t see them, not unless you point them out. I promise. Allow me to make the case for being the face of your business and career.
- Humans Love the Familiar. We do. We want to be building familiarity with people we work with. Don’t you love it when you become a regular at your favorite restaurant or store. They know your name or at least recognize you enough to give you that table by the window you like. Do YOU ever care if that restaurant owner is overweight or spilled pizza sauce on their shirt OR are you just honored to be recognized as a loyal patron?
- Appearance Has Very Little to Do With “LOOKS.” Sure, if you’re supermodel attractive, it gets you noticed. That is reality. But over time as we get to know someone, it isn’t what they look like. It’s how they talk, their mannerisms, the sound of their voice, and the familiarity that we begin to love. If famous people weren’t famous, you wouldn’t look twice at them on the street. Building your personal brand from the authentic you, matters most. Think about that local car dealership owner who shouts at you during their commercials. When you see that person at the dealership, don’t they seem more attractive than the rest of the sales team? There are even studies about the more we get to know people, the more attractive they become. Don’t believe me, check it out: https://www.health.com/mind-body/attraction-can-grow-with-time-spent-together Marketing campaigns have targeted you with this psychological knowledge your whole life. Doesn’t your business and career deserve that same level of strategy? That edge in getting ahead?
- Energy Level is Everything. The most important visual you have to offer your business and career is your excitement for what you do. No paid actor will be able to do that as authentically as you. How does that look in a still photograph on your emails or LinkedIn profile? Maybe it’s you laughing? Is your business creative? Wear a pirate patch or a silly hat? Is your career serious? Put on your power suit. You don’t like your squinty eye when you smile? Do a photo where your look slightly away. There’s no lack of examples to copy with one simple google search.
Here’s why it matters. You go to that conference for Midwest Corporate Lawyers and you meet 230 people in 3 days at the downtown Chicago Marriott. A potential future boss remembers you a year later because for 5 months he kept that stack of business cards on his desk before scanning them into his ‘biz card’ app and your face was smiling at him, every time he flipped through the stack. Or you’re a web designer and Company X is planning on upgrading their website but it keeps getting moved to the bottom of their ‘To Do List.’ The second it finally becomes a priority, they won’t care what your name is … they’ll say, “Where is that business card with the blonde woman wearing the pink shirt, just call her, we’ve waited too long, get her working on it, she seemed nice.”