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Are you a Powerful Brand?

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In business, what are people buying? Your services, your products? I don’t think so! People buy YOU – YOU are the purchase! You are the brand! So, be honest, how are you currently branding yourself?

Related article: How to Create a Unique Brand to Launch Your Professional Image

Are you the “Brand of Choice” or are you a “No Name brand”?

In today’s competitive marketplace, it is essential for a woman to maintain control at all times over how others see you. Example: Imagine if someone came to sell you the latest IT software and she was dressed in an 80’s styled suit, with big shoulder pads and bigger hair (a la Sue Ellen Ewing from Dallas days). Would you think this person was up to date in the latest IT trends?

“If you do not believe the messenger, you will never believe the message.”

Find out more about the:  “Find Your Purpose Find Your Inspiration” Workshop

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Essentials of a Successful Brand

When you are promoting, marketing and selling yourself, you need to take these essential criteria into account to create the best tailor–made mix for you:

Consistent Quality

Often a manager will call me and say, “Please get Tracy to dress appropriately – she looks as if she was dragged in by the cat. I don’t know what has happened to her, she looked great for her first month here–she has never looked the same again”.

Consistent quality is non–negotiable. If you arrive at work one day and your colleagues keep asking you if you are going for an interview, it’s a sign that your image may be inconsistent.

Create a consistent, quality image by:

  • Having a grooming buddy – a colleague that can be 100% honest with you daily about your image and impressions. She may say, “That olive green shirt is very stylish but the colour does not suit you”.
  • Always buy the best you can afford. Surround yourself with a halo of quality – from your pen to your filofax.
  • Enlarge your contact base – network to gain fresh ideas and different ways of doing things.
  • Find yourself a mentor, someone you can learn from, or aspire to be like. An excellent example is Minister Trevor Manuel. His image is impeccable and does not falter even if he his present at a golf event.

Find out more about the:  “Find Your Purpose Find Your Inspiration” Workshop

Memorability

Identify your strengths, talents or gifts and invest in them. What would you like to be known for? Accuracy and detail–orientated? Request jobs that highlight these skills and that will bring these attributes to others’ attention.

Warm and empathetic? Nurture this and it will draw others to you. Articulate? Go on a Presentation course to further hone this skill. Look to develop you own unique style signature, so you are immediately identifiable – a stunning haircut, a gorgeous fragrance, interesting shoes.

Durability

If a strategy is not working, don’t be scared to re–evaluate and change it. Adaptability ensures durability. An admirable quality is the ability to be flexible in a fast paced, ever changing world.

Constantly update your knowledge base about your job and your industry.

Remember, brands are not built in a day. Small changes – big results. Every interaction (how you greet someone, your eye contact, the clothes you wear) serves to create the impression that builds your self–branding.

The trick to creating a powerful and lasting brand is to start by making some of these changes to your work life and watch the feedback you receive … Learn to brand yourself with the message you want to portray. Your business success will depend on how well you are able to do this. So, you cannot subconsciously say: “I am a fun loving girl but I want you to take me seriously in business”, wearing a lacy camisole with a tartan mini skirt, stilettos and holding a cell phone with a Barbie cover. Those two messages (fun vs serious) are inconsistent. At all times, your impression tools, i.e. your grooming, dress, etiquette and body language, need to support the brand message you wish to send out to the world.

“Fake it ’till you make it”

Always appear self–assured, even if you don’t feel it or if you are having an “off” day. From now on, whenever you buy any item of clothing or grooming you need to ask yourself: “Is this item saying that I am professional, consistent and responsible?”

Don’t become predictable

When last did you update your hairstyle? Keep updating your look from head to toe. Take a page from the image chameleon –Madonna.

Don’t fidget

If you are in the habit of twirling your hair, chewing your nails, clicking your pen, or looking up at the wall clock, make a conscious effort to fold your hands on your lap or place them on the table. When interacting with others, always act as if you were the gracious guest at a party thrown in your honor. Shake hands with everyone, repeat their names and make eye contact with each person in turn.

Learn to accentuate your good qualities and downplay the negative ones, while retaining your unique personality.

Professional Impressions. For more information contact us on: 011 469 1396 or email:   info@profimpressions.co.za

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