Have you ever experienced meeting a person for the first time - and for no particular reason you take a dislike to them? Or just the opposite – you see someone, and immediately you’re drawn to their vibe?
It only takes 7 seconds to make a judgement about a person, and it all happens in our subconscious mind without us even realising it. Humans are coded to avoid danger, so our brain evaluates and puts into boxes every single person we come across.
First impressions are so important because our brains take a “photograph” and stores it in your brain’s hard drive (the subconscious mind) forever. It’s not easy to change our initial instinct because our subconscious will automatically be searching for clues to prove our original decision and protect us from the possible “danger.”
However – don’t think that just because you’re behind that screen that you can get away from this natural reflex. Did you know that the human brain can’t tell the difference between meeting someone in real life and seeing them digitally?
Nowadays we are just as likely (if not more so) to be growing our businesses online as in “real life”, so by the time we actually meet someone in person, that first impression has already been made in a video, Facebook “live” or photograph.
Due both to technology and our busy lives, relentlessly we are bombarded with new faces on a daily basis - and as a consequence, we can hardly even remember most of them! We make decisions about a person solely based on what we can see and only if we find someone likeable at first sight will we make any effort to get to know them more.
Your image – clothes / accessories / hair / makeup - is your brand message. It’s a message to your customers about who you are, what you stand for and sets expectations about your services and / or products.
Looking put together is an absolute must for any successful business owner - especially for service-based businesses as in essence people are buying “you”.
What you’re wearing (the shape, style, brand, colors), the way you carry yourself, your body language, and your facial expressions are all form part of the “judgement” that people immediately make.
The successful and influential women that we look up to are all very consistent regarding their style, and always make sure that they appear authentic, yet stylish, put together and approachable. Great examples are Marie Forleo, Gabby Bernstein, Oprah and J.K. Rowling, but don’t be fooled into thinking that they wake up looking like that and “just know” what outfits to buy - they all use stylists!
If you’re ready to channel your inner media mogul or best-selling author, then it’s time to start pulling together a look that’s going to take you where you want to go! Here’s how…
Essential Elements of Style
The colors you wear have a huge impact on how people perceive you. Black, grey and charcoal are authoritative and formal; lighter natural colors are seen as open, kind and “soft”; red comes across as passionate and powerful; yellow is happy and positive.
However, they not only influence what people think about you but also how you feel, which can be extremely powerful.
Wear colors that flatter your skin tone and that are not too excessive for the situation.
How you dress determines the impact you make. A suit and tie are serious, corporate and distant; smart casual, for example, jeans with a t-shirt and blazer, suggests that you are friendly, sociable and open; a romantic look (floral dresses, pastel colors) hints that you are a dreamer, easy-going, and playful.
Find a style that’s in line with your business needs, yet authentic to your personality.
Not putting effort into looking polished, or coming across as “sloppy” can lead to potential clients not trusting you and your business. It can give the impression that you’re maybe not going to be precise, reliable, or professional.
Make sure to look neat – wash and style your hair, have a manicure, put on some makeup. Wear the right size (alter pieces if they don’t fit perfectly), freshly launder everything (no stains or musty smells), and IRON your clothes!! I see so many women wearing creased outfits, and it just looks scruffy - I imagine this is not the impact they want to make.
When you’re in business you’re always in competition with someone else – and if you want to stand out from the crowd, you need to invest in your style. Because if you’re not, you can guarantee that that “someone else” is!
If you’re looking to upgrade your life, business and style, why not book a Complimentary Image Evaluation with me? We’ll discuss your existing style, your goals and dreams and the “blocks” that are stopping you achieving them.
Veronika Nemeth is a Personal Branding & (Life)Style Coach, based in Milan, Italy. Her mission is to inspire and empower women to live their own truth and become the best version of themselves inside and outside.
She works with women who are ready to step into their power, break free of old limitations and create a life and an image that is true to them.