Yesterday I was at The Inspire Network Bedlington meeting where Nichola English spoke about styling. The way that people perceive you when you walk into a room – how you are judged. She made some great points about what you wear needing to be appropriate for the purpose.
I often talk about branding as being the way that your business looks, feels, communicates and interacts with your customers – and I’m sure we’ve all heard that you only have seconds (or less!) to make someone interested in your marketing materials or website. This is true, people make split second judgements, but they make those judgements before they see what you have to offer if you are the first impression that they get of your business. So whilst it’s critical to make sure that your website – which they might see before they see you – is looking it’s best, and also essential to make sure that any other visual materials are up to scratch as people may see these without you or they will keep them for reference – it’s also vitally important to ensure that you look the business too.
I am not a personal stylist, I can’t pretend to be an expert in how to put an outfit together, but I do my best! I wouldn’t turn up to a meeting with creased trousers or track suit bottoms (I don’t actually own any track suit bottoms) or walk into a networking event wearing the clothes I’d just painted the living room in. Of course, Nichola goes beyond this and has some great tips to make sure that you always give off the right impression and look professional. Like me, she believes that colours are very important, where I consider them for the meanings they convey in branding, she considers them to convey the impression you want to give in person. For example, yesterday she wore white because white is all about clarity and she wanted to be as clear as possible in what she was discussing.
Here’s a post Nichola wrote about colour: http://nicholaenglish.com/fashion/how-wearing-colours-affects-your-mood/
So when you are putting your branding together, give a thought to how YOU look too, what your image says about you and how people will judge you for what you are wearing before you even have a chance to deliver your elevator pitch, open your mouth in your video or say hello at the checkout in the supermarket.
Of course, if you’re struggling with this, you can always ask Nichola to help you out.