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The Personal Brand Revolution

You only get one chance at a good first impression. With that in mind, why not make sure your “personal brand” is ready for the challenge.

Whether you like it or not, the personal brand you project
affects other’s decisions as to your intelligence, character and ability and determines whether or not others want to do business with you. The way you dress, act, eat and hold your fork has a remarkable impact on the people you meet professionally and socially. This greatly affects how they treat you. Many of my clients tell me that deals have fallen through, second appointments cancelled; sales have stagnated simply because they dismissed the importance of personal packaging. A study out of UCLA proves that “85% of all decisions are made with our eyes”. If your personal brand (image) is not

professional and congruent, attractive and attracting you will be passed over – guaranteed. Therefore, to be competitive, to have a greater influence on others, attract more business and be more successful, it’s critical that you pay greater attention to personal branding. Before you sell anything – your product, company or service you sell yourself first. Shift the balance of power in your favor. When you brand yourself you are perceived to be more desirable and in demand. Brand Status increases the bottom line–both personally and corporately. Large, successful companies understand the power of branding a product. They spend a lot of time, money and energy to create brand that is eye catching and appealing enough to sell their product through to market. They want to ensure that the buyer builds a strong connection with that brand. Image coaching helps an individual create a well-defined personal brand which results in professionalism, more status and a tremendous advantage over the competition. Whether it’s social or business, when you are well branded you are pre-sold, giving you a huge advantage over others selling  themselves. Perhaps like many of the individuals coach, you have not even thought about how you are being perceived. Can anyone leave something as important as their most valuable asset to chance? We know that in the current economy, competitiveness has increased dramatically. Business has become more serious and conservative – not only in attitude and business attire but in etiquette training as well. As an image consultant, I am being hired by individuals and companies to present training in the fine art of manners, business etiquette, dining and appropriate business attire. Even though intelligence, experience and education count, they tell us they are simply not hiring those who do not possess these all important soft communication skills. The hallmarks of successful individuals in a fast-paced global marketplace are their confidence, communication skills, manners and poise. It is the whole package that counts. Successful Personal Branding Mediocrity is dead – and it’s about time. We have turned the corner, there is a revolution a foot and it’s “The Personal Brand Revolution.” The sloppy casual dress, sloppy work ethics, disrespectful behavior, lack of civility and manners are leaving the scene. Why? It simply is not working. Personally,

individuals don’t seem to respect themselves enough to take interest in care in their appearance. They are not getting

the job and are remaining unemployed because they want to do it their way. Companies are telling me that productivity is down, prof its have dropped, communications are suffering within companies, and personal boarders are being crossed leading to tension and lack of respect for others in the work place resulting in an increase of sexual

harassment cases. It’s never been acceptable to dress inappropriately, eat with your mouth full or do business with the wrong fork. There i s a ret urn to formality, elegance, manners and sophistication in the business world. It’s evident in what’s happening all around us. People are brushing up on their business etiquette, social manners and dining skills. They are getting dressed up again – the blue suit has returned to corporate North America

and fashion designers and magazines are showing feminine work attire. People are dining in fine restaurants, throwing parties at home, are entertaining clients and being entertained. They need to know how to pay the bill graciously in a restaurant, how to seal the lunchtime deal, how to be the perfect host/hostess or guest and know how to navigate a formal event. It’s been my experience that when individuals understand the power of perception they will make the changes necessary to ensure that they communicate more effectively through the power of personal branding. ICE

Shannon Smith

Image and

Etiquette Consultant

Personal Branding Tips

1 Ensure that your personal brand matches your goals — 2 years to five years out.

2 Be authentic and be the best you possible.

3 Study the competition. Take a close hard look at them.

4 Know your target market and adjust your brand accordingly.

5 Keep evolving. What worked yesterday does not work today.

6 Change your personal style every 2 – 3 years and stay current in your attire, accessories and grooming.

7 Companies hire individuals who have energy. Do what it takes to remain physically fit and healthy.

8 CONGRUENCY IS KEY! It should mirror in your personal style, car and home. We all know that when we look good we feel good. It’s only natural that we will attract more of what we want in our lives. Be a smarter marketer to attract the best, you need to be the best.


Writer: Continental Who’s Who® Member Author: Shannon Smith