By Alek S.
During college, we need to prepare ourselves to present a professional image. The way that we present ourselves and our businesses to other people is a crucial aspect of continued business and professional success. The way that we look to potential employers, partners, suppliers, distributors, and consumers can make the difference between whether or not a business has the potential to grow. For this reason, projecting a good business image is imperative for any professional, no matter whether you are corporate executives or a freelance artist doing commissions. Here are some tips for how to project a good business image…
Find out what kind of image you’d like to project
The first thing that you need to decide is what kind of image that you’d like to build for yourself. Essentially, every professional in today’s marketplace needs to recognize that they are, themselves, a brand (a major challenge for many people, but check out this helpful post about how to create a brand for yourself). This is especially true in an age where we are projected onto the platforms of social media. The image that you choose to project for yourself may on your particular specialty or industry. For example, a financial professional wants to really hone in on an image of stability and security, while someone in a more creative industry might need to demonstrate a bit more flair to generate interest.
Use fashion to your advantage
Although the fashion industry might not always be the perfect place to get ideas for business attire, it is important to recognize that the way you dress has a profound impact on the way that people view you. You should always look like you have at least a basic understanding of how to use fashion to look presentable, confident, and successful. By using your attire to project these traits, you will subconsciously leave a good first impression on people, who will associate you positively to business. Another important aspect of this is to make sure that you don’t look like you are behind the times. Even an older business person needs to dress like they are relevant to the time (here’s a helpful little guide to see if any of your fashion traits are aging you).
Use any means to control your business’ image
If you are representing an entire business, you need to recognize that it will be far more difficult to manage your business’ image in the public eye. However, the good news is that you should never be doing this by yourself. There are plenty of tools that small business owners can utilize to help improve their business’ public image. For example, marketing and advertising companies can be quite adept at managing public relations campaigns. Another important tool for this is a lawyer (something that every small business should have, according to this article), who can help you control your business’ copyright and control how your business is seen.
Don’t make communication errors through writing
Although you need to manage your image in personal conversations, the truth is that most professionals are viewed in the online world, in today’s marketplace. This means that an ample amount of the tools that you can use to communicate with people are text-based. For this reason, it’s crucial to uphold good writing habits. Be a stickler for your grammar, as bad grammar can make you appear foolish and unprofessional. Always take the time to read through things that you post online, in order to check for errors and consider if this puts you in a positive light. Indeed, most businesses today admit to looking at potential hires on social media platforms, such as Facebook, which just amplifies the importance of good writing skills.
Attach your image with other successful parties
The world of public opinion is one that is built by associations. If we see businesses partner up with charities, or entertainment avenues that we enjoy, it will raise their standing, by association. However, if we see businesses partnering with entities that we dislike, their standing will fall, by association. For this reason, it is so important to use this phenomenon by attaching your name and image with other images of success. This is an age old adage of success: if you hang around people who fail, you will adopt their habits. But if you hang out with people who succeed, you will adopt successful habits!