You’ve all heard the saying “don’t judge a book by it’s cover”. Well it’s the absolute opposite when it comes to personal branding! You are judged on first impressions and these are nearly impossible to reverse or undo.

Research shows that it takes just a quick glance, maybe three seconds, for someone to evaluate you when you meet for the first time. In this short time, the other person forms an opinion about you based on your appearance, your body language, your demeanour, your mannerisms and how you are dressed.  With every new encounter, you are evaluated and yet another person’s impression of you is formed. These first encounters are extremely important, for they set the tone for all the relationships that follow.

As a small business owner, my personal brand is critical. I’ve just been through a process of making sure that what I wear (colours and styles) and how I present myself absolutely compliments and highlights who I am so that when I meet someone for the first time, they see the true me in my most confident and at ease state – there is nothing quite so powerful as going to a meeting knowing that you look good and are at ease to deliver the expert knowledge and advice you know you have in your brain!

So what are the top tips for getting your personal brand right?

(1)    Colour

Make sure that you wear colours that suit you – make your skin glow, look smooth, healthy and your eyes sparkle!

(2)    Style

Don’t be a slave to fashion trends – wear styles that compliment your shape and enhance your best features.

(3)    Confidence

You know your stuff so be confident – you are the expert in what you do and have built a business around this expertise. Show people how good you are!

(4)    Smile

A winning smile is the perfect ice breaker/conversation closer. If you are confident and smile, you are a winner!

(5)    Open and Courteous

Talk a bit about yourself to make your interaction more personal. It is you they are buying a product or service from after all. And we all know the power of good manners – “please” and “thank you” are the magic words!

(6)    Positive

Be positive, even if you’ve had a bad journey to the meeting or your IT hasn’t worked, don’t moan or dwell on it. No one wants to listen to complaints but will be impressed with how you turn things around for the better.

(7)    Listen

One of the most important tips – be a good listener. If you can listen, grasp the issues and come up with a way to help on the fly, that is one impressive skill.