Looks Matter: 3 Ways to Use This to Your Advantage
Looks matter. Your looks. But many product-based business owners look to their products to do the talking for them. They believe that if they produce a quality product, they don’t have to put themselves out there and can remain anonymous behind their craft.
Unfortunately, that’s not true in today’s online (and offline) space. Looks matter. Initial impressions create judgements that will affect how people interact with us. It’s as simple and unfair as that.
No matter if you’re selling your product exclusively online on an Etsy shop or participating in every local event you can get on your schedule, you are the face of your brand and your product. And you have to show up as a professional to be taken seriously.
You’re running a business, after all. While you do get to take advantage of some leniency because you’re not a corporate beast, you do need to put some thought into how you’re presenting yourself.
Learn how to make your appearance perform for you and your business.
Look the part
No matter your weight, ethnicity or age, there are ways to present your best physical self to the world. Though it seems silly to mention it, this especially includes personal grooming and what you wear. When you feel put together and polished, you’re more confident.
As an example, I will not show up online, and certainly not in person, without makeup. I’m just not comfortable without it, though I know many people feel differently. When I’m wearing makeup and dressed in business casual, it’s easier for me to show up for my brand.
How you present yourself indirectly affects what people think of how you manage your business. If you present yourself with dirty hair and buttons missing or wrinkles in your clothes … what does that say about how you go about creating your product or dealing with order fulfillment or customer service issues? These details matter.
Think about how you feel most comfortable and start each day putting yourself together so you can hop on a video call, visit a vendor event or create a social media video for your audience – at the drop of a hat. The better you feel about your own appearance, the more likely you are to show up and get noticed, which can only benefit your business.
Act the part
Have you ever known someone who has so much charisma that when they enter a room, everything seems brighter and more energized? This is the magic of confidence and attitude.
I’m not talking about the egotistical, obnoxious fast talker. I’m talking about the friendly, happy, giving person.
These are people we want to hang out and do business with. Their energy transfers over to us unconsciously as a confirmation of success and trust. While some people are graced with this naturally, we all can enhance our abilities in this category.
I can already hear you saying, “But I’m an introvert!” Many of the most successful and seemingly confident people, both in your local community and online, feel the same way. We all question ourselves from time to time.
The best way to get over or at least live with this is to face it head on and ignore your discomfort. Once you go to that networking meeting or push that Facebook live button several times, you’ll see that it gets easier and easier.
Be the part
As a business owner, the buck stops with you. You are the one who gets to decide what projects to take on and which partnerships to follow through with. This can be both a blessing and a curse, because we often shy away from the things that feel difficult.
No matter where you are in business, be the business owner you want to be – and that you’d like to work with. Follow through on your promises, show up when you say you’ll be there and reach out to support other business owners who need support you can offer. That’s how you make a name for yourself so you can grow a business and a reputation that you can be proud of.
I encourage you to make sure you look the part, act the part and be the part every time you show up in public for a business purpose.
In the end, staying true to who you are is key. Then making sure you present your best self will create the most positive first impression possible and puts you in the best position to get down to the business of business. Remind yourself each day that, yes, looks matter.
For more free business support consider listening to my podcast Gift Biz Unwrapped where I interview gifters-bakers-crafters-makers who share how they started and built their businesses. Want to talk with me directly? I’m only an email away. I’d love to hear about you, your business and what you’re working on right now. email@example.com
Preach, sister! First impressions absolutely matter!
Interestingly enough I recently had a colleague come up to me when I was putting myself together ahead of a large trade show. For me that means makeup and an outfit that looks presentable while still being comfortable. As I was finishing, she says to me in not the nicest way, “Oh you’re putting on lipstick… Does that mean you’re just the pretty face?” I have to admit I was taken a little aback and then I got a little angry.
It’s difficult enough to be a small business owner playing a lot of roles and wearing a lot of hats. Hearing someone imply that I’m not doing hard work and being thoughtful simply because I’m putting on some red lipstick was a judgmental comment I didn’t need in the moment.
We all have our own version of the first impression that we want to make. That impression IS part of your brand whether you like it or not. Just like as business owners, we had to id our own products and services, we also need to id the first impression that we want to make on each audience we are trying to reach.