I’m sure we have all heard that expression you have to dress for success. Or even fake it till you make it. But the truth is, well that is the truth.
I know we’ve all seen those hobo looking millionaires who are so rich that they could care less what they have on. But honey boo, you are not them.
On the road to building your empire, personal branding is so important. How many clients do you feel you will attract as a hair stylist when your hair is always looking like “who shot ya?” Or how many people will take you serious as a fashion stylist when they are questioning if you even have style? See the thing about having and building your own business is that you are your best advertisement. The great thing about that is you are free! So here are somethings to consider when you ‘Oh well” the importance of upkeeping and managing your personal image and your reputation in the media as you grow your business.
Don’t be a social media whore.
It is by far so imperative to filter the things you display on your social networks. Posting the video of you passing out in snow while you were out of your mind inebriated may not be the best look for business. Or explicitly talking about the things you will do to your significant other when they get home from work may not appeal to everyone. I don’t care at all if you are only my nail artist, I feel a little indifferent when I read a facebook status about how you had to go beat your ex boyfriend baby momma ass. Just stop. It’s okay to show a little personality on socials. No one wants to work with a robot. But my God, please filter, sensor, hide or do whatever you have to do to make sure you are upholding integrity for your business. You know how rebellious ones say, “others opinions of me do not matter.” That is so sad and so wrong. They matter so much. They matter to the integrity of your business and also to the success of your business. Now by saying this, I in no way shape or form say that everyone’s opinion matters or that you will please everyone. But take a good look at your target audience. You are the face for your business. If you want the best for your business, you have to make sure you give the best face.
You are not your favorite rapper, it is not okay to not look up to par in a business meeting.
With this point, there is a fine line between what is acceptable to wear during business meetings and what is not. I am a core rebel loving activists who feels people should be who they want to and free to express themselves however. But even I have to admit, I do know when to turn on the professional looking barbie and when to be a cool down to Earth chick. I will not force this point on anyone, because its very touchy, but I will say that it is my OPINION that when in the presence of business, it is respectful to look your best all while dressing accordingly to the occasion. Sometimes that may require anything between nice jeans and a button up blouse to a full on pant suit. But it is my honest opinion that wearing sweats, leggings or club gear to talk business is a huge turn off for me no matter how good you are at what you do. If you are in the mindset you feel like people should take you the way you are and judge you off your work ethic alone and not your appearance, then you are stuck in the clouds and I cannot be apart. Even though it is sad and I feel that we should not be judged from appearance, we are. Why make life more difficult doll. And honestly I look at it like this, if you didn’t care enough to not throw on those black see through leggings to come talk business with me, then your work effort will be as disrespectful and unreliable as those leggings are making me uncomfortable.
Lastly, yes this is the age of doing business over social media. But boo, still have some class.
I cannot even count on one hand how many emails I’ve received from hopeful young women wanting to be apart of some of my friends brands and break into the fashion industry, but have sent emails that look like this:
“Hey, my name is (insert name). I wanna be model or be apart of “blah blah’s” little fashion store. It looks cool”
or my favorite. Sometimes we may do a model casting call and I’ll receive responses like this:
“I wanna model for you guys. Hit me up on my cell 555-677-6677”
It literally has gotten to the point where I do not respond. Why would I even consider you or take you seriously? My friends are running a business, I am not your home girl. And I am sure countless other business people feel this way. Come correct or don’t come at all. Even in settings where I know the conversation is not as intense, I still feel it is important to hold somewhat of a professional tone. Avoid slang. Be descriptive. Sound like a mature business woman. Do your research. Know what your talking about and know who you are talking to and hold the conversation professionally and accordingly.
We are all learning how to maneuver through this fast paced media over populated world and at best how to be cool, but still conduct business in it. We may not get it right all the time. We are humans. Just because we have businesses or work in the professional world does not mean that we do not have personal lives. But it is imperative to our reputation and also our brand to find a way to balance who we are, what our business is and what should cross paths and what shouldn’t. The only thing that is as simple as simple to me is always dress for success. You can never go wrong with that. You never know who you might run into.