I have been in sales for 2o years and found that a key part to selling effectively is maintaining a positive, professional image. Professional image, both in appearance and in presentation skills, was always important, and fortunately social media can help tremendously. People do business with people that they feel comfortable with and like it or not, everyone has their own internal bias towards people with whom they feel a connection. One common theme in connecting, though, is that people respect those who they feel demonstrate expertise in their field, product, service and “look” the part. People make snap judgments based on first impressions, so appearance really does count. The ability to carry oneself confidently stems from managing your own image.
Whether you are a salesperson, an entrepreneur, or a job-seeker, it is important in today’s competitive environment to “look and feel the part” whenever you are trying to impress someone, such as a prospective client, a banker, or an interviewer. This is where a managing your image through publicity can really count! The Public Relations Society of America defines PR as:
“Public relations helps an organization and its publics adapt mutually to each other.”
In this case, the “Organization” is you and your personal brand – what you are “known for”. “Publics” recognizes the need to understand the attitudes and values of — and to develop effective relationships with — many different stakeholders, such as employees, members, customers, local communities, shareholders and other institutions, and with society at large. So managing your image can be done with a mix of public relations and a dash of social media.
- Write a blog – Demonstrate your expertise and for job-seekers, you can actively demonstrate how you are marketing yourself and your expertise to potential employers.
- Dress up your LinkedIn profile – Businesspeople are increasingly using this network to connect to and assess potential business partners. Don’t make it look like your resume, it can be so much more than that!
- Use a professional headshot photo – A professional photo can cost as little as $50 and is a worthwhile investment. Actors use headshots when reading for potential roles and “sell” an image, so why can’t you?
If you have ever been quoted in an article, received a public award, or profiled in a story and you are able to find that reference through one of the search engines, then a good strategy to manage your image is to send that link to your networks via LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook etc. Name recognition is a key factor in standing out from the pack.
For more information on personal branding, watch my videos on AMMCommunications1 here: http://ammcommunications.com/home-call-us-at-314-485-9499/public-relations-videos/