Does Your Outfit Matter?
Did you know that according to a study done by Forbes your client creates their first impression of you within 7 seconds of your initial interaction?
If you are a small business owner trying to appeal to your target audience, your outfits matter. Your outfits and your personal presentation matter because your target audience will make assumptions about your brand based on their perception of you as a person.
Why do they do this? Because people like to do business with other people.
Besides offering a quality product or service that solves your client’s problem, you are also offering you! Your clients chose you as a person and not just your offer - and that’s why they make mental connections between you as a person and your brand as a business.
No one cares about what the CEO of Starbucks wears, because they are buying a cup of coffee, not the CEO’s personality. As a small business owner, you have a different relationship with your clients. Your target audience cares about what your outfits communicate because they are doing business with you.
When Does Your Outfit Matter?
So, your outfit matters because it helps inform your client’s initial impression of you, but does that mean that you have to dress up like you’re going to the office in 2005? The short answer is, “No.” (Big sigh of relief)
In our modern business world, there are really only a few situations where you need to give extra thought to make sure that your outfit communicates your brand.
As a general rule, your outfit needs to align with your desired brand perception when it will affect your client’s perception. For most small business owners today, that means client meetings whether in-person or on Zoom, networking events and the photos on your website.
Your client’s perceptions are most influenced during your first interaction with them. The very first time they see you is when they will make all of those assumptions about you and your brand in less than 7 seconds. This is why working with a stylist for your brand can be so valuable.
Working With a Personal Brand Stylist
Choosing outfits that align with your branding and business communication takes some work, and that is where the personal brand stylist comes in.
Before you say, “I already have good style and don’t need the extra help,” there are several good reasons to partner with a personal stylist for this particular situation.
First, it is not so much about having “good” style as it is about choosing outfits that are going to connect with your target audience and communicate your brand messages. When you hire a personal brand stylist, you get an expert who is going to choose outfits for you that will clearly communicate your brand as well as help you source those outfits. If shopping isn’t your thing, hiring a personal brand stylist is your opportunity to have a personal shopper!
Also, your everyday style might not be what is going to land best with your ideal client. It is a challenge to choose outfits that you aren’t used to wearing in your daily life, so an outside opinion from an expert could be very helpful in this scenario.
Finally, even if you could figure it out yourself, you are a busy business owner who probably has several other items on your to-do list that should take priority because they are things that only you can do. This is something that you can hire an expert to do for you. As a growing small business, outsourcing becomes a necessary strategy and this is one task that you can easily outsource while getting even better results than doing it on your own.