Last week we talked about how stepping into your closet is a great way to start the process of defining your creative small business brand style. Since many creative entrepreneurs are a one man show so to speak, and their business is an extension of their heart and passion, it makes sense that their personal style would be a driving force in the style of their brand so they can sell their services or products confidently.
Taking that idea one step further, I highly suggest you dress for your brand. I know I know, it sounds really silly and not necessary, but I tend to disagree. Take a look at your favorite major successful businesses. Have you ever stopped to notice what they are wearing? For example, Target associates wear a red shirt and khaki pants. They don’t have a uniform shirt, but just require that all their employees wear some sort of nice looking shirt that is red. You can easily spot an associate and the simple dressing guidelines reinforces the simplicity of their brand’s visual identity. It is comforting to know that when I walk into Target, I know I can trust the person who is wearing red and khaki to help me find my way.
And that level of consistency boots brand loyalty, whether you over analyzed the situation like me or not 😉
So how does that translate into a small business owner’s life? The answer lies in two main facets.
1. Fostering an Attitude of Success – When I attended the Cultivate Retreat, I got the pleasure of hearing Rhiannon Bosse of Hey Gorgeous Events speak on time management and balance in business and life. One of the things she touched on was the idea of “Dressing for Success” that Ashley of Ashley Brooke Designs spoke to her about. The idea was that Ashley spent a few minutes each day prepping her outfit for the next day so she could quickly and easily get dressed in the morning and be ready for whatever may come. This has really stuck with me over the last year. Rhiannon talked about how there is an attitude shift in your day when your hair and makeup are done and you actually get out of your pj’s. There is a pep in your voice, a boost in confidence in your tone even if you just speak to others on the phone and a stronger readiness to be productive than if you just roll out of bed and begin working with no prep.
And she is right. I can clearly see a difference in productivity on the days that I get up and put a little effort into myself before putting my efforts into my work. On the days that I throw my hair up into a scary version of a bun and stay in my pj’s till dark, I am MUCH more likely to bum around on the couch, leave emails unanswered until another time and get little to nothing done. And on the days that I get up, get dressed and make myself look like a functioning human being I am much more likely to have what my husband likes to call “my super woman days.” It gives me a psychological boost of energy to cross those to-dos off my list, be proactive in my business, make time for life things like keeping the house clean and feel like I actually accomplished something for the day!
2. Boosting Confidence in Selling Services/Products – Often times one of the biggest fears I hear in other small business owners is in sales. Selling makes them feel uncomfortable. Selling doesn’t feel natural. Talking about themselves and what they can do is scary. I get it. It is hard to step outside of your comfort zone to make a sale happen. So why not make sure that you are actually comfortable in the way you are presenting yourself when doing so? I really believe that dressing for your brand will give you an extra boost of confidence in that you are the complete package and just the person your customer needs. Go back to that example of Target. You might not spend your time thinking about those little details like I do when you are shopping, but Target has built brand recognition and loyalty in every facet of your experience with them, even in how their employees dress. By implementing this strategy in your own business, you can visually represent yourself as a complete and well thought out brand and feel much more confident when you go in to make the sale.
3. Maintaining Brand Loyalty – After you confidently make the sale, by continuing to dress for your brand, you will be boosting lasting confidence in your services from your customer’s perspective. Being presentable each and every time you are in front of your customer will reinforce a positive recognition of why they chose you over the next person offering the same service. And whether or not they can define it that way, it will help foster brand recognition through the active process of your service or sale of product and brand loyalty long after your promise was fulfilled.
Dressing for your brand should convey visual consistency and personality of your brand. Coordinate colors and patterns that blend effortlessly with your brand for visual consistency. Choose styles and accessories that bring your brand personality to life. For example, if your brand personality is classic and ladylike, a signature strand of pearls you can wear with various outfits will reinforce your brand’s timeless appeal. And to make prepping for your days just a bit easier, have a pre-put together collective of about 5 or so outfits that you know make you feel great and that can quickly be assembled so you can start the day dressed for success!
On to business. With 7 years experience in biz running a digital download shop, speaking at conferences, collaborating with dream brands, & booking 5 figure custom design clients, I share all that I've learned (and what I continue to learn!) about building a magnetic brand, effective marketing, and the science of conversion.
I promise to keep it real and relevant around here to help you make it happen... over a 4 count chicken mini meal. ;)
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