Do you dress for success?

Back the day before the Internet and when dressing casually was reserved for after work and weekends, dressing for success typically meant business suits for professionals, both male and female.

The concept of ‘dressing for success’ enhances and helps project the image of professional competence and personal trustworthiness.

Along with change in how and where we do our work came a shift in standards of appropriate business attire. Apart from large professional offices, business suits, shirt and ties are no longer the norm in today’s more casually dressed workplace.

Certainly a casually dressed workplace can make it more comfortable for us to do our work. It does however make it more challenging for us to project an image of professional competence and personal trustworthiness.

In today’s incredibly competitive marketplace, it is more important than ever before not only to present ourselves as competent and trustworthy, but also to to distinguish ourselves from others who also appear competent and trustworthy.

The key to meeting both of these challenges lies in effectively communicating your brand. And this communication includes dressing your brand in person and electronically.

Dressing your brand in person starts with dressing like your clients. From there, use your own judgment in deciding how far you can move away from this standard without creating any client discomfort.

Dressing your brand electronically is less straight forward.

This process starts with ensuring that the look and feel of your website is consistent with the benefits that your services deliver to clients. Ideally visitors to your website will get a sense of what it will be like dealing with you in person.

A busy, noisy and poorly organized website will offer little help in projecting professional competence and personal trustworthiness. Similarly, aggressively self-promotional email and social media marketing hardly demonstrate the ability to focus on client issues.

Whether in person or online, dressing your brand is about reinforcing the story of what makes you different from all other service professionals. It also helps reassure potentially ideal clients that in hiring you they are making the right decision.

For service professionals, dressing our brand is as critical to success as was dressing for success four decades ago. It’s a competitive marketplace out there, so we must use whatever tools we can to stand out from the crowd.

To continue to stand out from others both online and off…continue to dress for success by dressing your brand.

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