To follow up Tony Capasso’s guest post, I thought I’d share this study from Sports Psychologist Iain Greenlees covered by Lauren Aaronson. This goes without saying, but in any situation that you are in, dressing the part is half the battle. Not only does dressing appropriately help you feel more confident in a given situation, but others are more likely to give you the benefit of the doubt. In short, you will perform better and be given more leeway than someone who is dressed inappropriately.
In the study, athletes were shown videos of their opponents warming up.
“When the on-screen athletes had confident body language—good posture and robust eye contact with the camera—player-viewers felt that they would win fewer games than they would against opponents who slouched and averted their eyes.
Additionally, the athletes felt more confident of beating opponents who wore generic sportswear, like sweatshirts, than opponents who wore sport-specific clothing, like brand-name polo shirts and spiffy shorts.”
If simply dressing better makes you feel more confident and competent, why don’t we all do it? Does dressing the part get old? Is it a habit we form, just like exercising? I’d say that unless you dress the part on a consistent basis, you won’t identify with role you’re dressing for. You’d feel like an actor wearing a wardrobe. To dress the part for real, the wardrobe and your identity have to be completely congruent. I believe it is a habit you must pick up, but there is no reason that any of us shouldn’t be dressing the way we could be.
About 6 months ago I joined Personal Branding Magazine. It has been a fantastic experience as I helped with sponsorships and contributed a couple food-for-thought articles. If you are new to Personal Branding or just want to read up on all the great thinkers on the subject, I would recommend subscribing or at least taking a look. Issue 3 is looking to be even better with interviews with top bloggers like Om Malik and Gina Trapini.
Below I’ve included my piece I wrote for Issue 2.
Word-of-Mouth Marketing and the Personal Brand
by: Adam Salamon
When promoting our personal brands, how do we balance our own marketing efforts with the fact that most people trust advertising less and less each day?
We’ve been lied to by advertisers. Each one of us has had experiences with products or services that didn’t meet our expectations. It’s no wonder that people now turn to each other when in doubt about services or products. Word-of-mouth is now the number one trusted form of advertising according to Edleman. And that isn’t strictly for products or services anymore–it’s for all of us, too. Creating a personal brand is not only about gaining recognition about what you do, but it’s also about creating loyal brand advocates who will recommend you when someone asks them for advice. Because we know that word-of-mouth is trusted, we know that people will ask their friends for advice when looking for an expert marketer, salesman, or writer.
Keep this in mind during your Personal Branding journey. Remember that people don’t like being lied to. Be authentic and open. Promote yourself on what you can deliver, that way when someone asks about you, they can say with confidence that you deliver on your promises.
Best of luck,
I just came back from Las Vegas at the 2008 Consumer Electronics Show and what a spectacle! If you like to geek out to latest and greatest in technology this is the event for you. The consensus from most people who have traveled to Las Vegas is that 48 hours is enough! Not so for CES, but in general why do most people feel that way? I think it is because Vegas is very much a facade. Lots of lights, camera, action, but when you really get beyond all of that, it does very little to nourish the soul. I ate at one restaurant where at first glance it looked 5-star, but when I searched beyond the walls and sponge board crown molding I found something very different. I put my hand on the chair and what looked from afar like a $2,000 throne felt like something I would buy from a department store as patio furniture. I tried to lift it expecting its solid weight to hold it to the ground and I almost thrust it to the ceiling. Weak!
Let’s relate this to personal branding. If you look the part you are half way to being the part, but when are you actually THE PART? You are when you truly FEEL that you are. So it goes without saying that for a job interview, a client meeting or big date you always want to look the part. Dress appropriately, if it’s an interview for a bank wear a sharp blue suit with a white shirt and red tie, for a big client meeting wear well coordinated slacks and a jacket(and a tie where appropriate) and on a big first date leave the ripped jeans at home and tuck in you button down. Having said all that a clean hair cut, well groomed nails and a shave go without saying, and always, always shine your shoes. So there you go, you’re half way there.
The other half: Be prepared! If you are prepared you will feel that you’re going to nail it! Think of the time when you didn’t study for a test and you went into the classroom flustered and unsure of yourself versus the time you studied 20 hours and you knew your stuff inside and out! That’s confidence and that’s feeling the part. Once you feel it, you ARE it, and no one can stop you. That confidence comes from within when there’s substance and you have taken the time to prepare yourself to add value. Prepare for the job interview by studying the company, its offerings, and the Linked In profile of everyone you will meet. For the big client meeting know all of the latest news and the positive and negative press so you avoid putting your foot in your mouth and for that big date figure out who you know in common and a little about what he/she likes to do in their spare time.
“Luck is What Happens when Preparation Meets Opportunity.” So guess what if you feel lucky you will be lucky. Personal branding is a state of mind.