7 Ways to Take Ownership of Your Professional Image
Your professional image is a defining element that shapes your reputation. It is part of your personal brand both inside and outside the workplace. It reflects your appearance, behaviour, conduct, and the verbal and non-verbal communication you use in face-to-face interactions and social media messaging.
Your professional image has a lot to do with public perception and your goal should be to create a positive and enduring impression in your first encounter and ongoing relationships with others.
Building a solid foundation to grow your professional image and personal brand takes daily practice and effort. Here are 7 reminders on how you can improve and take ownership of your professional image and personal brand.
Present Yourself as a Successful Leader
How you present yourself as a business leader is responsible for making that all important first impression and getting potential clients to do business with you. This can be your web site, marketing materials, proposals and project plans, portfolio, voicemail message, e-mail signature, your look and voice when you meet with clients, and any element that puts you in front of your prospects.
Use Social Media to Your Advantage
While your profiles on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, your blog and other networking sites also play a role in your overall image, they deserve individual attention. The best way to use social media to your advantage – is to make your posts positive and match what you say to the image you want to project.
Keep Your Personal Life Personal
When you are trying to build a reputation for reliability and professionalism, it is considered best to keep details of your personal life to yourself. The key is to keep things positive, take your cues from your clients, and steer clear of anything controversial.
Cultivate Wholesome Relationships
It’s important to associate yourself with people, pursuits, and organizations that help to further the professional image you want to project.
Holding yourself accountable can be challenging at times, but if you do it successfully, you will gain the respect of others. You can and should take credit to celebrate your successes but you also need to take responsibility for your role in any failures and shortcomings.
Deliver On Your Promises
If you promise to do something and a set deadline, do it. Unless there’s a major catastrophe, a commitment is a commitment (and even then, you should make sure your client is the first to know if things go awry).
Guard Your Reputation
Although sometimes we’d all like to ignore what others think of us, your reputation can go a long way in supporting (or hurting) your professional image. That’s why it’s so important to treat others with respect and honesty, even if you would never consider working or collaborating with them.
There are many other strategies that you can employ to ensure your professional image and personal brand are saying the right things about you. Contact Jennifer Grant International to learn more about how we can help you create and maintain a winning professional image.