How to Project a Successful Business Image

I have been studying the image of leaders and successful business people for many years now. In doing so, I have concluded that successful people are highly skilled at ‘projecting’ a successful image. Projecting an image of success requires careful attention and detail, it doesn't just happen on its own.   

Your business image isn't strictly defined by your personal presence and appearance.  Prospective clients will take note of your business premises and whether it is professional looking, clean, organized and inviting.  Some prospective clients will scrutinize what type of phone- pen-vehicle-laptop- equipment or tools you are using if you are a tradesperson. And last but not least, most everyone will check your online image long before they meet you in person. 

I am not saying all of this to make you paranoid, I am saying it to make you aware that some people leave no stone unturned if they are making a decision to do business with you or not.    

Body Language is Key

Most successful people carry themselves in similar ways, they have great posture, and command attention and respect. They are also attentive and to the point when speaking. You want to come across as confident (but not arrogant). If you look a truly successful person in the eyes, you will see that they radiate confidence and security in themselves and their abilities. This is the look you want to project.

Details Matter
Details matter when it comes to your business image. Be mindful to revise, fix or replace anything that would provide a negative message to your projected image of success.  Yes, some of this is smoke and mirrors but if you don't use what you can to your competitive advantage someone else will get the contract, new client, promotion or opportunity that you didn't by not paying attention to detail. It's really that simple.

Here are 7 reminders on how to best 'project' a successful business image.

  1. Look Good for Any Occasion
    You don't have to be rich to look good. Acceptable business attire today is relative  but do pay attention to detail and dress appropriately. A rule of thumb is to dress one notch higher than what's expected and accessorize tastefully. Hire an image coach or style expert if you have no fashion sense. And, yes, shoes matter.                                                                                             

  2. Write and Speak Correctly
    Using proper grammar still matters. This may seem like a minor issue but small grammatical infractions matter to those who are judging you. Work to improve your grammar, spelling, and especially your diction. Don't be dismissed because of the way you speak and write.

  3. Master the Art of Conversation
    If all you talk about is your job, your family, or the latest show on Netflix, you won't be considered by some to be very sophisticated or conversation savvy. Take a few minutes every day to get up to date on current events and be a life long learner. Read books, listen to interesting podcasts and webinars and learn about different cultures, even if they are only a few miles away. The trick to being a great conversationalist is sharing what you have learned in a way that comes across as interesting and valuable information to others. Another important tip is knowing when to stop talking. Make sure the conversation is reciprocal, otherwise it is not a conversation; it's a lecture.

  4. Be Considerate and Charitable
    People are impressed by others who are considerate in nature and selfless givers. You don't always have to give with cash but you can be charitable in many other ways. Give your time, energy, and wisdom to people around you as well as those in dire need. 

  5. Be Organized
    Regardless of your net worth or position, when you're unorganized, it shows. You are judged on little things like timely responses to phone messages and emails. Showing up late disrespects others and makes you look careless or indifferent. 

  6. Make People Feel Important
    Successful people know how to make it all about the other person. When meeting someone in person, give a firm handshake, make eye contact, smile and show respect by being present.  Understand and use the power of gratitude, be it with small gifts, time, a follow up email or a simple verbal thank-you. When used with sincerity these are all powerful tools that will elevate your image.

  7. Building your circle of influence 
    You are judged on the company you keep. Build a circle of people you respect and admire, and you, too, will be respected and admired by the people important to you. No one else matters.

If you need help with any other tips on how to ‘project’ a successful business image, we are here to help. Please contact Jennifer Grant International, we are happy to be of service.

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