I have been networking like a boss lately! Vancouver Business Network, Vancouver Entrepreneurs, Mompreneur Groups, Ladies Who Vino, Vancouver Women in Business, various Meet Up groups, etc. I have met some pretty amazing and successful women, made some great connections and a few new friends too.
I’m fascinated with the types of people that come to these events. So many interesting careers, products and services. Everything from skin care consultants, IT services, investment and mortgage brokers to coaches for just about anything one could use some coaching in (dating, fitness, business, home organization, life, for example).
Going by first impressions alone, I would not hesitate to contact several of the people I have met should I ever require their product or service nor would I have any problems referring a friend to them. Others, on the other hand, I wouldn’t trust to sell me a bar of soap. The appearance of some entrepreneurs at these events makes me wonder if they have ever sold anything before.
YOU ARE YOUR BRAND!
<Warning: I am about to get all “Stacey London” on you.> It astounds me how many entrepreneurs and business people are completely oblivious to the impression they are making with their clothing. These are people selling (or attempting to sell) high end products, promising to help me make more money or improve an area of my life somehow, yet how they are presenting tells me they are desperate, disorganized and unreliable.
People do business with people they know, like and trust. If there is no congruity between what you are speaking with your mouth and what you are saying with your clothes, then you confuse your potential customer.
Customer Confusion = No Sales!
I have seen it all and here are the biggest culprits:
- Ill-fitting blazers, trousers and skirts – This cheapens your look. It says you are messy and have no eye for detail. Not sure how they should fit? Check out how to fit a blazer and trousers.
- Too casual – Maxi dresses and flipflops do not say business, they say beach. Save them for when you are off-duty.
- Too sexy – too much cleavage, thigh-high slits, trashy shoes. It’s unprofessional and distracting.
- Too young – If you want to be taken seriously in business, you have to look like a grown up. Go for a look that says current and youthful, not juvenile.
- Too cheap – Your credibility is questioned when you don’t actually look successful yourself. You don’t have to spend a fortune to look like a million. The proper fit and some great accessories can make your whole outfit look more expensive.
- Too dated – Matronly/frumpy clothes give the impression that you are old fashioned and your ideas are not relevant. It’s especially important to dress modern if whatever you are selling is modern or cutting edge.
We know that finances can be tight when you’re starting out, but it’s worth it to invest time and money into a wardrobe that gives the right first impression to the people you want to work with. By looking successful you will attract success to you.
Stay tuned! We are working on a Dress for Success workshop for entrepreneurs. Sign up for our newsletter or follow us on Facebook for all the latest news and updates.