Who ever said that looks don’t matter?
Well, they do! Your business is all about the image you portray, and how potential customers perceive you. This perception matters, even more, when it comes to success and positioning you as a leader while rising up in the ranks of whatever it is that you want to do. Your business is all about your image. But, more often than not, people tend to focus on the wrong aspect of their looks.
While it is true that you need to take care of how your hair looks, how your make-up is done, etc, these are just superficial. There are a lot of women out there who are unable to move in the direction of where they want their businesses to go, and then there are some women who are really succeeding because they seem to be playing a different game.
My goal in general at Think & Grow Chick is to help you to understand the real game that’s being played, the one that really matters. The one that allows you to win at what you actually want to, and to teach you how to play so that you get the results that you’re looking for. There is nothing more frustrating than wanting to achieve certain results in your life and not being able to, only to find out you were playing the wrong game.
This year, 2017, is a great time to be an entrepreneur. Running a business in this time where the internet is blowing up is just amazing, and I am saying this from first-hand experience. A lot of people are stepping out into their greatness and showing off their skill set by deciding to work for themselves. They position themselves as experts and professionals worthy of hiring, but, they are focusing exclusively on their websites, logos and photo shoots, on the external part of their looks making sure they get their hair and make-up done.
When I talk about looks, I am not talking about it in the traditional sense. This isn’t about who is pretty or not, but rather the optics and branding. Optics is defined as the way in which an event or course of action is perceived by the public, typically used in the political arena. It’s not about how you look, but how you are perceived by the people and who you are associating yourself with.
In this podcast, I talked about how you can improve your optics, some do’s and dont’s when posting to your social media accounts. I also talked about the principles that I liked from John Taylor Gatto, an award-winning teacher who for years studied the contrasts between teachings in the elite schools, and public school systems. I can tell you that that the elite schools are grooming their students to become literally the future world leaders. The elite schools focus on optics, focusing on perception and teaching their kids that appearances do matter.
If elite schools are teaching young children how appearances do matter and the role it plays in grooming them to be successful, then it’s equally important that we should also be learning how it will affect our own success.
Listen to the podcast here.
Tips on how to improve your optics:
1. You do not have to conform with the norms.
My own coach told me I came off as “just a girl”. He pointed out that there’s no authority to my online presence. This was the wake-up call I needed. I was mediocre. I was ordinary. And it’s not okay to be mediocre. If you want to have a stronger presence online, then you must step up your game.
There are thousands of people in the same business as you, and the biggest challenge you have is to stand out from the rest and be more than just mediocre. You need to think outside the box and deliver to your audience what the others haven’t.
2. Position yourself as a professional.
Here’s a tip: People don’t hire peers, they hire professionals.
Pitching your sales and promoting your business is not just about posting on every social media group that you’re in. You also need to maintain professionalism even in your own personal social media accounts. If you keep inviting people to check out your business, chances are they have already taken a peek at your personal profile, too. Your potential clients will look for ways to find your credibility and reputation. Why would they want to hire someone or work with someone who does crazy things on internet?!
While you are promoting your business online, you become vulnerable to people checking you out all the time. When I transitioned from being “just a girl” to professional, I cleaned up my social media accounts and worked on my optics.
You need to be visually displaying your behaviors and presenting your optics a notch higher than the people that you want to serve. You want to be perceived as a leader, because who wants to follow someone who’s at their level? You have to be groomed for success. You have to dress the part.
3. Be a person of substance.
I am reminded of a podcast of Myleik Teele, CEO of Curlbox, where she said something to the effect of being able to tell someone who doesn’t read just by talking to them. What she meant was that just by people’s conversation, you can tell if they’re not constantly expanding their mind, they’re not broadening their horizons, or beefing up their skill set because they don’t have real things to talk about. She can tell just by conversation whether or not someone is a reader of books.
You have to be mindful of all of the stuff that really goes into “your looks” and how people perceive you. Looks are important, not just because of physical attractiveness. Looks, as I’m speaking about it, optics, perception, branding, are important because people pay attention to everything you do. They look at everything about you as a package. You do things thinking that no one’s noticing but they are. It’s so important for you to be mindful of how you speak, the things you talk about, who you associate with, how other people perceive you, all of that factors into your optics.
4. Be eloquent.
One way to improve your optics is to be articulate. It’s one thing to be knowledgeable, but it is also important that you can speak articulately about that knowledge. If you are not well-spoken, you don’t have an influencing power and you can’t effectively communicate your ideas and opinions. You can be dressed to the nines, be fly, but if you are not articulate, if you don’t take the time to carefully measure your words and come to conclusions and are not able to write well and to speak in front of others and have a sense of eloquence about you, it’s going to be very difficult to convince others to do things for you and put you on your road to success.
Think about your public speaking skills and your writing skills. Invest time into cultivating those areas of your life, of your ability. Or are you just kind of living in fantasy land thinking that it should just be about the work?
People ‘look’ at you from a different vantage point of – ‘does she speak well, can she write well’ point. Your speaking and your ability to write is a part of your branding package.
5. Be a person of character.
One of the principles John Taylor Gatto realized about these elite boarding schools put emphasis on our politeness and etiquette. These schools are grooming their students to become future world leaders, to understand that the foundation of all your future alliances, access to places you might want to go, is dependent on politeness and civility.
Politeness and civility is important when it comes down to a branding standpoint regardless of whether you work for company or you want to be an entrepreneur. I see a lot of people making mistakes on social media where it is so easy to trash someone who doesn’t support our ideals.
You have to be mindful of the stuff that you do even during uncommon situations especially if you have some kind of following, because people recognize you and your brand. As my own profile has grown online, I have to be mindful of just how I’m acting and engaging with others on a day-to-day basis. If you think your behavior is not going to come back and bite you in some way, think again. It definitely affect your success. It should be in sync with who you say you are.
How you treat others and the language that you use, is an integral part of your branding package, or your appearances package.
6. Develop your charm or charisma.
Sometimes when you stand in the presence of certain people, there’s just an air of confidence that emanates from them. Part of this has to do with a lot of the other things that I’ve mentioned earlier; they are great public speakers, they’re articulate, they’re able to convey their ideas, have a good sense of social graces so they’re very well-mannered and pleasant, polite, and enjoyable to be around. The other facet of people’s presence is the “It” factor, which not everybody has, but it can be developed. Charisma is your physical presence, your physical grace. These uber elite people are sending their kids to elite boarding schools and they’re paying tens and thousands, possibly even hundreds of thousands of dollars for these students to understand charisma. I believe it is just important for us as ordinary people to understand these things as well.
7. Have a personal code of standards.
Focus on having a personal code of standards, and particularly in production, morality, and behavior. Set a personal standard for what you put out. Think of the quality of your appearance package, branding, your optics and the level of work that you are producing. To be seen as an expert or a leader, as an entrepreneur, although obviously important, it is just not enough that you run out donning a well-tailored suit or start showing up to work every day. Your output, the quality of your work really stands for itself. You need to make sure that you’re still meeting your own standards and that you keep those standards high.
It’s so easy nowadays to start a business and to put some stuff out there. A lot of people are vulnerable to making the mistake of just slapping programs and freebies together so that they can just put some stuff out that someone will buy and in the hopes of eventually getting hired. They fail to realize that they spend all that time and money getting their logo and website done in a certain way but their products were subpar because they do not have a personal code of production for their work.
Your “ looks” or appearance transcends from what people can see on the physical, to your character, your strengths and your association with the right people makes up your whole persona. Keep your morals in check. Morality should go without saying that it is really going to negatively affect your appearances.
What you post on social media should reflect your behavior and that it should be in harmony with the services that you say you can provide for other people. That’s a part of your appearance.
Whether you agree with it or not, everything that can be seen from you is a part of your brand. People can see through your words, so your behavior matters. “Looks” play an important part of it but not merely in the terms of being pretty, but more in terms of being polished and being refined.