By Jody Maki
Dated clothing, a hairstyle from the ’80s (or even the ’90s), or simply a lack of personal style can limit your ability to build relationships with the “right” people—especially those who can help to push your career forward.
It’s not about being pretty and popular, it’s about looking pulled together and exuding the confidence that you embody what it takes to make things happen.
Unfortunately, once executives realize they are being held back because of their uninspired clothing and image, they typically do not know where to begin to upgrade their style.
Here are: Eight Tips to Transform Your Look
1. Start by asking yourself:
- What product or service are you selling? Do you embody the image that clients can relate to?
- Do you “look like” your clients? If you are selling to artists, technology people, or auto shops, are you wearing a three-piece suit on your sales calls? (You shouldn’t be.)
- How do others in your industry dress? If you look exactly like them, then you are not differentiating yourself in the market.
- What makes you feel comfortable and confident? If you stray too far away from your own personal style, you will not exude the confidence you need to pull off an extreme look. Your personality makes you different, so find something unique to you that will help create a “signature” look.
Take your time and really think about your answers to these questions. They will help you take the next step in your executive transformation.
2. Make sure your clothes fit your body.
Upgrading your style means creating a polished look. This includes making sure you clothing fits your body properly. Most off-the-rack options are typically not going to fit the majority of the population correctly, so accept the fact that you may have to have a number of items tailored.
3. Re-do your hairdo.
The same goes for tailoring your hairstyle to give you the updated look you need. You will likely need to re-do your “do,” and that means working with a professional stylist who has helped transform other executives. Ask around the office to see where the most-polished professionals go to get their hair cut.
4. Know when to seek out a professional.
As you can see, that word “professional stylist” keeps coming up. Just as you are best at what you do, it’s advisable to search out someone who has a lot of experience helping executives transform their appearance so that they can make a bigger impact.
In fact, most executives will find, after having never devoted any time or attention to their style, that creating a new image on their own will prove more challenging than closing a million-dollar deal.
So look for a savvy stylist who typically works with professionals. Be sure they have their finger on the pulse of your geographic market—and more importantly, that they have a knowledge of high-level business.
Here’s what to look for:
- Find a professional whose style you like. If he / she doesn’t look good to you, you are less likely to be happy with their ideas for your transformation.
- Check out the business and fashion magazines. If you can find a look that you admire, including hair, wardrobe (and make-up for the ladies), ask your stylist to help you recreate it.
- Ask a friend. If someone you know has recently undergone a significant executive makeover, find out what steps they took. Odds are good that they didn’t do it alone.
5. Schedule a photo shoot.
After making big changes in your look, review the photos and videos of you that are visible to the public online, on business cards, and on other marketing materials—and remove anything that is not current.
In fact, you’ll likely need to schedule a photo shoot to capture the new you for the world to see. After all, the transformational magic you have just done should be shared with the world. You’ll be doing yourself a disservice keeping those unpolished photos floating around in cyberspace.
6. Grab your friends and have a night out on the town.
Networking and business connections can happen anytime, anywhere. So take your new look to happy hour, or an after-hours event, and observe the response you receive.
7. Spread the word.
Once you experience the transformation process, and discover your own personal image, I am confident that you will have the courage to make other changes in your life. Not only will your new personal statement help you differentiate yourself in the marketplace, it’ll give you the confidence to know that you can create the life you dream of having.
8. Tell me about it!
I can’t wait to see the new you! Once your transformation is complete, send me a before and after photo to post on our Inkandescent Imaging website. Also, do send along your thoughts, feelings, and details about the process. You can reach me anytime at Jody@InkandescentPR.com.
About Jody Maki
Marketing and sales expert Jody Maki is the director of Inkandescent Public Relation’s strategic social media division, Inkandescent Networking. The service helps companies network in eight East Coast cities so they can connect with other professionals to grow their businesses. The site also provides lists of daily networking events in each city, hotel and restaurant reviews, real estate and help-wanted listings, a bookstore, art gallery, and more.
Maki is also an image consultant, and through the company’s Inkandescent Imaging division, provides makeovers (which include an assessment and redesign of the client’s hair, make-up, and wardrobe), and she choreographs photo and video shoots for corporate professionals, sports figures, and entertainers. Maki is also available to coach clients on their public-speaking skills and she also conducts speeches and seminars on how to increase success by improving your professional image.
For more information, contact Jody Maki at Jody@inkandescentpr.com.