Dress Your Brand For Success

I have to laugh when someone asks me, “What does an online marketer put on to dress for success?”

And my reply is, “Uh … Pajamas?  Jeans?  Gee, I don’t really know what other people wear while they’re sitting in front of their computers.  I usually wear whatever’s clean and comfortable.”

You obviously don’t need an extensive (or expensive) wardrobe when you work from home.

Of course, you’ll need to change out of your pajamas if you’re attending a networking meet-up or live event.  I’m pretty sure they won’t let you through the door in sleepwear – so I’ve heard.

You can feel free to be a casually-dressed online marketer, but how about your brand?

Are you dressing your brand for success?  Or is it in need of a makeover or maybe some enhancing?

Branding is all about signaling a power-packed and consistent message to your target audience.

A very strong personal brand dresses for success by wearing a combination of reputation, trust, attention, and action – and what’s really cool is you don’t have to be concerned with colors, seasons, skin tone, or choice of fabric!

Dress you brand for success with:

Reputation

  • Practice what you preach and walk your talk.
  • No one wants to work with a stressed out massage therapist, a freelance writer who can’t meet deadlines, or a dog trainer who’s never owned a dog.
  • Set boundaries around your time and stick to them.
  • Your brand’s reputation is built through the total experience it offers – from your communications and logo to customer service and the quality of your products or services.

Trust

  • Focus on building the relationship FIRST and the business will follow.
  • Everything you do and say, everything you send your prospects, customers, or clients, and how you interact with them can foster trust.
  • Your target audience must get to know you and like you BEFORE they will begin to trust you.

Attention

  • Add value when people least expect it.
  • Under-promise and over-deliver.
  • WOW your clients and customers with “extras” like special hand-written notes, gift certificates, movie tickets, surprise lunch, great new business book, articles, jokes, or a donation made in their name to their favorite charity.
  • Reward people for sending business your way.
  • Send greeting cards or postcards to your clients and customers to celebrate special occasions.

Action

  • Craft a monthly newsletter.
  • Create information products and/or write a book.
  • Publish blog posts that include helpful tips and tricks based on your area of expertise and post comments on other industry-related blogs.
  • Attend workshops and seminars in your industry.
  • Join a mastermind group.
  • Use your outgoing voice mail and email signature as branding opportunities.
  • Be ready, at a moment’s notice, to present your signature speech.
  • Offer to write a column for your local newspaper or an association’s newsletter.
  • Write testimonials and/or book reviews for high-traffic websites.

How are you dressing YOUR brand for success?

  • Hi Melanie

    I think the biggest plus with working online and from home is that I don’t have to get dressed up to go to work and I can work in my pj’s if I want to.

    Of course I would definitely dress up for networking events as you want to create a good first impression there.

    Take care

    Dawn

    • I feel the same way, Dawn ..

      No “corporate” attire needed to work from home. Amen! Really saves on the wardrobe budget. Working in “comfy” clothing is my style. 🙂

      Thanks for knocking on my door today! Please come by any time.

      Melanie

  • Hi Melanie – Thanks for hopping on my blog and reading! Sometimes you feel as if you’re broadcasting to no one with all that is out there on the internet! I have been contemplating how to feel more like I am working while at home though. A part of me misses wearing my nice wardrobe, and some days I don’t feel like I’ve accomplished anything. So I’ve decided to get myself dressed in nice, but casual clothes and developed an hour of the day that I want to begin and end my work. I guess I deal better within some structure. It is easy to get distracted by something around the house, so I’m going to have to be better about putting on my ‘I’m working’ attitude.

    I never knew this alternate universe existed of so many people working and developing their own creative ideas and products, networking meetings, blogging, social media – who knew while I was busy working at my job! It’s been quite the adventure so far.

    • So delighted to see you here, Cindy!

      I know exactly what you mean and I think you’re doing a fabulous job of setting some boundaries for yourself and creating “structure” surrounding your adventures as an entrepreneur. I’m still wearing that “nice” wardrobe you mentioned – I haven’t become rich and famous enough yet to bid adieu to my offline jobs and employers. 🙂

      Feeling like you’re broadcasting to no one is something EVERYONE experiences at first. My blog resembled a ghost town for quite a while! Not a great feeling and certainly not very uplifting. Joining blogging challenges really turned that scenario around for me … bigtime. The UBC is actually my 4th challenge – so I encourage you to hang in there and keep bloggin” your little heart out.

      It takes time, energy, patience, consistency, and persistence to get the word out about your biz, your blog, and all your awesomeness.

      Go for it, Cindy!

  • Thanking people for referrals, the occasional”no special reason” greeting card and branding through voice mail are all excellent ideas and things that the vast majority of people don’t do.

    Although, I use WiseStamp on my Gmail account I don’t add the Twitter feed. Sometimes I’m a little too spontaneous on Twitter, if you get my drift. 🙂

    • I definitely get your Twitter drift, Ken. 🙂

      I’m really happy you mentioned the highlights of what’s missing in most people’s efforts to brand themselves as recognized, sought after experts. Success in business, in my estimation, will always boil down to one big factor – customer service.

      I can honestly tell you that I don’t personally find even half decent customer service anymore. Go to a department store, for example. Can you find anyone on the floor who can help you or answer your questions? Not me. And I’ve shopped at the same grocery store for over 30 years and not once have I ever received even a simple “thank you for your loyal patronage” postcard. Pretty sad.

  • Hi Melanie – great post!

    I love that you talk about building a relationship first; I remember reading the Spencer Johnson’s “The One Minute Salesperson” and he mentions the same concept. It’s so important, especially in today’s world of virtual contacts and social media, to work on being helpful and offering value before you expect someone you buy your stuff! (by the way, funny side note – I WAS that person with the pet-sitting business who had never owned a dog before. Suffice it to say, that business didn’t pan out! 🙂

    • I’m speechless, Tisha. And although I giggled, I’m SO proud of you for letting everyone in on your secret. 🙂

      I watched Biz Mommy TV today and you presented a great segment on creativity. Loved it! And I want to thank you for the free download of “99 Cows” that you have available below your video. It really gave me a much-needed nudge to start thinking of ways I can be more creative in my business.

      Now that you’ve gotten out of the pet-sitting business, you are definitely walkin’ your talk! 🙂

      So glad you knocked on my door today.

  • Shoot! I thought I had commented. Sometimes I wonder.

    I loved this post too.

    I think of Disney must have an employee branding policy. Each employee looks great and goes out of their way to make sure the theme park guest have a great time. If you have stayed at the resort, they call you to make sure your trip was perfect.

    I recently saw an article that told of a company that teaches their employees how to use social media. The employees are encourage to promote the company. And they are taught how to present them selves, as individuals,in a good light.

    Well done Melanie.

    • You’re right about Disney, Sheila. We could all learn a thing or two about branding from the happiest place on earth 🙂

      And what a fabulous idea in that article you read recently! TEACH people what they need to do to support their company and their brand. SHOW them how to put themselves in a good light. Brilliant.

      And your authentic brilliance shows through in your brand, Sheila. Your brand is dressed for success!

  • Fantastic post, and very funny too 🙂 I love the way you’ve broken down the brand into 4 areas to work on, and focus on. A lot of business people don’t realise that THEY are their brand, and so is each person working in their company. How each person behaves, dresses, deals with clients, all attributes to the business brand.

    Each company should have a brand policy, and all staff should understand it and follow it. And I think as long as they follow these tips, in these 4 areas, their brand will be awesome.

    • Thank you, Fiona, and I’m glad you’re a friend who enjoys my kind of humor 🙂

      You are SO right about your brand being YOU and I love your idea about every company having a brand “policy” for staff members to follow. Good thinking!