I’m a firm believer in personal style over fashion. The two can go hand in hand but for me personal style is how you tell the world who you are without saying a word. I’m also a firm believer in personal style helping your personal brand. Creating your own style can shape how you want to be seen in life or in your career. It can help you land a job, make the right first impression on a new client or make you stand out.
There is a reason why some of the biggest experts always dress the same — it makes your life easier for starters — but it also sets the tone of what people can expect. But how do you brand yourself with style? And what can style do for your personal brand? In this article I will touch on how you can kill the game and create your own personal branding through style.
HAVE A PERSONAL STYLE UNIFORM
The first step to leverage style for your personal branding benefit is to create a personal style uniform. It will not only make you stand out if done well. It will also be something to be recognized for. Steve Job’s black turtle neck sweater, Iris Apfel’s oversized glasses or Karl Lagerfeld’s gloves — they’re all known for their style choices and it all fits in with their personalities.
There is already an article on the blog on how to create your own signature work look. So if you want to create your own personal style uniform, go to that post. I do want to point out that you should always choose one or two uniforms that fit your narrative. Choose something that you’re comfortable in. And think about what will make an impression.
The look I’m wearing in this post is my signature work look that helps my own personal branding. My narrative is that I want to be taken serious with my small business. That — even though it’s not a big multinational — my business is important to me and I want to be successful. I’m the boss of my own work and that’s what I want to show to the world.
RELATED: CREATE YOUR SIGNATURE WORK LOOK
YOU CAN DECIDE YOUR NARRATIVE
Not only does a signature style help with your personal branding and being recognized for it, it also helps making the right first impression. If I walk into a room I want to be taken serious. I want to show that I know what I’m talking about. That I am the best person for the job. In order for that to work, I also need my attitude to be that confident. But my personal style helps me create this narrative of how I want to be seen.
Style can be a tool to create narratives for your personal brand. It’s why higher up business people are always suited up: they want to represent the company they work for — or are running — and create a narrative that they are professional business people. It’s why some retail stores have employees in work uniforms. Because that sets them apart from the rest of the people in the store so you know who can help you. Or why there is a dresscode in a restaurant — it instantly feels like you’re going somewhere fancy.
Use style to your advantage to stir people in the direction of how you want to be seen.
BACK UP YOUR STYLE
Style can do a lot for your personal branding but it will fall flat if you can’t back it up.
You want to be seen as a girl boss? No matter how many girl boss suits you own — if you don’t put in the work or have the skills you need, your girl boss persona will not stand. Same goes for business people in suits. They might look well-dressed like they know their business. But if they can’t tell their clients how well they’re doing or are just rude, they’ll most likely be dropped by their clients.
First step will always be the hard work and skills to back your style up. Then think of how you can create a narrative with your personal style. And last, but not least, feel it. Be confident that you can rule that next job interview, you’ll get that next dream client or get financed to start your own business.