‘Be Yourself – everyone else is already taken’ – Oscar Wilde
It takes less than 7 seconds to make a strong first impression. Your personal brand is made up of what people see, say, hear and read.
We live in a visual world with a strong social media presence so we are often judged online before we meet people face to face. The social media headshot has invariably become The First Impression of the 21st century.
Don’t underestimate the value which you bring or the impact that you make.
We are ambassadors for our respective bosses and companies so ask yourself the question, what is your current personal brand saying about you?
Are you projecting an authentic and credible brand? Our personal image is our advertisement to the world. Our physical appearance and online headshot is a promise of who we are, our credibility and what we will deliver.
Whether you are a CEO or a PA you should have a professional headshot to represent you. A generic avatar or an unprofessional cropped photo is not the impression you want to give to a future client, customer, supplier or recruiter.
A solid online profile implies that the person is an expert in their chosen field and confident in their chosen personal brand and values.
Take action – you can only develop credibility by aligning your values with hard evidence.
Be true to your word. Authenticity and honesty inspires trust.
Try to ensure that all of your social media footprint is consistent. Using the same picture or a variation can help to develop your branding. An online photo is also a very useful tool for social networking and events – it creates a personable air of familiarity and people generally feel at ease with someone they have already had access to.
Needless to say, it is essential that you look like the picture. Please don’t underestimate the power of profile. I have personally been recognised at functions as a result of my LinkedIn headshot and it was a great ice-breaker and promotes a feeling of immediate buy-in.
I’m a massive advocate for networking, whether it be traditional face to face or online.
You can strengthen and develop your personal brand by connecting and engaging with others and their brand. Over the last few years I’ve managed to collaborate with some fantastic individuals and brands by guest blogging.
Be mindful of all of your communication. Project enthusiasm, charm and clarity.
Social media is accessible to all. Be mindful of security and privacy settings and how you are representing your personal brand and that of your company. Are you aware of your company’s social media policy?
Develop the story of ‘you’, your vision, your values and your big why.
I recently resigned from my PA role of 11 years to explore the VA route and have also set up as an Independent Stylist for Stella and Dot. This move is allowing me to explore my passion for fashion, personal branding and social media.
I will forever be a champion of the PA role and I firmly believe that in order to be considered a worthy profession we need to subscribe to ‘show and tell’. We need to act professionally at all times and we also need to look the part. Confidence is the key.
We also need to pay it forward and be mindful of future generations and our legacy. You may not consider yourself to be a role model but somebody out there could be looking up to you.
People buy people. Are they buying you?
“Your brand is what people say about you when you are not in the room.”
Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon
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