As women, we are judged more harshly by our peers for our appearance and style and leadership qualities. Yet, we’ve all seen or heard about that executive woman who walks into a room and truly owns it. No apologies, no holding back!
They have a special magic when they walk into a room. The kind of magic that entices us to turn to see who she is. The magic that stops conversations and encourages curiosity. “Who is that? What does she do? She looks important. Should I know her?”
We all recognised the impact these ‘compelling’ women have on us and how we respond positively to them. Women who have a unique combination of style, power and grace, and have mastered the art of Executive Presence [‘Ex Factor]. All influential leaders have it, and it’s essential for any professional woman who desires to pave a path to the C-suite have influence when they get a seat at the table.
Every professional woman has the choice to elevate their personal brand presence to be seen, be heard and be noticed for who they really are and all that they bring to the table. It could be the woman who sits next to you at work, a colleague you meet for the first time at an event or work function, or it could be YOU!
So, I’d like to challenge you craft your own personal style and image to find your ‘Ex-Factor’. As the truth is, if you wish to make an impact and exude the executive presence of a leader in your industry, then a fresh, relevant professional image is imperative and you need to take your wardrobe seriously!
In fact, your image is your best marketing tool and YOU are a walking logo for your career or business!
Discover the 5 steps to fast track your professional image and style so you ‘stand out’ in all the right ways!
1. Asses your brand and invest in a Professional Style Profiling Session
The first step is to identify your goals and gain clarity around what your style actually is and what your image is really saying about you?
Investing in Style Profiling Session will help you analyse your style personality and align it with your industry and profession as well as your career goals and ambition.
2. Edit Your Wardrobe
Empowered by the information you have learnt in your Style Profiling Session it’s time to audit your wardrobe to identify the ‘gaps’ that need filling in order to craft your new executive image.
Create a ‘style file’ and ‘mission list’ of the missing items you need to shop for to complete your visual brand identity.
3. Get A Brand Plan
Identify your professional goals and gain clarity around your personal brand vision, values and mission. Before you dive head first into launching your new image and personal brand persona, it is imperative you have a brand plan and strategy that is sustainable for you manage. The secret to maximising your brand value and leveraging from your public profile is consistency.
Develop a high-level action plan which empowers you with the ‘know how’ to execute and craft your personal brand.
4. Invest In Updating Your Brand Basics.
It’s time to get rid of your tired, out -dated profile photos and video’s, replacing them with ones that will get you noticed for all the right reasons!
There is nothing worse than meeting someone for the first time only to look them up and see an old and out-dated photo of them accompanying their professional profile! If you don’t look like your photo there is an instant disconnect and you risk diminishing trust and credibility.
Invest in the ultimate personal brand photography session to update your professional profile photo on LinkedIn, social media forums, web site and promotional material!
5. Audit and update your digital footprint
Now it’s time to conduct a full audit of your social media platforms, including LinkedIn, to update your profile images, bio and testimonials!
To position yourself as an authority or thought leader, it’s essential to decide on your social media voice, platform and type of ideas & information you wish to share to engage with your audience.
Your personal brand basics should include:
- A professional head shot. But don’t go for the standard ‘cookie cutter’ profile image against a boring background. Try to go to the next level and select a location that reflects the image you wish to portray
- 3/4 or full length image
- Social media grabs and lifestyle images. It’s important to continue your new image across your social media forums consistently and authentically. You can extra lifestyle images across your social media pages as background images for inspirational quotes and anecdotes. It also gives depth to your brand and shows a more relaxed side to your professional persona with images of participating in activities or personal pursuits you love outside of the boardroom.
- Business portfolio ‘action’ images. Action shots of you in meetings or speaking at conferences adds valuable real-life diversity to your professional image. Action shots of you in meetings or speaking at conferences adds valuable real-life diversity to your professional image and can be used for media releases or promotional purposes.
- Video. Invest in a great ‘About Me’ introduction video to add to your web site, blog, social media or LinkedIn profile as 51% of marketing professionals worldwide name video as the type of content with the best ROI.