How to build your personal brand through what you wear – advice from an image consultant

Niki Mossman of Colour Me Beautiful
Source

I recently went along to a personal branding session by Niki Mossman of Colour Me Beautiful on how clothing can reflect our personal brand and the importance of being authentic. [Update June 2017: I’ll caveat that this is more aimed at corporate dress and how to make a good impression early on your career – some good point but a little old school for me now]

Here are the key things I learnt that I wanted to share and remember:

1. Michelle Obama earns more than Barrack Obama. 
What?! Yes that’s right, Michelle Obama is actually a high-flying lawyer yet currently, we see her as a figurehead of social issues as the First Lady. Bet you didn’t know that. Nicki’s point is that we all have a personal brand and we can choose to play up or play down different parts of that brand at particular moments.

2. The earlier on in your career you know your personal brand ingredients, the easier life becomes. 
Everyone has a personal brand, and if you don’t define it yourself then people start to do it for you and put you in boxes. Niki describes how the human brain likes to compartmentalise so in situations like not speaking up in a meeting, people automatically put you in the ‘shy’ box therefore defining your brand for you. In order to avoid this, we need to understand our ‘key ingredients’ as early on as possible.

Personal brand is so important as people
only see what is above water  and visible.
Source

3. Creating your personal brand takes time but is hard to change once it’s made. 
There are 3 key ingredients: strengths, personality and values. Once we’ve asked the tough questions and managed to shape our answers into something tangible, we start to see our Unique Selling Point (USP) and thus we can define our personal brand.

4. People only see what you show them. 
‘They can’t see underwater they just see the top of the iceberg’, Niki explains. So, we need to use our voice, words, actions, body language and personal presentation to make that all important first impression. I recently wrote about this as one of the things I’ve learnt about presenting.

5. You should be the focus, not your clothes. 
“Tight enough to show you’re a woman, loose enough to show you’re a lady” is Niki’s advice for finding the right fitting clothes. In the session we also worked out our body shape and our skin tone – understanding the depth, undertone and clarity of our colouring is vital. We then learnt which colours are the most flattering. The right fit and colouring of our outfit is so important in building your personal brand authentically.

Some of the colour guides Niki gave us. I’ve not given too much away
as if you’d like a full colour and personal brand consultation
you can contact Colour Me Beautiful to book in!

 

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