When we are young we are taught not to worry about what people think. However, there are certain situations where it really does matter.
The term ‘corporate image’ usually refers to a company’s reputation and what the public see and think when the brand is mentioned. In today’s increasingly competitive corporate environment, this term has moved beyond just applying to large companies and is also an important focus for ambitious professionals.
As an individual, your professional image is very important and can have a huge impact on your career. The way people think about you is crucial because it can affect the decisions they make about you – either furthering or hindering your progress towards your career goals.
The great thing about your corporate image is that you can consciously create it. Here are a few steps you can take in order that you can start creating the image you need to get ahead.
1. Be Authentic
There is huge power in being authentic. When you are able to be your true and best self, you enable yourself to feel confident and comfortable in any situation. When you are confident you are more likely to be cool, calm and collected around senior people and in stressful situations, and this is an important step towards an improved corporate image.
In a recent article by Antoinette Henderson, author of ‘Leading with Gravitas’, she has outlined four steps for harnessing your authenticity.
2. Work on Enhancing Your Personal Brand
Think of yourself as an ever evolving and improving product that you are offering to the people around you. Your personal brand is everything about you that you showcase to the world around you. This includes your values, expertise, individuality, work ethic, skills, and capabilities.
Good personal branding is something that you need to constantly work on and maintain. Read more about this in my article on Enhancing Your Personal Brand.
3. Develop Your Executive Presence
Executive Presence can be described as the feeling others experience around you. It’s a quality that makes others perceive you as having authority and credibility. It’s a sense of humble confidence and composure. People with Executive Presence are able to capture the attention of a room the moment they walk in and leave a lasting impression on those they meet.
Having a strong Executive Presence will go a long way in improving your corporate image as people will begin seeing you as a leader and someone whose expertise they can immediately trust.
Read more about Developing Your Executive Presence.
4. Be Consistent and Reliable
You can take every effort to improve your professional image, but if your efforts are not consistent they will not be noted or remembered. The only way to really entrench yourself as a thought leader with positive reputation is to be consistent and reliable.
By showing consistency in who you are and what you do, those around you will begin to know you as being this way and speak highly of you to others. Reliability will also increase your corporate image by letting others know they can count on you and trust in your performance.
5. Look the Part
Last but definitely not least, if you want to improve your corporate image, one of the most crucial steps you need to take is to look the part. I cannot stress the importance of this point enough!
The way you dress and present yourself has a major impact on the first impressions you make on new people, on the respect you command from those around you and on how you feel about yourself in the workplace. Dressing for success and taking care of your appearance will improve your confidence and how others view you. Take time to consider your wardrobe and the impression it gives of you to others.
There are so many different ways for professional women to improve their image. If you’d like some expert assistance, get in touch with me and my team of stylists to chat about how we can help you.
Lizzie Edwards is the leading personal stylist and image consultant in London, working with women over thirty five on their business image and personal brand.