Why Your Appearance Matters

why your appearance mattersYour appearance matters in more ways than we think of each day. When we think of appearance we think of how we look. It is a big deal as we know generally our first appearance sets the stage of how people view us and develop an image of who we are. We form opinions of brands based upon who we believe they are. We are drawn to them through an attraction that is through their physical appearance, their taste, reputation, their friendliness, their generosity, sense of humor and also their values. That attraction lures us to them and them to you. As a brand whether that be a personal or corporate brand, your appearance matters in all facets. If people are not drawn to you they will not acknowledge you and if they do not acknowledge you … well you lost that opportunity to capture them.

Your Physical Appearance

Your appearance at first glance is generally physical. How do you look? How are you representing yourself to your target? What is so great about how you look that makes people stop and notice? As a person how you look on a first meeting is associated with how people perceive you. This we know. If you are in a suit that is nicely pressed, fits you well and you are comfortable wearing it by not fidgeting, you give off a certain aura. Is that a good assessment of who you are? Does that define who you are? My dear friend, Margie Clayman has written a spectacular post on the executive image, namely womens’ physical appearance through clothing choice and how it relates to being an executive. The comments are sensational and bring in some different perspectives. Does physically how we look equate to who we are and the success we have?

It could but when we delve further into that is that the image that you want people to associate with you? The image that people develop is important. How will they remember you? As a enthusiastic JETS fan I do wonder when I am tweeting during the game how I am viewed. If someone stumbled upon me on a Sunday are they only seeing the sports person and developing an image of me from that or are they allowing themselves to dig a bit deeper and see the professional business side? Will they see my picture and, either like it or not, and ignore the “dumb ass” tweets during the game completely? If they did not like the photo, did I ever have a fighting chance to connect with them? Physical appearance while we want to sometimes deny it, does have its perks. If someone is physically very attractive, we are drawn to them. If a corporate brand unveils a gorgeous and interactive new website, we are drawn to it.  How we look makes a difference for that initial attraction.

Your Emotional Appearance

Your emotional appearance is the words you say and the actions you take. People are attracted to you physically no doubt but that can last just a few seconds when you open your mouth. Scary to think of, I know. Our words and actions can change everything. What about when people hear of us whether it be us as a person or us a brand through friends? An image is created that is based upon the message without ever seeing the appearance of the brand. They get to know us through how someone else is representing us. They hear about what we are doing, how we are having an impact upon the community and immediately are attracted to us though our actions. That emotional appearance is not always very apparent to us but it is apparent to those that are listening. Our appearance here is stronger that the physical as we have to be trusted enough to be referred but yet also have the person referring be trusted to whom they are referring us to. Brings me back to thinking of Charlotte’s Web and how we have to look at who is our Charlotte as our Charlotte is our game changer and we are that for others.

Appearance by Appearing

Our appearance is what sparks that initial attraction and connection and if we are not there, they cannot hear about is or find us. Appearing is more than showing up. You have to give. You have to give something more than just being there. Having a presence on every social media platform that is quiet is pointless. While people were initially attracted to you, they lose the attraction quickly when you are silent. You giving is more than you appearing. How do we give?

We give back to the community locally and online  through each post, interaction and showing up being ready. Being ready is being helpful. Social media is advertising as through your presence you are advertising your brand by virtue of having a presence but that presence is not enough unless you show up. Showing up is more than sending out a message that you are waiting for people to respond to. It is creating a listening station that you are being responsive to. Being responsive is not only being helpful through showing what you can do, it is showcasing those that are around you and what they can do and how they enhance your presence. Talking about you constantly gets not only redundant and old, whereas talking about others and being grateful never ever ever gets old.

Appearance and Influence

We know I am not a fan of the numbers as it relates to influence. I believe that we gain influence through each person and not the masses. This may go against the fundamentals of marketing as a whole to some but when we think about it, each customer is an individual and comes to us to solve a problem. That individuality is what affords us in a corporate brand to grow. If someone is influenced by you we know that they we have earned their trust. Trust is why they have chosen us. If you do not trust, you do not buy or continue to connect and engage. At the same time if you are able to gain their trust, you have to maintain it through appearing and your appearance. If a brand suddenly changes their corporate identity and it is not well received, as we saw with the Gap’s new then old/new logo, the image of the brand changes. Changing a profile photo that is well received garners a flood of compliments whereas one that is not is met with a flood of criticism and lost connections. Once again the physical appearance plays a role but when you are looking forward and looking to grow your brand, which encompasses seeking to improve your influence, it is all about how you appear. And how you appear is best served by the feedback that you receive from others.

So in looking at how you connect with people and a brand, what is the attraction? What is the attraction to you? What is the attraction to me?

photo credit: lrargerich

  • I love the idea of emotional appearance – if you are a Debbie Downer, people may be sympathetic at first, but eventually they’ll say, “OK…getting tired of that tune. Enough already!” By the same token, I’ve known people who have bothered people to no end because they are so darned chipper all the darned time. One might rightly say, “Hey man, I can do what I want.” Is that really true?

    Thank you very much for the link & mention. Much appreciated 🙂

    • Margie

      There has to be a balance as when we are on a downer constantly people do not want to be around us. This we know. However on the flip side if someone is always on the up, we are skeptical as are they hiding something, are they not telling the truth. That is concerning as we want to surround ourselves with people we are attracted to and when someone is misrepresenting who they are then we are attracted to not them, but the person they have developed within themselves.

      The best is always to be who you are. Be human as people have good days, bad days and some gloom and doom that lingers.

  • Really great discussion. I have been trying out various blog designs for the past few months and have been viewing others’ to see what I like about them and what just their design says about them. I also have a definite picture in my head of the people I interact with on twitter, even when they only show an avatar or flower picture.

    I am a big believer that ultimately your “emotional appearance” is what carries the day; however, I know that my physical appearance can either get me closer to the impression I want to make or create an obstacle that I have to overcome with my poise and confidence.

    It’s a complex topic for sure! Thank you for commenting on Margie’s post! I hope you follow the rest of the Series too – a new post each Monday through the end of January.

    • Daria

      The emotional appearance is what ultimately keeps people in your community but we know that people react first many times to the physical appearance for at least paying attention to the person to find out more.

      Website and blog designs have come a very long way in the past few years. Our websites are telling a lot about our company or us in our personal brand. The design is a reflection of who were are and also the time and dedication we put into our company/personal brand. Many times the latter is what tells more. How much time, effort, etc have we put into our site or even our profiles on the platforms? The more professional is an indicator of how the business is run as if you are paying attention to all the details to promote yourself then you are paying attention to all the details of running the company.

      Thanks so much for reading and dropping in to share your thoughts. Series looks like a great one that I will follow.

      • Hi Suzanne,

        At the risk of self-promotion, I wrote about how difficult it can be to tell who’s authentic and who’s putting on an act http://bloggertone.com/marketing/2010/12/22/the-subtle-difference-between-authentic-and-real/ and the risk’s one runs by adopting such a stance.

        I agree that we need to put our ‘best foot forward’ at all time (online and offline) and make the right impression with others.

        Happy Xmas from a snowy Ireland!


        • Ivan

          You are always welcome to self promote here as it is not always adds to the article, it is always a worthwhile read. =-).

          Snowy Ireland is the best Christmas from where I am sitting. However, with the temps promising to be a lovely 60 here on christmas I do not see many complaints from me.

          May you and your family have a wonderful Christmas. You certainly brought joy to our house with the gigantic snowman photo. It is always the little things that go so far and mean so much.

  • I feel that since social media has put your personal self on the front line, now more than any other time, the image you give to others, any kind of image, is essential.
    The funny point is that this reminds me of the dispute between content and presentation. It really is the same stuff, the content being *your actions*, the presentation being *your persona*. And, similarly, both should be taken into consideration.