Freelance Training: Making a good impression


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Training

London Calling by Zach_ManchesterUKMarketing Yourself: Your clothes are more important than your PowerPoint slides!

How did you decide what to wear today?

Did you base your decision on what was clean, comfortable or whether you were seeing a client?

If you were seeing a client did you tailor your appearance to their industry or just put on your lucky ‘selling suit’?

We know from studies in the 70s that first impressions are made within the first 40 seconds of meeting and are often hard to change once made – more recently we’ve found that senior business leaders will make a similar snap decision in under 10 seconds so you have even less time to make a good impression!

If this is the case why are we still spending most of our time on our pitch, our product or our PowerPoint presentation?

In the first 4 minutes up to 40 sub-conscious decisions can be made based on our appearance, voice tonality and what we say. People think they know how old we are, how intelligent we are, if they can trust us and if our product is any good. Sometimes this is before we have even said hello!

Someone came in recently to talk to me about his copy writing services. He came in wearing jeans, a slightly creased shirt and his shoes needed a polish. Do you think I bought from him?

No. I made the decision in the first few seconds that I wasn’t interested because the first impression I got was ‘untidy’. His image didn’t project ‘attention to detail’ (like his proof reading services!) and above all he hadn’t bothered to look at what my company does before he came to see me. If he had done his preparation, he would have realised that we specialise in Personal Presentation skills training and so to influence me he would have needed to make more of an effort e.g. put on a suit.

Similarly if I’m going to see a Banker in the City I would wear a pinstripe trouser suit but wear something more modern if seeing an advertising agency. The point is people buy people. People buy from people that are like them – that is the principle of rapport.

So do you dress depending on what meeting you are going to?

Do you think this is important or a load of rubbish?

Perhaps you don’t make judgements on first impression?

Please post your comments below.

Hannah Keep is Director of Freelance Training and ready to answer your questions and comments

Image by Zach_ManchesterUK

To find more about how to sell YOU, come along to our next workshop Selling YOU workshop.

Selling YOU – Training Workshop

Wednesday October 14, 2009 from 4:00pm – 7:00pm

Venue:

The Werks 45 Church Road
Hove, England BN3 2BE Get Directions

  • http://www.redmorello.com/ Ian Houghton

    Always dress to impress !! Is a client not going to give you work because you’re overdressed ?? Course not, your more likely to lose it due to scruffy clothes / shoes.

  • http://www.redmorello.com Ian Houghton

    Always dress to impress !! Is a client not going to give you work because you’re overdressed ?? Course not, your more likely to lose it due to scruffy clothes / shoes.

  • Jon

    I’ve always wondered about this. Obviously it needs to fit the circumstances… I would go in top hat and tails into an uber-hip Hoxten Design Studio. You’ve clearly got to research the norm in your industry and then head for excellence at the top of that norm.

  • Jon

    I’ve always wondered about this. Obviously it needs to fit the circumstances… I would go in top hat and tails into an uber-hip Hoxten Design Studio. You’ve clearly got to research the norm in your industry and then head for excellence at the top of that norm.

  • http://goddes-dubai.blogspot.com/ Derekp

    I think i’ve seen this somewhere before…but it’s not bad at all

  • http://goddes-dubai.blogspot.com Derekp

    I think i’ve seen this somewhere before…but it’s not bad at all

  • http://kendallcopywriting.co.uk/blog Leif Kendall

    In my experience it’s worse to be over-dressed than under-dressed. And I think freelancers are different to normal employees – there’s greater licence to be your own person. As a freelancer you are an outside agency. To be honest, if I employed a brilliant designer I wouldn’t care what they were wearing. I think personal hygiene is often more important than clothes.

  • http://kendallcopywriting.co.uk/blog Leif Kendall

    In my experience it’s worse to be over-dressed than under-dressed. And I think freelancers are different to normal employees – there’s greater licence to be your own person. As a freelancer you are an outside agency. To be honest, if I employed a brilliant designer I wouldn’t care what they were wearing. I think personal hygiene is often more important than clothes.

  • Malin Kilander

    Good posture, confident body language, positive attitude and a firm handshake can go a long way! Although very dependent on when, how and where, a clean and tidy appearance to go with that definitely doesn’t hurt!

  • Malin Kilander

    Good posture, confident body language, positive attitude and a firm handshake can go a long way! Although very dependent on when, how and where, a clean and tidy appearance to go with that definitely doesn’t hurt!

  • http://www.freelanceadvisor.co.uk/ Hannah Keep

    Thanks for the comments. Actually you want to focus on 3 key things. 1. Dress in a way that supports the brand and product of your company, 2. Ensure you are sensitive to the client’s culture e.g if it is a bank then go smart and 3. Always watch your attention to detail, shoes are the first thing someone notices. Think was does my personal impact say about me? Does it match the value I’m looking to add? Ask friends and colleagues what they think, people aren’t always honest about personl info but it could make all the difference to you.

  • http://www.freelanceadvisor.co.uk Hannah Keep

    Thanks for the comments. Actually you want to focus on 3 key things. 1. Dress in a way that supports the brand and product of your company, 2. Ensure you are sensitive to the client’s culture e.g if it is a bank then go smart and 3. Always watch your attention to detail, shoes are the first thing someone notices. Think was does my personal impact say about me? Does it match the value I’m looking to add? Ask friends and colleagues what they think, people aren’t always honest about personl info but it could make all the difference to you.

  • http://sarsini.it/ Martin

    People who put to much attention in how they dress always make me wonder if they do so to hide lacks in their professional abilities.

  • http://sarsini.it Martin

    People who put to much attention in how they dress always make me wonder if they do so to hide lacks in their professional abilities.