3 Tips to Dressing {Your Brand} For Success

I’m happy to present a guest-post from friend, Hilary Rushford

As a personal stylist for “real people with real budgets”, I’m a firm believer that we can’t underestimate the power of visual information. For my clients, that means dressing as the best version of yourself from first dates to final interviews. For fellow entrepreneurs and small business owners, that means dressing yourself and your website to represent your brand to every blog reader, inquiring journalist and potential client. Your brand should be cohesive and enticing in these 3 areas:

1. Website Branding:
This includes your font, type size, color scheme, and any graphics or photos not of yourself. Are these elements intentional and working together? What do they convey about your brand? Are you fabulously feminine, chicly vintage, uber excited, or seriously professional? How does your brand differ from your competition? Do the elements of your website reflect that?

{Ex: As a personal stylist many of my competitors are very girl-power focused. Since I have male clients, the base of my site is black, grey and white. My other competition tends to be high-fashion and high-priced. So I soften the edges of my headers and include lots of photos to make the space seem warm and inviting.}

Small Business Branding Board by Hilary Rushford on Pintrest


2. Online Portraits:
These are the images of you that exist on your website, about page, in your bio box for guest posts and articles, and alongside press for your company. Do your photos match the brand of your website? Are you smiling, wearing a bright color, in a suit and tie, or sporting a sarong on the beach? Your photos should make your clients want to have a drink with you tomorrow. Is that because you’re a no-nonsense woman who will give them brilliant advice in 45 minutes? Or a chill guy who’s figured out why living in an island hut is the way to go? Your clients may not need to want to be your friend, but they need to want to connect with you for whatever service you provide whether inspiring, challenging, calming, hilarious, approachable or impressive.

{Note: How many photos of you are on your website? Take a look at some of the brands and sites you like. When conducting business online where we don’t have personal interaction, people feel more engaged with and find that know/like/trust factor more easily when they know what you look like. Don’t make them hunt to the bottom of your about page, consider making your Twitter pic a photo of you vs a logo, etc.}

Business and Personal Styling and Branding by Hilary Rushford


3. In Person Presentation:
This is how you show up to client meetings, press interviews, speaking engagements and networking events. It’s the way you leave your house every morning, unaware of who might cross your path that you want to pitch, impress or partner with. If you’re a high-powered lawyer, that doesn’t mean you need to be in a suit 7 days a week. But if you’re running into a client wearing an old fraternity t-shirt and flip flops, they’re probably going to question paying you the big bucks to take on their case. If your angle is that you’re joyful, soulful, life-loving but you show up in boring, baggy clothes that hide who you are, you won’t instill much confidence that you’re comfortable in your own skin.

{Tip: Who would be your dream client to book, editor to pitch, idol to collaborate with? Leave your house every day in a manner confident enough to approach them if you see them in line at the grocery store.}

If you’re not naturally a visual person or don’t feel aesthetic taste is one of your strong suits, consider hiring someone for a branding consultation or get a personal stylist to help with your new profile photos or daily wardrobe. In the same way many small businesses ask for help in SEO or social media because it’s not a skill they’re an expert at, acknowledge that there are many visual people in the world, perusing a bevy of exceptional sites each day, and your aesthetics need to match the professionalism and high quality of your content and offerings. The good news is, these are changes that don’t take much time to implement, and can serve you for years to come.

For more ideas, check out my 5-part post on the branding of Dean Street Society

Hilary Rushford is the founder of Dean Street Society in Brooklyn, NY where she works as a personal stylist, branding expert and style blogger. She’s available for wardrobe edits, personal shopping and small business photo shoots or branding in person or via Skype around the world. Follow her on Twitter at @HilaryRushford and visit www.DeanStreetSociety.com.

4 Responses to 3 Tips to Dressing {Your Brand} For Success

  1. […] EVERYTHING, from your style of dress, your promotional materials, your website, product/service offerings (and what you don’t offer), your price points, your social media usage, your frequency of marketing and website updates, etc. all create a perception -which may or may not be the one you want. (read a great guest post about personal branding by Hilary Rushford here) […]

  2. Laura says:

    This was a fantastic article! I love the simple idea of thinking of your branding in the same way you would your personal style and vice versa. I definitely have some work to do, but Hilary outlined the action steps really well.

  3. That was such a great article. So glad you shared this with us. I’m still working on my branding in all of these areas. Nice to see it broken down into section and in a way that is very easy to incorporate into my life and business. xo*c

  4. law says:

    Great article.

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