Projecting a Professional Image

Dec. 15, 2011 by Elizabeth Olsen

Questions Small Business Owners Should Ask:
1.  What is my business?

2.  What is unique about it?

3.  How do I want my business to be remembered by others?

4.  Who am I appealing to? Consider past, current, and prospective clients; vendors; media; colleagues; others?

5.  What do I hope to accomplish?

6.  How do I communicate myself non-verbally through body language, clothing, physical appearance, and voice? How could those characteristics be translated onto paper?

7.  What could I do to set myself apart that would be consistent with my business or industry?

8.  What have my competitors done?

After you have answered these questions, apply your strategy to yourself, your marketing materials, and your business atmosphere. The key is to develop a consistent business image.

Consider your image on paper. It is just as important as your image in person. Stationary, business cards, labels, and promotional materials must compliment your business image. Develop a logo and “tag line” with the aid of a professional designer and display it on all business materials. Make your first impression your best impression. You never get a second chance to make a “first” impression.

As a small business owner, you become the embodiment of your company. You also become a public person, which has ramifications. Consider how you appear in all aspects of your life, from going to the office to running errands. How you dress and present yourself affects your credibility. Think about how your actions instill confidence in your clients who you may meet along the way.

Ideas selected from Off-the-Wall Marketing Ideas by Nancy Michaels, and Debbie Karpowicz

Elizabeth Olsen, Marketing Consultant, Advertising Representative, Sonoma County Gazette, 573-0543