Do you feel comfortable in your skin? . . .are you happy with how you look to other people? . . . at family parties . . . out in public . . .
what about at business events, do you have the right networking dress code?
Maybe you are oozing with confidence and you don’t really care what other people think of how you look . . .
. . . which is a good call . . . it’s great to be confident . . . in the right situation . . .
but usually the sort of person who doesn’t care is the sort of person who is a bit outrageous and outlandish anyway . . .
. . . and so people will remember them, and perhaps for the wrong reasons.
What you wear for different situations will depend on the impression that you want to make at that particular time . . .
. . . and why you want to be remembered.
We are all familiar with the stereotypical dress codes . . . but unfortunately those things tend to make us all blend in . . .
. . . and when it comes to your networking dress code and marketing your business brand . . . blending in is just not the way to go.
As a designer, I talk a lot about getting your branding right . . your logo, your colours and your business stationery and your website . . .
. . . but as a representative of your business going to networking events, your business brand is also about the items in your networking dress code wardrobe.
But a conversation this week reminded me how not everyone is even aware of this fact so I’m going to tell you this story
On Monday I went to Cannock WiRE business networking for the first time in a while . . .
As someone with terrible geographical skills, who always envisages 30 minutes is OK to get anywhere, my first experience of finding The Roman Way Hotel on Watling Street, Cannock ended in a satnav nightmare and me arriving 30 minutes late rather flustered and dishevelled.
I decided that as I now had half an idea where I was going it would not be too bad this time and I would use Google maps rather than a post code (and no house number) on the sat nav.
Oh dear, but google maps is best friends with the M6 toll road, so I still ended up with a 10 minute delay while I sorted out a route that did not involve unnecessary expense.
I arrived in time and found an empty seat next to a friendly lady wearing a blue and white speckled patterned shirt, and I think probably a jacket (but I honestly don’t remember)
We introduced ourselves and I got out some of my tropic skincare products on the table for people to look at.
My networking dress code
The lady commented on my bag (a little rattan style number made from banana leaves / skin, purchased in 2004, from a small village in Maui, Hawaii) that she thought looked rather tropical. . . .
and also my blouse and shirt . . . that were also very tropical . . . “oh wow, your clothes and bag match your business” she said
Well this is my networking dress code, all clothing items chosen and purchased with that very intention.
“well I like to have a uniform” I said, “ it helps to just know what I am going to wear when I am representing my tropic skincare at a business networking . . .
. . . and when I am promoting my graphic design business, (which has a pink and black logo) then I wear a black skirt ot trousers and white top with a pink jacket”
“oh she said, I’m an accountant, and I met another accountant who’s branding is blue, and she said she always wore a blue jacket but that’s not me I just like to wear whatever I feel like”
when I wear my second networking dress code wardrobe for promoting my wild ideas graphic design business, many people have also commented favourably on my bright bold pink jackets too.
So don’t be too quick to dismiss the importance of your clothes at a business networking event.
Carry through the colours of your logo and branding , and website into your clothes and invest in your own networking dress code as your brand uniform.
If you always wear the same , but its because its your brand then no-one will question it, and they will start to remember you.
So those key networking dress code items which might cost a little more, mean that you can wear them to death, and get your moneys worth, and maybe not need to buy mas much other stuff.
I went to a breakfast business networking last month where I knew no-one, but I was wearing a pink jacket . . . and as a double whammy I also wore a tropic patterned scarf.
A copmplete stranger came up to me and said . . “no need to tell me what your business is wearing that scarf. . .you must be reprensenting tropic skincare!”
So now you tell me how important it is to wear your brand . . . get your networking dress code right and help get yourself recognised and then remembered.
Most business networking events give you 60 seconds to stand out from the crowd . . . so make sure your networking dress code shouts your brand . . .
. . . make sure, even if they don’t remember you by name, they will remember the lady in the bright pink jacket . . .
. . . or the lady in the tropic patterned blouse.
This blog is created and written entirely by Linda Wild
Thanks for reading.