It is never too early to start cultivating an image for your company, your services and products or of yourself. Creating a real, attractive and relevant image can make the difference between success and failure.
In our highly complex and competitive world, the right image can help you, your company and your products rise above the rest by becoming memorable in a variety of ways.
A person who has a firm handshake gives the impression of being confident, even perhaps trustworthy. It is almost natural to assume that someone who is well dressed and poised is cultured, successful, wealthy and perhaps professional.
Generalizing the example of being well dressed can bring home the point even more forcefully. When we see a person with a mitre, we automatically assume the person is a bishop or has some religious association; a person wearing a gold crown with a few large jewels thrown in could indicate a king; a woman wearing a tiara could mean the winner of a beauty contest etc. It is truly amazing what an “image” can do.
Many believe that skill and talent bring success. This is true. But it may be worth challenging this for a moment.
Doesn’t it also take attitude and a winning image to get to the top? Isn’t it true that not everyone is born with a sense of style that exudes culture, confidence, professionalism and success?
A sense of style can be cultivated. It doesn’t have to be natural. Not everyone is born with the ability to swim. But we learn it. Not everyone can speak Japanese. But we can learn it. Similarly, not everyone is born with a great image. But we can create one.
Leaders, statesmen, sportspersons and other public figures need to be careful and cultivate the right image. An appropriate image can help their messages sound more authentic, convincing and powerful. They find that buying in their audiences is simpler. And their actions appear more effective.
To understand the approach required to cultivating an image and its impact, it helps to keep the Five Cardinal Rules of Image Management + the Two Extra New Rules in the Age of Social Media in mind:
- Dress appropriately
- Work on your self-image
- Focus on knowledge
- Use PR expertise
- Use Social Media
At the heart of creating an image is a fundamental truth: no image can survive if it is not trustworthy.
Once this is mastered, image can enable business success, authority, access to decision makers, the ability to hire better talent, attention from crowds and audiences, even demand a better salary!
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Author: Varghese M Thomas
The author is an experienced global communications professional with expertise in developing & executing innovative marketing and communications strategies. Adept in managing successful crisis communication campaigns with proven capabilities in driving change management initiatives resulting in organizational transformation.