Professional business image - what counts?

Professional business image is a very capacious concept. However, it is undoubtedly an important part of building a company's reputation or an individual's career. Whether we are talking about ourselves or a company, it all comes down to one thing: how we want others to perceive us. Building a business image is therefore worth treating as part of our own or a company's marketing communication, comprehensively thought out and planned. It has long been known that it is not only a good offer that counts in business, but also who is behind it.


Do you want to succeed? Show that you have already done so.


Nothing works better for business than feeling that our partner is an expert and professional. When thinking about your business image, consider what you want your partners and contractors to think of you. What impressions and emotions do you want to evoke in them? Show that you are the best choice and, importantly, have the evidence to prove it! What kind of evidence? Here, a lot depends on the industry and position, but there are a few universal principles that are always worth applying. Firstly, create your professional profile. And it is not just a description of your experience or a brief information about your current position. Such a profile is supposed to "sell" you. So think about what skills you have and what the advantage of working with you is. Build your personal brand. The most popular place to present yourself is, of course, LinkedIn, but if you have another place in your specific industry where 'everyone who matters' is there, be there too. You might also consider creating your own blog.


Want to make millions? Look like you already have them.


Would you trust a hairdresser with a bad haircut? Or a doctor in a janitor's uniform? Well, exactly. As Andrzej Sapkowski once wrote: "You never get a second chance to make a first impression". Whether we want it or not, the brain is guided by stereotypes and quickly attributes specific personality traits to a person's appearance. This is why appearance, in the process of building a professional image, is a key issue. The times when both men and women were bound by rigid suits and suits are thankfully gone, but a few rules are still worth knowing. Appropriate styling ultimately depends on the industry, but it must undoubtedly be neat and appropriate to the situation. Dress code experts agree that moderation and simplicity will work in all circumstances. Timeless cuts, unobtrusive patterns and muted colours emphasise professional standing and professionalism. 



Go wild (within reason) with accessories. An interesting brooch for women or a colourful pocket square for men can emphasise the character of the entire outfit. Creative professionals can, and should, afford more. They are expected to emphasise the unconventional nature of their work.


Want to be a leader? Act like a leader.


As we have already established, appearance, among other things, is important in creating a professional business image. However, it is important to remember that we emphasise our competence not only by our clothes, but also by our behaviour. Appropriate, upright posture, lively but not chaotic gestures and naturalness will show us as a professional and trustworthy person. Speak calmly but firmly, using correct language. Industry jargon, although it may emphasise our experience, is only acceptable if we are confident that all interlocutors understand it. Most importantly, however, our appearance and the way we behave and speak should be consistent and consistent with the impression we want to leave.


Want to be a professional? Be one at all times.


What cannot be forgotten nowadays is our presence on the Internet. It is a well-known fact that nothing that goes online disappears, so it is worth taking care of your image here as well. It is important to observe netiquette and be polite when communicating with other users. Also important are the photos and posts we make on social media, even on private accounts. Before posting something, consider whether you want your contractor or customer to see it. Professionalism should also be borne in mind when sending messages online. Correct language, the use of Polish characters and punctuation marks, or the moderate use of emoticons show respect for the recipient and emphasise our competence.



To answer the question posed in the title: professional business image - what counts? We can only say... everything. In fact, only a consistent, coherent, well-balanced image, tailored to the industry and supported by actions, will make it possible to achieve the desired effect. The most important thing is to show by our appearance and behaviour that we are credible and authentic in what we do and what we have to offer. Of course, this does not mean that we cannot work on ourselves and change in order to achieve the desired effect. On the contrary, learning, acquiring new competences and skills is an important part of building your image. You can do it on your own, using numerous materials, or you can use the help of professionals who will help you develop a strategy and guide you through the successive stages of creating a professional business image.