Notes from Jeff York

Small business marketing thoughts from a marketing small business owner

Are you being sterotyped?

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Well? Are you? Are you being stereotyped? Clearly, you are.

Let’s face it, people pre-judge us every day. People that we may have never met, that may not have heard us speak yet, have already made judgments about us. It might come from the clothes we wear or the way we carry ourselves. Hopefully, they have taken the time to talk with us a little. From what we say and how we say it, people make further judgments about us. For better or for worse, we are judged.  It’s human nature.

They stereotype us. And that can be good.

Let me explain. There are some things we have no control over. The color of our skin, hair, eyes are all items we have no control over. Whether people find us attractive or repulsive have some root in elements that we have no control over. However, essentially everything else we have full control over. From the way we conduct ourselves to what we wear conveys a great deal of non-verbal clues as to the type of person we are. Wear a nose ring and spiked hair and people may immediately discount you as unprofessional. Wear an expensive suit and people will think you are professional. Conduct yourself with confidence and people will instill a degree of trust in you and will want to work with you.

It’s all about building your image. Take a look in the mirror. Would you do business with you? Would you do repeat business with you? Do you project a degree of professionalism and confidence? If you were a business, what kind of business would you be? Are your competitors envious?

We have full control over these aspects of stereotyping that others project on us. Give some thought as to the image you want to project. Tie that into your efforts toward building a personal brand. If you’re coming up short, that’s OK. It’s not too late and today’s not too soon to start making changes.

What efforts have you made to project an image that speaks to your credibility? Have you built an image that’s helped you in your professional (or personal) life? What success stories can you share that we can all learn from?

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