Why Your Image Matters

Why Your Image Matters - Image consulting and personal branding advice

Why Your Image Matters?

In this blog post I am explaining why your image matters. We are also taking a look at the science behind first impressions to understand the complex thinking process better.

Later in this article I am also explaining the risks involved in this fast thinking process. I hope it will help you to contribute to a better society and more diverse workplaces.

People Size You Up In Seconds

Your personal image is the perception that people have about you. It affects your success in every aspect of your life.

When a person meets you for the first time, their brain makes several snap decisions about you. The process takes just 7 seconds and it is unconscious. Some decisions are made even faster and we are totally unaware of it. I find it fascinating!

These snap judgements include the following elements about you:

  • Age
  • Status
  • Social class
  • Likeability
  • Competitiveness
  • Education level
  • Wealth
  • Health

First impressions have a huge impact on all further interactions. We all have had that new colleague that you loved from moment one. And also we all have had that new boss who we just knew we could never get along with.

If you look back you can probably find several real-life examples of situations where first impressions played a large role in the outcome of a situation.

Learn to make the most of your seven seconds with my image consulting advice. Take your personal brand on a next level that exudes confidence and professionalism.

Why Your Image Matters - Image consulting and personal branding advice

The Science Of First Impressions

People are programmed to make a quick opinion about you based on your appearance, your body language, your gravitas and your style.

We still tend to trust our first impression, even if we learn more about the person. This is a survival mechanism that has kept us alive and built our society.

It’s a relief to know that everyone goes through this fast thinking process. Us humans are born that way. They are not out to get you and I don’t want you to be paranoid about this.

Trust vs. Respect

According to Harvard Business School professor Amy Cuddy in Business Insider the rapid decisions that people make within seconds from seeing you for the first time come down to two boiling questions:

Can I trust this person?

AND

Can I respect this person?

From evolutionary point of view it was crucial for survival to be able to judge a situation or a person in a split second.

People needed to make fast decisions in order to survive. Was the person (or animal) they were meeting an ally on an enemy? Did they need to make a quick escape or was it safe to stay?

Life then was very much about risk evaluation and rapid assessments. There was no other choice. To this day we carry those traits of our ancestors inside of us.

Nowadays, when life is not only about survival, these traits are used in a more sophisticated manner. Or at least in an ideal situation they are used for doing good.

In the next chapter I am looking at the dark side of making snap judgements of other people. It’s an important chapter so continue reading with an open mind.

SUBSCRIBE to my image & style blog. It’s a collection of real life personal image & style advice, tips and tricks -all for FREE

Join 1,216 other subscribers.

Risks Of Trusting First Impressions Blindly

We know now that first impressions and image are important and that they really matter. You should but some serious effort in yours. But don’t trust the first impression of others blindly.

You may have caught the person on a bad day. We all have those, right? Be compassionate and give the person a second chance. Make playing fair part of your values. It shows true leadership quality.

There are also serious risks involved in trusting first impressions blindly. Everyone needs to be aware of them so that they can give other people a fair chance and build a better society.

Actively question yourself and your peers. Are you being fair and honest? Or are you biased?

Judging the book by it’s cover have caused a lot of pain and injustice in the world. Stereotyping and unconscious bias has lead to major social issues such as racism, sexism and ageism.

Prejudices and taboos can be very hurtful and lead to unfair situations. They can lead to missed opportunities, abuse, neglect, poverty, (mental) health problems and even death.

Biased thinking makes toxic workplaces and is bad for business. Nowadays there are dedicated trainings available to battle workplace bias. Would your organization profit from one too?

Why Your Image Matters - Image consulting and personal branding advice

Are You Being Judged Accurately?

You can control that people are judging you accurately and not being confused or distracted about your image. Part of this transformation process is simplifying things. I am encouraging you to build a more powerful image with less aspects.

People want see the real you. But in a way that they can understand easily and fast. Every aspect of your image should support this goal.

It’s important to remember that authenticity doesn’t mean spilling all your secrets out there. You are in control of what you are giving away -and what you are keeping to yourself.

Learn to make a great first impression with my image consulting tips

Your Image Is Critical To Your Success

My conclusion is that your image matters. It should not be neglected or it’s impact should not be underestimated. Everyone has a personal image and a personal brand. Successful people are in control of theirs.

Center for Talent and Innovation (CTI) declared in their 2013 report “Executive Presence” about personal image:

“How you look, how you speak, and how you act turn out to be critical to your success, our report concludes, at every step in your career journey.”

– Center for Talent and Innovation

So be mindful about your personal image because it’s crucial to your success. In a competitive situation against other talented and experienced people (just like yourself!) it can be a true deal-breaker.

You have probably been yourself in a situation where you are weighing two equally good people against each other. Can you pinpoint the thing that made you choose the other person over the other? It may have well been their personal image that made you favor them.

Make your personal image a priority this year. Invest some effort in getting it back on track or improving it further. I am here for you throughout the process live and online.

Why Your Image Matters - Image consulting and personal branding advice

Gain Control Of Your Image

Remember to always remain as authentic as possible. Your personal image should be intentional and a reflection of who you really are. Never an imaginary or untrue construction.

Your personal image is one of the few aspects of your life that you have a full control of and I am delighted to help you to invest in yourself.

I am passionate about your personal image and brand, first impressions (in face-to-face situations and online) and your style.

I want to help you to put your best foot forward in the current competitive business environment.

Let me worry about the looks. My image consulting services help you to focus on the very essential: Your fantastic skills and amazing knowledge.

They also save you valuable time for more important matters in life, such as family, friends, hobbies and me-time.

Need more convincing? I got you covered in 3 Reasons to Hire Me

Elements Of A Successful Personal Image

  • Inspiring: Create enthusiasm and make people feel empowered.
  • Memorable: Stand out from the crowd for the right reasons.
  • Approachable: Be open, communicate clearly and make people feel comfortable around you.
  • Genuine: Remember to be the unique charming you.
  • Engaging: Create lasting relationships and allow people to commit to you.
Elements of a successful personal image  - Image consulting and personal branding advice
Elements of a successful personal image – CLICK TO SAVE ON PINTEREST

READ MORE about the impact of your personal image in I on Image’s 3-part blog series “Your Personal Image Is Everything”

Let me know how I can help you to make a great first impression. I would love to help you to put your best foot forward!

BOOK NOW image consultant and personal stylist Amsterdam
BOOK NOW Image Consulting & Personal Styling Services in Amsterdam & Online

DISCLAIMER: This blog post was originally published on 3rd January 2018 and updated on 2nd March 2020 with improved image consulting advice and new photos.

© 2015 – 2020 I on Image 

Image Consultant -Personal Stylist - Wardrobe Stylist - Personal Shopper - In Amsterdam and online
Image & Style Tips on Stylish News from I on Image Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to my monthly newsletter “Stylish News from I on Image” and get all the latest + FREE style & image tips straight to your inbox. No spam, unsubscribe at any time. Profit from exclusive offers all year round.

34 thoughts on “Why Your Image Matters

  1. MarieSkelton says:

    Another great article! Really good advice and a good reminder to never judge a book by it’s cover but remember everyone else will still be judging you by your manner & appearance… It’s just best to put your best foot forward and take some pride in how you put yourself together each day.

  2. Marion says:

    Wow! This is so insightful and helpful. I’ve also found that the people you hang out with play a major role in what people think about you.
    Thank you for this!

  3. I on Image says:

    Yes indeed the time is shockingly short! But when you are aware of it you can use it in your advantage. Glad you enjoyed reading Sophie xx

  4. ✨Teresa Maria | Outlandish Blog✨ (@TeresamariaThe) says:

    This is SUCH a great article! So many brilliant points and the bottom line is: looks do really matter, thanks to first impressions mattering. I get underestimated almost every day by people who don’t know me well enough, even colleagues. If they spend enough time with me I always put them to their place, but in a lot of situations me looking, f.ex., younger than I am can be a hindrance. Because I’m aware of how unfair it is that people misjudge me all the time I try to give everyone around me the benefit of a doubt and not judge them before I’ve actually had a discussion with them at least.

  5. Affluent Living Inc says:

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts, it’s sooo true. I have found myself subconsciously sizing other people up (if they’re a new person I’m meeting for the first time, not my friends so much) and i feel that if I dress well or carry myself better, i have more confidence too

  6. glowsteady says:

    Image i definitely important because of those snap judgements we all make, but the 7 seconds stat blew my mind. It’s a lot for us to take in in such a short space of time. Definitely makes you think about the smaller details when it comes to your own appearance x

    Sophie

  7. alisonkwol says:

    I’ve always been taught that when out and about always present yourself in your best light. As people are naturally judgemental, even if they say they aren’t.

    Always a great reminder that you have the first 7 seconds to make that first impression, this is true of social media profiles or face to face.

  8. sseigler2 says:

    Thank you for this! Always got to put your best foot or dress forward. I can be kind of lazy with this, but appearance really does matter.

  9. I on Image says:

    Shocking, right? Most of us haven’t had the chance to utter a word in that time. Glad to hear that you find my blog helpful Lisa xxx

  10. Lisa's Notebook says:

    7 seconds, my goodness, that’s a scary statistic, I hadn’t realised we only had such a limited amount of time to make an impression! These are some great tips, Jenni, really helpful, thank you for sharing 🙂

  11. I on Image says:

    Great to have you here Madi! Indeed authenticity is the difficult part because we are so influenced by all things happening around us that many of us have no idea who they really are. I am super conscious about this and still end up losing track from time to time.

  12. madidearsonladylike says:

    This is so true – first impressions are so important, like it or not, people make snap judgments. I love your ending lines about how our image should be authentic and true to who we really are. I think that this is the tricky part – not to get swept by trends but to stick with our own personality.

  13. Briony Croft says:

    Thanks for pointing out that an why image matters. One thing which have that first impresion is the last impression. People judge you in one eye. Your dressing sensing will tell you each and everything very clearly.With the hard work the fashion also play a tremendous role in life.

Chime in... I'd love to hear what you have to say!