Things look dramatically different now than they did just a few months ago. For a lot of us, home is now our new office and Zoom is our new meeting place. This is indeed a difficult time, but it’s also a time for change, growth and learning new experiences. Including life in the virtual world.
Getting on camera for a Zoom call may feel a bit intimidating- you may question where you should look, what should your background be and what should you wear. But, before we dig into all that, something to keep in mind is at the core of it, no matter if it’s online or IRL it’s always about showing up as your true authentic personal brand.
Your personal brand is your story, it is who you are and what you stand for. You are your best marketing tool because YOU are what differentiates you from the competition. Your brand story is what connects you to customers and employers so they can learn about you and trust you to do business or work with them.
A critical piece of your personal brand is your personal style. Just like your personal brand, your personal style comes from within, it’s made up of your interests, lifestyle, hobbies, colors you like and basically everything that makes you your individual self. When you dress to your style you feel confident and authentic. Since your personal style and brand are intertwined, one thing I tell my clients is to think of your personal style as the clothing that your personal brand wears. It’s the visual image that helps tell your brand story and increases your visibility. Both virtually and IRL.
When connections are made quickly through the tiny boxes on Zoom video calls dressing to your unique personal style is a great way to easily convey your brand using style visuals. Here are 5 steps on how you can showcase your personal brand with style visuals in the virtual world.
1) Determine your Personal Brand– You can’t dress to your personal brand if you haven’t defined it. Your personal brand is at the core of your branding message both online and IRL. Take a deep exploratory dive and question yourself. What is your value? What is your passion? Be specific about what you do and who you are here to help. Understand what is it that only you can bring to the table.
Who is your target audience? How will you relate to them? You not only want to do the research on who your target market is but also what impression you want to build with them.
2) Determine your Personal Style– Now it’s time to dress your amazing personal brand. Think of what clothes and colors speak to your brand, ones that help you deliver to your message to your audience and give you confidence. For inspiration, look at stores online, go through magazines, see which colors, styles and accessories you are drawn to. Start pulling common items together to create your distinct look.
Next, find a signature piece. This piece is part of your personal style but it’s something specific you are known for. It could be your brand color, color rimmed glasses, a blazer, bold accessories, or a sentimental piece that speaks to your brand story. Wearing your signature item on video calls is key because it’s not only the visual piece that helps you get noticed but it’s also what you will be remembered for.
3) Find your Fit– Wearing clothes that fit well creates a positive impression between you, your audience and yourself. Nothing feels and looks better than a great fitting outfit. That confidence and fit will radiate when you’re online and people will notice. The key here is to always dress for your body shape, not against it. When getting dressed don’t think of wearing clothes to hide features but rather dress with the intention to enhance your best features. Determine your body shape and wear cuts and fits that work for your shape.
4) Determine your On Camera Colors– In addition to determining your body shape knowing the colors that best suit your skin tone is important when on a video call. If you don’t have the time to do a full color analysis a quick trick that I tell my clients is to sit in front of a mirror in an area with lots of natural light, wear a white t-shirt or drape a white sheet over you, and hold the colors you’re interested in wearing up to your face. In the mirror see how each color looks on you- does your skin brighten or go flat? When holding various shades of the same color ask yourself, “which looks better?” Make a list of those colors and refer to them when dressing.
Also, don’t shy away from prints while on a video call. Prints help portray our personality and style. Just make sure the print is not too distracting on camera.
5) Mind your Background- On video calls people are looking at your background just as much as they are looking at you. Let your background tell a little bit about you. I have a client that is launching a business that helps moms incorporate self-care into their daily lives. My client practices yoga daily and has her favorite yoga statue behind on a table behind her. Incorporating this into her not only helps showcase her brand but also attracts her target client. In addition, make sure your background isn’t cluttered or too busy.
Defining your personal brand enables you to showcase your authentic self and connect with your ideal client. Dressing to your brand right personal style, to your body shape, wearing colors for your skin tone and using your background as a branding tool allows you to virtually tell the world a little bit about you.
Monisha Kapur is a virtual personal brand style coach, brand builder, speaker and founder of 344pm, where she helps women entrepreneurs and executives increase their visibility by curating their unique signature style to showcase their personal brand. She’s the creator of the online Signature Style Group Coaching Program designed for women who are looking to find their personal style and dress effortlessly. For styling tips contact by email or follow her on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and YouTube