Professional Image Tips for Coaches

If you are a coach, you may be working largely from home but when it comes time to present a professional image, it is important to get your image right because it will affect your bottom line.

... How you present yourself has a major impact on your ability to enroll clients. When you enter a room, it only takes 30 seconds for others to form an impression of you based on your appearance.

A great professional image increases your credibility and promotes your effectiveness in dealing with others. Additionally, a positive image is critical to the long term, sustained growth of your business or practice.

Coaching is about helping others achieve success.  If you don't present yourself as one who has already achieved it, why should someone else listen to you, what's more hire you for that matter?

Below are some tips for self-evaluation, to help you make the necessary changes and improvements.

The two images on the left show BEFORE and the two on the right show AFTER.  Wardrobe Makeover Image from NancyNixRice.com

What you wear, matters.

1. Does your work wardrobe communicate your personal and professional best? Have you become too casual?

2. When doing business, “banker” attire is always acceptable when meeting with prospective clients. Certain regions such as Florida have much more relaxed dress codes for business but make sure you have a couple quality, business outfits.  This will serve better than a closet full of cheap, ill-fitting ones.

3. Do NOT post seductive or partially disrobed images of yourself on social media.  These days your social reputation usually precedes you.​  In fact, clean out your social media accounts of anyone or anything that may appear dubious to a prospective client. Appearances are just as important as reality because others don't know what's real and what's not.

3. Shop to find brands that fit you well. Then buy items in several colors.

4. Unless you are in a creative profession, avoid flashy neckties. Subtle shades of dots and stripes are best.

5. Check your eyeglass frames and hairstyle. Do they need to be updated?

6. Shoes matter, a LOT. Think quality, polished and new.

7. Any accessories should reflect sophistication. Don’t go for a “cute” item.

Leverage your nonverbal communication.

1. Check your posture. Good posture adds confidence and makes you appear more slender.

2. How firm is your business handshake? Don’t offer a limp hand to a prospect.

3. Be sure to make eye contact when shaking hands and during conversations.

4. Avoid gum or candy. It just doesn’t look professional.

5. It may be trendy but not professional … so cover any tattoos. A survey by Vault.com found that 85% of human resource departments say having a tattoo will hurt chances of getting a job.

Self-Management in Professional Environments

1. Are you on time for work and meetings? Show respect to others by being on time or early.

2. Do you help keep the team’s energy positive and productive?

3. Does your work area appear organized and efficient?

4. Do you respond to phone messages and e-mail correspondence in a timely fashion?

5. How well do you remember people’s names? Do you use them in conversation?

6. Do you know the proper way to give and receive business cards?

7. Do you mind the proper etiquette for electronic devices? Make sure your cell phone is set on vibrate in meetings.

8. Be cautious when you send emails, that they are free of spelling, grammar and punctuation errors.

9. Gossip and lewd jokes are unprofessional, unflattering and uncomfortable for others. You could also put yourself in legal jeopardy.

10. Do you make an effort to help others and thank those who help you?

When you have a well-honed, professional image, you will stand out among others. Make sure you are prepared before attending your next business event, luncheon, meeting, or networking opportunity.

I would love to hear some feedback from you. What have been your experiences and what are areas that can be improved. What information or resources will help? Please comment below.

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