Are You An Invisible Woman?

Have you noticed lately how hard it is to get a break in your career? In today’s fast-paced digital world, job competition is fierce. If you’ve recently pitched for a new client, gone for a promotion or applied for a new job, you will know what I’m talking about. There are millions of people out there with the same skills and experience as you — so how are you going to cut through the noise and become visible?

As a personal branding and image specialist, I work with smart, savvy businesswomen who have credibility — including lawyers, financial advisors, mid-level corporate managers with multiple university degrees and a remarkable reputation for getting results. Yet these women have struggled to break through the ‘glass ceiling’ and advance to the next level of their careers. Last week, a women in financial services rang me in total exasperation.

“I feel like the invisible woman!” she cried. And she’s not alone. Can you relate?

How are you going to stand out and be noticed?

When intelligent, hard-working women like you approach me because they want to become more visible, I help them differentiate themselves through personal branding.

The Women Who Lead program has been designed to give you the confidence to not only stand out and be visible but to have a personal brand and communication skills to allow you to stand out for all the right reason. Have you thought about your personal brand?

Your personal brand is made up of three interconnected components:

  1. Credibility: your talents, education, achievements, character and reputation.
  2. Presence: your behaviour, social skills, body language and level of confidence.
  3. Style: your image and visual identity, i.e. your ‘look’.

Everybody has a personal brand, but only some people are aware of it. There’s a big difference between just having a brand and leveraging your brand to achieve greater success. It’s important to deliberately shape and develop your personal brand to take control of how your others perceive you – your image, your reputation and the message you are putting out. You didn’t work this hard in your career to blend in and be overlooked. If you feel like the invisible woman, then it’s time to elevate your brand and position yourself for visibility.

4 keys to elevating your personal brand & positioning yourself for visibility:

TRUST

Trust is the most important foundation required to build quality relationships. To make an impact and advance in your career, you need people to believe in you and really get behind your vision, goals or ideas. They need to trust in your brand.

A strong, memorable personal brand that people can trust is based on:

  • Integrity: keeping your promises, speaking and acting truthfully, following up with people and completing what you started.
  • Authenticity: being real, genuine and true to who you are.
  • Consistency: keep reinforcing your brand at every opportunity, making sure that your image and your choices, actions and words are aligned with your brand, both online and offline.

No matter what you are striving for, integrity, authenticity and consistency are noble qualities that will take you far in life.

NICHE 

If you want to explore and develop your key elements the Women who Lead program will enable you to bring out your best and leverage your brilliance so others can see your value.

What’s your X-factor? What makes you exceptional? Who’s your target audience and what is your unique value proposition?

I’ve seen too many exceptionally talented people struggle to succeed in business because they are casting their net too broadly and trying to please everyone. Saying yes to every opportunity is not necessarily the wisest course of action. Beware of spreading yourself too thin, straying off course and expending fruitless time, energy and resources.

You’ve got to know yourself and start to specialise. The magic happens once you are comfortable with the knowledge that you can’t be good at everything and you’re not for everyone. Don’t compromise on who you are. Instead, hone in on your passions and maximize your strengths. In a competitive marketplace that is over-saturated with talent, finding your niche will help to set you apart from the crowd. 

EXECUTIVE PRESENCE 

People with Executive Presence have magnetism, confidence and gravitas. They often communicate with clarity, passion and authority, they display positive body language by making eye contact, standing tall and offering a firm yet friendly handshake. They get noticed – when they walk into the room, people gravitate towards them.

Making changes and choices to increase your self- confidence will help you develop executive presence. Some things you can focus on are refining your body language to reflect power and grace, making a point of greeting people and starting conversations, and dressing in a way that reflects your credibility. Having the confidence to communicate who you are with elegance and style is will open doors and position you as a female industry leader.

SIGNATURE STYLE

Your image and style is perhaps the most tangible component of your personal brand because your style choices make a real sensory impact on others. Style encompasses many details like colour, fit, fabric textures and patterns, hairstyle, make-up and accessories.

Some styles fit the mould of cultural or fashionable trends e.g. “Hipster”, “Bohemian”, “Urban”, “Techie, etc. and these styles may even extend to a person’s speech phrasing, hobbies and dietary choices! Your image and style communicates volumes about who you are.

When it comes to taking charge of your image, maximizing your assets and visually differentiating your brand, it’s never about trends, labels or being beige! It’s important to create a signature style that reflects who you are and reveres the person you’ve worked so hard to become.

Start by thinking about your niche, your strengths and the image your want to portray. Try choosing a signature colour or a signature piece (e.g. jacket, glasses, accessory) and wear this tastefully and consistently over time. Make sure your signature style flatters your best features and makes you feel great so that you always step out radiating confidence.

To position yourself for success, relying solely on impressive credentials is not enough. Start getting noticed for the amazing woman that you are by taking control of your personal brand.

WOMEN WHO LEAD 

Are you tired of being invisible? Do you need to improve your executive presence so that you can stand out for all the right reasons? You’re not alone. To position yourself for success, relying solely on impressive credentials is not enough. Having the confidence to communicate who you are with style and presence is what will open doors and position you as a female industry leader.

I have developed a program to help women, just like you. It’s called Women Who Lead and is designed to empower professional women. This inspiring program will develop your ability to:

  • Build your brand and confidence through self-awareness and empowerment.
  • Self-promote with appropriate assertiveness.
  • Build confidence through influencing, values alignment, and bringing others with you.

Be prepared to challenge your thinking, push yourself into the stretch zone and learn to embrace a better you. In this highly interactive program, women participate in high impact experiential learning activities, psychometric profiling, and also practice promoting themselves. Participants receive constructive feedback in a supportive environment, optimizing growth opportunities. Executive coaching sessions and 1:1 brand and image consultations are also available.

Participants will benefit from an increased self-awareness and level of confidence, empowering them to lead with presence and influence. Exposing the unconscious blockers to success and replacing them with conscious choices, enables a future-focused, positive and collaborative approach to working with others. Rather than waiting for superiors to notice them or to be invited to contribute their knowledge and opinions, our women leaders will feel empowered to step up and speak out.

For more information and to book, go to: www.ivvy.com/event/1Z1TQC/ 

First published on Business Woman Media

Melissa Lewis is a leading Personal Brand, Image and Empowerment specialist. Through her business, Style Confidante, Melissa provides empowering 1:1 consultations and workshops, to hundreds of driven female entrepreneurs, executives, and many of Australia’s largest corporations.

 

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