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We all make snap judgments and form an opinion in seconds. Sometimes, that decision impacts future decisions. I was reminded of this while driving my seven-year-old daughter to school.
We discussed her thoughts about college after she brought up the topic. She mentioned that she would like to go to a college in Iowa’s Creative Corridor, where we currently live. There are perhaps a dozen universities and colleges. She’s been to many of them for sports camps.
She mentioned one and said she will plan on going there.
I asked her why that one.
“Because it’s cleaner than the others.
“How do you know?”
“From camps. The gym at that one is so much cleaner.”
We talked about that some more and the importance of this to her. Of course, it’s a ways before she’ll go to college – if she does. (Who knows, maybe she starts her own business at age 17 or something like that.)
But this discussion reminded me of the importance of how we present ourselves. If we don’t look the part, it might not matter that we are the experts in whatever the part is.
Online this can sometimes be seen in our Facebook pictures – think party animal photos. Would you hire a “social media expert” who posts them? Exactly!
It also shows up in our social media avatars. If you want to be seen as professional, your social media photo(s) should probably represent you that way.
That doesn’t mean we have to be fake. We should be authentic, but however that authentic looks, is how people will make decisions about us.
If you are getting business through digital channels (more and more organizations will do this), how we represent ourselves online and offline will become increasingly important.