What is Your Image Worth

In brief, everything and nothing.

There are two components to your image. There is the physical component, which consists of how you dress and act, what people can see. The other component is what people think of when they think about you. Both are important, both affect one another, and the value in each depends on you.

If you are trying to attract business, you want people to think of you as competent, reliable, and easy to work with. The exact nature of your business will define other aspects of your image – if you work with art, then you may want to be perceived as creative, for example. How you dress and act when you are around others can and does affect this image. For examples of how your dress affects your image, watch the show What Not To Wear.

Other issues that will affect your image include your language – do you use a lot of slang when you speak, or do you prefer a highly-refined vocabulary? Do you speak politely at all times? Do you pause to think during conversations, or do you think as you go along? All of these aspects to your language affect people’s perceived image of you.

As a business, you may have printed materials or a website. Is it well laid out? Does it show quality? Is your material informative? (As an aside, I have seen a significant number of brochures and websites which looked fantastic, until I read them, and realized that they didn’t say ANYTHING.)

Your image is worth what you put into it, but at the same time, a bad image is worth less than no image. If you are not concerned with your image, it will show, and that can generate a negative image. At a minimum, you should ensure that the image you are portraying is correct. If you aren’t sure, find a brutally honest friend and ask. You need to know the answer.