It’s been eight months now of Zooms, Google Hangouts, Microsoft Teams, virtual backgrounds and waving at the end of meetings (did we ever do that in the office?) – I know some of my clients are having “outfit fatigue” but now more than ever, it’s time to keep up your virtual personal brand and put your best self forward.
When I started thinking about why what you wear to on Zoom matters, I thought about a recent chat with a client who was struggling to get out of bed and out of her sweatpants. As a leader of a large team, she was finding showing up every day tough, keeping positive and keeping the team connected increasingly challenging. She’d gone from business head-to-toe in March lockdown 1, to this lockdown, business on the top, sleepy time on the bottom.
The thing is, when you’re showing up on Zoom, you’re showing up in real life. Its our reality for the foreseeable future so what you wear does matter for a number of reasons;
1. Dressing properly ready to work each day will affect your productivity and mood.
If half of you is dressed for sleep, half of you will be lethargic and although your colleagues/clients may only see you from the shoulders up, your attitude will show.
2. If you are a leader of teams, what you wear matters because if you look life you’ve made an effort, brushed your hair, put some make-up or jewellery on, you will be setting the example to your team. They will also feel a sense of security that you are the same amazing leader that hasn’t dropped their bundle.
3. You are still your brand. What do you want your brand to say about you?
So back to my client and some easy solutions. I helped her put together a few outfits that were both comfortable and professional and made dressing each day easy. I also did a practice Zoom with her to ensure lighting, camera height and background were optimal and lastly suggested some items she keep at her desk to instantly lift her look for meetings; a statement necklace, some lipstick, hair brush, hair tie and a blazer. These simple solutions made a big difference to her self-esteem and the energy she projected.
When I work with my clients and we talk workwear whether it is in an office or #wfh, the key question I ask is; “How do you want to be perceived?” Approachable? Powerful? Beautiful? Empathetic? Knowledgeable? Whatever the answer is, understanding your style and the image you want to portray to the world is key. And just as important is dressing consistently. What you wear on Zoom matters because you are your personal brand.
What is your personal brand saying about you?
Lisa Stockman x.