“Quick, acute, and intuitive cognition.” That is how Merriam-Webster defines perception. It is a quick assessment of what is before us. It is how we form impressions and judgments.
Have you ever considered how you are perceived by a potential client? Potential friend? Man/woman on the street? Obviously, we may not care how a complete stranger perceives us, but in business we should definetely be concerned with the image we are giving potential customers, clients or partners (a partner can be anyone who we do business with–from someone we network with, to someone who refers business to us or an acquaintance we run into occasionally).
There are many angles from which you are perceived:
- Personal appearance and demeanor
- How you sound
- Online presence, which includes your websites, what is written about you, your blog, and your social media presence
- Articles about you
- Articles you’ve written
- Your marketing materials (brochures, postcards, reports, etc)
- Your behavior and actions
- Your associations
If people have a positive perception of you it will help get business. A negative perception on the other hand will impede your success.
How to assess
Start with a simple Google search on yourself to see what comes up. Negative, positive or neutral?
Turn a critical eye on your website and/or blog. Would a visitor to your site know what you do and why you are qualified to do what you do? What would he/she think of your services?
How are people responding to you on social media? How many followers do you have? More importantly, who is following you? Quality is important here. How about on Linked In–do people accept your requests for connection? Are you giving them enough for them to want to connect with you?
When you go to an event, do you feel confident? Do you ever feel unprepared or frazzled? If so, what aspects of you appearance and demeanor need work?
It is hard to self-assess from all these angles so it may be best to ask a trusted friend or colleague to give you some feedback. A marketing consultant (such as me!) can help assess your marketing materials.
Have you assessed how you are perceived? Please let me know how you did it and what helped.