5 guidelines for developing your dating visual identity
Time to work on your dating visual identity?
Recently I’ve been reading a book called ‘How smart people brand themselves for business success’ by Catherine Kaputa. Now, as someone who loafs around in jeans, new balance trainers & camouflage jackets, you would be right for thinking it’s about time I cracked on to that book. But as I’m reading it, I can’t help making the comparison between branding oneself for business and branding oneself for online dating – there are a LOT of similarities. I’m up to the section on creating a visual identity and thought I’d share with you 5 of Catherine’s guidelines to keep in mind when developing your visual identity, as I think they may help you as you prepare for your dating photo shoot and/or build up your dating profile.
1. look different
This one is close to my heart. I’ve always been pretty different to other people & obviously used to hate it but once i learned to embrace it, I used it to my advantage both with dating & now with my business. It pays to be unique and stand out. Cultivate your own vibe & in the words of Catherine Kaputa, ‘be appropriate but personalised’.
2. leverage your height, shape or profile
It’s tempting when you’re online dating to attempt to hide/play down those things about you that make you different. And believe me as a woman who is almost 6 foot tall, I know! However, I never lied about my height, age, weight etc. What would be the point? They are going to figure out I tower over them the second I meet them. Catherine backs me up on this, she recommends building your ‘brand visual identity’ (as she calls it in biz speak) around who you are and suggests you use your unusual features as an advantage to emphasize. Think of Seth Godin, the famous blogger/marketeer, who has built his brand visual identify around being bald. It really worked for him.
3. let your clothes do the talking
Clothes are the easiest way to communicate a lot about who you are. They are giving out visual clues whether you want them to or not, so it’s best to take charge and make sure they are saying what you want them to say. There is no simple ‘dress for success’ formula anymore but my advice is dress for confidence. Choose clothes that make you feel fantastic. If you don’t have any like that, it’s probably time to head to the shops. Clothes not only make you feel more confident but they affect how you are perceived by other people. So it’s worth thinking about what you want your clothes to say about you – they are a visual symbol of who you are.
4. have a strong presence
When you’re out on dates, make sure you have a strong presence. Be memorable for the right reasons. Look confident (even if you don’t always feel it) and Catherine recommends aiming for expansive, open, poses that communicate power, rather than contracted poses, to help with this.
5. stay relevant & fresh
If you’re still wearing the same outfits, make up and hairstyle from five years ago (oops I’m guilty of this), then you might want to have a rethink. Is it time to refresh your look? Keep evolving and do what it takes to stay up-to-date.