✦ Showing up SIMPLY (Hot Takes Below)✦
I regularly see coaches and strategists talking about the importance of putting “effort” into the way you look when you show up in your business.
Sometimes, it’s even a module in trainings regarding showing up on your social media presence, or within your course content. That you need to put on makeup. Tidy your hair. Over the course of lockdown, I saw the word “presentable” a lot. Too many times to count.
Most of these were reminders to show up as your “best self” – with the implication that your “best self” has perfectly coiffed hair and makeup reminiscent of a catfish filter. And even more importantly, making the implication that NOT showing up that way means you’re not working as hard as you should be, and that you won’t be taken seriously. As if putting on makeup and wearing a suit jacket will be the difference between making the sale, and being treated as a non-professional.
And….. Honestly? That’s a bunch of bullshit.
Here’s the thing: they’re halfway right. The way you look when you show up in your business DOES matter. A lot. What you wear, whether you wear makeup or don’t, whether it varies day to day, all of that, is a STRATEGIC element of your visual brand.
But there is no single magic rule. You don’t have to wear makeup. You don’t have to do your hair. You don’t have to wear luxury business attire – or even business casual. You don’t have to perfectly style yourself every time you show up on video.
What you DO need to do, is show up in a way that is AUTHENTIC to you, and relatable to your specific ideal audience. Which means that implying that being your “best self” means doing your hair, and putting on makeup, doesn’t apply as a one-size-fits-all approach.
One of the biggest problems with this one-size-fits-all thought process, is that it comes from the perspective of whoever is telling you what works. What do I mean? For a business owner whose audience is full of those looking for a corporate vibe in their choice of professional… it’s going to look a lot like showing up in business attire makes the sale. For a business owner whose audience is full of those looking for a relatable, approachable vibe in their choice of professional… it’s going to look a lot like messy top-knots and leggings are what works to convert clients.
And if it looks like that’s what works? That’s what they’re going to teach you. But that becomes a problem when you start actually creating content using their framework, because your audience isn’t their audience. What works for them WON’T necessarily work for you.
Showing up is SIMPLE, when you Show Up Authentically
This series is about making content creation simple – so how does not following people’s advice about your clothes make showing up simple? Because trying to maintain a standard prescribed by another professional – a standard that doesn’t align with your audience’s needs, is going to be hard. And you’re not going to see results, because you’re not going to be mentally invested in the content. It’s going to feel “off” to you. If it feels “off” to you, it will feel “off” to your clients.
So to make showing up simple, your job is aligning your content strategy to the needs and expectations of your ideal clients. Not tailored to the recommendations of someone who you’re consuming course content from – someone who hasn’t in any way looked at your business’s target audience.
Your Approach Should Be Tailored To YOU
For me? Showing up authentically feels the best when I pair my badass green hair with my variety of black chunky jumpers, and understated makeup. Maybe lipstick. Maybe not. Comfy. My brand is comfy. And I love it that way. My clients do, too. Maybe you feel best, and your clients flock to you, when you’re in full glam makeup. AMAZING. Lean into that. Maybe your clients are drawn to your content when you do live streams in your pajamas.
But you should never, EVER give in to pressure to show up with a specific look in your business, especially if that look isn’t based on a combination of the values that underly your business, the details of your work, and the expectations of your ideal clients.