Shannon Smith, a leading image strategist and founder of Premiere Image International, is a great friend of HAPPEN. Here's an article that Shannon is sharing with HAPPEN. Shannon is available by calling Premiere Image International at 416-324-8955 or email: shannon@premiereimageintl.com. Her web site is located at www.premiereimageintl.com



A study out of USLA proves that…

85% of all decisions are made with our eyes.

Whether you like it or not, the personal brand you project affects others decisions as to your intelligence, character and ability and determines whether or not they want to do business with you. The way you dress, act and eat has a remarkable impact on the people you meet professionally and socially. This greatly affects how others treat you.

Without a winning personal brand strategy, I’ve seen client deals fall through, appointments cancelled and sales stagnate. If your personal brand (image) is not professional and congruent, attractive and attracting or you lack good manners and don’t have the proper dining etiquette you will be passed over - guaranteed. Therefore, to be competitive, to have a greater influence on others, attract more business and be more successful it's critical that you pay greater attention to personal branding.

Before you sell anything…your product, company or service you sell yourself first. Shift the balance of power in your favour when you brand yourself you are perceived to be more desirable and in demand. Brand Status increases the bottom line …both personally and corporately.

Take large successful companies for instance. They understand the power of branding a product. They spend a lot of time, money and energy to create a brand that is eye catching and appealing enough to sell their product through to market and enhance their corporate image. They want to ensure that the buyer builds a strong connection with that brand.

Image coaching helps an individual create a well defined personal brand and provides a tremendous advantage over the competition. Whether it’s social or business, when you are well branded you are pre - sold, giving you a huge advantage over others selling themselves.

Perhaps like many of the individuals I coach, you have not even thought about how you are being perceived. Can anyone leave something as important as their most valuable asset to chance?

We know that in the current economy, competitiveness has increased dramatically.

Business has become more serious and conservative - not only in attitude and business attire but in etiquette training as well. As an image consultant I am being hired by individuals and companies to present training in the fine art of image management, presentation skills, good manners, business etiquette, dining and appropriate dress.

Even though intelligence, experience and education count, companies tell me they are simply not hiring those who do not possess these all important communication skills.

It is the whole package that counts.

The hallmarks of successful individuals in a fast-paced global marketplace are their confidence, manners and poise.

Mediocrity is dead -----and it's about time. We have turned the corner…

there is a “ Personal Brand Revolution” afoot. The sloppy casual dress, sloppy work ethics, disrespectful behaviour, lack of civility and manners are leaving the scene. Simply, it’s not working. It's not acceptable to dress inappropriately or do business with the wrong fork. Productivity is down, communications are suffering, profits have dropped and sexual harassment cases are increasing.

There is a return to formality, elegance, manners and sophistication. It's evident in what's happening all around us. People are brushing up on their business etiquette, manners and dining skills. They are getting dressed up again, dining in fine restaurants, are entertaining clients and being entertained.

It's been my experience that when we understands the power of perception we will make the changes necessary to ensure that we communicate more effectively through the power personal branding.

Hot Tips to pay attention to -

1. Ensure that your personal brand matches your goals – two years – five years.

2. Be authentic and be the best "you" possible.

3. Study the competition. Take a close hard look at them.

4. Know your target market and adjust your brand accordingly.

5. Keep re inventing yourself. What worked yesterday doesn’t work today.

A willingness to change and keep current is critical to your success.

6. Keep fit and healthy. Eat healthy…Be energized.

7. A positive attitude gets you everywhere. Carry yours with you at all times.

8. Brush up on business etiquette, social manners and cocktail party

rules. They count big time.

When you are well packaged… It's only natural that you will attract more of what you want in your life. Be a smarter marketer ...to attract the best, you need to be the best!

These skills are your passport to universal acceptance!

Shannon Smith is a leading image strategist and founder of Premiere Image International. She is also an etiquette consultant, writer, TV personality and featured in national publications. Shannon assists individuals transform from unnoticed to unforgettable and provides one on one training and programs for company across North America in personal branding. Simply put – a contemporary finishing school for adults. Customized programs include image mastery, executive dress and grooming, presentation skills, manners, business etiquette, executive dining to international protocol.

Please contact Shannon at Premiere Image Intl. 416 324 8955 or visit


Her book Power Manners – How to use Your Personal Skills for Business and Social Success (240 pages) is available at www.powermanners.com