Dressing like a creative professional is essential to success in the marketing biz. That's right, I said essential.
"Why? That's so superficial. My portfolio and experience is what's going to sell me, not the way I look."
Sorry, but after years in the marketing business, I'm here to tell you that sentiment is wrong:
90% of what you do is sell: Sell the work, sell the strategy, and sell yourself.
When you walk into a room to present logo concepts or a new website design, everyone is looking to you for guidance on style and trend. If you walk in wearing pleated khakis with an ill-fitting polo, you've just lost all credibility as the "go-to" source of knowledge for what is current. Even if your portfolio is the bomb.
"But I want to be judged on my work, not my pants!"
Well, good luck. We're all judging each other all the time – whether we're conscious of it or not. And that's especially true for a biz owner who's about to make the call to hire you or move on to the next candidate.
It's essential that you create an impression in your client's mind that you know trends. You know what sells. You know creativity. You are creativity. You've got to show them that creativity spills over every inch of your life, from your design portfolio to your adorably curated Instagram feed.
In the design world, you can't be just a creative person.
You need to be a creative.
"What about the guy with a faux hawk and tattoo sleeves over there? "
"...Yeah, he's definitely a creative."
Exactly. He's a creative, not someone who happens to have a bit of creativity in his life. There's an expectation that you're always going to "bring it" because you are it. Creative, that is.
So how do you dress like a creative? Well, when I'm dressing to impress, nailing the element of the unexpected is one of my biggest goals. Stop and ask yourself,
"Is this slightly unexpected? Or could you find this outfit assembled on a mannequin at J.C. Penney?"
Hint: You don't want to be able to find it on a mannequin.
I focus on buying things I like and mixing them together in unexpected ways later. I create outfits based on colors that I would use in a professional design piece. And the same goes for patterns. I'm branding myself, my look, my presentation. So I don't ever ask "does this match perfectly?"
Instead, I gear my thinking toward questions like...
"Do these colors complement in unique and unexpected ways?"
And focus on striking a balance between my personal style and an unexpected pop. Now, with that said, prepare for the visuals:
HDco Presents: BALLIN' STYLE 101
Hand-curated looks from Hoot Design Co:
Just like Anna demonstrated in her #OOTD post yesterday, dressing like a creative pro can come in many different forms, from Anna's mixed patterns and neutrals to my taste in iridescent heels and Lily Dawson necklaces. The key is to balance your signature style with a pop of the unexpected – and to keep in mind that you're not just selling your skills and expertise, you're selling yourself in this business.
What are some of your go-to professional styles? What are some of the best style tips you've received? Let us know what else you'd like us to feature!