As a teenager, I loved to read self-help books. I remember reading the advice to dress for the position you want, not the position you have. At the time I was working retail, and I’m pretty sure the managers didn’t dress any differently than the cashiers, but I stored away that information and put it to use when I got my first teaching job as a substitute teacher.

I had recently turned twenty-two when I started substitute teaching at an inner-city high school. I didn’t look much older than the students, and I was scared to death. So I put on my highest heels and a dark business suit, and I walked in looking far more confident than I felt. And it worked. The giant football players listened to me and treated me with respect. Unfortunately, wardrobe didn’t help when they put me in a kindergarten class. Those little ones saw through my disguise and saw me as the scared bunny I was. But that’s another story…

It’s hard when you’re getting started. You want to be taken seriously, but how do you do that when you’re inexperienced with no proven track record? You dress for the position you want.

Pick someone in your industry who’s like you, only further along in their career. Pick someone who’s at the top of their game, then study what they do. Look at their website, their social media, their graphics, their advertising. Study their use of color, design, and images. Look at their competitors. What are they doing? Look at similar fields or industries. What could work for you? Take note of what you like and what you don’t like. Then figure out how you can apply their techniques for yourself.

The objective isn’t to parrot them but to glean from them what success looks like, what works, and what doesn’t. Before you know it, you’ll be the model and others will be studying you!

How to brand yourself, branding, marketing

About the Author Sharon Wilharm

Christian women’s speaker, Sharon Wilharm, is a ministry leader, podcast host, and female filmmaker whose stories have impacted audiences around the globe. An accomplished storyteller, Sharon draws the audience in with humor, engages them with stories, then ties everything together to bring to light spiritual truths. Her heart’s desire is to encourage women in their walk with the Lord, showing them how to find God’s will for their life through prayer and scripture. “God is the Master Storyteller,” says Sharon. “I love helping women see how God is always at work behind the scenes laying the foundation for the glorious future He has in store for us.” Sharon is a firm believer in the power of prayer and has many stories to share of God working in miraculous ways in her own life as well as those around her. She’s passionate about teaching women how to pray and loves engaging with women in personal prayer. Wherever she goes, she finds herself surrounded by women in need of prayer, and she considers it an honor to pray with women whether they’re friends, family, or complete strangers. Sharon has enjoyed a lifelong fascination with women of the Bible and loves applying the biblical stories to modern situations. She teaches a Women Through the Bible study at her church, applying the S.O.A.P. method of scripture study. She especially enjoys delving into lesser known women and discovering encouraging truths for women of today. She recently launched a new podcast where she works her way through the Bible sharing the stories of All God’s Women.


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