My post today is a little bit of a hybrid- it's about relationships and small business! * Here's the deal, whether you want to acknowledge it or not: looks matter.
Because I want to help you! That's why. Whether you are a biz owner or trying to get dates or otherwise wanting to live life on purpose, methinks this one is a good one to at least engage with as a concept. And if my assertion gets you all riled up, well, all the more reason to unpack your own beliefs around the "looks do matter" idea.
Because LOOKS DO MATTER. (I will qualify this statement. Just keep reading.)
First, for the biz owners of the world:
By "looks" I mean a couple of things. I mean your logo/branding/website/marketing collateral/biz cards. Your appearance and the looks of your external-facing employees (those in sales especially). The way you treat your own and the way you treat your customers.**
Ah, now you can breathe a sigh of relief because you know I'm not some ugliness Nazi who wants to annihilate everyone who isn't cute. More on that later...
What I really mean is that in certain industries design standards trump most everything else, even function. (namely contemporary to designer fashion and shelter, advertising, architecture of the non-strip mall/suburban variety, indie music/indie anything really.)
Sadly, in the internet marketing world and many other technical fields, peeps have not (historically) given a fig for beautiful design/layout. They just slap shit on a page and call it a day.
Take a look at the average website and you'll see what I mean. Not only are they hard to navigate but also they are FUGLY.
Fortunately, a whole new paradigm is emerging among internet marketers/designers and guess what!? It involves a seriously ratcheted-up appreciation for aesthetics that also results in increased functionality for the user. Bombdotcom.
My favorite resources for this new stripped-down, uber clean aesthetic are:
marketing expert Derek Halpern's blog: www.SocialTriggers.com
and the wordpress template peeps over at www.WooThemes.com
also don't forget to check out www.Tumblr.com as a clean alternative to wordpress. All the cool creative kids are using it.
Now, as for the rest of the LOOKS things that are important for biz- your own appearance AND the appearance of your employees are crucial.
Per esempio, I just returned from San Antonio where I was at a trade show for a corporate client. Their website kinda stinks so I'm giving them a buy on that part. Their industry (packaging printing) is 99.9% men. My client had me there along with a 6' tall blonde German woman engineer, and a Meryl Streep look alike from Italy who is a market manager in Europe (kindof a big deal). I had also hired two booth babes locally to interact with potential and current customers. It just happened that we are all lovely ladies, but guess what?! Our booth was slammed! Constantly!
Lest you think that is incredibly superficial, keep reading. I promise that it's about more than external stuff.
Even more important than our ridiculously good looks, how we treated the customers and potentials, the polish of our branded apparel, and the cohesion with our booth design & paper marketing collateral were all part of our overall presence. And that presence was strong. It was a great trade show.
As customers become more sophisticated, it becomes more important to rise above the noise & clutter to broadcast a message that stands out. One of the single best ways to do this now is with design.
So don't be afraid to tell your friends that their (website) babies are ugly.
Moving along to relationships and why looks matter here. (Ah, this one could get me into trouble, but I don't really care.)
Men, those dear creatures, are very visual. We've all heard that. So one of the biggest jobs of the ladies of the world is to be cute! There. I said it.
Now listen, before you get all feminist on me and wave your hairy armpits in my face, hear me out. (BTW some men find the hairy pits thing attractive.)
Using physical attraction to select a mate is hardwired into us! Women are attracted to certain traits that connote power (and therefore protection) and overall health while men are attracted to traits in women that indicate fertility as well as overall health.
Nothing too superficial there. It's all about the continuation of our species.
So don't dismiss paying attention to your looks (especially in the early stages of dating) as non-essential. (This goes for men and for women equally.)
Dudes: Trim the nose hair! Manscape! Make sure you smell good!
Ladies: Wash your hair! Shave (even if he's not getting near there yet)! Not too much makeup!
I also love this quote from Helen Rubinstein: There are no ugly women only lazy ones.
Pretty much accurate, no? Everyone has natural beauty. Absolutely everyone. And the most beautiful people are those who shine from the inside out. Still, there's something to be said for a pair of tweezers and some highlights.
So, get your looks game up. Care about it. It's not superficial- it's good self-care, it shows that you care about the people who have to look at you, and it can get some good results in the game of life.
*How do you like THAT? as I karate chop air. I get to post it on both my blogs! Two-fer!
** Haha. Notice I sandwiched in the actual look of people between some other stuff. You probably still noticed.