How to Develop a Professional Image — Even If You Work Virtually

In this day of technology and the dreaded recordings,
insuring that you maintain a professional image is crucial to business

How you come across on the phone, through your website,
on a plane or at a networking event directly impacts how others (read
"potential clients") perceive you and your business. Especially if you
ARE your business.

Here are a few tips for maintaining a professional image in all that you do:

1. Dress for success and act the part.

you need to attend an event or may otherwise come into contact with
potential clients, you should dress for success. This does not mean you
need to wear a suit, but you should be well-groomed and your clothes
should fit you properly. I try to dress in the Corporate equivalent of
"business casual" when going out.

This insures that I am *ready* to meet with someone should the occasion arise — even on a plane.  🙂

a flight to Los Angeles last year, I was jotting down some thoughts to
clients when the gentleman sitting next to me complimented me on my
diligence and said that my boss must be pleased with my dedication. I
thanked him and said I was. We proceeded to have a great discussion and
he has since referred many leads to me.

2. Make the telephone work for you.

possible, answer your phone during business hours. It is so rare these
days to get a "live voice" that your caller will be immediately pleased.

should also sit upright or walk around while on the phone in order to
inject energy into your voice. Before every conference call, I do a few
jumping jacks and toe touches to get the blood flowing again; I am much
peppier as a result.

3. Underpromise and overdeliver — always.

are multitudes of companies out there and it’s pretty easy for clients
to change who they do business with. In maintaining a professional
image, you want to do what you say, when you say it (or earlier!).

old saying of "underpromise and overdeliver" has never been more true
than it is today. If you can give added-value to your clients, do it.
This holds true for any committees you are part of, nonprofit groups
you join — in all situations, you want to be known as someone who
always delivers.

4. Read and reread

I read and then
reread everything I send out. Whether a quick email or a longer note,
you want to be professional in your communications. You want your
clients/potential clients to focus on your message, not on your
misspelled words or poor grammar. It *really* does make a difference.

remember, the first impression is often a lasting impression and that
people do business with people — not with faceless entities. When
people think of you/your business, you want it to be in a complimentary

Sandra P.
Martini, the Automatic Business Coach ™, is creator of the “9 Simple Steps to
Creating an Automatic Business” system. To learn more about this step-by-step program for small business
success, and to receive her FREE “5 Simple Steps to Putting Your Marketing on
Autopilot” e-course/audio mini-series and how-to articles and teleseminars, please