This article is by Contributor: Jenny Holt
Gone are the days of a salary-for-life job at the same company. In Australia and many other parts of the world, people want to be their own boss. According to a study by Upwork, nearly 32% of Australians billed clients for freelance work in 2015.
That amounts to one in three workers who are attracted by the flexibility and freedom offered by being one’s own boss. However, freelancers still have clients and having the right fashion tips is important when you have a face to face meeting with a client.
Working the hours that most suit, taking a sabbatical during the low season, and studying while working are just a few perks of freelancing, which can also be challenging – particularly when it comes to landing and retaining clients.
When you think of ways to impress your target market, you may think of ways to present new ideas, projects or designs, but don’t neglect your appearance; it is a vital consideration that could make or break a deal.
If you have an upcoming pitch or client meeting, ensure you look the part. Your appearance should express the professionalism clients can count on if they choose to work with you.
Check out these top fashion tips:
Numerous studies have shown that how the way we look can affect the amount we earn and even the type of job we are hired for. Studies have shown that being tall, wearing makeup or having a normal body weight is key to earning more or even to landing a client.
These findings undoubtedly have numerous exceptions; skills and experiences should count significantly more than appearance, yet the statistics serve us as a reminder that it pays to look our best when doing business.
You would think that there was a standard outfit you could wear regardless of who you were meeting up with, but even though you have your own freelance business, it is vital to dress in accordance with your client’s expectations and that means thinking well about your outfit, each and every time you meet up.
If you are visiting a client working in the corporate sector, a business suit is key. If the client tends to dress casually, men can go for a business casual look which comprises a jacket and dress trousers that don’t match. Women can do the same, using either dress trousers or a pencil cut skirt.
For a first visit, wearing a suit is always important; the more serious the client, the more neutral your colour choice should be. If you have met the client various times and they are always dressed in a shirt and khakis, you make it a bit more casual by wearing a shirt with non-neutral colours under your jacket.
A print is generally a no-no at a first meeting, but a smart shirt with small print can work well under a dress jacket and can be matched with lighter toned trousers.
If your client is trendy and avant-garde and you already have a good working relationship, your own instinct should tell you whether or not a suit is necessary.
You could just get away with a bright coloured top in a primary colour and trousers, matched with trendy glasses and one or two accessories (think a silver watch or a pair of earrings for women and a watch and/or a fine leather bracelet for men).
Grooming is equally important. You should have just had a shower, your hair should be well styled and clean, and your nails should be well manicured or at the very least clean and well cared for.
Dress codes should be considered a general guide when it comes to creating a good impression. When you are meeting a client, your own research and your past experience with them should be the number one consideration. Cleanliness and tidiness are key, as is wearing the kind of clothing you think your client would be impressed by.
Your appearance should say that you are professional, committed, and, if appropriate, visionary. Choose a style you are comfortable with but one that always reflects your excellence in your chosen field.