Sometimes, colors complement their surroundings. Other times, they cause a clash. There are even situations where they make some things look bland or pale.
Most of us, when we get dressed in the morning, we overlook the importance of the color of our outfits. Instead, we think of what matches together. Then we put on an outfit that best suits how we feel for the day.
But if you’re in a career where you have a forward facing role, whether it be a speaker, a sales person, or even someone who greets people at your business each morning, colors have more importance than what you may think.
When it comes to branding yourself, or your business, colors define how the world sees who you and your business are. That is both offline and online and translates to the color scheme of your website.
Jill Kirsh of Jill Kirsh Color explained to me that each person has a different color eyes, hair and skin tone. A color palette that looks amazing on one person could make another look lifeless and zombielike.
She then asked me if she could come over to my home to show me the importance of color and how I could implement it into my personal brand.
In the last few years, I’ve been the type of person who would sway away from wearing blacks or whites, and instead would stick with colors that were more pastelly. Little did I know that these colors were making me fade out.
When Jill came over, she set up her glamour mirror and had me wear a white sheet, much like the kind you get at a barber shop. She then took sheets of cloth out of four color spectrums.
Then put them around my neck. (For women, she also applies makeup.) As I wore certain colors, one of four things happened:
- The color was distracting. My image became fragmented. Each piece of my body and my outfit became out of sync. It even made my hair look out of place. This ultimately ended up creating a scenario where my eyes had trouble deciding what to focus on.
- The color faded me out, making me look dull, almost unrecognizable. I saw that if I was in a room full of people, hardly anyone would notice me.
- The color just drained the energy out of me, making me look much older and more mature than I am. It made me look as if I was sick and void of life.
- The color made my pop, look pulled together, more vivid, lively and made me appear more present. It also helped me look younger and a bit thinner too!
After everything was said and done, I ended up falling under the color palette on the left. Great news, since I love wearing purple and pink. Coincidentally, that color palette also included the whites and blacks that I never end up wearing. Luckily, each color within each palette matches with each other, so you can mix and match from the thirty different choices within the group.
(Before and after example)
When I witnessed this process in action though, I immediately understood the significance of how color plays a role in a person’s brand, and how wearing the wrong colors could scare away potential clients and other people I associate with.
In my line of work, my brand means everything. From the moment a person sets eyes on me, even if it’s only for a split second, they are making an instantaneous subconscious decision as to whether or not they are drawn to me, or distancing themselves from getting to know who I am.
The same thing happens in each interaction of our lives.
- Say you were to go in for an interview with a prospective employer or a new client. Once you step in the room, the first thing their eyes are drawn to are the colors you are wearing.
- Or if you’re speaking on stage in front of thousands of people, you want to make sure your audience has no distractions. You want the emphasis to be on you.
- Or that moment when a new customer first steps foot in your business. You want to make sure they not only buy into your business, but buy into you as well.
To do this, you need to maximize our probabilities of success. What better way to do that than by aligning your colors with your own personal brand. You don’t want something as simple as wearing the wrong outfit to cost you from achieving the next significant milestone in your life.
Learning about my colors was a life changing experience. I don’t even know how I was able to go the last thirty years without it.
Have you had a chance to discover your colors yet? How has that improved interactions with your clients or prospective employers? Comment below!
Originally posted on Inc.
Leonard Kim is Managing Partner at InfluenceTree. At InfluenceTree, Leonard and his team teach you how to build your (personal or business) brand, get featured in publications and growth hack your social media following.