For those who haven’t binge-watched the most recent season of Netflix’s Queer Eye, the latest iteration of the 00s’ Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, you should know that this show has become so much more than just a makeover show. In many ways it is a show about personal branding.
Branding, whether personal or leadership branding, at its core, is about presenting yourself in an authentic way that gives you confidence and helps you to put your best foot forward. That is what Queer Eye is all about. According to Jonathan Van Ness, Queer Eye’s grooming specialist, ‘How you take care of yourself is how the world sees you.’ So, we’ve put together some lessons on branding from Season 3.
Queer Eye Branding Advice
1. Be the best version of you.
Presenting your best self to the world doesn’t mean changing who you are. You’re still doing you, but you’re doing it well. One of the things we love about the new Queer Eye is that the experts aren’t trying to mould anyone into something they’re not, for example by putting people who don’t need them in suits that won’t work for their real, everyday lives. Instead, the team takes the time to find out who their subject really is, so they can help draw out the best version of that while keeping to their brand.
2. Clothing can make the woman and man.
As much as we might dislike it, we are judged by our appearance, and clothing is a big part of this. Though on Queer Eye, they do update the subject’s wardrobe, they don’t necessarily go straight for designer or expensive items. Instead, they look at each person’s style and lifestyle and offer suggestions accordingly. Watching how a person’s confidence changes when they feel comfortable in their clothes is amazing. As Tan France, the style expert, says, ‘Style is dressing the way that you feel confident and what’s appropriate for you, your age and your body type.’ Being confident is great for everyone’s brand, whether you’re a leader, just starting out or ready to take your career to the next level.
A little tip, if you would wear it to the beach or a night club, don’t wear it to work!
3. If you want to look approachable, smile more.
Looking authoritative and approachable aren’t mutually exclusive. In one episode, the Queer Eye team works with Joey, a Program Director for a summer camp. He appears hunched over and unsmiling, and dresses like the kids who attend camp in an effort to appear more approachable. In fact, though, it has the opposite effect. A smile opens you up, which is why we always recommend you use a smiling photo for any online or bio picture. No-one wants a leader or manager who never smiles, or even an employee who is serious all the time.
4. Don’t be afraid to stand out from the pack.
This comes with confidence but we know from working in the recruitment industry for more than 15 years that standing out from the crowd can only help you get noticed by potential employers and recruiters. Be yourself, and if that means you’re a little different from everyone else, then embrace it!
5. Someday is today.
We’ve often heard clients say they’ll change their profile photo ‘one day’ or they’ll update their summary ‘soon’. We love the motto: ‘Someday is today’. If you want the career you’ve been dreaming of, if you want that promotion or to take charge of that big project, then make today the day and start sprucing up your brand now.
Your brand whether it is for you personally or as a leader in your organisation is made up of every interaction you have. How you turn up in person and also how you present yourself professionally online; on LinkedIn, your private social media, how you present in emails, as well on the phone, all of this is part of your personal or leadership brand. Quite often people have formed an opinion of you before they have even met you just from how you have represented yourself.
Whatever your career and whatever level your role, if you’re a leader attracting candidates to an organisation or you’re building your career, your branding can make all the difference to how others see you, as well as how you see yourself. Here at Chorus Executive we know from our own experience – and from watching three seasons of Queer Eye – that how you present yourself to the world can increase your confidence, boost your career and improve your life. This doesn’t mean changing who you are. It means doing you, well! In the words of Tan France, ‘You being true to yourself isn’t going to offend anybody. It’s very unlikely that people are going to cause you any issue just because you’re being yourself. And if they’re concerned, that’s on them.’
We might not be able to help you in the style stakes but we can definitely help you present yourself better online. Reach out if you’re ready for an online personal branding makeover!