The Art of Projecting a Successful Image in a Crowded Industry


Success is a highly variable concept that means different things to different people. Despite the ambiguity that comes with the term, every entrepreneur wants to be viewed as successful. The question is, are you projecting the right image in your industry or niche?

5 Tips for Looking Successful

There’s a saying that goes like this: “Character is what you are; reputation is what people think you are.” In other words, for better or worse, there’s often a significant difference between who you are and who people think you are.

While there’s a difference between being successful and looking successful, sometimes there are benefits to projecting an image of success. In fact, projecting success can often lead to success. And while it’s never a good thing to be outright deceptive, there’s nothing wrong with heeding the following advice.

  1. Dress Well

“The old advice to dress for the job you want, not the job you have, may have roots in more than simply how others perceive you—many studies show that the clothes you wear can affect your mental and physical performance,” Matthew Hutson writes for Scientific American. Additionally, it has an impact on the way other people perceive you.

By and large, successful people dress in clean, conservative clothing with small touches of luxury – like nice jewelry – while unsuccessful people are disheveled, dirty, and flamboyant. Keeping this in mind, make sure you’re always wearing something that tells others you care about your image and are well put together.

  1. Drive a Nice Car

It’s a simple thing, but the car you drive speaks volumes about who you are, what you’re like, and what your financial background entails. While you may not be able to drive the latest Mercedes or Tesla, there are plenty of cost-effective luxury cars out there.

There are plenty of affordable luxury vehicles on the market – including some used options for less than $30,000. These include newer BMW 328’s, Lexus ES-350’s, and Mercedes-Benz C250’s.

  1. Act With Confidence

Projecting success isn’t always about the material possessions you own. In many cases, it’s about acting with confidence.

When you possess a high level of self-confidence, the people around you notice and assume that you have reason to be confident. It’s magnetic, enticing, and intoxicating. Best of all, it doesn’t cost you a dime!

  1. Write and Speak Correctly

Very rarely will you meet a successful person who speaks or writes poorly. Almost without exception, today’s most successful individuals are effective in their communication.

If you aren’t currently a good writer or orator, spend some time honing these skills. A couple of courses in writing and/or public speaking will go a long way.

  1. Control Your Online Image

In today’s world, your online image is pretty much synonymous with your real-world image. If you want to appear successful in real life, you need to be strategic with your online image on social media. From the way you write and the content you share to the images you publish and groups you associate yourself with, your online reputation should be carefully managed.

What Image Are You Projecting?

If you were to walk into an office building and ask for a meeting with an important figure in a major company, would you get very far? Would they wave you back, or ask you to leave?

Whether right or wrong, the image you project has a significant impact on how people perceive you. While you should be honest and transparent, carrying yourself in a particular way can have a profoundly positive impact on your life and career.