Tips for choosing the right outfit when meeting a new client
Creating the right impression is essential when meeting a client for the first time. And this starts with your choice of outfit. But in today’s world of modern fashion and style, digital marketing and social media, expectations are high and there’s a lot more to think about than just looking smart. This can especially be the case if you’re a freelancer and represent your own business.
Here are some things to think about to ensure your outfit creates the right impression when you’re freelancing and meeting a client.
Creating a professional image is a good place to start when choosing an outfit to meet a new client. When you’re a freelancer, this is about creating different messages to your client, so they know they’ve chosen the right person for the job. Whether you’re meeting to discuss design ideas for a hotel entrance or plans for a wedding photo shoot, you should aim to show that you’re in a position of authority, that you take your work seriously, and that you have respect for your clients. This doesn’t mean you have to spend a fortune on an expensive new outfit. There are plenty of affordable businessy clothing brands on the high-street, like Next, or online, like Simon Jersey, that offer clothing that’s ideal for a client meeting. A simple, yet striking, well-priced blazer, for instance, can smarten up a look, suggest authority and confidence, all while showing you’re making an effort for your client.
Dressing for your job
Another important thing to think about is to dress for the job you do. This means dressing in a way that best reflects the kind of work you do, while emphasising the eye for detail you might have in that area. For instance, if you’re an interior designer, dressing in an old-fashioned business suit, while looking smart, probably won’t really reflect things like your creativity and knowledge of colour schemes. Similarly, if you’re a freelance photographer, you might want to put together an outfit that creates shapes and lines, helping to show your understanding of composition and framing.
Considering where you’ll meet
Where you’re meeting your client is another thing to think about to create the right impression. For instance, if you decide to meet in a relaxed environment, like a quaint country pub, turning up suited and booted might look a bit out-of-place and make your client feel uncomfortable. If you’re a freelance photographer, you might also want to do some test shots with your client during the meeting, like in a nearby park. So it’s wise to think about an outfit that’s suitable. In this case, turning up in flashy heels and a long flowing dress might seem a bit of an ill-though out decision if you end up walking across fields and along muddy paths.
Fitting your brand
Another important point to take into consideration is making sure you dress to fit your brand image. This is about choosing an outfit and style that fits with how you’ve marketed yourself on your website, blog or social media. It’s worth remembering that part of the reason your client will have chosen you is because they liked what they saw when they did their research – from your fashion and style to the way you present yourself on your site. They will probably have an idea in their head about what to expect when they meet you. So if you’ve portrayed a trendy style and turn up in a bland, old-fashioned outfit, it might immediately catch them off guard and not meet their expectations, getting your meeting off to a shaky start.
Making your client feel comfortable
Finally, when meeting a new client, it’s important to dress in a way that doesn’t make them feel uncomfortable. This is about dressing appropriately, so avoiding things like low-cut tops, sleeveless shirts and short skirts. But it’s also about making sure they’re not distracted, or feel intimidated or overwhelmed, by what you’re wearing, which might take focus away from more important things, like you what you have to say. While it’s important to dress to fit your brand, it’s also important to strike a good balance between reflecting your sense of style and making sure your client feels comfortable. The best client meeting outfits are those that add to, not override, your business role, professionalism, brand and image, all while reminding the client that they’re in good hands.