Christopher Maloney is the kind of guy you wouldn't give a second glance. Distinctly average looking his grey layered look just adds to the 'I have nothing to offer badge' he may as well have been wearing all his life. He arrived on the X Factor stage visibly shaking. Watching through my fingers, I cringed as he painfully explained he had backed out of auditioning for years because people told him he would make a fool of himself. The judges and entire audience wrote him off...

And then he began to sing Bette Midler's The Rose. Christopher Maloney is a 34 year old customer service advisor who could have gone another 34 years unnoticed, undiscovered and less than average. But underneath that façade Christopher has so much more to offer. The Christopher Maloney scenario is nothing new. In 2009, the same scene played out for Susan Boyle in Britain's Got Talent. Are people judging you and your business for all the wrong reasons?

People will judge you and draw conclusions based on how you look. Image matters. Packaging matters. Brand matters. Marketing matters. Content matters. If you believe your business can make a positive impact then stop hiding what you have to offer:

1) Put yourself out there
Get on that stage like Christopher Maloney and Susan Boyle. Even with the imperfections audiences around the world heaped on them, they made an impact as they were. If you have no budget for addressing your brand image and marketing, start by getting started. Be amazing at what you do. You may have very few people taking notice, but make sure you are amazing for them.

2) Image impacts sales
Susan Boyle was very quickly primped, preened and visibly transformed into the perfect image that would help sell her albums. As the weeks go by the same will happen to Christopher Maloney. Attend to your brand image and marketing as soon as you can. It will help raise your profile. It will ensure you make the right impression. It will help spread the word. It will support your performance. It will be a key part of successful growth. It will help sell your wears.

We live in fickle times. We are a cynical bunch. In our fast paced world, we all make quick judgements to help us make the decisions we need to make. No matter how good your business is, if it does not look impressive, people will judge it so.

AuthorSara Drawwater