This isn’t likely to win me a popularity prize, but I’ll say it anyway… appearances matter.

I was given a copy of the book Freakonmics, by Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner. The book came highly recommended. I was excited to receive it. I opened the book and discovered that the copy of the book that I had received was meant for the visually impaired, it was “Large Print”. The layout of the book was focused on the size of the text not for how it looked. I’m fortunate that I do not need “large sized print” but because it’s not visually appealing to me, I have not been able to get myself to read the book.

I saw an article about several college students at two highly ranked universities. The students refused to read books that were assigned. Supposedly, one of the books supported terrorism and the other went against moral grounds. The students got that impression based on the titles of the book but in reality neither book had anything to do with the issues the students cited.

My neighbor just put a fence around their back yard. The people who installed the fence attached a sign to the back corner with the company name and phone number. They put up the sign crookedly and because of the way their yard is positioned we are the only ones who will ever see the sign. Their marketing isn’t doing them any good. Not only will nobody see the sign, but also it’s clear that they have no eye for straight lines. This is not a company I’d do business with.

We judge things on how they look.

It’s not just things. We judge people too. According to science, it takes just one-tenth of a second for us to judge someone and make a first impression.

So why am I sharing this with you?

It’s because impressions matter. Just like you judge and make decisions based on what you see, your potential clients judge you and your services by what they see.

I am a firm believer in “done is better than perfect”. Your website does not have to be perfect. Your clothing does not need to be picked out by a stylist. And, mistakes are truly okay.

What is imperative is that you show you care.

It is important to take the filter of familiarity and of ownership away, when you review things, especially things that you’ve seen before or you’ve put effort into creating yourself. How do things really look?

Shortly after my husband and I got married we removed an air conditioner from a window. We couldn’t get rid of it immediately and had to store it for a while. We ended up putting it under a table in the living room. The problem was, it was a glass table. A day or two after putting it there we realized that we no longer saw it. We walked by it for weeks because we got used to seeing it and it became invisible to us.

Here’s my suggestion to you. Pretend you are your clients. Pretend you are one of your prospects. Look at what you are doing through the eyes of your competitors (you do know they are looking, right?). What do they see when they come to your website? What do they see when they look at your products? What do they experience when they engage in your services?

Now ask yourself… is this what you want to be portraying?

What do you need to change so that when you are judged the impression that people get will be the impression you want them to have?

Author's Bio: 

Carrie Greene is a speaker, author & business coach. She is a business strategist & who helps entrepreneurs get clear on what they want and creating simple plans to get there. She is the author of "Chaos to Cash: An Entrepreneur's Guide to Eliminating Chaos, Overwhelm & Procrastination So You Can Create Ultimate Profit!" Resources at