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Understanding Performance, Image, and Exposure: The Keys to Professional Success

Vibrant scene of a business person of Black descent confidently presenting to a diverse audience in a colorful seminar hall, embodying dynamic knowledge sharing and success.

Why Success is About Exposure, Not Performance

You will often hear a narrative proclaiming that hard work and commitment will always yield results. Or, if you dedicate yourself to something consistently, this will be enough to ensure success.

However, according to research by H.J. Coleman, published in his book ‘Empowering Yourself,’ only about 10% of your personal successes are associated with your performance. In fact, there are two other factors that are even more important, and they may surprise you!

This article explores the critical components of professional success: performance, image, and exposure.

But If It Isn’t About Performance, What Is It That Makes A Person Successful?

Coleman breaks success down into three factors:

  1. Performance - accounting for ten percent.

  2. Image - covering roughly thirty percent.

  3. Exposure - makes up the remaining sixty percent.

These three factors can be easily remembered using the acronym PIE and suggest a completely different theory that goes against what we are taught in schools and throughout our careers.

1. Performance

Although 10% doesn’t seem like very much, it remains a factor in influencing whether or not you succeed. If you don’t work hard and persevere in your dreams, it is unlikely that you will get very far.

So ask yourself this: am I being as productive as I can be?

However, the other two factors account for a far larger amount of what makes up a successful person.

In other words, performance doesn’t quite cut it…

Confident business professional, symbolizing strong personal image.

2. Image

Cultivating a strong image is as crucial as enhancing your performance and exposure. If I asked you to describe who you are and what role you play in your professional team or business, what would you say?

Having a firm idea of what your role is and how others perceive you, is a huge factor influencing success.

When a co-worker needs to brainstorm creative ideas, are you the first reference point? Or are you the person people go to when they need some numbers analyzed?

Believe it or not, being the ‘go-to’ for a task means that you have built a strong image around yourself. Being known for excelling in a particular department is a sure-fire way to ensure success in your professional life.

Networking event depicting the importance of exposure in professional success.

3. Exposure

Most importantly, Coleman's research found that success was hugely based on exposure.

Being successful is all about being remembered - being talked about for your work, your achievements, and your personal strengths.

Here at The Industry Leaders, we are all about offering opportunities for exposure because we know how much it contributes to professional success.

Working hard is important, but it will never be enough to succeed, particularly in such a competitive world where there are so many different options on offer. You have to find a way to stand out from the crowd, and exposing yourself and your business as much as possible is how you can do that.

How Can You Increase Your Exposure And Professional Visibility?

1. Seek support

Mentor figures play an important role in an individual's career success. Established platforms can help you progress, offering you exposure in the form of interviews, articles, and podcasts and opening up a space for you to express yourself and advocate for your business.

In times of doubt, they can help you overcome those voices that make you question your talent and professional worth.

They provide a place to learn, with content tailored specifically to you and how you can grow your business and improve as an individual entrepreneur.

2. Network

Successful people know other successful people. If you are a business owner or entrepreneur, connecting with other like-minded people will ensure that you can tap into a well of information and advice, strengthening your industry knowledge. It will also enable you to join a community of people who understand the struggles you are going through and share similar goals.

By supporting one another, you can further expose who you are and what you do, circulating your name within a professional network of other successful people who might one day be interested in collaborating with you. This will open doors for you that might not previously have been available.

3. Make the most of our digital world

Exposing yourself online is all about building up a curated, polished experience for your audience, regardless of whether you are trying to share information or sell something.

Make sure the content you are creating is engaging, concise, and readable. Get to the point fast and make your reader feel like what you are writing was envisioned just for them.

Use social media to your advantage - it can help expose your business to large audiences. If you use it consistently, it can have a serious impact on your success.

Involve yourself in online communities - not only will this help you network, but it will teach you a lot about what people want and don’t want from your business. Ensure you are open to receiving feedback; it will only help you improve.

Advertise yourself wherever you can - an opportunity to talk about who you are and what you do will increase your exposure, and over time, this will build up, improving your chances at success.

It will also promote your image, portraying you in the eyes of others as a professional individual with a lot to offer.

Conclusion: You Need A Combination Of Performance, Image, And Exposure, But Exposure Is Vital To Your Success

Being successful is about pooling together a combination of factors, which means to truly excel and navigate the corporate ladder, a balance of performance, image, and exposure is essential. However, research definitely points to the importance of exposure if you want to stand out from the crowds of people trying to do exactly what you are doing.

So, what are you waiting for? If you have a skill or product you think the world needs, expose it!


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