In Home Studios and Status Signaling

Video meetings aren’t going anywhere. Yes, we will start going back to the office, but with that said, video meetings and interviews are now common place.

I think about what this will mean for us, and for our first impressions of each other. Will our at home studio become some sort of status symbol?

What kind of signals will we send to each other?

I’m fascinated by signals. I think it’s important to recognize them, and to understand the impact they have.

When I lived in Florida, I was responsible for taking in person meetings for potential clients. My job is to get the money, and I’ve been to hundreds of pitch meetings in my life. It’s probably my favorite thing to do.

I would experiment with different signals. I would show up to some meetings wearing a suit. Some meetings I would wear jeans and a button down.

For some meetings, I would wear slick, modern styling clothing with some fancy sneakers. In other meetings, I would show up as myself, a black tank top with black and white Chuck Taylors and my tattoos in display.

In my little experiment, the conclusion was that the best way to close a deal was to show people my car. No matter what I was wearing, if I was able to get people to walk me out to my car, they would instantly respect me more and take my business more seriously. I can’t tell you how many times I heard the phrase “business must be good.”

From that moment on, I never saw my fancy car as a payment, but rather an investment. It is a signal, and I have always been very purposeful in showing it off.

Needless to say, I haven’t done any in person pitch meetings in over a year and a half. All of my meetings have been on zoom. So what does that mean for status signals? How is it that I can signal to people that I am good at my job?

I’ve noticed that in almost every meeting, people always comment on my microphone.

“Whoa, that’s a sweet set up” they say. “Why do you have such a fancy microphone.?”

I tell them that I do a weekly podcast and that I use my office as an in home studio. Because “that’s what professionals do.”

I’m running under the assumption that in home studios will become more of a status signal. What does my backdrop look like? What pictures are on the wall? What does my backdrop say about me? What does it say about my company? What does it say about my skill level?

I’m making the decision to level up the production value of my in home studio. Today, I will buy a better lighting rig, work on my back drop and ultimately, treat my studio as a status signal.

I would rather have it and not need it then need it and not have it.

I will keep you posted on the feedback.