In a world where we are constantly attending networking events, its important we use this time effectively. The following 10 steps will ensure you stand out and get remembered!
Look happy to be there. If you don’t want to be there, don’t go. People can tell if you are not being authentic and your personal brand won’t be perceived positively. So dazzle your fellow attendees with a smile, get eye contact, say hello, and engage in a friendly conversation.
Not often talked about, but always noticed. There is an art to it that often remains unexplored. What does yours say about you? Limp wet fish or crushing eager beast? Read this…
Don’t take shortcuts when it comes to how you present yourself. I promise that people notice the things you thought you could get away with. Is your shirt wrinkled? Have you missed your appointment to get your acrylic nails re-done? Forget to polish your shoes? Was it hotter on the Tube than you anticipated?
People think that if you don’t take pride in yourself, you won’t take pride in your work. Don’t avoid the event if you get into a spot of bother, just find a solution and be more prepared next time.
4. Your Story
Add some pizzazz when you describe what you do. Chances are the person you are talking to has had enough of bland business conversations, so start playing with your personal brand. What little snippets can you add to set you apart? Can you tell a short but interesting story about how you got to where you are, why you do what you do, or a great client case study that demonstrates the unique value you can add? Engaging with people and evoking an emotional response is the fastest way to business success.
I often mention to people that I visit my clients on my 750cc motorbike – this gets some great reactions when I’m standing before them as a petite woman in stilettos!
5. Your Artillery
So everything is going well so far; you look fabulous, you’ve captivated your audience and its time to reach for your artillery… Confidently you remove your well designed business card from your business card holder and present it, telling the recipient to feel free to check out your sensational website and blog, connect with you on an array of social media platforms, or send an email to your well thought out email address.
Knowing that all these things are consistent and in place gives you the confidence and ability to ‘walk the talk’ with your personal brand.
6. What Can You Do For Them?
Gone are the days of only caring about what you can get from other people; now it’s all about what you can do for them. Throughout the conversation, identify possible ways you can ‘pack their parachute’. This may involve introducing them to someone you know, offering to review their draft article, telling them about other events they might enjoy, or giving them some free advice on a matter within your subject area.
7. Connect and Follow
When you get home, take out their business card and have a look at their website and social media presence. Let’s assume they are someone you want to associate with; follow them on Twitter, connect with them on LinkedIn, Facebook, FriendFeed and Ecademy and perhaps comment on their blog post.
This shows them that you are genuinely interested in what they have to say, are willing to support them, and want to engage with them further.
8. Follow Up And Be True To Your Word
You may have shared a few online interactions since your first encounter, however it is a good idea to drop them a personal message to say hello and see what they are up to. If you promised to put them in touch with someone, do it. If you posted them some information, double check they received it.
Stand out and shine by staying in touch and actually doing what you say you will in a timely manner; this is very rare and will set you apart from the crowd.
9. Endorse and Be Endorse-able
Continue to ‘pack their parachute’ and endorse them where appropriate. Be in a position so that they can easily return the favour. Make sure your website and blog are of a standard that other people are happy to be associated with and promote. Can people easily share your online articles?
Sadly, I often decide not to endorse talented people because the calibre of their website doesn’t fit with my personal brand.
10. Spell Check
Throughout these communications, it is imperative that you spell check EVERY time before sending email, posting a tweet, publishing an article, commenting on other sites, printing your business cards etc. Make a point of double-checking words you’re not sure about or copy your tweet into a word document if you’re in a hurry.
Ask trusted friends and family to proofread your articles before you publish them. Don’t let one spelling mistake instantly unravel months of hard work!