Essential networking: Power up your image

April 23, 2013 Updated: April 30, 2013

 

From the moment you collect your name badge and enter a networking room you are advertising your image and personal brand. It is therefore essential to be aware that it only takes seconds for other delegates to make a judgement about you. Your image and personal brand is your number one asset for successful networking so we cannot deny how important it is to create a positive first impression. How true the saying “you never get a second chance to make a first impression” really is.
 
I often remind my clients that a positive first impression is fundamental and that the impact it can have on perception and confidence is centrally important. In business we know only too well that “people buy people” and that we are more likely to buy from people we trust. Let’s be honest, we are less likely to buy from a delegate who does not themselves portray confidence. It is amazing how small nuances in posture, body language and tone of voice can impact perceived confidence and that all important first impression.

Take a moment to think about what your image is saying about you and about how you want to be remembered. When your image looks successful, you will be viewed as being successful. When you meet another delegate for the first time during the introduction phase of an event, don’t forget you are communicating. After exchanging business cards, you want to be remembered with positively the next day when delegates are review the business cards they’ve collected. 

In networking there are two major competitive constraints. One is how many delegates attend, the other is the limited time you have to network with each one. It is often forgotten that personal brand image is priceless. Since your personal image is an asset to your business it should be viewed as valuable equity. You need to stand out from the crowd so when you represent your brand, you need to consider your own personal style.  

Your own style will drive success for your business. You are its walking advertisement so dare to be different when making decisions in creating your personal brand. Don’t copy your competitors because their branding was developed with their specific business in mind. Your personal branding should always be unique. Begin with a clear understanding of your audience and follow this by identifying their key characterises to target. This will help you develop a personal brand that your audience can relate to.

How your image is perceived doesn’t end when the networking event closes. Your positive image should also be continued in the follow up with new contacts. Be prompt in this because being the first to follow up demonstrates confidence and reliability and can therefore have a very positive influence in the generation of leads.

Remember your brand and image are crucial elements of your ongoing process towards success. Think about well-known brands such as Coca Cola, Virgin, Microsoft and Apple. They certainly didn’t achieve success over night and because they understand that image is all-important even power up their image by advertising without ever mentioning a specific product.

Bella Rareworld, Managing Director of BellaNetworking Events, provides strategic networking solutions by managing every stage of a company’s networking life cycle to fit their marketing strategy. Go to www.bellanetworking.com, email her at info@bellanetworking.com or call 0845 269 8036. Bella Rareworld has over 70 testimonials on Linkedin on http://www.linkedin.com/in/rareworld For BellaNetworking Training dates:http://bellatrainingdates.eventbrite.com/ You can also follow her on twitter athttp://www.twitter.com/BellaNetworking