The power of a strong brand image is paramount when it comes to networking in person.
From the clothes you wear to the way you carry yourself, your brand image affects how others perceive you and potentially their willingness to do business with you.
Your brand is everything.
And first impressions matter.
Whether it’s your website, handing someone your business card, engaging with your brand online via social media, or attending a networking event, every interaction clients or business referrals have with your brand affects your brand’s image.
Your brand has meaning.
And managing the meaning or the perception of your brand, especially when networking in person, is important.
Last week, I had the pleasure of hosting a networking event at the studio. We enjoyed chocolates from Vivilicious Chocolates, margaritas from Rustic Spirits, and I gave a quick presentation on branding – my favorite topic!
Because it was a networking event with small business owners, I shared some key branding tips about how to stand out and be unforgettable.
Branding Tips for Networking: How to Become Unforgettable
Tip #1 Choose Your Clothes Wisely
The clothes you wear all make up a part of your brand identity. Make sure that each wardrobe choice aligns with the message you want to communicate about yourself and your business.
Tip #2 Have Your Elevator Pitch Ready
Having an elevator pitch or one-liner prepared allows you quickly explain who you are, the problem you solve, and how you help your clients. Practice beforehand so that it sounds natural and makes an impression.
Tip #3 Be YOU
You don’t have to be someone else in order to make an impression – just be your authentic self. You want to be YOU and represent your brand in the same way that it feels when someone experiences your website and engages with you online. Meeting you in person should connect with that same experience.
Tip #4 Lean In and Listen
Networking isn’t about talking, it’s about listening. Make sure you not only tell people who you are and what you do, but also ask questions and show genuine interest in the people you meet.
Tip #5 Relationships are Built Through Follow up
Once the event is over, be sure to follow-up with at least one person! Send an email, set up a time for coffee, or connect with them on social media. This will keep the conversation going and help you build relationships.
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