If you work at home, it’s easy to have a dress down day. First impressions any new clients will have of you is how you conduct yourself; whether it will be over the phone, looking at your website and social media. They have created a mental image of you because your website looks professional and the conversation over the phone is on a business level, this gives an impression.
How your brand is weaved through your image when networking shows you are proud to be associated with it. If it’s scruffy and unkempt and it will be if you do not have a designed image it will put people off you. Just like you wouldn’t turn up to a network meeting in your PJs your image online shouldn’t look scruffy, thrown together, or like you’ve just got out of bed!
Networking can be one of the most important ways in connecting with new clients and also a way of keeping up with the latest trends and developments, especially if you are a sole trader, it’s a great way to meet people and build business relationships. Even though it is not a new concept, the power of making meaningful connections has become more important than ever in a social media-driven world. It gives you the opportunity to meet like-minded people face-to-face. It’s the old fashioned traditional method before social media existed. The old saying first impressions are lasting is very true.
You don’t get a second chance to make a first impression!
So tying in your brand identity or colour palette is key when going out to network.
Shout about your brand and stand out from the herd!
Use accessories to weave in your brand. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
- Handbags and scarves
- Shirts and ties
- Socks and cuff links
By accessorising, using your brand palette, people will remember and connect with you online and offline. It’s a smooth transition from your online presence to your offline identity. If you make the effort with your personal appearance, it helps to develop a strong feeling of trust between those involved and play a big part in raising the profile and takings of a company, so this is where your image plays an important role in how you are perceived.
Professional growth depends on regular networking and should be viewed as an important part of your branding strategy. You have to attend meetings consistently. Pick three or four different groups and each one may be weekly, fortnightly or monthly, but if you consistently show your face, people start to take you seriously and know you mean business. They also get to know you on a personal level thus making it much easier to gain confidence and build a business relationship.
One of the keys to successful networking is regularly showing up. As well as consistently doing other networking activities that help you bring value to the groups. Get yourself out there and get your brand visible. What’s holding you back?