To be, or not to be.... Natural, that is.......

To be, or not to be.... Natural, that is.......

If it was absolutely necessary for you to go Natural, would You?

How Well do you market "You"?

"Sell Yourself" is the advice that many experts indicate when getting others to see you in a different arena- be it a job, a new business venture, etc.  

However, how well do you market "You" ?  

One way to find out your status as a "You-Marketer" is to attend a networking event.....

#1- If you feel like you're out of place because you're not speaking 'networker speak- language' then you probably are...

Joseph Chung and Justin Hong, E-authors of "10 Mistakes that people make at networking events", point out some of the glaring faux pas that would-be networkers make, such as '-trying to sell products to people as soon as you meet them, -'making the conversations all about you and not the othe party you are talking to, -'staying on one side of the meeting area'- and -'only talking to people that you know.....etc.,etc.,etc...."

As human beings, we often feel the need to feel comfortable, normal, and in place- and this is good... for everyone else.... We have to be able to step outside our comfort zones, loosen up, and meet people.

 

#2- Do you have business cards that define who you are and what you do?  This is always a glaring concern when attending networking events.  Do you have business cards? If so, what is the appearance and feel of those business cards? Do your business cards look like they were professionally done (appearance is everything) OR Do your business cards appear as if you just printed them off your home office printer? Do your business cards have the "Vistaprint(tm)" ad on the back? or the last and largest question of this segment is... Do you HAVE any business cards in your possession right now?

I actually attended a few vending and networking events where I found all of the above... one of the first things that would-be networkers ask for is whether or not you have a business card... if your answer is no, then the other party is at the mercy of listening to what you do rather than getting a paraphrased idea of what you do from your business cards and learning more about you, the individual behind the business card- and if the network event is huge, your chances of people remembering what you said- or you- for that matter, really begin to dwindle (be warned....). Plus, (and this is just me- I can't speak for everyone... lol) when I get a business card and the card's address, phone number, etc., has been altered via pen or correction tape... this takes away the savoir faire of the business card- as well as the business card owner (to me....). 

#3-Do you have access to and are you accessible online- in other words, are you connected to the social media?   If FB, Pint, Tweets,Inst mean Fat Bacon,Pint of Milk, Tweet Candy, and Instant Coffee- then it's a very strong chance that you are definitely not connected as well as you should be... Technology has taken off and is not looking back... gone are the days of snail mail in most cases, and today's society demands that we adapt or become antiquated in our marketing quests.  You need to be as connected as possible... people need to know who you are and how to contact you.... and no, I'm not spelling out what FB, Pint, Tweets, and Ins mean- this indicates that you need to spend some homework time searching and researching... (get to it- for those of you still lost in the sea of acronyms- if you aren't lost, read on...)

#4- do you have a viable website? I hear a lot of people saying, "Hey, I'm getting my website built!!" Although this sounds awesome, if the website is not up and current (yes, I'm guilty on at least one), then what are you conveying to the people who access your website?  I've actually been given an impressive postcard flyer only to go to the website, and the interest drops... why? The reason is that the postcard flyer and the website weren't seamless- in other words, whatever is on the postcard needs to easily transfer over to the website so that the would-be client remembers what you and your marketing edge is all about- it's called branding....

#5- Your appearance :  Yes, image means a lot!!! According to Peter Murphy of self-growth.com, image and cleanliness are paramount to the You-package.  If you attend networking event in a hawaiian shirt (a rather weathered one) and some bermuda shorts- looking like you're ready to have fun in the sun- you're not dressed for success.  Your appearance or swagger(no pun intended) needs to 'Pop' and you need to look as only you can look- in a professional manner.  For more details, check out some of the websites for more advice on how to dress for success.

#6- Your conversation.... OML ( Oh My Land) STFUTW- (Stop The Frequent Unlimited Text-like Writing!!!!) These days, if you are in the social media, people follow every post, comment, etc., that you make.  In person, it's best to keep your networking conversation to a personable yet professional level.  For example, telling your life story is not the most appropriate, BUT, if telling a snippet of your life story is what has made you market the You that exists today, then give a brief synopsis. Plus, it helps to bring a sense of connectedness into the networking conversations, don't you think?

#7- Lastly, your attitude- The saying that your attitude determines your altitude is true.  If your attitude and body language gives off the wrong vibes, you will lose your networking connection.  If you hand people a business card and walk off as if you are the best thing since Kool-Aid was invented, chances are that your business card will not make it to the networker's next conversation(it'll probably be on the floor as trash).  If your attitude is positive, then your chances for making a viable networking connection becomes more apparent.

If you have any comments, advice, or suggestions, please feel free to comment on my blog, Thanks. Ciao.

References: Chung, J. and Hong, J.: "10 Mistakes that people make at networking Events". 

Murphy, P.: "What to say when you meet new people: 9 Secrets to Success."

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