When you meet someone do you form a first impression? Of course you do. We all do. When someone meets you, what do you think they see? What is your personal brand? Do they find you shy and introverted? Outgoing and boisterous?

When you attend a networking event or even meet someone in line at the grocery store, what impression do they form of you and how could that impact — negatively or positively — on your business brand?

What is your personal brand?

Your personal brand is tied closely with your business brand. Imagine this scenario. You’re a CPA who works in a high end accounting firm BUT you attend networking events in tie-dyed t-shirts and sneakers. What first impression will a person make of you? What first impression do you want to make? Appearances do matter and in some businesses you’re able to wear tie-dyed t-shirts and sneakers and the potential clients with whom you’re interacting won’t bat an eye. In other instances, though you do need to “look the part.”

When you’re at a networking event, what is the personal and business brand you’re putting forth? Have you ever stopped to think how closely tied they truly are?

What can you do to position yourself and your business and your entire “brand package”? Here are our tips and advice:

  • What makes you “you” unique. What is your USP (unique selling proposition)?
  • Have your colleagues said to you, “We come to you because of the XYZ you offer. We can’t find that anywhere else.” That’s branding.
  • How do you differentiate yourself from your competitors? Your origin story? Not just super heroes get to have origin stories. The way in which and the reason for which you started your business is your origin story and should be shared because it sets you apart. Do you set yourself apart with price, service, speed with which you deliver? Hone in on your differentiator and promote it.

First impressions do count, but ongoing interactions matter just as much in the business world. Don’t you agree? What can you do today, or the next time you meet with a potential client or a current client to keep your USP front and center while still having relevant and meaningful discussions?

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