By Gayle Hallgren-Rezac, co-author of WORK THE POND!
Make an impact – an unforgettable one! Sounds good, but how do you make an impact—one that stands out? We know people are so swamped they simply scan emails, delete the names of people they don’t recognize and focus only on the people they know. As a result, you have to make yourself memorable.
It’s important to have a strategy to build your name and reputation in the community; it’s not enough to wait for it to happen. Ask yourself, how have other people in your community built a remarkable reputation? These folks are your role models.
There’s a new opportunity and it’s building your online brand. Have a website if you are looking for work. Take a look at your Facebook pages and other social networks. Can your potential employer access any of this information? If so, what kind of impression do you make on these sites? What does your Linked In and Plaxo information look like?
Being linked in through social networks is important, but look at other ways to make an impact. Face-to-face is the best way to make an impression. As Mark Burnett of Survivor fame, and one of the most successful producers in Hollywood says, “Face-to-face is the real currency.” Burnett started out in Hollywood as a nanny—seriously!
You only get one chance to make a first impression so make it a good one. Having the confidence to walk up to people and start a conversation only comes from practice. To deal with the anxiety and become skilled at all-important presentation skills think about joining Toastmasters. And, I apologize if this sounds self-serving, but read Work the Pond!: Use the Power of Positive Networking to Leap Forward in Work and Life (amazon.ca) It is full of tried-and-true techniques to learn how to walk into a room full of people you don’t know, engage anyone in conversation and always make a memorable impression.
While going to business and social events in your community helps build your personal brand, it’s not just enough to be a spectator. Brand building gets really effective when you get involved. Volunteering is a great idea. By taking a leadership role as a volunteer you can make a huge impact. This could be in a charity or with a business or industry association. Be politically engaged or add your voice to good causes.
If you are on a job search and you don’t have a business card that you feel has impact, then consider a card that gets attention. Go to this web site www.moo.com. Why not order mini cards with a mini cardholder? They are unique. We love this site and their products. They are based in the UK but they print and mail anywhere.
Finally, take the advice of George Washington, “associate yourself with men and women of good quality if you esteem your own reputation.”
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