…and I’m not talking about your elevator pitch.
Building your personal brand involves many things–not the least of which is actually meeting people and making connections. Brand perception lives with the customers and the community, not the brand itself (you in this case).
Making a great first impression is critical, but it all starts with the introduction. There are a lot of ways in which we introduce ourselves today. When people land on your Twitter page, discover your blog, search your name in Google – get this – you actually meet someone in person, you introduce yourself.
There’s been a lot written and talked about using digital media to make a great first impression. On Twitter, have you completed the bio section of your profile? On your blog, do you have an “About Me” page? These are all quick and easy ways to introduce yourself online. Another way is to actually start a conversation with someone.
Take a look at Twitter, jump into a conversation and connect with people – use the @reply or Direct Message function. The same goes with LinkedIn – look at your groups and participate in one of the discussions.
What about in person? You know when you show up to a networking event and the first five minutes can be super awkward because you realize that you don’t know anyone there? You can fix that! People go to those events to meet other people, be the one to jump in and introduce yourself first. Look at someone’s name tag and just say “Hi, [insert their first name here]. I’m [insert your name here]. Nice to meet you.” It’s really just that easy.
Connect your digital media pieces (Twitter, et al.) and your in-person connections with some nice business cards. There are a few websites where you can get cards made for free.
In business, people often say, “Nothing happens until someone sells something.”
For your brand, I say, “Nothing happens until you introduce yourself.”
Jonathan has broad ranging experience and currently works in eMarketing at Thomson Reuters in the Twin Cities area. He is a recent graduate of Oklahoma State University where he majored in Marketing. Prior to returning to Thomson Reuters, where he had an internship during college, he worked for Expedia in an account management role for their North American lodging business. Jonathan is an avid enthusiast of all things marketing, economics, and travel. And, he is a veteran of the United States Marine Corps. Connect with Jonathan on Twitter (@jonathanpetrino), LinkedIn, and his website.