Why building your personal brand is SO important in networking
One of the questions I often get asked about business networking goes something like this:
“I have more than one business – which should I promote at networking events?”.
“I’m changing what I do, how do I manage that and what do I say to people?”.
And the thing is this, people should put less time into building their business’ brand at networking events and more time building their own brand. Them as a person. What they stand for. Who they are. What their values are.
It is often said that people buy people and yet what most people do at networking events is to extol the virtues of what they DO and not who they ARE.
Whatever you sell, what service or product you offer, people are likely to be less interested in that, than it what they think you will be like to do business with. There are quite possibly hundreds of people who do what you do, but only one person who does it exactly like you.
This is a really fine line and I am going to have to write more about it, but in essence, your profile at networking, your reputation, what people say about you when you are not there, is much more likely to be about you as a person than what business you are involved in.
If you get that right, if you learn to be 100% yourself 100% of the time then the people who like you, trust you, will be attracted to you and, when they need your services, you will be the first person they contact.
Remember that when you are selling a product or service the person you wish to sell to has to have both a need and desire for that product or service and be able to afford it. Any one of those three might not be in place right now so they might not buy from you this week.
If it is only the product or service they remember, they will simply go to the closest person who sells that thing or service when they need it. If it is YOU they remember they will make contact with you as soon as they are ready.
And if you change what you’re doing, it is MUCH easier to do so if your personal brand is strong. If people are attracted to you and who you are they will be interested in what you are doing and how it fits in.
Build brand YOU first. Make yourself the brand. Fit your business offering around that.