Have you joined my incredibly non-annoying, once-in-a-while email newsletter?
Done anything to help your offline brand lately?
We’re all talking about ways to improve our online brand. Here are five ways to improve your offline brand, as well. Remember – the two are connected.
5) Meet three new people a day, offline. Learn how to talk to people. Introduce yourself to people in your office, at a party, at a reception Make the connection. When we meet people, the majority of us listen just long enough to find an entry point for us to talk about ourselves. (I’m guilty of this, as well.) A better thing to do, however, is to listen – actually listen – to the other person, and make neural connections in your brain. They’re huge runners? Do you know someone else who’s a huge runner, that you can introduce them to later? That makes you a connector, and allows you to play the role of “go-to” guy. Best thing in the world to be considered, is a go-to guy. Why? Go-to guys get the latest info, the largest clients, and the biggest contracts. They’re dependable, they’re reliable. They’re the ones people turn to first. Be a go-to guy, and start by meeting three new people a day, offline.
4) How do you look? I won’t rewrite the post on this I wrote last week, but people will always be more inclined to meet you, talk to you, and recommend you if you just look good. I don’t mean wear a tie everywhere you go, just look “put together.” Shave. Shower. No stains on your shirt. No shirts worn for more than a day at a time. Invest in a quality pair of jeans. Simple things. Look the part, get more meetings, close more deals. Does this make the world a shallow place to be? Probably. Deal with it. It is what it is.
3) How do you speak? How do you write? I often tell the story of the girl who sent me a resume looking for a job at HARO. She went to Harvard. The last line of her cover letter said this: “Again, Mr. Shankman, I look forward to the opportunity to work 4U.” Really? Let me clear this up: THAT IS NEVER OK. I don’t care how you talk to me once I hire you – I text too. But to put that in a cover letter? The first chance I have to meet you? The first opportunity I’ll get to determine how I feel about your professionalism? Not OK. Take a writing class if you need to – I can’t recommend that enough. Take a drama class where you work on your diction and pronunciation. Learn to write. Learn to speak. Bad writing and bad accents are not only killing America, but your business. Hands down.
2) Go to new places, see new things, meet new people. Much like how easy it is to get into a rut online (Check out FB, News, LinkedIn, and Twitter, without ever exploring anything new,) the same is true offline. Home, gym, work, bar, dinner, home, repeat. BORING, and you see the same people, time after time. Look at the most successful people in the world – They rarely repeat the same thing twice – Variety causes you to meet new people, do new things, and enjoy life more. Without variety, you’re stuck in a rut. The more new things you try, the more apt you are to meet new people who can help you make new things happen. Added bonus? You might like those new things! How do you think I got into skydiving, boxing, and triathlons?
1) Always take the first meeting. I don’t care how successful I get, I don’t care how much money I make, or how many times I fly all over the world to speak and consult. If someone emails me and wants to meet, I will always find time to take the first meeting. It might not always be in person – sometimes it might be on Skype, or via phone as I’m sitting in an airport lounge in Sri Lanka, but I will always, always hear what you have the say the first time you approach me. Why wouldn’t I? That’s how new ideas spawn, that’s how business takes place, and to quote Rocky, that’s how winning is done! It’s not about going to a networking party or joining LinkedIn. It’s about reaching out to people, and always encouraging people to reach out to you. It’s networking as a constant state of life, not as something you remember to do every once in a while.
It’s how I live. How about you? Let me know below.