Nothing ruins a potential connection than a bad introduction because yes, first impressions DO count.
And as a female leader, you are held to a much higher standard of decorum and professionalism than your male colleagues. In fact everything you do from the moment you say “hello” speaks volumes about who you are as a woman in leadership.
Networking to build your personal brand and influence doesn’t have to be overwhelming. With a few tips and savvy strategies you can learn to connect, improve your leadership and communication skills, and network your way to greater success!
As one of Australia’s top leadership development experts, personal branding coaches, and image consultants I’ve met some of the most influential people in the industry and learned from the best mentors.
The Best Personal Brand Secrets Revealed To Build Your Network
Now, I want to share with you 5 personal branding secrets to make you more memorable and approachable when meeting new people.
1. Have an Executive Brand Presence
Your presence can say a lot about you. When you walk into a room, even a virtual room, try to think of the energy you are projecting. People are naturally attracted to positive and uplifting energy, so relax before you make your entrance and breathe! Your body language and energy can either encourage or discourage a connection and interaction.
Nothing is more inspiring than the woman with the presence of a leader and who enters the room with grace and confidence!
2. Connect Instantly. Listen, Learn, Observe And Engage Authentically And Let Your Eyes Do The Talking!
The number one secret to successful networking and making a positive first impression both online and offline, is eye contact! Meeting another’s gaze is just so powerful!
Sounds too easy? Well you’d be surprised at how many professional women can struggle with making eye contact and suffer from eye contact anxiety. Lack of confidence or introversion can not only show in their body language but lack of meaningful eye contact is also a tell-tale sign.
But the truth is, people really notice when someone they’re talking to is not connecting with them or fully engaged and it can affect other people’s perception of you as a woman in leadership. People can misread lack of eye contact as you are insecure, shy, vulnerable or worse, standoffish!
Your eyes can convey strength, confidence, compassion and empowerment, and help you position yourself as the female leader you want to be without even saying a word!
3. Listen, Learn and Break Down Barriers
Savvy networkers know how to make other people feel comfortable and open up about their lives and careers. They have the ability to unite and foster relationships both online and offline by bringing the room or community into a conversation and breaking down barriers.
They know how to listen, learn and give freely of themselves without expecting anything in return. So put away your business card or sales pitch and bring your curiosity, personality and passion to the table.
You will make a positive, memorable impact on the hearts and minds of your target audience, the people you meet, and know how you can bring value to their lives.
4. Share Your Unique Story And Gifts Freely To Build Deeper Connections
So here’s the thing. People love a good story. As human beings, we have been telling stories since the beginning of time! Today it is a powerful tool to distinguish you and your personal brand in your market and help you make a lasting and memorable impact as a woman in leadership.
When a personal story or anecdote connects and resonates with your audience (or person you meet for the first time), it leaves an impression on their feelings and emotions.
It helps you build greater trust, authenticity, compassion and empathy with your target audience and motivates them to do business with YOU over your competitors.
5. Follow Up! What’s The Next Logical Step In Their Brand Journey To Get To Know Like And Trust You?
It doesn’t matter if you met someone in an online community or forum or at a real-life event; follow-up is critical!
This is where you can show others the values you represent as a business owner, entrepreneur, and female leader. If you say you’d be interested in getting together for coffee or a zoom chat then fire off that invitation when you get back to the office!
You have a window of about 48 hours before they start to forget about you – so just like that first impression, the window of opportunity when you are top-of-mind is small!
Learn to lead the conversation and show people “where to from here?” in your relationship. What is the next logical step that will help you nurture your connection? Whatever it is, set your intention and act!
Ready to Become an Influential Female Leader? Let’s Work Together to Build Your Personal Brand and Grow Your Business!
Let me help you build your personal brand online and turn your business into a success! My experiences as a business coach, image consultant, and TV personality can help you navigate the industry and come out as an empowered businesswoman and leader.
Sign up to my Woman of Confidence Members’ Club to learn everything you need to build confidence, skills, and tips to be a successful, empowered, woman in leadership!