There you go…I got your attention! But really, is it? Is your personal PR like a naked mannequin?
What I mean, is no-one will stop to look at a shop window that’s either empty or half-dressed. They’ll carry on, without browsing, finding out more or buying anything.
And if you don’t pay attention to your own personal PR, that’s exactly what your prospects will do – pass you by.
There are a few things to consider with personal PR and I’m going to share a few with you now. Read on, it won’t take long!
Your online profile – would you wear half an outfit to a business event? Of course not! You’d be well turned out and ready to make a good, professional impression. And that’s exactly how your online profile should be.
Don’t leave your profile half-finished…they all have boxes to fill in with either info or images. FILL THEM ALL IN!
If you’re stuck for the bio piece, take something from your website – no need to re-invent the wheel, plus it keeps the messaging and language consistent.
The information someone may be looking for could be the bit you haven’t filled in yet! They won’t know you offer that product/service or have this experience or that and they could find someone else instead– disaster!
I also see a lot of old profiles, so please do update it as your role, qualifications or even your appearance change. You wouldn’t go to a networking event telling them all about what you were doing last year, so don’t let that happen on your online profiles either – including your website!
When I see half-done profiles, especially on LinkedIn, I used to think that person doesn’t care that much – but I’ve now come to realise that people either don’t realise the importance of finishing it off, or just need a hand to complete it. They’ve got the basics and they just need that final push to get it all working, looking good and reading well.
I’ve helped a fair few people with it so far and have more in the diary over the coming months, so do get in touch if you’d like a hand too. It’s a couple of hours over a coffee!
When you go to networking:
Look good, feel comfortable and be yourself. Suited and booted isn’t always necessary; it depends on your line of work. Creatives are usually in jeans, as are trades, but professional services are usually in smarter clothes.
Wear what you feel portrays who you are and what you do but be confident in it too. Don’t apologise or point out fault or make excuses, just get on with talking, making those connections, showcasing your business and finding out about others’ so you can start that channel of referring.
Please please please, take your business cards! Forgetting or not having them looks like you don’t care and can come across as slightly unprofessional. If you do forget them, just ask for theirs and try to find them on LinkedIn there and then.
Be ready for conversation. Those who know me will know that I never run out of things to say…but others I know, find the small talk requirements a little more tricky.
If this is you, then get a few questions in your head that you can use on anyone. No-one compares notes, so Sarah the PR isn’t going to know that you asked similar questions during your chat with Rebecca the financial advisor!
Remember – people love to talk about themselves, so let them…listen and then see where you can pick up or make a referral.
Questions to have in your back pocket could be:
What’s your business?
How did you start your business?
Where are you based?
Have you got staff?
How did you grow it?
Where else do you network?
What have you got planned this year for the business?
What referrals are you looking for?
Have you had any problems – how have they been overcome? (Referrals and help here!)
Now…don’t you go firing these off like an interrogator…the idea is to pepper them into the conversation to build up a picture of who they are, what they do and how they can help you and vice-versa.
Make sure you also give them information about your business too.
When you get home, find your connections on LinkedIn or email them…keep in touch, keep the conversation going and the relationship will continue.
I keep a note in my diary of things coming up for people, so I can ask them at the time. Holidays, exciting events in their life, children’s exams etc. I’ve got a lot of names in my diary for GCSE week, for example…I’ll be dropping a little not to all of the GCSE parents to find out how their little darlings got on, because I know that’s significant in their lives.
Plus, I’m nosey…so I need to know!
And we’re back to the naked mannequin…your website is your shop window and it needs to be dressed!
It needs to be up-to-date, interesting, showcase you and your business well and have all the information your prospects need to get them interested.
If your products and services are seasonal, then make sure you rotate them on your website. Even if they’re not, add a bit of seasonal flair to your website to update it.
Add some news, add a blog, change the pictures – just keep it fresh.
Let people know what you’ve been doing – and it only takes about 200 words and a good photo. Your audience are all human…curious humans who want to know what you’re up to. Adding some of your successes, opinions and networking will let others know that you’re busy, you’re working hard and you’ve got things going on!
So…how well dressed is your mannequin?!