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How is your personal brand perceived at networking events?

Date: 5 August 2016

The Business Network Column from Platinum Business Magazine 

An insight into personal branding and how this could be impacting upon your networking success

By Emma Pearce – Marketing Consultant – marketing planning, outsourced marketing and social media training

clothes wardrobe

Personal branding typically refers to the way people package themselves. It’s all about you presenting a consistent visual impression to accurately reflect your personality and professional messages.  

If business networking is an important marketing channel for your company, you need to ensure that your personal brand is right. It’s another step towards giving yourself a competitive advantage.

Do you look the part? Of course some people can look the part and not deliver the goods, but people make assumptions based on clothing and mannerisms. You can’t stop that, so it’s worth taking some time to think about this. I spoke to three Sussex personal branding, colour and style experts to get their thoughts.

 

Jane Mather new

Jane Mather  

www.janemather.co.uk (formerly Image Trees)

How would you describe personal branding?

Personal branding is all about deciding what impression you’d like to make, or need to make, on a day-to-day basis, and then changing your image to achieve this. Your image should make the right impact to support your success as an employee or self-employed individual. You can elevate your impact and personal presence with strong personal branding.

How can it help when you are networking and representing your business?

When representing your business at a networking event you want your first impression to be a lasting one – for all the right reasons!  It’s important to think about how you can use colour and the style of your clothing (and accessories) to reinforce this.

Don’t let your personal image let your business brand down or undersell what you offer.

Who should go through the personal branding journey?

It will benefit anyone who has concerns (even if it’s just a niggling doubt) over their personal image. I have worked with men and women at all stages in their careers in large corporates and SMEs. Sometimes they have received direct feedback in an appraisal meeting, or are returning to work after maternity leave, or want to be confident they are representing their business in the best possible way.     

Alison Brown new

Alison Brown 

www.aeracuracolour.co.uk

How would you describe personal branding?

Personal branding could be described as packaging.  Think of yourself as a product that you want to present in the very best way to potential buyers.   You need to find the USP for yourself in just the same way as you would in your business offering.  

How can it help when you are networking and representing your business?

We all know that people buy from people, so a good, polished and personal presentation when you are networking can be just as important as the service/product you are selling. If you choose the colours and styles that work with your skin colouring and body shape you can effortlessly and confidently look your best. This leaves you free to focus on interacting with people attending the event.

Who should go through the personal branding journey?

Almost everyone benefits from a personal image overhaul from time to time. It’s easy to get stuck in a rut. In just the same way as you would update your company website, it’s good to update your look. I enjoy helping clients through a transitionary period. For example, people who have left a corporate environment and moved into a smaller more personal business, or those that have been promoted and need a more formal image.  Plus start-ups where the person is building a brand and women returning to work after having a baby.

Janine QuinnJanine Quinn

www.sassystyle.co.uk

How would you describe personal branding?

There are a few elements involved to the whole branding process and many assume, quite rightly, it’s about the name, website, design of logo, business cards and so on. Many people get all these elements brilliantly, but then they miss a vital link in that chain – themselves! Make sure you don’t forget to look at how you come across.

How can it help when you are networking and representing your business?

Branding is key to getting your business noticed and remembered. You will stand out if your styling represents your brand. If, for example, you are a start-up or rebranding a beauty therapy business, think about your colour theme in respect to your skin, not just the logo and decor. Choose the best shade of a colour for a uniform that suits you – you don’t want to look washed out every day!

Who should go through the personal branding journey?

Any small business owner, male or female, could benefit – but they need to be clear on what their business is about. If you are unclear on this, then how can you get that message across to others?  I help people that feel they need to “up their game”, make sure they are happy with their “business look” or choose a new brand colour that suits them.

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