Estimated reading time: 3 mins
If you’re self-starter or entrepreneur who owns and operates their own business, there’s a good chance that you’re independently minded. It’s likely why you quit the daily grind of your day job and had the self-belief to go into business on your own. Congratulations on living the dream! However, no business is an island, and however independent you may wish to be as either a sole trader or the CEO of your own business there’s a good chance that you may need to rely on others to ensure the growth and prosperity of your business.
Working for yourself, you’ve left the need to make a powerful first impression in a job interview behind. That said, there are many of those skills that you’ll need to retain as you navigate initial meetings with clients, investors, vendors or distributors. These are the people who can make or break you, especially if you’re just starting out. You’ll never get another chance to make that all-important first impression so here are some ways that you can improve your “sell” and encourage others to invest in a relationship with you and your business.
Project an image of success in your social media presence
We live in the digital age, so the likelihood is that whomever you need to make a good first impression for will have already researched you extensively before you get in a room with them. Make sure that what they see gives them confidence in you and your business. Sharing positive Google reviews and retweeting positive comments from your brand advocates is a great way to paint your business in a positive light. If you’ve had a great review from a leading publication or a well known person then pin it to the top of your feed to make sure that you won’t miss out on the prestige.
Leave them with something to remember you by
American Psycho may have convinced you that the ‘80s were the heyday of the business card, but they’re actually more important than ever so make sure that yours creates a powerful impression without being too busy and boastful. A z card is a great way of adding purpose and function to your business card that will not only add legitimacy to your brand but make people more likely to hold onto it out of intrigue.
Remember, presentation is everything!
Yes, there’s more to a great first impression than a sharp suit but the importance of presentation is something that you ignore at your peril. Sure this means that your clothes need to be smart, pressed and color coordinated, your hair and makeup should be on point and jewellry should be elegant without being ostentatious, but your presentation is as much about how you conduct yourself as what you’re wearing. You should be friendly but professional, confident but not arrogant and show genuine humanity and interest in the other person or people. Don’t just ask questions for the sake of asking questions, show a genuine interest in what they do and make sure that you retain the answers. The next time you make contact with them, they’ll appreciate if you’ve remembered something about them.
As an entrepreneur, you need every advantage that’s available to you. Making the best possible impression on those you do business with will improve your sell and lead to a prosperous future.