Make an Impression –
Imagine the scene – You have booked big networking event – all the movers and shakers in your industry will be there: large businesses, small business, suppliers and purchasers. You collect your name badge from reception and take a look through the doors. A room full of people you don’t know is always a little scary, but you relish a challenge.
Now imagine your surprise! This doesn’t look like the event you were expecting ….
You turned up in a smart suit –but what about the others? Anoraks, swimwear, one woman in a wedding dress! What sort of event is this? Ski-wear, holiday attire, and dinner jackets. Should you stay, should you go?
I have never been to a networking event like this – have you? A well organised networking evening normally finds our industry colleagues appropriately dressed and suitably smart. They are there to do business, make new contacts, and they dress to impress.
So – let me ask you some questions – what’s the difference between a real live networking event and an online business networking site? What are your impressions when you see photographs of people in ski-wear, wedding attire or pictured with their two year old?
What one person considers cute or clever leaves another with an impression that is less than professional. Much of this is subconscious. What you are not-so-subtlety saying to your audience is “I don’t think you are worth the effort of presenting myself well”.
Now think about the real professionals that you know: those who present themselves well in person and on-line. Those who are consistently well turned out. These are often people who run businesses, have developed successful consultancies, and who demonstrate attention to detail. A good number of them will have professional, appropriate and engaging photographs.
First, second and third impressions count
One of the big differences about on-line business networking sites is that your photograph is looked at over and over again. If you turn up to a business meeting one day with a stain on your shirt, it is soon forgotten with all the subsequent meetings you have looking great. On-line is different – an inappropriate photo is there for all the world to see – over and over and over again.