When you’re out networking, think of your personal brand just as you would your company or organization’s brand. The key points you should focus on include:

Who you are

What you do

For whom

What makes you special and unique

How can you prove/showcase it

If you’re already hitting these points during your 30-45 second infomercial, great.

But are people remembering you? Sure, they might remember your face if they see you out and about, but are they really remembering YOU?

Keep in mind people like to work with and refer people they know like and trust. When given a flurry of options as to what attorney, banker, CPA or marketing professional they will choose for some of their most important business relationships, the deciding factor is typically a combination of skill set and chemistry, and the latter is established right out of the gate.

The next time you’re at a networking event, be it formal or informal, consider the following tips:

When possible, get the other person to start talking first. Ask open-ended questions, listen and focus on what they’re saying. Don’t stare blankly at them while you’re busy thinking about what you’re going to say next.

Slow down. Networkers often fail because they are too concerned about quickly shoving a business card into someone’s hand and/or making sure the other person knows all about them. However the more you know about them, the easier it will be to know what you can offer them in return be it directly or indirectly.

If you do start speaking first, or are in a speed networking or other situation where you have the floor all to yourself, be authentic and don’t sound like a robot or like your response is scripted. Speak naturally and pretend like you’re talking to a group of good friends.

Make it more than just the facts. Everyone likes a good story and the better the story, the more often it will be remembered and retold. If you zip straight through the bulleted points above, you’ll be lucky if they remember your name. Instead, use those points to tell your own personally branded story in 30 seconds or less.

Take the following two examples into consideration…


My name is Dina Wasmer. I’m the President of Incite Creative, which is a marketing and graphic design firm in Baltimore. We work with small-to-middle market businesses and organizations. We provide positioning workshops, focus groups, marketing planning, identity design as well as offline and online design services and have many industry awards.


My name is Dina Wasmer. Sometimes people call me ‘Dinah’ but I say to them, ‘It’s just like Tina or Gina…you don’t call them ‘Tinah’ or ‘Ginah!’ I was named after a 1950’s movie star but I’m actually a marketing and graphic design professional. I grew up in Harford County and went to school at Loyola & UB where I also teach, which is convenient because my office is across the street. I’ve owned my business for 12 years and my dog has been our office mascot the whole time. His name is Panther. He has epilepsy & my niece has autism. They are both my inspiration and why we work with a number of healthcare and nonprofit organizations. We help them build their brand awareness, raise funds and solve their goals by using our trademarked 5-step process that includes marketing research and planning, as well as both offline and online writing and design. We have lots of awards but the fact that my family can explain what I do for a living is my most significant accomplishment. 🙂

Although it’s a bit longer, the second option is more memorable because it shares many personal tidbits and opens the door for the person/people I’m addressing to resonate with one or more of them. For instance, maybe they grew up in Harford County. Or perhaps they have a family member with autism. Dog people love other dog owners so that’s a soft spot too.

I use humor because it’s authentic to my true personality. What characteristics do you possess during your most authentic moments?

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