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Networking Your Personal Brand

Last Tuesday Networking In Van hosted a hugely successful event called “Your Keys to Networking Success”. Networking In Van has become the hub for all networking groups in Vancouver and it was evident to see the success they have had combining many different groups and key influencers in the city. It was a full house with a great panel of experts, eager to share their expertise on a challenge many have.

There were many take home lessons and I loved the diversity and authenticity of each of the speakers. Networking has to come from a genuine state of mind and each speaker provided great tips to achieve this:

  1. Positive Networking (Gayle Hallgren-Reza& Judy Thomson): This is discovering what you can do for someone else without expecting anything in return. This is where networking can get misconstrued. Have you ever been to a networking event and before you have exchanged sentences they are handing you a business card? This is not the true essence of networking and by entering an event with no preconceived notions you will have much better success at a genuine connection.
  2. Define your “You-niqueness” (Trevor Turnbull via Heather White): What makes you stand out in the crowd? What is your own personal brand? I loved this term and it resonated with me to really think of how I want to be perceived. Heather White originally coined this term and stated that “your own personal brand is what people say about you after you leave the room”. This is a good reminder to think ahead of what your “you-niqueness” is, what you want to be remembered by and fully embrace it.
  3. A Digital LinkedIn (Trevor Turnbull): Upload a speaking engagement, a YouTube clip or a visual representation of your success on your LinkedIn profile. This is a fabulous idea and a great way to set yourself apart from your average competitor.
  4. Twitter Before the Inbox (Richard Loat): Do your research and you will be able to turn a cold call into a warm call. Approaching a new business or a new contact will be a lot more successful if you know information relevant to them and are able to make it personal to them. From first-hand experience, I know this can separate the successful from the average.
  5. Take online offline (Richard Loat): How many of us can spend hours on Twitter? Twitter is a fabulous online connector however we have to remember to get to know the person behind the screen and get to know them in person.
  6. Networking doesn’t have to be an event. It’s an attitude (Katie Schaeffers & Desiree Dupuis): I loved this! This can empower you to take advantage of any opportunity and embrace getting to know people and breaking the mold. By having the right mindset to genuinely connect and expand your network, any experience can be an opportunity.

My personal “take away” from the event was to remember that you are representing what you want to be known for and how you want to be remembered. Make it genuine, bring it offline and take every opportunity as it comes. Your personal brand is what will distinguish you, make it genuine and help you stand out from the pack. Looking forward to connecting with you all!

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