We talk often on this blog (and just about everywhere in life) about how important putting a good image of yourself out on the web is. With so many places to share information about yourself and your life online, we have to be extra careful not to put too much out there and to control our reputation when it comes to the Web. Doing this isn’t always easy as we can’t control what other people say or post about us or our business.
I would argue that this huge migration of nearly every aspect of life to the Internet makes it more important to present ourselves well when we meet people in person. Showing off your personality, smarts, and humor in person can still make a very big impression on the people that you meet, both in a business and personal capacity.
Here are a few ways that you can present yourself in the best way possible when it comes to face-to-face interactions:
Be prepared. As a professional, it’s important to be prepared for interactions that may involve your business even in everyday conversations. Being prepared for this can include thinking of a short summary of what you do for a living – too many people just give a job title and not any further info. Carrying business cards is also a great idea. You truly never know where you might meet someone who can become a customer, colleague, or even just someone to network with.
Be friendly. You know that old saying, treat others as you would like to be treated? This still applies! Be friendly to everyone that you meet. And make sure that you’re listening to what others have to say – you don’t want to be known as the person that only cares about themselves. Again, it’s a small world that we live in and you never know when you might encounter someone that you met in a casual interaction in a business capacity.
Don’t take yourself too seriously. While it’s a good idea to be professional in your daily interactions, keeping your sense of humor is vital! The benefit of interacting in person is that people can hear your tone (it’s so hard to read tone in email!), get your jokes, and just enjoy your company. Don’t be focused on your business all the time. Let your personality shine through and people will naturally want to do business with you.
Megan Totka is the Chief Editor for ChamberofCommerce.com. She specializes on the topic of small business tips and resources. ChamberofCommerce.com helps small businesses grow their business on the web and facilitates connectivity between local businesses and more than 7,000 Chambers of Commerce worldwide.