This is the second part of a 2-post series on tips for how to use your personal brand to make an awesome first impression and leave a memorable one.
What’s Your Brand’s Lasting Impression?
Just as we need to be aware of the first impression our personal brand makes when we walk into a room, we also need to think about the lasting impression we leave behind after we say “goodbye.” People will always make decisions about you after you leave the ‘real’ and ‘virtual’ rooms. Their decision to connect with you will be based on their emotional reaction from that very first meeting, but they will always later rationalize their decision based on the lasting impression you leave behind after you have left the room.
This reminds me of the famous ‘Elaine Dance’ from Seinfeld.
I am sure Elaine had hoped to leave a better impression then she did! Here are three tips for your personal brand to leave an awesome lasting impression and prevent the fallout from the Elaine Dance!
3 Tips to Leave Your Mark in the ‘Real’ and ‘Virtual’ World
1. Respond and give thanks sooner than later
A good rule to follow here is what I call the “24-hour rule.” Send an email within a day after leaving a ‘real-world’ event to all the people you engaged with. Thank them for their time and even mention something that they shared with you. This shows you were listening and valued their contribution.
In your ‘virtual-world’ always thank someone for following you, mentioning a post you wrote/shared, retweeting your tweets, liking your Facebook page, or commenting on your blog. When others feel you have something valuable to share with members of their own community, show your appreciation and say thank you right away. Don’t put off sending your thanks until tomorrow when you can do it today!
2. Give credit where credit is due
To this day I remember the President of a university I worked for telling me “Go ahead and copy my idea. Just give me credit for it!”
Nowadays, blogs, eBooks, and online portals have enabled any one of us to be ‘published’. For 2012 William Arruda sees personal publishing as an important trend for demonstrating thought leadership and extending your personal brand. It is now more important than ever to share the resources where you have gained your insight, tools, and knowledge. For example, “I picked up some great tips from Reach’s ‘The Personal Branding Blog’ so check it out this link.” or “My personal branding approach uses Reach’s proven 1-2-3 Success methodology.” In your social media channels always refer to the source of the tweet, post, or video you are sharing.
3. Ask yourself if you are ‘on-brand’ or ‘off-brand’
Is what you are about to say or do going to support your brand or potentially damage it? Elaine’s memorable dance on that Seinfeld episode is a perfect example of why you need to be aware of your actions! You might be a thought leader in your field, but a insulting comment or ‘Elaine dance’ at a networking event could leave a mark that you do not want to be remembered for.
In the virtual world you leave digital footprints behind you. Mind what you say in your blog posts, tweets, Facebook updates, and comments on sites. Personal publishing may be an effective way to leave a lasting impression, but it is also important to realize that once you do publish something online, it is available for the world to see. You cannot take it back. Even if you remove it or sweep it under the digital carpet, it is likely that someone has already seen it and shared it.
You may have worked very hard on building a lasting impression online, but all it takes is one bad comment or photo tagged of you to show up on the first page of your search results to change everyone’s opinion of you. Use the “grandmother test” – if you wouldn’t want your grandmother to see or hear it, then don’t share it!. Instead share the things that support your brand and would make your grandmother proud.
Do you have any other tips to leave a lasting impression? Share your ideas below.