Take a hard look at the photo.
What do you see?
Me, I see a very confident young woman. My impression is that she knows who she is, has mastered some capabilities and expects you to acknowledge her expertise.
How can I get all that out of a photo?
You make your mind up about anyone, in person or in media in the first 3 seconds.
How do you want to be perceived? What do you want your personal brand to project? How do you introduce yourself? How “Real” do you come across?
Currently, there is a commercial that portrays the danger of hiring someone that is “just okay.” The series is, in part, humorous but if you want to get hired you need to be perceived as more than barely competent. As the commercials say, “Just okay is not okay.”
You need to convince four groups:
- Your Associates
- Your Prospects
- Your Referral sources
- Your clients
But first you must convince yourself
All of us fear rejection. Somewhere north of 98% of people are afraid of public speaking. Most of them would prefer death to doing “the talk.” What about less-open appearances or interactions with strangers? Not quite as death-defying but still seen by some as a disaster about to happen. Whether you’re an introvert or extrovert makes no difference because just about everyone has a fear of being seen as inadequate.
Self-doubt must be erased.
Whether you’re applying for a job, presenting in a corporate conference room or trying to get a consulting engagement over breakfast or lunch you need to be confident in your skills and how you present yourself. That 3-second judgement capability is something you can control. It is not logical. It is emotional. With powerful people it is a skill that has been carefully honed.
Overcome the impostor syndrome
All of us, on occasion, feel we are impostors. We judge ourselves more harshly than all those with whom we come into contact. The key here is to listen to the concerns and take steps to overcome them. Here are three suggestions that will allow you to stand tall, command the room and be memorable:
- Disconnect before the meeting. Look at yourself through the eyes of those you are interacting with—individual or group. Can they possibly know more than you do about your special expertise? It is truly doubtful. The more years of experience you have, the greater your practical knowledge. They simply don’t have the experience you’ve compiled. Do they know more about another subject or arena? Probably. But not yours. Their view of you will be that of the inferior. Their expectation will be that you will teach them as you advise. They will incline towards respect.
Walk your talk. Let the confidence reek. They will sense it.
- Practice positive self-talk. Do
what it takes to know your audience. Check them out on social media. Understand
their way of thinking based on their writings, interviews and appearances. No time
to prep or a networking situation? Say, “Self, you’ve got this. You’ve thought yourself
through 30-Second Marketing TM https://vimeo.com/358198046
so you know how to Hook ‘em, Hold ‘em,
Pitch ‘em and Close’ em. More importantly you have honed your ability to listen,
react and really be interested in them.
- Stop trying to close. The worst advice I’ve ever heard for a consultant is, “Close early and often.” Put yourself in the prospect’s position. They are anywhere in the process of deciding from just starting to think about it to shaking hands on an agreement. The better advice is, “Agree to work with them after they have sold themselves.”
That brings us back to erasing self-doubt. One of the best ways I know is to keep track of your successes. Prepare a case history https://vimeo.com/352835268 or success story after each engagement. Note the key outcomes. Review those files on a regular basis. If you are going into discussions in a similar industry you’ll have the facts at the ready should you need them. More importantly you’ll get the self-confidence boost you need to overcome any residual impostor syndrome. About to step into the unknown? If you follow my direction on your success stories you’ll find that your regular reviews will give you buoyant assurance in your abilities in your chosen field.
Being at the top is a matter of mind over matter.
If you trust yourself, it shows. If you’re certain you have the experience, it becomes apparent. If you assert your convictions you will garner respect. The confident get the contract. Those with self-assurance do it again. And again, And again.
And so it goes.
Jerry Fletcher is a sought-after International Speaker, a beBee ambassador, founder and Grand Poobah of www.BrandBrainTrust.com
His consulting practice, founded in 1990, is known for on and off-line Trust-based Consultant Marketing and Brand development advice that builds businesses, careers and lives of joy.