Perception is reality. Even if you don't want it to be. Do you ever feel like you prepared perfectly for that important meeting, you said everything right, you kept your nerves under control? And your message still did not get across?
I do. I think we all do. Here's a few things I have learned along the way that help you come across as the professional you are.
1. Be aware of your social profile.
Do a Google search on your own name. Yes, at this moment. Do you like what you see? Are the images, articles, videos, mentions reflecting who you are? If the answer is no, work on it. Think about 3 key words that you want to pop up in people's heads about you. They can be linked to your expertise, your personality, what makes you unique. Those words should be all over your social profile. This is the first thing recruiters, employers, potential customers look at before you even talk to them. Yes, they all do. For me, those words are community, female leadership, diversity & inclusion.
2. Make sure your professional image reflects who you are.
50 percent of the messages you send out, is in the format. You may be the top expert in your professional field and have top notch experience and references. If your Linkedin picture is still that cut out pic of your last holiday, you are losing clients. Professional portraits make people trust you. It does not have to be a boring suit-picture, you need to recognize you on it. For me, it's a colorful dress and earrings for example.
3. Find out everything you can about those listening. Wether it's a 1 on 1 meeting with a potential client, a meeting with colleagues, an important pitch to your boss or a packed conference with an audience of 1000 people, you have to know who you are talking to. It's the first step to really connecting with others. Who are those people? What is their background? Why are they here? What is their need? Start from those questions to tell your story. Use the 3 key words that define you in every story you tell them.
4. Support other women in getting their message heard.
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Founder Fierce Ladies, accelerator for women with ambition