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Self-image at Ottawa Networking Events

eSAX-Ottawa-Networking-Self-Image

Often the focus of networking is our business. We spend so much time fussing over business cards or website content that sometimes we forget how important it is to work on ourselves. As entrepreneurs, we are selling ourselves to others and we can’t do that successfully unless we have a good self-image.

Self-image is not just what you look and act like. While it is about your brand, the energy you are projecting, and about the people you work with or network with, that isn’t all. Your self-image is the ideas you have inside of yourself, those that no one but you may know. These are the ideas you have about your abilities, appearance and personality and when pertaining to business they are the ideas you have about your business. There are two problems we could face when it comes to self-image:

  1. We have a negative self-image, and aren’t presenting ourselves in the best light.
  2. We have an overly optimistic self-image, and think we are perfect when we, in-fact, are not.

From a physical perspective, self-image includes your dress and tidiness, and it also includes your facial expressions and body language. The only way for you to reflect on your own ideas of your physical perspective is for you to ask others what they think of you, and to observe others and compare yourself to them. You could do research and conduct your own personal analysis, but we are generally not an objective party when judging ourselves. Think of it this way: watch someone you respect and admire and take note of everything from what they are wearing to what they do with their hands and how they position their feet. Then ask yourself what you are doing with yours. You may have not realized that you had room for improvement until you conduct an inventory in this way (or as an impartial and trusted friend or connection).

The psychological aspect of self-image takes into account our internal perceptions of ourselves – our self-worth and self-esteem. No matter how hard we try to force ourselves out there and act like we are confident and happy, it will not translate to others. Whatever you need to work on, whether it is confidence in yourself, or confidence in your business, you need to work through it before you interact with others. If you have secret negative thoughts they will leak out in your tone or intonation when speaking to people, or perhaps an offhanded sarcastic comment, and the intuition of others will alert them that you aren’t being authentic. So work on full self-acceptance and love of what you are doing so none of those negative thoughts are floating around!

The same idea goes for over-confidence. If you think you are the best thing since sliced bread, you may want to tone it down a bit and find some humility, before others pick up how full of yourself you are. Again, look at someone you respect and admire and see how they broadcast themselves.

Remember that working on your self-image is an ongoing project. You’ll work on it before a networking event, but you’ll also work on it during the event.

One way that your self-image will improve is by setting realistic and achievable goals for yourself. When you meet these goals, you will get an instant gratification that will help you to feel more confident. Set steps for yourself, such as:

  •         Check-into the event
  •         Talk to at least 3 new people
  •         Reintroduce myself to at least 3 people from past events

It is important to have these experience of achieving goals, so you can build on the success each time. Over the year there are 4 eSAX events (and countless other Ottawa networking events), and if you meet 3 new people and revive 3 relationships each time you will quickly build up a large and strong network.

Don’t forget to purchase your tickets to the next eSAX event, and keep coming back so you can experience your self-image improvement throughout the year!

 

Ask the Fedora: Some Smart Networking Tips You Should Use

Today our #AskTheFedora shares some smart networking tips you should use!

Transcript:

My philosophy to ‘smart’ networking is when you go up to someone for the first time, please don’t just say “here’s my business card; you need me, I’m so great and I’ll make your life so much better”. No. The purpose to a smart networking event is to connect with someone in a way that’s not a sales-pitch; that’s not a way to get them to hire you on the spot. To me, the smart way to network is to ask them questions about themselves. People like talking about themselves. It makes you in a better position when you become a good listener. That’s a very important skill in networking and I encourage you all to try talking less; listening more.

Starring: Jarrod Goldsmith of eSAX and Sax Appeal.

With help from Wasim from Storyline Productions and Jessica from Hewett Ripley Communications!

eSAX Ottawa Networking: Following Up

eSAXOttawaNetworkingFollowUpBlogbyJessicaHewettRipleyAfter you go to a networking event, you’ve certainly left with some business cards. Some may be people you feel are potential clients, and others you may feel could be potential mentors or otherwise important people you should stay in touch with. Don’t make the mistake of neglecting those that you aren’t quite sure where they would fit in. Remember that when you network with someone you are connecting to the hundreds (or even thousands, if they are like Jarrod!) of people that they have in their own network. Plus, you may end up seeing these people over and over at networking events all over the city, so you might as well get to know them now!

Here are my simple tips for networking follow-ups:

  • Start by organizing the cards you’ve collected by noting somewhere on each card where you obtained it (ie: eSAXOct14) and any information that you’d like to remember about each person or business.
  • Next, add each new connection on LinkedIn. Draft a short message about how it was nice meeting them at (specific event) and that you’d like to stay in touch via LinkedIn. Once they accept your connect request you can organize them into categories by tagging them. I find this especially useful if I remember that I met someone at an event, but can’t remember their name. You just filter contacts by tag and easily find who you are looking for!
  • The next step is to send out a personal email within 24 hours of meeting. Don’t send a form message to everyone, make sure it is personalized and picks up where your conversation from the event left off. This is also where you bring up a possible one-on-one follow up coffee or lunch meeting.
  • We have to be sensitive to everyone’s time (because as entrepreneurs our time is our most valuable resource), so when you set up a meeting make sure each of you know what to expect so you can both be prepared. This follow-up meeting should be to develop rapport, and you should exercise your skills in asking about other’s businesses and letting them ask about yours. You are building relationships, not making sales (although these relationships may lead to sales in the long run).
  • Finally, keep a list of contacts that you want to make a point to reconnect with. This may be through sending them another request to meet, or sending them valuable resources (such as event invitations or great articles they may be interested in). This is also where I make a point to add them to lists on my Facebook and Twitter, so I can regularly engage with them on social media.

Meeting the right people at networking events in Ottawa is vital to the growth of your entrepreneurial career. If you haven’t seen it in action yet, just wait to see how the referrals start to roll in once you start becoming a known face, voice, and name in the community!