Last week, I was working at a conference. I was hired to write reports about several workshops. Two other women were hired in the same role. One of these women was warm and friendly. She wanted to chat and have lunch. She swapped business cards. The other was very reserved. She did not seem interested in having lunch, chatting, or even the conference itself. The friendly woman has her own business. She says it’s going well. The second woman had recently been laid off. She was searching for work and was using the conference as an additional source of income. She had business cards from her previous employer, which obviously was not the correct contact information.
Here are a few lessons on personal marketing this second woman could learn:
- Friendliness can create connection. Connection can lead to other opportunities. Also people will want to help if they can, but not if they don’t like you.
- Business cards are important. If you have been laid off, use an online service like Vista Print to get cards printed cheaply or free. Print pertinent contact information on the card.
- Look beyond the current opportunity and be future oriented.
It is hard to gauge how you are presenting yourself. However, why not try and see how people are responding to you. Are they smiling, interested in what you have to say? Or are you sending signals that you are not interested?You never know where the next opportunity could come from, or what you can learn from other people. Closing yourself off is not a good path to expand your opportunities.