Don’t Be Grey – How To Make A Stand Out Impression

We both know that you're not going to do my dishes and admin for a week, Francesca, but I am more than happy to sell you one last ticket", said Jess on the phone. 

I had sent her an email earlier to express how disappointed I was discovering that the talk I wanted to go to was sold out.

I do it all the time: I see an interesting event coming up and instead of booking my ticket right away, I tell myself that I'll do it at end of the week.

Why at the end of the week?

I mean, at the end of the week I do not have any more money than I did at the beginning, let alone will I remember that I wanted to look up this event. Putting a reminder into my calendar takes about as long as processing a payment, so why do I keep sabotaging myself?

However, if missing out on awesome events due to being slow (or slack) sounds a bit like you, I have great news:  There is almost always one last ticket! How you will get that one? By sending a personal message.  Find out the email address of the ticket office and tell them your little story. This works for extra tickets, band T-Shirts and autographs (ok, my kids wanting to meet First Aid Kit did not work but hey).

The same formula goes for networking: In our era of endless emails and automated responses, getting a personal and maybe a little fun message is rare.

We set up our profiles with the information pulled out of Facebook, we subscribe to email lists and newsletters with our email address as the account name (oh hi Poppyandtrev72!), we sent out predefined connect requests and automated birthday wishes.

Let’s face it, our inherent laziness and the need for speed have turned our world into a rather shallow and un-personal place.
 
If someone grabs my interest and I would like to meet them in person, say through LinkedIn, I know that I must stand out of the crowd and will go the appreciated extra mile.

Some days I get 20 requests on LinkedIn and while I accept most of them, I am most intrigued by people sending me a personalized message. What stands out most for me is something like "You used to teach children in horse-riding, tell me more about this" or even just a "I really like your photo, who took it?" or "Your bio sounds awesome, did you get it done professionally?"

It shows me that people took the time to read through my profile and are interested in a bit of my story. And vice versa. Sometimes I see people I MUST meet and to get their attention I will have to show them that I am genuinely interested.
 
When it comes to networking wether that is on LinkedIn or at an event, think of it as sitting on a crowded train in the morning. All passengers have the same aim: They need to get to work. With networking, if you think about it, it’s the same: We all want more business, exposure, and referrals, cash in our pockets. It is a place where people with very similar intentions meet and hope to make a lasting impression. As it is not socially accepted to go out and make contacts solely for the reason of becoming rich, we need to change our game a little. 
 
But how do I stand out from the grey mass and how do I get the ticket or the connection I want? The strategy is actually quite simple:

1.    Be interested. 
2.    Listen.
3.    Ask questions.
4.    Find out what they have to offer.
5.    Find common ground and differences.

Follow those steps and tell me how that made a difference in your networking game. I’d like to hear your stories.

Be the person on the train who makes eye contact.

Andrew Ford

Social Star, Level 4, Suite 402, 517 Flinders Lane, Melbourne, Australia

Marketing expert Andrew Ford, the founder of Social Star, has discovered the secret of ‘Powerful Branding’. With a fire for unleashing people’s inner brand and developing business models to generate profit from an individual’s passions, Andrew leverages ground-breaking digital and social media marketing techniques to create digital strategies for clients to attract maximum opportunities. Having established a strong name for himself in the field, Andrew blends traditional business techniques with now-necessary tools for entrepreneurs to achieve scale, quality, and influence in their niche. Andrew’s comprehensive business background and qualifications consist of a Bachelor of Business (Marketing) (RMIT 2003), a Graduate Certificate in Management (MBA Executive Program, University of Sydney 2005), and a Masters of Entrepreneurship and Innovation (Swinburne University 2011). Continually on the cutting edge of his own education, Andrew has tested his marketing theories in forums such as the BCG Business Strategy Competition, which he won in 2005 against all Victorian MBA schools, and the Venture Cup Business Plan Competition (Swinburne University 2003), which he won in the Masters category. With experience working at Hewlett-Packard, Sensis (Telstra) and IBM, Andrew also has mentored dozens of junior staffs to help them achieve their professional goals. Meeting and influencing high-profile public figures helped Andrew to realise just how many professionals require more understanding and control of their public brands or appearance, and need help with the skills to use the many amazing free tools at their disposal to generate success. At Social Star, Andrew consults with clients to uncover their personal brand – both where it is today and where it can be tomorrow – and refine and define how that should be displayed in social media in order to attract their perfect target audience. Andrew mentors his clients to rapidly grow their business’ audiences, resulting in larger potential client bases and higher revenue. Applying formulas that integrate over twenty years of Andrew’s business experience and fifteen years of formal business education, Social Star specialises in building clarity and velocity for clients’ brands using the ‘Understand, Build and Leverage’ methodology. ‘Having a Personal Business enables people to have an authentic, congruent connection with their valued clients and partners, using their brand as the bridge,’ says Andrew. ‘I’m highly driven to work with the new breed of entrepreneurs and small business owners – people who have a passion for making the world a better place. Traditional business models are stepping aside as people follow their innermost dreams and my role is to see them operate within their values while creating wealth. Some people think you have to sacrifice what you love to be successful in your business, yet it is actually the opposite. Follow your passion and success will come.’ Lecturing at Swinburne University from 2009 to 2011 on brand dynamics and digital marketing, presenting at numerous conferences, and consulting to hundreds of clients, Andrew has seen his philosophy work that if you follow your unique path, based on your skills, experience, values and goals, you will automatically attract the opportunities you desire and achieve the success you deserve. Living his mantra, Andrew has created a successful business and attracts high-profile clients including musicians, athletes, authors, models, entrepreneurs, professionals and small business owners, helping them find their ‘why’ in their business and fulfilment in their lives. Business for Andrew is more than work, it’s personal. Running a personal business means that he is able to fulfil all of his values rather than separating his life from work. It supports his two boys while providing social opportunities, educational development, fitness opportunities, spiritual fulfilment and many valuable friendships. Social Star has now become the vehicle for Andrew to crystallise his mission in the world, to help people love what they do, supporting his ‘why’, that if more people loved what they did, the world would be a better place.