22 Jan How to stand out and have impact
There’s only a week to go before our next Trailblazer Tribe Live event on Tuesday 29th January at The Library private members’ club in central London.
It’s going to be an intimate evening affair where you can meet and connect with like-minded creatives and take part in a mini-workshop – How to Stand Out and Have Impact – where we will be looking at ways in which creatives can make their mark and increase their impact.
We only have a few tickets left at £20 but you can still book HERE.
Recently we talked about the curse of niceness and how being too agreeable can be detrimental to your impact. This week, we want to talk about the power of positive impact.
If you’re too nice, it can lead to a rather vanilla brand. If you’re focusing on pleasing others, you risk dampening down the qualities that make you unique.
One of the tips we gave for avoiding extreme niceness was to think like a brand. Brands that have impact tend to inspire people to want to follow them. Brands stand for something – they have a powerful intention. They signal a belief in something bigger than the product being sold.
To build on this idea, let’s look at your personal impact in everyday encounters.
Are you aware of how people feel when they spend time with you? Do you ever wonder what people say when they describe what you’re like?
“What I notice with some creatives is that they are not showing the full colours of their personality. For example, I know of many artists who are highly introverted and struggle with social situations or when they need to make an impression. Even though their work is beautiful and they are talented, when people meet them, they sense their distance and don’t always connect.
“I’d say I sometimes fall into the Enigma trap – I often withdraw from public view, and that includes social media. I’m also acutely aware of not wanting to be seen as a ‘show off’, and this often stops me showing up. But I know that my work won’t speak for itself – I have to speak for it.”
“While I have a strong belief in authenticity and being true to your nature, I think that creative people need to be aware that the first impression is often a lasting one. It’s not about being ‘fake’ or pretending. But it is about having awareness of how to connect with others in a way that will help you build rapport and inspire confidence so that people want to collaborate or buy your work.
“It’s about operating from the knowledge that anyone could potentially be a contact. Your reputation is built by the experience people have of you. If you don’t take charge of your impact in everyday circumstances, you are going to limit your chances of getting ahead.”
“If I’m in a networking situation or a place where I don’t know anybody, I often disappear into the background and become human wallpaper. As an introvert I often find it hard to introduce myself to people without being invited. But I also know that if I don’t push myself to speak to people, I might be missing out on a key contact or work possibility. It’s a tough one!”
“When I think of impact, the Maya Angelou quote always comes to mind: ‘People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.’
“To illustrate this, let me share a quick story about one of my clients. He went to a networking event so he could meet other creatives in his industry. He had a song that he wanted to promote and hoped there would be an opportunity to play it in a forum that was part of the event. He came across someone who was rather rude and dismissive, complaining about the event and criticising the people there. Even though my client didn’t like his attitude, he turned the conversation around and talked about aspects of the event that he felt were positive and that perhaps it was a good place to get feedback. He said it in a polite way, but made a firm point.
“An hour later, there was an opportunity for a limited number of people to play songs in the forum. To my client’s surprise, this ‘negative’ chap ran over to him and waved at the judges to make sure that my client was selected. This person had suddenly become his biggest fan!”
“That’s funny – I’ve also had that experience in the training room. There might be a participant who seems particularly cynical or difficult – then at the end of the day, they are the person who comes up and thanks you for a great experience! And all because I have been calm, patient and open.”
“You don’t have to be in networking situations to make a positive impact. I’ve met people on bus journeys, at yoga classes and down at the gym that have become clients. If you can inspire people with your creative expression or shift someone’s mood, then you are not only making the world a more uplifting place to be – you are potentially meeting someone who will either want to buy your work or promote you to someone else.”
So what about you? How can you increase your impact today?
- Trailblazer Tribe Live is taking place on Tuesday 29th January at The Library from 7pm-10pm. If you want to join in the fun, book now by clicking HERE.