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From Business Cards to Business Relationships: Personal Branding and Profitable Networking Made Easy, 2nd Edition by Allison Graham

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Chapter 8

The Business of YOU

People form opinions of you the moment they meet you. Regardless if your paths will cross for only a moment or if it's the beginning of a wildly successful business relationship, the first several seconds of interaction lay the groundwork for what's to come.

Although it may seem superficial, the reality is, it's the initial reaction that sticks. It may only take seconds to make a first impression, but it takes a lifetime to break one. It's important to invest in your outward image to maximize your opportunity to make a positive first impression.

There are several factors that contribute to the impression you make. Many of these are outlined in the following pages. Each factor, on its own, may not be the deal breaker, but combined, they will contribute to what others see, feel, and hear around you and, ultimately, the gut reaction other people have about you.

In addition to being aware of what kind of first impression you make, building your reputation over the long term is essential to forming deeper business relationships and keeping them. As you build your network and expand your circles of influence, the image you project will either help or hinder your networking results. By addressing your personal brand, or what I like to call the Business of YOU, up front, you will increase your ability to connect successfully with others. Taking steps to optimize the Business of YOU will enhance your networking efforts as well as make a positive impact on ...

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