I want to stand out from the crowd at a networking event – but still look like I belong. How can I figure out the appropriate attire based on the association or type of event I've chosen to attend?
How astute of you to realize the importance of simultaneously standing out and fitting in. I have good news for you; there are three rules for answering your dilemma.
DRESS YOUR PROFESSION: If you are a doctor, it’s okay for you to wear your lab coat. If you are an attorney, it’s appropriate for you to wear a suit. Dress the way you would for an appointment with a very important client.
Clueless Carmen, who sells a $40,000 product, consistently wore jeans to a Friday networking meeting. Members, concerned that she would show up in their client’s office dressed casually, weren’t sending her referrals. When Good-friend Gloria shared this info Clueless Carmen replied that it was her right to wear jeans on Friday. She’s correct. So was her network.
STAND OUT BY CHOICE: When you stand out you make it easy for people to talk about you. (And buzz is, after all, the reason you’re networking.) The rule here is: always stand out in the same way.
Nance Donaldson has seven different pairs of glasses – each frame stand-out unique. Collected while traveling in Germany and Austria, Nance has worn them networking for the last 5 years. People notice, ask questions, and remember her. Lynda Martin wears her collection of 50’s glitzy costume jewelry. Iris Grimm stands 6’2” in heels and keeps her hair stand-up-on-end short.
BE VERY SURE YOU FIT IN: Use the athletic ruler ‘To the Edge, but not Over the Edge’. Standing out in an embarrassing way won’t benefit you.
I know a young businesswoman who wears bare midriff tops to networking meetings. Mistake. Don’t think that you can wear workout clothes to a business meeting if you are a personal trainer or on your way to meet her. Over the edge. You can’t wear a ball gown before seven pm, a t-shirt with words on it, or a ball cap to anything billed as a meeting. Ever. The Etiquette Grrls remind us to only wear one striking accessory at a time – the orange leather jacket or the teal purse or the flashing earrings – not all three.
Ready . . . Set . . . Go Make Money! That’s Wendy Kinney’s methodology, honed from 16 years of living and breathing referral marketing.
For information on how to make networking profitable, visit www.ReadySetGoMakeMoney.com or call Wendy at 404-784-0699.