Thursday, June 30, 2005

Meeting Flubs and Stuffed Ferrets

I was going to talk about a flub I made at a coffee meeting yesterday, but I've got one better to talk about today. One of the many newsletters I subscribe to is called Early to Rise, which I've mentioned here in the past. To those who don't know about it, I recommend this newsletter very highly for sheer quality AND variety.

Today the guest article was by Ilise Benun, called "How to 'Work A Room.'" There's lots of advice on this topic - my good friend Rick Silva does seminars on it - but one thing in this article struck me.

Here's today's issue of Early to Rise The article is midway down. By all means read it through; there's plenty of great information. But pay attention to number 13, titled, "Wear an Unusual Accessory."

Now, anyone who knows me knows I've had an unusual accessory since I started showing up to networking events. Namely, a little plush blue ferret I call Bloo. Once I have some professional photos taken, I'll have pics of him too. I stick him in my pocket and only refer to him if someone asks.

This little mascot of mine has carved me out a powerful brand identity and image recognition over the whole of the Bay Area. I've had strangers walk up to me and say, "Aren't you that ferret writer guy?" To which I usually have to say, "Yes, I am...who are you?"

I guess I feel vindicated in this Early to Rise issue. A gimmick I've been using for a long time was recognized as a valid networking trait in one of the biggest newsletters on the Web. And, I now have some more tidbits of advice to use at my next event!

P.S. - The meeting did go extremely well otherwise - all 5 requested people showed up, and despite my flub describing my services, we were there for 90 minutes building some great relationships.


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