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Offline Success: Four Ways to Be Battle-Ready In The Real World

Mon, 06/09/2014 - 11:18am | by Helen Hoart

The lovably neurotic Woody Allen says that “80 percent of success is showing up.” But anyone who is struggling toward the top knows that’s not true. Being there is merely the first step in the becoming the reigning victor in your industry. You must build a brand presence online. But in the digital age, we forget that winning means being battle-ready in person, too. With the right tools, a killer look and the perfect pitch, you’ll be on your way to conquering the business world.

Stock Your Armory: Tangible Collateral

Marketing collateral ensures you’re ready to go at a moment’s notice and that whoever you encounter will have something to remember you. Basics like business cards, brochures, hand-outs and branded chocolate-covered espresso beans (ok, maybe not that last one) cement your brand’s image to everyone you encounter. Prescott Perez-Fox of Starship Design likens business cards to an artifact and a mini-ad that tells your story (BusinessInsider.com). Printing business cards or brochures is less than you’d think. A quick search online reveals that you can design and purchase business cards at extremely reasonable prices .

Polish Your Armor: Dressing for Battle

According to Business Insider, first impressions do indeed matter most. Studies show that within the first seven to 17 seconds of seeing you, 55 percent of someone’s opinion of you is determined by your appearance. Your clothing and overall appearance isn’t a shallow consideration (it doesn’t matter whether your shoes are Prada or JC Penny) it matters whether you’re put-together, confident, ironed and buttoned. You don’t want to go around looking like an un-made bed.

Rally Your Troops: Enlist Word-of-Mouth Warriors

Word-of-Mouth (WOM) is your most valuable ally in the business world. It’s also the most affordable advertising tool, costing you a grand total of nothing. Word of Mouth Marketing Association (WOMMA) study revealed that 59 percent of Americans believe offline (face-to-face or voice) WOM to be the most credible form of recommendations. Offline WOM is also the largest driving force behind purchase decisions and brand loyalty, at a whopping 54 percent (only 31 percent are swayed by online reviews). Whether you’re at a prestigious trade show or book club, or you run into an acquaintance at the bank, be armed and ready to maximize the WOM value of your brand.

Ready, Aim, Fire: Your Elevator Pitch

You’ve heard the term before, but have you taken the time to perfect yours? Your priceless impression should be framed by a flawless delivery of what you stand for, in 30 seconds or less. Barbra Findlay Schenck, business expert for Entrepreneur Magazine details how to hone the perfect pitch:

  • Write a description of yourself in five words (or less)
  • In one sentence, articulate exactly what you do
  • Summarize your target audience
  • Practice until you lose your voice
  • Shrink the whole pitch to a maximum of 20 words

Showing up might be part the battle, but it isn’t going to win you any wars unless you’re armed, suited up and ready to take the business world by storm.

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