My interview with Personal Branding expert Briony Croft, on the Art of Networking

By Angela Mellak
I’ve had the pleasure of working professionally with Briony and we are delighted to host her on the 18th April at our signature event The Art of Networking and Advocacy. Please see my Q&A with her.

How do you view networking?

To be honest I have so many thoughts on networking! Networking is how I started my business, and without it, there is no way that I would be where I am today. I was very consistent with getting out trying to meet as many people as I could and build relationships because I knew no other way of developing my little idea into a field that I could be known as a specialist. I found networking to be a rollercoaster, at the beginning it was nerve-wracking and exciting, then it became tiresome and hard work until I figured out that you have to be selective of the events you choose to go to. Time is very precious!

Is there a difference in how you approach networking now from what you did when you first started out in business or your career?

Absolutely. I go into networking events with one main outcome in mind…

1) To learn. I genuinely want meet people and hear their stories and experiences. That’s where I learn. If I don’t learn or don’t feel an excitement or intrigue I feel quite unfulfilled by the experience. What comes from this (for me) is connections that can built upon after an initial meeting. At the end of the day, people do business with people they like.

What do you think the best questions to ask at a networking event?

Great question! Something that is left of centre and so far away from… ‘so, what do you?’One that I have used in the past is a scenario question… “Ok, I have a question for you – if you had the choice between taking Richard Branson or Oprah Winfrey on a day trip who would you take and why?’ It breaks the ice, can cause some laughter and/or intrigued, you get a bit of an insight to the person you’re about to have a conversation with and you can then go onto the more serious stuff about getting to know a person.

How do you quickly build rapport?

Listening and being immersed in what they are saying.

how do you advocate for people?

It’s sometimes not what you know but who you know. The more people you can build rapport with, the more you can actually help each and every one of those relationships.

How have you grown your personal brand?

My business is my name, so I have had to be clear about what I put out there with consistency. This is what my brand actually does, creates and maintains personal brands through image – your personal brand has to be real, authentic and representing you. Not your competitor, not whom everyone else thinks you should be, but you. As I mentioned before, people do business with people. That is why a consistent personal brand is SO important.

How have you built Confidence?

Absolutely. Experience does bring confidence. But I do still get the butterflies before walking into a room of people I don’t know!

How do you take advantage of digital and social media to improve your personal brand?

This is an ongoing project in a world that feels like it’s constantly changing. We have actually written social media in our meetings as something that is a focus of ours over the next 6 months. I have grown my business from networking, referral and client retention – not from social media. With the growth of the business and new service offerings being introduced within the next month social media and digital marketing will be strategy that we will have to get very good at.

What I do know (as I am not an expert in this field) – all platforms must be consistent as a brand. The question I ask myself when posting, would I be happy to have this image on my website (strong branding), if the answer is no, it doesn’t go up.

Our event

Where; Space & Co

12, 360 Elizabeth street, Melbourne 3000

When; 18th April 2018

6:00pm-8:30pm

Nibbles, catering and a glass of wine included

Drinks at bar prices

Bring your business cards ☺

We look forward to seeing you there.

Many thanks,

Angela Mellak MCIM

Ranking Top10 LinkedIn influencer 2017

Director and Strategist – Digital White Space

Co-founder – Digital Womens Network

Level 3, 530 Collins Street, Melbourne 3000

M: +61(0)466 619 631

E: angela@digitalwhitespace.com.au

https://digitalwhitespace.com.au

https://www.digitalwomensnetwork.com

https://www.linkedin.com/in/angelamellak/

“Your smile is your logo, your personality your business card and how you leave people feeling after they dealt with you becomes your trademark”.. Angela Mellak

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