BY LINDSEY HOBBS
In order to be your own boss, you’re going to need to convince your potential clients that it’s YOUR services they want, and not someone else’s. So how do you do that? Well it starts with making a badass first impression, or pitch. However, even if your product or services are the best, some of us just aren’t good at pitching. Here are some tips to help you walk in feeling confident and like the Boss that you are destined to be.
Gotta love those endorphins, right? Getting in a good workout a few hours before a big presentation can be an asset to your boss game. The endorphins released by exercise can have a number of positive effects on your body, from calming your nerves, to boosting your confidence, to sharpening your focus. Plus, exercise raises your body temperature, which can also have a calming effect on its own. Clear your head and run through your presentation on a jog or on the stationary bike. You’ll be surprised how much calmer you’ll be afterwards.
2) Business Cards
Sure, you’re just starting out and you may not have a name for yourself yet– which is exactly why it’s infinitely more impressive when you show up with a sharp looking business card. “Here’s my card” not only gives the impression that you are reputable, but it also makes your contact information readily available, for when they love your pitch and want to get ahold of you right away. Vistaprint and Zazzle are just two of the most popular, affordable printing sites for business cards, but you could also design one yourself using Adobe InDesign, PhotoShop, or Illustrator and get them printed and cut in small batches at your local office supplies store.
Editor’s note: We used Moo for our Hello Fearless cards because they have the ability to create different backgrounds without additional costs. Highly recommended if you are a creative person who may want to showcase different designs or photos!
3) Listen to pump-up music
Earlier this year, Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management published research on how music affects your brain and your personality. So the next time you feel the need to listen to some Beyonce to make you feel pumped up about your next client meeting, do not feel ashamed because science says it actually works! In their study, researchers actually used songs like 50 Cent’s “In Da Club” and Queen’s “We Will Rock You” to judge how confident they made participants feel in small risk gambling situations. Apparently, people were more likely to bet on the outcome of rolling dice, and also feel that the odds were in their favor, after listening to songs like these. Don’t listen to the Baha Men, though. This same study suggests that an artist like that has the opposite effect. You really shouldn’t be listening to the Baha Men anyway, if we’re being honest.
4) Wear Something You Feel Good In
We’ve got science behind this one too. The same folks at Northwestern have named this phenomenon “Enclothed Cognition,” and it simply means that if you are wearing something that you personally associate with an emotion, or a feeling, then those clothes will enhance that feeling in yourself. For instance, in the study, the participants wore white lab coats that they were told belonged to doctors. These people then performed significantly better on a following test. Because the clothes made them feel more competent. Afterall, they were wearing doctors’ coats! That is why professional development specialists suggest a “power suit” for interviews. Your particular go-to outfit doesn’t necessarily have to be a power suit, it should be clothes that make you feel like the boss that you want to be.
5) Review Your Previous Accomplishments/Accolades/Recommendations
It may sound silly and a little self-serving, but the truth is, reminding yourself of what you can do can have a huge positive effect on your self-esteem and nerves before meeting potential new business for the first time. Do you have a “keep” folder in your inbox? You should make one and save all compliments and kudos via email to that folder for a little self-boost. Also, take a quick look at your LinkedIn page before you head out. Review any recommendations past employers or clients have given you for a reminder that you know what you are doing.
None of these activities are groundbreaking, but they can add up quickly to a more positive attitude and a more focused mind. Don’t take the small steps for granted!
>> Lindsey calls Columbus, Ohio her home, where she is an online marketing strategist by day, and a red wine sipper and budding kickboxer by night. You can read about her mission to learn programming at the614project.com or fuel her Twitter obsession at @hobbsie11.
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