First impressions are dead.
Yup, I said it.
If first impressions are still a part of your life, you’re doing it all wrong.
There is no reason for anyone to be faced with a first impression any longer. There are just too many places and too much information out there for the first impression to matter. Well, in-person first impressions that is. Digital first impressions, they’re not dead, they’re in their infancy and rapidly growing in importance.
Here’s the deal. There should never be a situation where someone doesn’t have some idea of who you are, what you do, how well you do it, who your friends are, what you look like, what you’re interested in, and more. It shouldn’t happen.
A friend of mine the other day was talking about the importance of first impressions and how important they are to job interviews, sales calls, etc. As he was talking I kept thinking to myself, how is it he ends up in any situation where when he get’s there, it’s their first impression of him. How does that happen in today’s world?
With Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc. there are just too many ways for people to establish a digital impression.
When information was scarce. Long before social networks, and the Internet, first impressions were everything. There was no way for us know anything about the people we met. When they walked through the door, it was our first “impression” and our minds started forming its impression immediately.
Today, that’s different. We can look at someone’s Facebook page. We can look them up on Twitter or LinkedIn. Many times we’ll see them on their companies home page. The availability of information is staggering, and the upside is it lets us learn a little something about people before we meet them in person.
I find this to be exciting. For the first time in history, we get to shape how people see us before they meet us. We get to earn our value and minimize bias and stereotypes. By creating a strong, deliberate, social presence, we get to influence what people see and how they see us. We get to create the framework for how we want to be perceived by others.
Social and the Internet have taken away first impressions, and that’s a good thing. We are no longer victim to how people see us, but rather who we show them we are.
Don’t underestimate the power of creating your brand. It makes second impressions so much easier.
Don’t get stuck with a first impression, they’re as bad as an ill-fitted suit.