You can be on Entrepreneur’s cover!

5 Ways to Get People to Remember You (And Your Company) In a sea of companies and entrepreneurs, it is easy to get lost in the crowd. Here are a few pointers on how to stand out.

By Dorie Clark

entrepreneur daily

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

After a recent lecture, a young consultant came up to me. "I have a problem," he said. "People seem to forget me right away. I'll remember meeting them, but they have no idea we connected before. I think I'm just not memorable enough. What can I do?"

Being memorable is essential for every entrepreneur -- after all, people won't fund you or buy from you if they don't even remember you exist.

Here are five ways to ensure you're making a strong and lasting impression.

1. Identify a commonality. When I interviewed the eminent psychologist Robert Cialdini for my book Reinventing You, he told me the fastest way to get someone to like you is to find a commonality you share with them. People will trust you and relate to you if they feel you share a bond -- whether it's that you're from the same hometown, went to the same school or even just that you both like dogs or the color orange. And if they like you and trust you, they'll remember you.

Related: How to Say 'I'm the Best' Without Actually Saying It

2. Pique their interest. Many of us kill conversations in the first 10 seconds. When someone asks the inevitable, "What do you do?," you need a better answer than just a boring recitation: "I own a business" or "I'm a technology entrepreneur." Find a way to pique their curiosity and make them want to know more. It's a lot more interesting and memorable to say "I help companies become more famous" or "I'm launching a business that will enable you to connect with doctors without ever leaving your home."

3. Develop a signature style. Sometimes your wardrobe can help you stand out. (Don't force it if it doesn't feel natural to you.) But Madeleine Albright's brooches, Tucker Carlson's bowties and Steve Jobs' black turtlenecks all helped them distinguish themselves. If you have a certain accessory or style you relish, you may consider making it a conscious part of your brand. It's a lot easier to remember "Jeff, the guy who always wears colorful socks," compared to "Jeff, that guy who dresses like everyone else."

Related: 6 Items Every Entrepreneur Needs to Dress for Success

4. Ask a lot of questions. It may sound counterintuitive but asking a lot of questions can actually make you far more memorable to others. People love to talk about themselves, and they're likely to remember someone who asks thoughtful, interesting questions because it makes them feel appreciated and understood. That's a lot more potent than someone who simply prattles on about their own accomplishments.

5. Find a reason to follow up. If people don't remember you, it could be that you're not giving them enough opportunities. It's hard to remember anyone that you've met just once, particularly if you've only had a brief interaction. So if you'd like to turn a quick meeting into a long-lasting relationship, make a point of finding a way to continue the conversation. Get their contact information, and try to identify areas that are ripe for follow-up. Perhaps you can send them an article they'd be interested in or congratulate them when their favorite team wins over the weekend. The more exposure they have to you, the more likely they are to remember you at the next conference or Chamber of Commerce event.

Making a strong impression is critical to your business success. By following these techniques, you can be sure people will take note.

Related: Insure Yourself Against Extinction by Building Your Personal Brand

Dorie Clark

Speaker, Marketing Strategist, Professor

Dorie Clark is a marketing strategist and speaker who teaches at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business. She is the author of Reinventing You. 

Want to be an Entrepreneur Leadership Network contributor? Apply now to join.

Business News

Nike Responds to Criticism Over U.S. Women's Olympic Uniforms: 'Everything's Showing'

The company is the official outfitter for the U.S. Olympic track and field athletes.

Growing a Business

Top Brands Are Flocking to Newsletter Advertising — Here Are 11 Reasons Why You Should Do the Same.

An explanation of the current market trend of brands turning to newsletter advertising as a primary channel in their marketing campaigns.

Business News

The 'Silver Tsunami' Meets 'Golden Handcuffs' as Past Low Mortgage Rates Lock in Homeowners — Whether They Like It or Not

The resulting lower supply of homes, and population growth outpacing construction, has led to a 7.2 million home shortage.

Business Ideas

63 Small Business Ideas to Start in 2024

We put together a list of the best, most profitable small business ideas for entrepreneurs to pursue in 2024.