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Your Company’s First Impression Matters

I just completed some back and forth emails with some staff of an upstart website. This small site had an issue with our YouTube press release, saying that if we had been acquired by Google, we would have a seal and some special ID.

I just completed some back and forth emails with some staff of an upstart website. This small site had an issue with our YouTube press release, saying that if we had been acquired by Google, we would have a seal and some special ID.

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I did my best to point out that a “strategic partnership” is very different from “acquired” and they were the only people in the entire media universe who had misread our press release. Even after that simple explanation, they still persisted on the “acquisition” aspect and passed it on to what seemed to be a senior person. That person refused to get involved to solve the problem but also said that such a problem should not affect the possibility of doing business together in the future. The follow-up email went as far as to call us frauds and liars concerning the YouTube deal.

My business school experience, my mentors, my time in the corporate world and my years in business have taught me that the first impression of your company matters the most because it sets the tone for all future conversations.

If you present the wrong image, you should work quickly to identify the problem and rectify it, involving the highest levels of management if necessary.

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To some this is just common sense, but alas, common sense is not so common as we all know from experience.

You have one chance to make a first impression so be very careful.

I recently had a discovery call with a large media company in the Caribbean that is considering investing in our venture. One of the people on the call asked why we were approaching them with an idea instead of a functional website.

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I quickly pointed out the correct url of the site, the history of operations, the fact that the site has been live for years and the fact that we had just placed an advertsing campaign for an agency at a cpm rate higher than they are placing ads for on their own online properties.

She quickly apologized for making such a mistake and wanted to move to the next step as soon as possible because she was know much more interested.

If we had not dealt with her negative first impression, we wouldn’t be getting very far and we also do not know who she would speak to. That belief could spread and contaminate the minds of other potential investors and hurt the reputation of our venture.

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Entrepreneurs and business-owners must be vigilant about reputation, especially when you have a significant personal stake.

If you are not focused on your company’s first impression with all people, you are taking a serious risk that will ultimately backfire. 

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About the author

I am a young entrepreneur who started my first company at 20 during my MBA program at the University of Miami. Our first project was the creation of RealVibes.net, later renamed Realvibez.tv, a leading online destination for Reggae, Dancehall and Soca videos, first launched in February 2002. I am the co-founder of Random Media, an integrated media and entertainment firm focused on Caribbean entertainment and culture, as well as co-founder of Kaizen Interactive, a digital marketing agency. Experience and Achievements - Secured deal for my venture (through the Realvibeztv channel) to become YouTube’s first Caribbean media partner - venture now part of YouTube’s new rental program - Random Media has signed distribution deals for e-book versions of a number of Caribbean books in the Amazon Kindle and Apple iBooks stores - Interviewed numerous times about using social networks for business, previously built up a Facebook fan page for Jamaica to over 55,000 fans in less than 2 years that is now being used by the Jamaica Tourist Board - Asked to endorse a book on entrepreneurship The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur alongside Donny Deutsch, Host of CNBC’s The Big Idea with Donny Deutsch - Contributed a chapter to a McGraw-Hill Publishing book, How To Make Money With YouTube - A judge for Business.com’s What Works For Business contest in 2009 I was born in Kingston, Jamaica, completed his B.Sc

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