We are asked to never judge a book by its cover, yet thousands of dollars go into creating that perfect front page. Did you know Steve Jobs despised the earlier, proposed cover treatment of his biography so much that “he asked to have inputs in designing a new version,” his only involvement in the making of the entire book?
Ever since I was a child, I put extra care and thought into looking the way I did so that I would be perceived the way I wanted. Now, as a person of color, the habit has resurfaced stronger than ever. When you are often the one to stand out, you tend to make an extra effort to fit in; especially since you only have a 7-second window to make that first, good impression. Which brings me to address my utter awe and fascination for the seemingly confident and suave politicians, public speakers, entertainers, and featured in today’s edition…
Christine Faulhaber. Turning first-time meetings into life-long relationships, Christine Faulhaber is the founder of the award-winning public relations and marketing agency in Toronto, Faulhaber Communications.
From studying performing arts to singing in resorts to working in retail to fund her business studies, Christine is not just an industry innovator but a case study in making on how to ask the right questions, dress for the job you want, make a credible, first impression and, most importantly, how to listen and trust your spidey sense.
Q1. Networking with the right people the right way can be a game changer. What are some of the best ways to make a lasting impression in today’s day and age of quick interactions?
Networking is a powerful thing. I pride myself on my ability to interact with anyone I meet, form a connection and build a relationship. Today this happens on and offline, but the same rules apply. If I were to give advice to someone on how to make a lasting impression I would say:
Start with a firm handshake: This builds a strong presence and builds credibility right away. If you meet me, I’ll show you my technique!
Find something in common to talk about: Creating a common ground allows you and the other person to feel comfortable in the conversation. It also shows you care and want to get to know them. Asking questions is important. Most people enjoy talking about themselves.
Follow up with a handwritten note: A handwritten note shows polish and displays your interest in continuing the relationship further. If the relationship is mostly virtual, a nice personalized DM will do!
Q2. What would you say is your biggest strength?
FAULHABER is a relationship-driven agency. We all focus on the connections we make and value every relationship we have. Whether that is showing client love, inviting industry experts into our FSHOPPE showrooms or sending a catch-up note, our relationships in all industries are top notch. I remind the team to focus on putting relationships first every day. TIP: At FAULHABER, we use the Gallup Strengths Finder method to allow us to focus on using our strengths to drive our projects forward and deliver strong results.
Q3. What sparked the idea of launching your PR and marketing agency 17 years ago?
I’m not a publicist. I’m an entrepreneur and I see opportunities. I’ve always loved working with companies to leverage the power of communications to drive their business results. I went to Ryerson University for Commerce and Communications and worked all through school which provided a hands-on learning experience. At the beginning of my career, I worked with a variety of retail brands and was inspired by the experience. I noticed a gap, white space, that sparked the idea to help grow brands using a creative combo of PR and marketing. I’ve always trusted my “Spidey sense” aka Trust Your Gut. I can thank my mom for that sage advice early on.
Q4. CEO, businesswoman and a single mother. How do you successfully do what you do?
Only 3 hats? LOL. I call it work-life integration. I produce my life in a way that works for me and lets me weave work and personal priorities together simultaneously. Instead of thinking I can take a whole day off, I find time throughout the day to find pleasure. I’ll call my boyfriend in between meetings to catch up or sometimes my kids come to work with me — they love being in the office. Work, play, travel, parenting… I blend it all together, so I feel like I’ve done all I can in every part of my life.
Q5. Initially, were you ever overcome with ‘mom guilt’ if you spent more time at work than with family?
As an entrepreneur, my instinct is to make things happen… I’ve never felt like I’ve had to completely shut off career or family to be successful.
I admit that when I had kids in my mid-30s, I mourned my single-minded life and had to adjust. Now I’m so much better at multi-tasking and productivity that I can balance my time with my kids but also make sure I get the me/family time I need and that my business and team always have my attention. The Headspace meditation app has helped me learn how to take a moment in between the thinking and doing.
Born and raised in India, Anisha Dhiman moved to Toronto to study Publishing and then Lifestyle Media at Centennial College. Writer, social media strategist and content creator, Anisha is the founder of Five Question Series, where she profiles people… you guessed it, by asking five questions. In her free time, she enjoys reading and trolling people with puppy GIFs and memes. Her only phobia? Losing her sight, but staring at the screen all day long doesn’t help much.