Applicable to job-searching, dating, pitching creative services, or any time you need to make a great impression:
If you use your first meeting / interview / date / pitch as a way of “feeling it out,” the meeting turns out unremarkable. You lose.
When dating, you might think, “Oh, it’s only the first phone call. I don’t want to make them think I’m weird.”
But you are weird. You are different. The goal isn’t to be just anyone, it’s to be you. And find someone else who is just themselves, too. Why hold back? You wouldn’t want them to, either.
In a job interview, you may reserve yourself in an effort to come off “professional.” You should be well-composed and have etiquette—but there are thirty other candidates. Be the one that stands out.
And stand out in the first meeting. If you don’t, someone else will.
When pitching your services, you have to appear above and beyond the competition. You have to appear to be the expert for what your client is looking for.
That happens in the first meeting. Or, even the first time they land on your website and read it. “They do exactly what we’re looking for.”
Every second you spend acting like you’re not—trying to fit into the mold of what everyone else sounds or acts like—you become unremarkable. Nothing to write home about.
If you’re nothing to write home about in the first meeting, you might never get a second meeting for them to start writing about.