How to Make a Great First Impression in the Digital Age

For many years, introductions and first impressions happened in person, face to face, accompanied by a handshake.  Fast forward to today and we are all connected on Google, Twitter, LinkedIn and scores of other social media platforms. Every day we are being researched and observed by potential contacts we have never heard of and may never get to meet if we don’t make our 'virtual' first impressions count.

There is no doubt that social media has it's pitfalls however it's important to view social media as a way to enhance your brand  and amplify your voice.  The power of making lasting impressions on social media is all about observing the conversations that are constantly going on around you, participating when you can add value and knowing when to convert a 'virtual' connection to an in-person contact. Here are a few suggestions to help you make a great online first impression.

Look and Sound Confident

What you say about yourself in your biographies and profiles says a lot about how you perceive yourself and how you want others to view you. The most influential business leaders demonstrate a consistent, authoritative but engaging tone of voice across all their social profiles. They also carefully manage their online personas, ensuring that personal and professional profiles are not mixed and that nothing is left to chance. The best way to check your messaging is to Google yourself to ensure that everything in your profile is consistent with the personal brand image you wish to convey.

Greet People Appropriately

Building an audience and contacts on social media is about engaging in an informative and beneficial two-way conversation. Experts say that 50 per cent of what you say on social media should be conversational- finding online discussions where you can add and receive the most value. A further 30 per cent is about promoting content useful to your audience, such as sharing news articles. Keep in mind that the most authentic conversations are about subjects you’re knowledgeable and passionate about. 

Be Mindful of others Personal Space 

It might sound strange but being aware of personal space is as important on social media as it is in person.Practice your approach and your messaging by knowing the right place to have the most meaningful conversations.

Display a Genuine Interest in Others 

The most successful business leaders demonstrate the value they place on relationships, be that with their customers or colleagues. They engage people in meaningful real time two-way conversations. This means taking time to understand something about the individual(s) you are engaging with. Research them before hand and ask them not only about what they do but what they love about it or maybe even what they find challenging. 

Be Engaging and Interesting

Most important of all, your online persona should be interesting. You should give attention to the ground work you do in terms of telling others who you are and what you do. Your 'elevator pitch' or '30-second impact speech' is as important online as it is in person – the key is to deliver it in such a way that its naturally encourages follow-up questions... if you’ve nailed it the receiver will show further interest by asking additional questions and you’ve started a conversation with purpose.

Like it or not, the internet is here to stay and your digital footprint will in many ways determine your future success.   If you need help to make sure your digital footprint is saying all the right things about you , don't hesitate to contact us.  

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