We’ve all heard the saying, “You have six seconds to make your first impression.”
Instantly, we can meaningfully connect with someone or be thrown into their “I never want to talk to that person again” mental bucket.
The amazing power of a simple moment.
But what causes these widely different results? Is it our hair, our clothes, our smile (or lack thereof), or something else?
Our appearance is und undoubtedly a cause. Everything about us tells a story. Our worn or polished shoes speak for themselves. Our pressed or wrinkled shirts say otherwise. Without thinking, we meet someone and pull these signals together to see who the person is.
In addition to our outward appearance, powerful intangibles enhance our first impression or torpedo. Above all how do we feel about someone. If we make a person feel important, if we express warmth and positivity, if we are engaged and authentic, we make a connection. If not, we don’t.
This simple equation on some of these dynamic insights:
- Bad appearance + poor intangibles = no connection
- Good looks + poor intangibles = bad / subpar experience, limited connection
- Good looks + good intangibles = sublime connection
But what happens when a big change happens, and we meet more people online than in real life? And does our digital presence move to a centralized level?
Our new (digital) common
Over the past year, every new business contact we’ve made we’ve only seen from the zoom shoulder or heard their voices on the phone. They keep their heads on our laptops – present for the shortest time of the moment during our call, and then – puff! They are gone as soon as the tab is closed.
We know our appearance from the shoulder is important. We consciously focus on warmth and presence, but the effortless, instant connection that is usually made in real life (IRL) meetings is elusive. When we try to connect with others, our brains look for two important qualities: reliability and trustworthiness. Unfortunately, they are difficult to establish when we do not communicate with anyone personally. It’s just human nature.
So we all go to Google, since Google is the guardian of all privacy and the answer to all questions. Who is this person? Can I trust them? What am I? Are they valid? What is their business? Our new acquaintances are consciously meeting the Internet for information about us and subconsciously repeating the moments of our conversations with them in hopes of understanding who they really are and whether they can trust us.
Form your narrative
If someone says, “I googled you,” how would you feel? Confident? Calm? Panicked? Scary? Will the person searching for you online find a carefully curated collection of photos, articles, and testimonials? An unpredictable fragmentation of what happened to pull the internet together? Or do they just not pay attention when you tell them something to do?
At the beginning of the Kovid-1 pandemic epidemic, one of our clients anxiously asked us, “How can we build confidence with new possibilities if we can’t meet them at conferences and chat about food?” We want to share with you what we told him.
A digital presence that truly represents and reflects on who you are with a new acquaintance can help fill that gap. This presence works tirelessly for you, 2/7, Google answers every question. It can be an effective tool to build trust and help people know you.
But please don’t worry: you don’t need a huge social media to follow, and your days don’t need endless doom scrolling, liking, sharing, tweeting and commenting. We are simply talking about determining your desired digital presence and establishing a sustainable infrastructure for cultivating it.
Five effective strategies
There is tremendous opportunity at your fingertips to shape and enhance your digital presence. We recommend starting with these five methods.
Your level of control over your LinkedIn profile makes it a particularly easy place to start. Here are some easy ways to start polishing your profile.
- Select a meaningful banner image. It could be a picture or a graphic of something important to you that represents your brand / company. Your banner image is a subtle but powerful way to provide context about who you are and what you value.
- Update your headshot. Make sure it is clear, professional and shows you the way you want to be perceived.
- Check your title again. Add some details so people can better understand who you are. Remember: You are more than a job title.
- Clarify and confirm your contact information. Make it easy for people to catch you.
- Streamline your “About” section. A short and sharp organic is gold.
- Edit your experience. Keep it short but thorough.
- Add (more) personal recommendations. Ask trusted people in your network to review you or your business.
- Customize your public profile URL.
Great examples of inspiration include:
2. Authentic content
Creating content and publishing it online gives you space as an expert and thinker. It’s an extremely powerful social currency that tells people who you are and what you think. Consider it a long-form medium that provides deep opportunities to attract people এবং and over which you have complete control, so that others can understand you, set your talents, and shape your place in your industry.
Starting a blog is a great way to share your content with the world and prove your worth. You can post articles with multiple photos or videos directly on LinkedIn.
Videos are a means of communicating your knowledge, connecting with people, and providing value in unique ways. They provide a richer, more dynamic experience through which people can learn and learn from you. They are incredibly effective builders of faith because psychologically a person sees your personality and body language and influences you. People can be sure that they have to believe that you are an expert in what you are saying. Videos allow you to project something that would otherwise only be possible in a personal meeting: sincerity.
- Louis Lehat is a lawyer and entrepreneur based in Polo Alto, CA, who produces the YouTube series #askasiliconvalleylawyer.
- Lucas Dietsk is a Philadelphia-based real estate investor who created the YouTube series #thelukasshow for German investors about investing in US real estate.
4. Personal website
Personal websites can give you your true identity: you decide all the design and content yourself and therefore determine how the site represents you. You can remember important information from your volunteer or community involvement to your professional life, family details, your writing essays, etc. It gives people a chance to dive into your world and get to know you.
The pictures are powerful because they can tell an interesting story, without any words. What will Google Image Search reveal about you? Will it show your proud pictures, which are representative of your character and values? Or will it create a random piece of images posted by others, without a clear connection description? To get started, consider using a unique image every time you have a bio or reference point for yourself on the internet. Google’s image recognition technology actually knows when you’re wearing a different shirt and where to avoid taking duplicate photos.
Favorite tool to enrich one’s digital presence
You don’t have to be a software ninja to manage and improve your digital presence. There are many user-friendly apps that can help you easily create digital resources that look attractive and professional. Strengthen your personal brand using these tools.
Video: Even newcomers can learn to edit videos seamlessly through the apps below.
Adobe Premier Pro
Apple Final Cut Pro X.
Graphic Design / Photo Editing:
• Canvas (Even the free version can provide impressive results.)
Website: Learning to be one of these simple, block-based website builders is valuable for your time.
WordPress + Beaver Builder Page Builder
Content / Grammar: We all know that typo and grammatical errors do not contribute to a good first impression, but fortunately, a good AI assistant can help you avoid common mistakes.
The power of perception
In 2021, will you trust someone who doesn’t have a digital footprint? Would you hire a company that has zero reviews? In today’s world, your digital presence is an important part of your personal brand, and consciously curating it can be your best networking step of the year.
Your digital presence can play a huge role in strengthening your network and help you fill in the personal networking opportunities you may have lost during an epidemic. Don’t leave the quality of your online presence to chance.
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All posts are the author’s opinion. As such, they should not be construed as investment advice, or the opinions expressed must not reflect the views of the CFA Institute or the author’s employer.
Photo Credit: © Getty Images / Alistair Berg
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