You’re prepared to meet all the right people, you’re prepared for appropriate interaction and you know how to keep time, to respect the needs of your audience and your own goals. Now it’s time to focus on how you can leave a positive impression. Networking in person, the quickest way to a new contact’s heart is through careful listening. It shows you care about, and understand, what matters to them. You might not be able to listen to people reading your online content, but you can easily give the same thoughtful demeanour. Essentially, this means writing content that demonstrates positive interest. So how can we demonstrate this desirable business personality in online content?
Engaging with the reader
In person, it’s always best to make eye contact, and build conversations about your new contact, not yourself. You can achieve this online with a little research. Take the time to search for your readers’ typical interests, and talk with them, on social media. Understand how your writing relates to them personally. Don’t litter content with inappropriate examples and anecdotes, make it relevant. Always relevant.
Online and offline, the way you carry yourself will greatly affect what people think of you. You wouldn’t expect to be well-received by serious business contacts if you turned up to an event in unwashed lounging clothes with bits of food in your hair. You won’t be well-received if your website looks ugly, or your content needs polishing. We covered this slightly in the preparation stages, but keeping up appearances requires constant thought. The way you talk, and what you say, can be as unattractive as the way you dress, after all.
It’s easy to criticise and complain. We all do it (I’ve got heinous negative content on this very website), because a common enemy is a quick conversation starter. Groaning about the weather, or how tired you are, or how loathsome a nearby colleague is, might give you something to talk about, but it’ll make for ugly conversation. A constructive personality, an amiable one, is one that focuses on the positive, on building relations and being productive, not one that focuses on what’s wrong with the world. And certainly not one that’s quick to demonstrate bitterness.
Focus on the good in life, and your content will wear a smile.
Structure what you say
Demonstrate an organised personality through conversation, by taking on board what you are told and relating it back to earlier points. Which takes us back to the first point. Start relevant to demonstrate interest, stay positive and interested to fully engage, and stay relevant to show a consistent, effective personality. Conclusions should relate to introductions, sequential points should build on one another, not diverge, and past discussion or debate should be referenced for further discussion.
Stay tuned for my final tenuous piece in the business networking and blogging puzzle: following up.