Right now you have multiple ways to connect with anyone on the globe instantly, but do you know how to effectively communicate?
If you’re in business, which essentially means anyone who is working either as a business owner, employee or contractor, you know how important your online network is to your lifeline. All of us have our own network and most of us want a bigger network. A larger network means more opportunities and an expanded worldview. More opportunities usually means a larger revenue stream and an expanded worldview means more knowledge and tools to handle disruptive change. Most of our business transactions now take place in a digital world. There are things you can do to communicate more effectively.
When communicating in the digital sphere, in business mode, there are three key areas to develop in order to make real connections: expressing authentic interest or knowledge on social media, praise for other people’s work and sharing knowledge to benefit others. The old model of being a loud salesman in every conversation is dead in the digital age. The new model is pretty much the opposite of that worn-out system.
Whoever manages to lift up those around him or her the highest in terms of knowledge or support seems to win as far as connections go. Making real connections is inextricably tied to the ability to impact those around you. Help a million people and pretty soon you’ll find that you’ll never have to worry about money again. Helping a million people sounds pretty difficult, so, unless you’re Elon Musk, let’s break down some of these actions into easily digestible bits of information.
Expressing Authentic Interest On Social Media
The first step in making real connections is to know yourself and your real interests. Then, you can discover others whose work you admire. People in real life as well as on the internet can tell if you’re being authentic or not. If you try to “help” someone but don’t actually possess the real desire to help them, then, your inauthenticity will eventually be called out. This causes people to reject you both in real life and on the internet. People on the net can sniff out a liar really fast. They can also sniff out self-interest. It’s really best to have an open, curious mind when connecting with others on the internet. It’s good to be direct and transparent about what you’re working on because professional people like to contribute their expertise and knowledge. Also, people might want to either work with you or become your customer once they know they can trust you. Let’s face it, people do business with people they like. I’m continually surprised by the amount of people who have offered to help once they discovered what I was working on. Transparency is a valuable commodity on social media.
Tip: When cultivating business relationships, it’s good to stay away from the following topics: religion, politics and rage. Your personal Facebook might be a good place to occasionally vent, but it’s good practice to keep it out of your professional pages. The two exceptions to this are if your business exists in one of those realms or if you’re an artist of some kind. Artists can get away with a lot of rule-breaking.
Sharing Knowledge To Benefit Others
A good example of this happens on Twitter and LinkedIn. It’s good to connect regularly with people on these platforms. I use Twitter as a search engine and I connect to people thre whom I admire, respect and can learn from. I find some interesting piece of content written by someone else and I share that on Twitter. This takes literally five minutes to do. That person whose content I shared gets a notification that I shared their content and in their mind, I become perceived as a useful person who makes them feel valued. Now, I don’t do this in order to just boost other people’s opinions of me. No, I do this out of a genuine interest in the piece of digital content I shared. The feelings of goodwill towards me occur as a natural result, not as a primary motivating factor. This is an important distinction. I share my own content about 50% of the time. The other 50% is content from others.
Tip: Look for digital content that genuinely helps some aspect of your work life. Share this content on LinkedIn or Twitter and make sure the author is notified.
Praise For Other People’s Work
There’s no better feeling in the world than well-deserved praise. I don’t think any adult grows out of needing this kind of reward on a consistent basis. And praise is something that seems to have been deleted from our current working environments. Company managers tend to dish out negative feedback because they are under enormous pressure to achieve higher productivity numbers. They feel stressed and then pass on this negativity to those underneath them. Praise sort of went out the window after your elementary school years. It’s due for a comeback and social media is a huge engine that knows how to deliver huge packets of praise. The way I gained insight about the role of praise on social media was when I started receiving it. After I had the glorious sensation of praise pass through me, I was able to give it out to others. This is called having an overflowing bucket.
Tip: Give out praise that others actually deserve. Don’t give out empty praise.
If you’d like to connect with me on LinkedIn, please do so. I’m Dan Prince, the CEO and Founder of illumisoft.