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Connecting in a Digital World

How do I become social?

I remember my first sales job. I would spend half my week walking constructions sites, city streets, office buildings and strip malls handing out business cards doing what we called back then, foot canvassing. Shaking a hand and providing a card somehow justified my legitimacy as a trusted business person. Building relationships stemmed out of conversations, coffees, lunches, events and dinners. At the time, I was fairly confined to a specific geography, but built relationships that I still carry today. Then came the internet.

Thirty years ago, this internet that is a standard in our business and personal lives today, didn’t exist for the masses. Who remembers having a company come in to install a jack so that you could be on the internet and the phone at the same time and that hideous noise it made when connecting?

I follow great digital leaders that get how to humanize the digital. But what about those for whom this concept is foreign? Here are three why’s around personalizing connection in a digital world:

  1. Connectability is Global! You are no longer confined to the microcosm of your geographical area. Going global opens your horizons to learn about different cultures and ways of approaching business. It offers you a chance at collaboration across borders which can broaden your perspective of the world.
  2. Personalize and brand yourself. Whether you work for an employer, own your own business, are graduating school or finding a new career, instead of handing out a business card, you show up on LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, SnapChat, etc. Your personal brand, whether you like it or not, is your business card. You can google anyone today. Keep that in mind when you post content, videos and pictures. Your personal brand is the why behind why people want to engage with you. Look at some of the vloggers and bloggers today with the greatest following. Look at their content on social media and you will see why they have such a great following and are viewed as experts in their arenas. My personal favorite is “The Blonde Abroad”. Her blog speaks to my adventurous side. I get a glimpse of adventures that I too may want to embark on.
  3. Cold calling is a method from the past that is no longer relevant. No one picks up the phone anymore. You have to connect with people in a different way today. Never lead in with the sale. Lead in with connection and through connection the sale will come. Learn how to build relationships through social media that lead to social relationships that foster connection. It works when done well. There are people you can reach out to for help.

This time we are living in is exciting. We are no longer confined by boundaries, we can connect with people in meaningful ways that foster relationship, and we can increase our personal brand in a way that opens doors and fosters introductions. My challenge to anyone reading this, look at your LI profile and ask yourself, “Would I want to connect with me?” If the answer is no. Change it up!

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