Recently I have had interesting conversations with people who have been checking out our online presence, following us on social media and social networking platforms, and basically checking us out. This article highlights the importance of having an online presence that is congruent when people are doing their homework, what happens when you do this, and what might happen if you don’t.
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You looking at me?
Whenever we are working with a client we need an advocate, or champion, to help us lead them into a new situation rather than managing existing habits which keep them where they are. Sometimes the champion is not even involved in the leadership or management role. Yet they are considered the right person to get everybody “on the bus”, yet ensure there are “no passengers”. It makes sense for stakeholders to take an interest in anyone their company is associated with or considering working with. How do they find out more, they look online if they don’t meet people offline.
Who’s yer man?
Richard attended a briefing some time ago. He had wanted to for years, yet had to change employer before it was worth his while. When he completed the feedback form at the Discovery session, he advised he would tell his boss and ensure we had the opportunity to meet. Naturally I was flattered, yet this doesn’t always lead to a fruitful conversation.
Follow up is simple, yet not easy. Not everyone bothers. Richard and I agreed when it would be prudent to follow up with him, rather than bug his unwitting boss, and he did indeed arrange such a meeting. After the introductions at the meeting it became clear that the MD wanted his team to build a profitable network and everything tried up to now had not worked. Towards the end of the meeting the timeline was agreed, and it wasn’t until I put a follow up phone call in to the MD that something interesting happened.
Who is the champion of champions?
We noticed that a gentleman at this company had looked at our LinkedIn profile the same day that we had followed up. We used one of our special tools to try and establish what caused the engagement with our online presence. It transpired that the person was not responsible for leadership or management in this company. However, they were very intrigued when we called their office and their natural inquisitive streak and thirst for information had lead them to use the internet to Google both my name (I made the call), and our company name. Luckily our online presence, recommendations, case studies and testimonials made us attractive to him.
They liked how we sounded, they liked the living proof found online, and they are going to be proactive if there is a beauty parade and selection process. They heard positive “word of mouth” from their colleague, because he has experienced our service and is happy to recommend us to anyone. They used to call this a “water-cooler chat” and it’s happening everyday, in every business, pub, restaurant, and dare I say it, within social networks world wide.
Wrap Up: If you have an online presence it will help when people are checking your credibility I’m not saying you must have one. I’m saying that it helps. No one wants to do business with the invisible man, or someone who is here today but gone tomorrow.
Top Tip: LinkedIn is not the only place to display a presence which allows people to engage with you, but it is popular, and gives people the opportunity to check you out after you have made contact with them. What are they finding? Google yourself, this one is a sanity check, not a vanity check.