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Showing your vulnerabilities and sharing your story is not usually the best strategy in the traditional workplace, however in the online arena it’s a powerful tool. Here are five traits to adopt in order to boost your success when using online business platforms.
Share your vulnerabilities and struggles
When we hear about the trials and tribulations it took someone to achieve the success or results they’ve achieved, two important things take place – we connect on an emotional or ‘heart-to-heart’ level with them, and we’re likely to lower any defences or barriers we might be holding on to. While sharing your struggles might be discouraged in physical workplaces, getting to know the person behind the business online resonates strongly with clients and potential investors.
Women understand that talking about their journey builds a powerful connection with those listening. However for many men, the thought of discussing their mistakes or struggles triggers anxiety. The fear associated with being vulnerable for men is that they will lose something – it might be the respect of their bosses, a job opportunity or friends at work. But the truth is, that sharing challenges you’ve had to overcome, coupled with your present-day success makes you more approachable and influential.
Tell your story
Women naturally excel in online marketing because they are comfortable sharing their story. In the online marketplace, when you master the art of storytelling, it becomes effortless to step beyond the common sales objections and connect with potential clients. Through platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and even crowdfunding, women are successfully using storytelling to grow their businesses. Describing why you started your business and the difference between what you expected to happen compared with what actually happened along the way, attracts like-minded people. The story forms a critical element in the relationship businesses have with their clients.
As a good rule of thumb 90 per cent of your content ought to be focused on giving value to your potential client and connecting with them. This can include business advice, tips, solutions to challenges they face, and of course sharing your story. When this is done well, you only require a further 10 per cent of effort to invite your client to take action.
Forget the hard sell
Instead of conforming to the outdated mindset of going in for the ‘hard sell’ and simply focusing on getting the money in the bank, approach things from a different angle. Women are very good at naturally developing a love for their ideal client and connecting with them honestly and authentically. They understand the challenges their ideal client’s face and women have both the compassion to help the client solve the problem, and the passion not to quit on them during the sales process.
Focus on developing relationships by thinking and focusing on the person you are talking with. Allow people to get to know, like and trust you first before you try to sell to them. Understand that success in business is more about building relationships than getting the sale or getting the job done.
Connect what you do with a bigger purpose
In traditional workplaces there are unwritten ground rules and certain explicit and implicit requirements to achieve success. For most employees, the physical workplace culture is one which is focused on the completion of tasks. This ‘output’ approach to work, is designed around the concept of conformance and in some cases compliance. Any potential distraction to this environment, such as someone discussing their struggles or battles they have face, is often managed by a quick visit to Human Resources. But online, a very different culture is unfolding. Online, you can thrive by being fully aligned with who you are.
Sean Redmond is a behavioural expert at www.tsredmond.com . He has worked with corporate giants like Newmont Mining Corporation, Boral, Gold Fields and many smaller private enterprises. He has helped many business owners improve the efficiency of their business – often leading to immediate improvement in profitability.