Stop Hiding Behind the Internet and Connect Personally

We all need to “market” ourselves to some extent, even if your focus is your own employees. Massive amounts of time and money are spent on creating websites, blogs, newsletters, brochures, etc. in order to avoid what we actually need to be doing – connecting personally with others.

I work with many non-profit leaders who must do fund raising. Many focus on a Wow website, a compelling video, a social media campaign, or weekly blog posts. When the money doesn’t come pouring in, they increase their efforts – more videos and daily blog posts. It’s the Internet version of “if you build it they will come.”

In the Internet Age, marketing is more than ever about your personal connection with others. Just as being super busy does not indicate success, neither does 25 Facebook or Twitter posts a day indicate personal connection.

A Web presence serves as a legitimizer, not an activator. In other words, a Web presence is a back-up to your other efforts. It’s the “more information” or “remember me” presence, not “Hi, my name is Keith Webb. Buy my services.”

Why We’re Afraid to Connect Personally

Especially when starting out, it takes personal connection to get someone into action. Nothing beats a personal conversation, personal letter, or phone call. Yet, for many of us this is the last thing we want to do. Why? We’re uncomfortable presenting ourselves. Uncomfortable asking for action. And afraid of hearing “no.”

Many of us are using social media, websites, blogs, and newsletters to hide – and, ironically, to avoid putting ourselves out there.

Three words for you: Get Over It.

If you don’t believe in your mission, your contribution, your product, yourself – then why should someone else? Why should they invest in what you are offering if you are afraid to talk about it directly with them?

Order of Effective Marketing Activities

Here is a common list of marketing activities, in order of effectiveness. Notice how the personal connection decreases as you go down the list.

  1. Direct contact and follow-up
  2. Networking and referral-building (in-person, personal email, etc)
  3. Public speaking (speech, seminar, workshop)
  4. Writing and publicity (blog, newsletter, articles, book)
  5. Promotional events
  6. Website or advertising

You have something valuable to offer. The right person will recognize that if you offer it to them. The more personal the connection you make, the more likely you will discover that right person and they will discover you.

Question: What are you going to do today to connect personally with someone? You can leave a comment by clicking here.

    Keith is President of Creative Results Management. He helps busy leaders multiply their impact. Keith is the author of several books including The COACH Model for Christian Leaders.

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