By Bob Bugle
As we’ve detailed in a previous edition of Bugle Calls, the overwhelming majority of the communication between people has nothing to do with content. 70% of what we convey to each other is nonverbal (appearance, body language, facial expression, eye movement). 20-23% of communication is tonal (volume, pitch, and pace of speech). Only 7-10% of communication is content. As a result, people are “hard wired” to communicate face to face.
In 2015 however, much if not most communication (especially business) is now digital. We’re doing business with people we’ve never met, and sometimes never even spoken with. While digital communication may make us more efficient, trying to explain complicated or nuanced ideas or have in depth discussions via e mail is exceedingly difficult if not impossible. Without the ability to see, hear and actually get to know each other, it’s very difficult to gain an appreciation for other’s opinions and to form the kinds of lasting relationships which are vital to our professional growth and the sustainability of the organizations we represent.
It also makes it almost impossible to differentiate ourselves and our companies from our competition. If we haven’t had the opportunity to (or taken the time to) meet face to face or even speak on the phone, we’re simply a name and an e mail address, representing a company or organization that does what others do.
In a world that tends to commoditize everything, including people, it is vital to clearly establish what makes each of us unique, and to reinforce the value that we as individuals bring to our company, our clients and our industry.
So how can we establish value and begin to form relationships in a digital world?
- You control the content (Online Resume)
- Your info is available 24/7
- Solicit & Post Recommendations
- 3rd Party Endorsements are HUGE!
- Networking opportunities
A ROBUST presence on LinkedIn allows you to:
- Begin to build a relationship with a prospect before you’ve even met
- Build upon an already existing relationship with a current client
- Better position yourself and your company for future opportunities
- Brand yourself as an EXPERT in your field
- Network with peers
Like the plumber with leaky pipes or the shoemaker with holes in his/her shoes, it’s easy to focus so much of our time and energy on the needs of others that we neglect our own. While most of the time that’s a good thing (I’m a firm believer that if you can solve your client’s problems, yours will often take care of themselves), unless we devote an appropriate amount of time and effort on our own personal and professional development, we risk becoming a commodity.
Having a robust presence on LinkedIn allows us to articulate who we are, what we know, what we’ve done and maybe most importantly allows others to speak to our integrity, work ethic, expertise and professionalism on our behalf, 24/7.
Who knows, the next person to read your LinkedIn page may be your boss (reinforcing why he/she hired you), a prospect looking for someone to help them grow their business, or a recruiter looking for someone with the “right stuff”.