Stuff we write about

How to avoid making those ‘internet dating’ mistakes in your business

We’ve all heard the stories. Girl meets boy on the internet. Boy looks at Girl’s profile which shows she’s young, pretty and slim. Girl looks at boy’s profile and sees he’s tall, dark and handsome. It’s a match made in heaven.

Then they decide to meet and when they get to the café, never has that red carnation been so important. Because without it, they’d never recognise each other. Turns out the photos on their internet profiles are either 10 years out of date, air brushed or sometimes, they’re of someone else entirely!

Let’s say they get past that bit, they’ve both been a bit liberal with the truth as far as looks go but it’s not all about appearance, it’s what’s inside that counts. But it turns out that while the boy said he was into reading, eating out and culture, what the girl soon finds out is that he reads the Beano, MacDonalds is his favourite restaurant and the word culture isn’t even in his day to day vocabulary!

But how does this have anything to do with your business, and social media in particular?

Well, when we use these sites we are putting ourselves out there for everyone to see. Sometimes, with certain sites, there’s even an actual picture! And, while there may be a temptation to adjust certain things in order to get “the perfect date”, if we as business owners want to build good, strong relationships with those we want to work with, what we actually need to do is be open, honest and upfront about what we look like.

And, just like the dating, it’s not just about the pictures we use. It’s about the words we use, the information we put out there and the overall image we portray.

For example, I’ve had a lot of people tell me that I should use the word ‘we’ on my website, rather than ‘me’ or ‘I’. Or that I should use an answering service to take my calls. All so I can create the impression of a larger business to give me more credibility.

Really? How is it credible to pretend to be something I’m not? As it turns out, I’m very proud of the fact my business is just me and one of the thing’s my clients appreciate most is that they deal direct with me. They don’t have to go through some elaborate answering machine process or get past 3 different members of staff to be able to talk to me.

What would potential clients think if I made out I was a huge company and then, when they do get to know me, they find out it’s just little old me? I suspect they’d be just a tiny bit annoyed, and even if they were once quite happy to deal with a just the one person, that person certainly isn’t going to be me as they no longer trust a word I say.

Times have changed. You don’t have to pretend to be something you’re not anymore. People and businesses are searching for individual, unique solutions and no longer want to deal with a faceless corporation.

If you have a personality, show it. If you are passionate about something, talk about it. Don’t be afraid to stand out from the crowd.

There is 1 comment .

Tony Nicholls

Great post Lucy. Having met my partner through an internet dating site, some of what you have said rings true. I found honesty was the best practice and I was attracted to Jane primarily because she wasn’t pretending to be anything she wasn’t. Her beauty shone through without the need for smoke and mirrors.

On the business front, I also agree with honesty. If it is little old you then don’t pretend otherwise. Everyone knows its only you anyway! Don’t treat potential customers like idiots.

Share Your Thoughts!

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Tweets

    Sorry, no Tweets were found.

Testimonials

“Lucy came to our office to conduct a thorough, advanced LinkedIn workshop. All of us learned important things that we could use immediately, and we loved Lucy's 'can-do' attitude! She helped us fix some issues that had been bugging us for months. This lady knows her stuff and provides excellent, great value training. Highly recommended.” — Mindy Gibbins-Klein, The Book Midwife

"She came, she saw and she explained it in a way I understood!. Lucy understands this networked world and practically gets you to the point of being effective quickly. I have no problems recommending her services highly." — Don Phillips, Kavanagh

“Lucy is brilliant at putting together all the components needed to make the various social media platforms work for businesses. She has helped me, clients and associates make WordPress blogs, LinkedIn profiles and Facebook work highly effectively as business promotion tools. She is fast, efficient, technically competent and able to assemble promotional messages that work. If you need practical help sorting out your business social media presence then hire Lucy now.” — Carl French, Replico

"We brought Lucy in to consult on Social Media marketing campaign planning for our biggest customer. Just one month after Lucy's Social Media Consultation we have already seen a 200% ROI from people who have come back to the website and purchased more products. I have no hesitation in recommending Lucy for all Social Media training and inbound marketing campaign management consulting." — Brad Bishop, Areatrade

Lucy came to our offices to help us understand and to get more out of LinkedIn. Lucy was very relaxed and informative and was very patient with my constant questions. We now have a much better understanding and are getting more from LinkedIn. As an added benefit Lucy is always online to help with the bits you forgot :). I definitely recommend Lucy's services." — Mark Reed, ATG Spectrum

“I wanted to use Linkedin to build my business profile and make new connections. I didn't know where to start and Lucy was recommended to me by a colleague. She has been extremely professional and what she doesn't know about Linkedin is not worth writing about. She has helped me fully understand how to use Linkedin in my business, without making it complicated. Highly recommended.” — Barry Marcus, Property Asset Finance

“Lucy is a one of a kind. A brilliant trainer. Fully prepared and exceptionally knowledgable in her field. My highest recommendation!” — Clifford White, 21st Century Media

Copyright ©2012 Promote to Perform. All Rights Reserved.