The “Likeability” Factor

I used to teach business ethics. One important concept my students learned was that of “likeability.” It deals with human nature. Likeability deals with the fact that when you like someone, no matter what they do, there’s a high probability that you agree with whatever that person does. However, when you dislike a person, you tend to dislike anything that person does, right or wrong.

This concept plays out in business too. People buy from people and companies they like. Think about the last time you made a purchase. Chances are, one of the reasons you made the purchase is because you liked the retailer or service provider. That likeability related to making you trust them and probably consider them to be knowledgeable as well.

It doesn’t matter if you’re buying business services or a piece of jewelery, the likeability factor matters. As an online business owner the majority of your likeability needs to be communicated through your online interactions, which includes your content. In fact, your content and your marketing copy are the biggest likeability building assets you have.

Increasing you likeability is just a fact of doing business. Here are some ideas to help increase your likeability.

Be Polite

It sounds so simple, doesn’t it? You’re a nice person so being polite is easy. However, it’s also easy to be misunderstood online. Written conversations can be difficult and more often now, video and audio conversations can be misconstrued. One online discussion or conversation can be taken the wrong way, making you appear to be unkind even when you didn’t intend your words to be received that way. It’s essential to be careful at all times with what you say online but also how you say it. If you’re unsure of whether or not you should say something, the answer is probably not. Being nice online also means being grateful, saying please and thank you, and by recognizing those who interact with you. Even if you disagree with what someone has to say on your blog for example, it’s important to recognize their feedback and to respond with kindness.

Be Who You Are

Be likeable just as you are. There’s no need to create a persona or to be someone you’re not to please the online public. When you’re authentic, it’s much easier to connect with your audience and to communicate your personality. That means talking to people though your content and online interactions the way you would in person.

Connect with Your Face

As human beings we connect with faces. You don’t have to think of yourself as a beauty queen. Fact is, people like to connect with real people. When you share yourself people feel you’re a real person, not just an anonymous business owner. During the early years of the Internet, it was discouraged to share picture. The ability to be anonymous was an asset of doing online business. Today, that’s changed. People are sharing pictures and its expected that you show who you are online. This can be difficult for some people. It took me a long time to break through this barrier. But creating likeability requires being real to others. Share your photo on your website, social media pages and in the byline or footer of your articles. May also share a photo in email messages and any other communications with prospects and customers; and don’t forget to smile.

There are other steps you can take to build likeability as well. Share experiences online, engage in or initiate conversations, and remember that the majority of online marketing is about building relationships.

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