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How To Create An Instant Connection With Your Website Visitors

How To Create An Instant Connection With Your Website Visitors

Do you ever get nostalgic for the good old days when business was just so much more personal? When you chatted with the cashier while they bagged your groceries, or when your movie rentals were handed to you by a human instead of a giant red box?

The missing human element can seem even more obvious online. And that’s a real problem. Because your customers are searching for that personal touch—for a connection. No matter how much we love the convenience today’s fast-paced business world provides, we all still largely prefer to exchange our time and money with people we know and trust.

But just because you run a business online doesn’t mean your company is doomed to make a faceless, robotic-like impression on your audience. You can build genuine, meaningful connections online. Here’s how.

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Make your website an easy place to stay

If you want to build an authentic connection with your visitors, you first need them to stick around long enough to actually read any of your copy. Just as in real life, people make instantaneous assumptions based on visual elements. If you want to snag longer than three seconds of connection-building time with your website visitors, get these elements under control:

  • Design. You don’t have to shell out thousands of dollars in order to have a professional-looking website. You can if you want to, but WordPress and a nicely designed premium theme can make you look great—without spending a lot of cash.
  • Navigation. Make sure your website is easy to get around. If people get lost, or are unable to locate the information they want quickly, they might just leave. We’re all such an impatient bunch!
  • Formatting. Make your website easy to scan. Did you catch that? Make your website easy to scan! It’s so important to include a lot of white space between blocks of text, to use headlines and sub-headings strategically, and to break things down into bulleted lists or sections. People love to scan.

Use a conversational tone

One of the best ways to show people the real person behind your brand and your website is to write your copy the way you talk in person (minus a few run on sentences, and plus some basic grammar and punctuation).

Using a conversational tone (read: no third person, no buzz words or jargon) is one of the quickest ways to build a connection. Your visitors want to feel like you’re talking directly to them.

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Don’t worry about trying to sound “big”. Small businesses are very popular these days, there’s no need to hide the actual size of your cozy little enterprise. If you’re the sole employee of your business, or even the boss among a small team, don’t shy away from using “me” instead of “we”. You don’t need to pretend to be larger than you are—in fact, it can actually backfire by making you sound less personal.

Make it all about them

You have to ditch the theory that your website is about you. It’s actually about your prospect. They aren’t interested in hearing about you; they are interested in hearing about how you can help them. That’s how you create the connection.

Talking about yourself is a big turnoff. You’re going to have to share details about who you are and what you do—but it’s essential that you do it in a way that focuses on your website visitors and makes them feel connected to you.

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For example:

All about you: I held positions in some of the most prestigious firms in Manhattan, where I gained loads of business experience and developed a very impressive portfolio.

All about them: I know you need someone who can perform under pressure and get things done. You don’t need yet another thing to worry about. Because of my experience working in some of the most prestigious and high-pressure firms in Manhattan, I’m equipped to push through stressful situations and get your job completed on time. I’ve been there, I’ve done that. No hand-holding necessary here.

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Find common ground

What do you and your website visitors have in common? In most cases, you meet at a very distinct and compelling point: your website visitors have a problem, and you have the solution.

What does your product or service accomplish for your customer? Do you sell a revolutionary diet program that helps people get healthy and fit in six months or less? Are you a personal accountant that reduces migraine-inducing stress for small business owners?

Reveal the solution you provide for your customers, and then use that to build a connection. Let your visitors know that you deeply understand the fear/anxiety/stress/whatever that their problem causes. After all, you’ve most likely experienced the same problem yourself before finding the solution. This common ground can help you build an instant and strong connection (it’s also the perfect time to let people in on how your product or service solves their issue—cha-ching!)

Money is almost always personal. It’s tied to all sorts of emotions, so it’s no wonder people don’t want to part with it unless they feel safe and confident. Building a connection is an essential step towards creating that confidence in your customers.

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Last Updated on May 21, 2019

How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship

How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship

For all our social media bravado, we live in a society where communication is seen less as an art, and more as a perfunctory exercise. We spend so much time with people, yet we struggle with how to meaningfully communicate.

If you believe you have mastered effective communication, scan the list below and see whether you can see yourself in any of the examples:

Example 1

You are uncomfortable with a person’s actions or comments, and rather than telling the individual immediately, you sidestep the issue and attempt to move on as though the offending behavior or comment never happened.

You move on with the relationship and develop a pattern of not addressing challenging situations. Before long, the person with whom you are in relationship will say or do something that pushes you over the top and predictably, you explode or withdraw completely from the relationship.

In this example, hard-to-speak truths become never- expressed truths that turn into resentment and anger.

Example 2

You communicate from the head and without emotion. While what you communicate makes perfect sense to you, it comes across as cold because it lacks emotion.

People do not understand what motivates you to say what you say, and without sharing your feelings and emotions, others experience you as rude, cold or aggressive.

You will know this is a problem if people shy away from you, ignore your contributions in meetings or tell you your words hurt. You can also know you struggle in this area if you find yourself constantly apologizing for things you have said.

Example 3

You have an issue with one person, but you communicate your problem to an entirely different person.

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The person in whom you confide lacks the authority to resolve the matter troubling you, and while you have vented and expressed frustration, the underlying challenge is unresolved.

Example 4

You grew up in a family with destructive communication habits and those habits play out in your current relationships.

Because you have never stopped to ask why you communicate the way you do and whether your communication style still works, you may lack understanding of how your words impact others and how to implement positive change.

If you find yourself in any of the situations described above, this article is for you.

Communication can build or decimate worlds and it is important we get it right. Regardless of your professional aspirations or personal goals, you can improve your communication skills if you:

  • Understand your own communication style
  • Tailor your style depending on the needs of the audience
  • Communicate with precision and care
  • Be mindful of your delivery, timing and messenger

1. Understand Your Communication Style

To communicate effectively, you must understand the communication legacy passed down from our parents, grandparents or caregivers. Each of us grew up with spoken and unspoken rules about communication.

In some families, direct communication is practiced and honored. In other families, family members are encouraged to shy away from difficult conversations. Some families appreciate open and frank dialogue and others do not. Other families practice silence about substantive matters, that is, they seldom or rarely broach difficult conversations at all.

Before you can appreciate the nuance required in communication, it helps to know the familial patterns you grew up with.

2. Learn Others Communication Styles

Communicating effectively requires you to take a step back, assess the intended recipient of your communication and think through how the individual prefers to be communicated with. Once you know this, you can tailor your message in a way that increases the likelihood of being heard. This also prevents you from assuming the way you communicate with one group is appropriate or right for all groups or people.

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If you are unsure how to determine the styles of the groups or persons with whom you are interacting, you can always ask them:

“How do you prefer to receive information?”

This approach requires listening, both to what the individuals say as well as what is unspoken. Virgin Group CEO Richard Branson noted that the best communicators are also great listeners.

To communicate effectively from relationship to relationship and situation to situation, you must understand the communication needs of others.

3. Exercise Precision and Care

A recent engagement underscored for me the importance of exercising care when communicating.

On a recent trip to Ohio, I decided to meet up with an old friend to go for a walk. As we strolled through the soccer park, my friend gently announced that he had something to talk about, he was upset with me. His introduction to the problem allowed me to mentally shift gears and prepare for the conversation.

Shortly after introducing the shift in conversation, my friend asked me why I didn’t invite him to the launch party for my business. He lives in Ohio and I live in the D.C. area.

I explained that the event snuck up on me, and I only started planning the invite list three weeks before the event. Due to the last-minute nature of the gathering, I opted to invite people in the DMV area versus my friends from outside the area – I didn’t want to be disrespectful by asking them to travel on such short notice.

I also noted that I didn’t want to be disappointed if he and others declined to come to the event. So I played it safe in terms of inviting people who were local.

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In the moment, I felt the conversation went very well. I also checked in with my friend a few days after our walk, affirmed my appreciation for his willingness to communicate his upset and our ability to work through it.

The way this conversation unfolded exemplified effective communication. My friend approached me with grace and vulnerability. He approached me with a level of curiosity that didn’t put me on my heels — I was able to really listen to what he was saying, apologize for how my decision impacted him and vow that going forward, I would always ask rather than making decisions for him and others.

Our relationship is intact, and I now have information that will help me become a better friend to him and others.

4. Be Mindful of Delivery, Timing and Messenger

Communicating effectively also requires thinking through the delivery of the message one intends to communicate as well as the appropriate time for the discussion.

In an Entrepreneur.com column, VIP Contributor Deep Patel, noted that persons interested in communicating well need to master the art of timing. Patel noted,[1]

“Great comedians, like all great communicators, are able to feel out their audience to determine when to move on to a new topic or when to reiterate an idea.”

Communicating effectively also requires thoughtfulness about the messenger. A person prone to dramatic, angry outbursts should never be called upon to deliver constructive feedback, especially to people whom they do not know. The immediate aftermath of a mass shooting is not the ideal time to talk about the importance of the Second Amendment rights.

Like everyone else, I must work to ensure my communication is layered with precision and care.

It requires precision because words must be carefully tailored to the person with whom you are speaking.

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It requires intentionality because before one communicates, one should think about the audience and what the audience needs in order to hear your message the way you intended it to be communicated.

It requires active listening which is about hearing verbal and nonverbal messages.

Even though we may be right in what we say, how we say it could derail the impact of the message and the other parties’ ability to hear the message.

Communicating with care is also about saying things that the people in our life need to hear and doing so with love.

The Bottom Line

When I left the meeting with my dear friend, I wondered if I was replicating or modeling this level of openness and transparency in the rest of my relationships.

I was intrigued and appreciative. He’d clearly thought about what he wanted to say to me, picked the appropriate time to share his feedback and then delivered it with care. He hit the ball out of the park and I’m hopeful we all do the same.

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Featured photo credit: Kenan Buhic via unsplash.com

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