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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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How To Create An Instant Connection With Your Website Visitors

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Last Updated on March 14, 2019

7 Questions to Ask in a Job Interview That Will Impress the Interviewer

7 Questions to Ask in a Job Interview That Will Impress the Interviewer

Recruiters might hold thousands of interviews in their careers and a lot of them are reporting the same thing—that most candidates play it safe with the questions they ask, or have no questions to ask in a job interview at all.

For job applicants, this approach is crazy! This is a job that you’re going to dedicate a lot of hours to and that might have a huge impact on your future career. Don’t throw away the chance to figure out if the position is perfect for you.

Here are 7 killer questions to ask in a job interview that will both impress your counterpart and give you some really useful insights into whether this job will be a dream … or a nightmare.

1. What are some challenges I might come up against this role?

A lesser candidate might ask, “what does a typical day look like in this role?” While this is a perfectly reasonable question to ask in an interview, focusing on potential challenges takes you much further because it indicates that you already are visualizing yourself in the role.

It’s impressive because it shows that you are not afraid of challenges, and you are prepared to strategize a game plan upfront to make sure you succeed if you get the job.

It can also open up a conversation about how you’ve solved problems in the past which can be a reassuring exercise for both you and the hiring manager.

How it helps you:

If you ask the interviewer to describe a typical day, you may get a vibrant picture of all the lovely things you’ll get to do in this job and all the lovely people you’ll get to do them with.

Asking about potential roadblocks means you hear the other side of the story—dysfunctional teams, internal politics, difficult clients, bootstrap budgets and so on. This can help you decide if you’re up for the challenge or whether, for the sake of your sanity, you should respectfully decline the job offer.

2. What are the qualities of really successful people in this role?

Employers don’t want to hire someone who goes through the motions; they want to hire someone who will excel.

Asking this question shows that you care about success, too. How could they not hire you with a dragon-slayer attitude like that?

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How it helps you:

Interviewers hire people who are great people to work with, but the definition of “great people” differs from person to person.

Does this company hire and promote people with a specific attitude, approach, worth ethic or communication style? Are the most successful people in this role strong extroverts who love to talk and socialize when you are studious and reserved? Does the company reward those who work insane hours when you’re happiest in a more relaxed environment?

If so, then this may not be the right match for you.

Whatever the answer is, you can decide whether you have what it takes for the manager to be happy with your performance in this role. And if the interviewer has no idea what success looks like for this position, this is a sign to proceed with extreme caution.

3. From the research I did on your company, I noticed the culture really supports XYZ. Can you tell me more about that element of the culture and how it impacts this job role?

Of course, you could just ask “what is the culture like here? ” but then you would miss a great opportunity to show that you’ve done your research!

Interviewers give BIG bonus point to those who read up and pay attention, and you’ve just pointed out that (a) you’re diligent in your research (b) you care about the company culture and (c) you’re committed to finding a great cultural fit.

How it helps you:

This question is so useful because it lets you pick an element of the culture that you really care about and that will have the most impact on whether you are happy with the organization.

For example, if training and development is important to you, then you need to know what’s on offer so you don’t end up in a dead-end job with no learning opportunities.

Companies often talk a good talk, and their press releases may be full of shiny CSR initiatives and all the headline-grabbing diversity programs they’re putting in place. This is your opportunity to look under the hood and see if the company lives its values on the ground.

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A company that says it is committed to doing the right thing by customers should not judge success by the number of up-sells an employee makes, for instance. Look for consistency, so you aren’t in for a culture shock after you start.

4. What is the promotion path for this role, and how would my performance on that path be measured?

To be clear, you are not asking when you will get promoted. Don’t go there—it’s presumptuous, and it indicates that you think you are better than the role you have applied for.

A career-minded candidate, on the other hand, usually has a plan that she’s working towards. This question shows you have a great drive toward growth and advancement and an intention to stick with the company beyond your current state.

How it helps you:

One word: hierarchy.

All organizations have levels of work and authority—executives, upper managers, line managers, the workforce, and so on. Understanding the hierarchical structure gives you power, because you can decide if you can work within it and are capable of climbing through its ranks, or whether it will be endlessly frustrating to you.

In a traditional pyramid hierarchy, for example, the people at the bottom tend to have very little autonomy to make decisions. This gets better as you rise up through the pyramid, but even middle managers have little power to create policy; they are more concerned with enforcing the rules the top leaders make.

If having a high degree of autonomy and accountability is important to you, you may do better in a flat hierarchy where work teams can design their own way of achieving the corporate goals.

5. What’s the most important thing the successful candidate could accomplish in their first 3 months/6 months/year?

Of all the questions to ask in a job interview, this one is impressive because it shows that you identify with and want to be a successful performer, and not just an average one.

Here, you’re drilling down into what the company needs, and needs quite urgently, proving that you’re all about adding value to the organization and not just about what’s in it for you.

How it helps you:

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Most job descriptions come with 8, 10 or 12 different job responsibilities and a lot of them with be boilerplate or responsibilities that someone in HR thinks are associated with this role. This question gives you a better sense of which responsibilities are the most important—and they may not be what initially attracted you to the role.

If you like the idea of training juniors, for example, but success is judged purely on your sales figures, then is this really the job you thought you were applying for?

This question will also give you an idea of what kind of learning curve you’re expected to have and whether you’ll get any ramp-up time before getting down to business. If you’re the type of person who likes to jump right in and get things done, for instance, you may not be thrilled to hear that you’re going to spend the first three months shadowing a peer.

6. What do you like about working here?

This simple question is all about building rapport with the interviewer. People like to talk about themselves, and the interviewer will be flattered that you’re interested in her opinions.

Hopefully, you’ll find some great connection points that the two of you share. What similar things drive you head into the office each day? How will you fit into the culture?

How it helps you:

You can learn a lot from this question. Someone who genuinely enjoys his job will be able to list several things they like, and their answers will sound passionate and sincere. If not….well, you might consider that a red flag.

Since you potentially can learn a lot about the company culture from this question, it’s a good idea to figure out upfront what’s important to you. Maybe you’re looking for a hands-off boss who values independent thought and creativity? Maybe you work better in environments that move at a rapid, exciting pace?

Whatever’s important to you, listen carefully and see if you can find any common ground.

7. Based on this interview, do you have any questions or concerns about my qualifications for the role?

What a great closing question to ask in a job interview! It shows that you’re not afraid of feedback—in fact, you are inviting it. Not being able to take criticism is a red flag for employers, who need to know that you’ll act on any “coaching moments” with a good heart.

As a bonus, asking this question shows that you are really interested in the position and wish to clear up anything that may be holding the company back from hiring you.

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How it helps you:

What a devious beast this question is! On the surface, it looks straightforward, but it’s actually giving you four key pieces of information.

First, is the manager capable of giving you feedback when put on the spot like this? Some managers are scared of giving feedback, or don’t think it’s important enough to bother outside of a formal performance appraisal. Do you want to work for a boss like that? How will you improve if no one is telling you what you did wrong?

Second, can the manager give feedback in a constructive way without being too pillowy or too confrontational? It’s unfair to expect the interviewer to have figured out your preferred way of receiving feedback in the space of an interview, but if she come back with a machine-gun fire of shortcomings or one of those corporate feedback “sandwiches” (the doozy slipped between two slices of compliment), then you need to ask yourself, can you work with someone who gives feedback like that?

Third, you get to learn the things the hiring manager is concerned about before you leave the interview. This gives you the chance to make a final, tailored sales pitch so you can convince the interviewer that she should not be worried about those things.

Fourth, you get to learn the things the hiring manager is concerned about period. If turnover is keeping him up at night, then your frequent job hopping might get a lot of additional scrutiny. If he’s facing some issues with conflict or communication, then he might raise concerns regarding your performance in this area.

Listen carefully: the concerns that are being raised about you might actually be a proxy for problems in the wider organization.

Making Your Interview Work for You

Interviews are a two-way street. While it is important to differentiate yourself from every other candidate, understand that convincing the interviewer you’re the right person for the role goes hand-in-hand with figuring out if the job is the right fit for you.

Would you feel happy in a work environment where the people, priorities, culture and management style were completely at odds with the way you work? Didn’t think so!

More Resources About Job Interviews

Featured photo credit: Amy Hirschi via unsplash.com

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