Four decades ago, on August 1, 1981, MTV was born and started its very first broadcast with a music video of the 1979 hit: “The video killed the radio star. “For those who wanted their MTV, it is still a catchy tune to this day.
My point today is that video killed the Networking for Clients star.
In the past, if you wanted to attract high-paying customers before the pandemic, one of the top five business development activities was to network at promising live events.
Oh good times.
But now digital marketing and social media, once for many secondary marketing platforms, are now the primary source of business development for a wide variety of professionals, consultants, trusted advisors, financial planners, lawyers, advertising and marketing agency directors, service entrepreneurs and so many more who spend their time and sell their talent to customers.
“When it comes to business, our virtual selves are just as important, if not more than our personal presence,” says digital marketing author and consultant Minal Simpat. “How do we network in the digital age?”
Minal and I met when I was helping her edit her international bestseller Why Your Marketing Is Destroying Your Business. Recently she shared with me three ways you can make sure video doesn’t ruin your career as a customer attraction:
Learn to connect using the screen. “Video meetings are the closest thing to face-to-face interactions, so we need to make the most of them. If you tend to get more formal in front of the camera than in person, start by lowering that filter. Have fun and share behind the scenes when needed. Your prospects see who you are on the screen. “
Familiarize yourself with the technique or get help. “Avoiding technology is simply no longer an option. Either you learn how to use hashtags or you hire someone to do it for you. Practice creates masters. So the braver you try out new technologies, the more successful you are likely to be. If you can’t get the hang of it, delegate these tasks to someone who is a genius. This is really an either-or situation – after nearly two years of virtual business, digital marketing is here to stay. “
Aim for the same reactions that you would personally want. “If you want your audience to laugh, use fun zoom backgrounds. When trying to connect in person, use fewer presentation slides and spend more time in front of the camera. Personal reference and authenticity are more important than ever. Aim for a social media presence that is 50/50 between posts about what you sell and posts about you. Share relevant stories and provide insights behind the scenes of your company. If they cannot see us in person, customers want to get to know us through our virtual presence. “
Conclusion: In fact, we no longer go to conferences and networking in person. Even when the pandemic is over, the world will change forever. Meeting customers and prospects on Zoom is surely better than wasting time on planes, trains and cars.