Founder, CEO & Strategist since 2001. Anders provides thoughts and reflections about how to think about onlinification and digitalisation in B2B.
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In this ‘onlinified’ and digitalised world, first impressions and perceptions are less and less likely to be formed in a traditional face-to-face meeting. Instead, they are delivered via a search result in Google or a LinkedIn profile search. And these first digital impressions can last forever. That’s why treating your online identity with the utmost care is essential.
Before ever connecting with you or your company in the ‘real world’, people are using online to get to know you, and they’re making decisions about you based on what they see and how alike you seem to be to them and their expectations.
At the same time, many professionals and companies still treat their online identity and way of working with digital as a ‘nice to have’ rather than a ‘must have’. The implications of ignoring the wished-for perceptions of you and your brand are vast. You may be sending the wrong message, making it hard to build an authentic relationship. Additionally, you most likely miss out on lots of opportunities that you’re not even aware of.
You might not know who is researching you, then deciding not to contact you for a job or other opportunity because of their first virtual impression. We know that first impressions are critical and hard to change. They are so powerful that after we learn more about someone we’ve just met, we try to make the information align with what we discerned from our first impression.
This phenomenon is called anchoring or focalism. Defined by Wikipedia as a cognitive bias that describes the common human tendency to rely too heavily on the first piece of information offered (the “anchor”) when making decisions.’ This is why you must make sure the ‘bits and bytes’ version of you is consistent with the ‘flesh and bones’ you. That is if you want to successfully connect with others and maximise business opportunities and relations in the ‘onlinified’ and digitalised world we now live in.
So do you treat your online identity with the care it deserves or treat it as a ‘nice to have’?