Effective communication strategies are essential in today’s age of information overload. Here are the latest 5 strategies that really work!
Effective communication means using visual content
You’ve seen Picture Quotes all over the social media. Why? According to research by psychologist Albert Mehrabian, the human brain absorbs visual information 60,000 times faster than text. Maybe that’s why for many people, long stretches of text feel like work or school; whereas a picture grabs attention. On fact, adding a captivating visual to your blog article or social media post has been shown (in a study by MDG Advertising) to increase engagement by 94%.
The question now becomes, if you’re not a graphic artist, how in the world do you do it? Canva, PicMonkey, Share as Image are well known tools that promise to make it easy for you. But there IS a lot to learn… and I’ll be writing some how-to articles soon. Sign up for blog updates below to make sure you get these upcoming articles.
Effective communication means showing you care
Southwest Airlines just added a heart logo to their airplanes! They’re showing they care! As an entrepreneur, you do naturally care. So consider this your permission to blatantly show it! This is the year for showing you’re human, for showing sincere empathy, for being transparent, and for being a real person, not just an expert. We’re living in a world that is increasingly isolating and technical. People want to connect to real human beings. So discover and share what makes you YOU. Open up and get vulnerable. It’s not unprofessional: it’s human. Let them see the real YOU.
Effective communication means being relevant
Make your message relevant to something people care about: themselves. Remember, people listen to WIIFM (what’s in it for me) and MMFG AM (make me feel good about myself). You need to tune into THEIR ISSUES AND EMOTIONS and show you understand THEM before they’ll care about you. Start your game on their home ice. Show your readers or listeners you understand both how they feel now and how it could be instead. Aim to inform and inspire – and keep at it. When they’re ready to buy, they’ll remember you.
Effective communication means listening more than you talk
A corollary to showing you care and being relevant is asking questions and listening. Does the person you’re talking to have a need for your services? Or could you help them by being a resource and telling them about a friend? Maybe you both do similar things and there’s an opportunity to collaborate! Without an open mind and genuine interest in the other person, you miss out on so many possibilities. You never know what person will say that opens a door you never thought of!
An interesting example of this comes from a time when a client of mine invited me to lunch to tell me she was about to retire. Too bad, I thought, she was a great client! But the conversation continued, and all of a sudden she was explaining that one of the reasons was the lack of group education and inspirational events a wellness clinic she worked at. Bingo! That clinic would be filled with whole group of my ideal clients! I zoomed in with “would the group there benefit from learning how to talk about their business more effectively?” And so began the beginnings of a speaking opportunity for me. If I hadn’t listened to her concerns and let her talk, I never would have received this opportunity!
Effective communication means telling stories
How did you get to where you are now? What triggered your interest in what you do? What experiences have you lived through that will help a prospective client trust you? What case studies can you share that give proof of the results clients achieve with you? The best answers often lie in a story. Stories have been told – and remembered – since the beginning of time. They capture emotions and make things real.
Sharing your story often helps clients relate to you. A videographer I know shares that he used to be really shy, but then went on to acting and video production. With this, he’s more than just a guy with a video camera; he’s a human being with the skills and experience to empathize with clients’ camera-shy feelings and coach them with his acting and voice skills, so they end up looking and sounding really great. (Didn’t that story get the point across?)