You may have heard the saying “your first impression is your last impression”, but it takes on a whole new meaning when it comes to the internet. On the internet, if you make a bad first impression, it will probably be the last impression, because people will mostly likely click away from your site, blog post or YouTube Channel. We know how to make a good impression when meeting someone in person – dress well, fresh breath and neat hair, confident handshake with eye contact – but what can we do online? Here are some tips to help you make a great digital first impression, which can translate to good offline results as well. These tips can help whether you are looking for a job, want to set up a meeting, or even for personal reasons.
Most of us made our usernames when we were young, so it is understandable that they may be a bit, uh, ‘colorful’. However, the minute you start cultivating a professional image, approaching business leads and contacts online or building a professional reputation, you need a more professional username. So if your email address was email@example.com, you need to change that to something based on your real name or company name, for the best effect. You can see what email websites have your name available, or you can simply pay a small fee to have a custom domain on which you can make any email address you want. It looks highly professional to receive an email from an official domain that you own.
Look at what you share on social media
If you try to approach someone through social media they will most likely check out your social media profile in return. This is why you should either have fantastic privacy options enabled on your social media accounts, or have separate social media profiles for your personal and professional lives. It’s a good practice to have some separation between your personal and professional time anyway, you may as well extend that online. You do not want potential employers or business partners to see that hilarious NSFW joke you shared.
Keep your communication short and to the point
When you are writing an email you want to make sure you keep the reader’s attention. Resist the urge to tell your whole life story in your first email. There’s no better way to be ignored than to send someone a long, rambling email. Instead keep your communication as short and to the point as possible. This tells the other person that you value their time, and that you have no problem clearly communicating what you want. Just make sure you mention the essential facts, and make sure you are polite about it. Once they reply to you, you can tell them the whole story.
Remember – people are so used to badly written emails and messages, that something professional feels like a breath of fresh air. Professional doesn’t mean that it should sound ‘corporate’, just make sure you spell everything correctly, avoid abbreviations and emojis, and refrain from using slang. You’ll be surprised by how common that is in many ‘professional’ communication attempts.
Follow these tips and you’ll have a chance to make a positive, lasting first impression.