The smell of fresh, hot blueberry muffins and sweet chocolate pastries bum rushed my senses as I walked through the bakery door.
I was instantly in a better mood.
I hadn’t met Alex before, but we had exchanged a few short, courteous emails after being introduced by a top-notch networker we both know.
It didn’t take long to decide an in-person meeting would be a good next step.
I suggested Friday at 10am.
He suggested this amazing bakery.
I liked him already.
The meeting started with a firm handshake and a confident smile. The proverbial small talk revealed similar interest, education, and family life. He asked me interesting questions. He was sincere.
Alex mentioned how he had heard about my firm from several people who had nothing but good things to say. He complimented our work. Before wrapping up, he gave me a few insights on how to connect with a few new prospects.
No wonder Alex came highly recommended. That was one of the best business meetings I had had in months. He made it easy for me to like him. He was likable.
If you want to succeed, you’ve got to do the same.
Whether you’re building a business, an audience, or a personal brand, you’ve got to get people to like you, too!
But there’s a problem.
On the interwebs, you don’t have the opportunity to connect face-to-face. Offer a comforting smile or a firm handshake. Share a laugh.
You can’t smell delicious baked goods that make your mouth water and bring a smile to your face.
You also don’t have nearly as much time to tell your story, share your passion, or actively listen. Most of the time you’re just fighting for attention.
Getting people to like you online isn’t necessarily difficult, but it does take effort and time. And perhaps a little creativity.
I’ll help you get started.
Here are a 5 Timeless Tips to Make People Like You Online:
1. Be Generous and Add Value
Being generous offline can range from a simple, yet powerful, hand-written note, to a free drink, or an unexpected favor.
Being generous online is still a bit tricky to most people.
It doesn’t have to be complicated or complex.
One great way to be generous online is to simply share valuable content. Give people good advice, specialized information, or relevant tools, tips, tricks, or news.
Twitter is brimming with people generously sharing valuable content. Scan the feed of a popular business, brand, or personality and you’re sure to see links to hundreds of articles.
They aren’t simply posting links to their own content. They’re posting links to content written and published by others. In essence, they’re a curator of content. Resources. Value.
And that gets them followers and attention?
Take a look at @larrykim, @guykawasaki, @brettrelander or @smallbiztrends. Posting links to articles and news isn’t all they do, but it is a large part of what they do. Note, they’re not lacking a strong Twitter presence.
But, what should you share?
The key is to understand your audience and what they need, or what they want to know.
Is your target audience small business owners looking for information on time management, sales, or hiring best-practices.
Does your audience consist of foodies, looking for great tips on wine, gourmet chocolate, or imported cheese?
Or are they do-it-yourselfers looking for home repair or yard maintenance advice?
Regardless of the niche, connecting your customers with valuable content, content that you’ve taken the time to gather and sort, will show your generosity. It’ll go a long way towards building your likability.
Whether you’re on Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter, or whether you’re blogging or sending out e-newsletters, put a little effort into sharing a few good links. See what happens!
Want to see what I’m sharing? Follow me at @themooring on Twitter. (and don’t be a stranger, say “hi”)
2. Help Others Get What They Want
You’re connected to some cool people online doing some cool stuff. Follow along and share. Tell others about them. Help them succeed.
“You can have everything in life you want, if you will just help other people get what they want.” – Zig Ziglar
When you help other people, you win. When you take the time to invest in others, you’ll usually find those same people will return the favor.
See someone promoting a new event on Twitter? Retweet. Mention them. Tell others about the event. Share the link.
Invite someone to write a guest post for your blog. Interview an up-and-comer for your podcast.
If you see a friend promoting a worthy cause on Facebook, like it and comment. Their reach on Facebook is probably suffering these days and you can help.
When you like and comment, their post is often shown to your friends and connections. This is especially true, and valuable to them, if it’s a small business or non-profit.
Jay does a great job of promoting other authors, organizations, and noteworthy causes. He’s engaging. He’s likable.
(You see what I just did there?)
But be careful! If you’re going to promote others, make sure you’re promoting people, business, and causes you can genuinely stand behind. And do it sincerely, without expecting anything in return.
If you always expect the favor to be returned, you’ll be disappointed. Inevitably, someone will miss your post. They won’t see your comment. They’ll forget to thank you.
After all, they’re busy promoting this big event they have coming up. Things are moving quickly and there’s a lot that has to be done.
But even if it’s not always reciprocated, finding ways to promote others will not go unnoticed over the long-term. People will see.
And they will like you for it.
3. Be Humble
People don’t like hot-shots, endless self-promoters, or people who think way more highly of themselves than they should.
Be real. Be yourself. But be humble.
Give credit to others. And don’t spend all your time trying to get people to like you based on your achievements.
Being successful and bragging about it isn’t helpful. Being successful doesn’t make people like you. Telling others how successful you are is worse.
It’s great that you wrote a book. It’s cool that you’re speaking at that big conference in New York. I’m glad you just won that award.
That’s great. But let’s be honest, the humblebrag isn’t cool, even if it IS sometimes funny.
This won’t make people like you.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s ok to be confident. Being humble doesn’t mean being passive or weak.
For example, check out Pat Flynn over at smartpassiveincome.com. Pat is doing a fantastic job building his brand, his online presence, his following, and his income.
Pat’s not cocky or prideful. He doesn’t boast about how awesome he is or how much praise he gets. He just does his work. In fact, you could argue he’s building a brand around being humble.
Pat calls himself “the crash test dummy of online business“, admitting that he doesn’t know everything, and that he’s not the most expert guy in the room.
At the same time, Pat is confident. He’s genuine and he’s sincere.
He’s humble. And people really like him.
4. Make Us Laugh
People like to laugh. In fact, surveys have shown that people get online to be entertained and laugh.
At least that’s what entertainers tell me.
Watch this (1:34):
The guy’s likable, no?
Razors are boring. This guy is not.
He’s funny. He’s charming. He’s likable.
He’s also killing it… Dollar Shave Club is a multimillion dollar business.
It pays to be funny.
Here are a few other brands being funny online.
Charmin, Taco Bell, Old Spice and Oreo on Twitter
5. Be Remarkable
Be awesome. Be amazing. Be remarkable.
Give people what they want. Better yet, give them more than they want. Exceed expectations. Wow them!
If you, your product, or your service is remarkable, you won’t need to try to make people like you online, they just will.
Seth Godin is remarkable. He’s not lighting up Twitter and Facebook. He doesn’t spend time on Instagram or Pinterest. He writes. He blogs daily. He provokes thought and inspires.
Copyblogger produces amazing content. They’re helpful. They understand their audience. They go out of their way to provide free resources, teach, and equip their readers to excel at content marketing.
You don’t have to be big or well-known to be remarkable.
Jubala Coffee, Beyu Caffe, and Eleatta Diver are local favorites of mine who are remarkable.
Jubala Coffee obsesses about coffee and makes the best waffles I’ve ever had.
Beyu Caffe is a coffee shop, bistro, and jazz club that is consistently voted the #1 place in the Triangle region of North Carolina to listen to live jazz.
Eleatta Diver is an amazing artist who paints messages of hope and inspiration. She’s often commissioned to paint beautiful works of art and paint live at weddings, galas, and corporate events.
None of these people or businesses have to make you like them. They’re remarkable. They’re easy to like.
Want More Marketing Tips, Tools, and Insights?maisa_nyc via Flickr