Working With Your Natural Style and Preferences Instead Of Against Them

Dec 19, 2019

Even if you don’t think of yourself as a naturally stylish person (which I don’t too). It’s likely you have a set of preferences about how you like to communicate online. That’s what I’m calling your natural style.

I’ve been using online platforms for my work and career development for over 13 years now. I was one of those LinkedIn early adopters when everyone thought I was weird for wanting to connect with people on the internet. I have always seen such a huge potential for connections to be made online, business to be done and careers to be developed.

It’s not a crazy prediction to say that online and digital communication is going to continue to grow in importance for work and business.

However, one big problem that I’ve seen is that people are reluctant to be present online for work or feel uncomfortable when they do.

Why?

I’ve been reflecting on what could be the cause of this and how to then help them see a way forward.

One of the reasons I hear is that somehow people feel they have to be something they are not. They have to ‘show off’ or brag, spend the whole time taking selfies or be continuously chatting and posting.

And then I see people online and then meet them in real life and their online representation of themselves doesn’t match the real-life version. They seem uncomfortable with what they think they have to do to be successful rather than it feeling like them.

And then there are the people who just can’t get started. Keep putting it off. Feel they have to learn too much to even get started. Like there is a rule book they need to learn or a new way of being.

A Solution

Whatever the reason might be for you (and if I’ve missed one, message me and let me know), I hope this might help.

I’ve been working for the last 3 years I’ve been working with a lot with tools that help people become aware of their preferred ways of working and even being part of creating a new assessment tool as well. So I wondered whether I could create something useful like that for this area.

So, I came up with the idea of natural preferences and styles for online communication and thinking about how to use them.

You’ll see on my new site (launching this week) that there is a quick quiz to guide you. I hope you come back to take that quiz and it is useful to you.

In the meantime, here is a sneak peek of the online styles you might have and some tips for how to use them to maximize your own online presence to achieve your work goals, attract new clients or work opportunities.

Have a think about how you communicate online or like to communicate online and see if any of these resonate with you. You are likely to be more than one of these. Personally I am mostly Relationship Builder, Introvert with a bit of Thought Leader in there too.

The Relationship Builder

You love to connect with people online and you don’t like to do anything that will damage the relationships you have built.

If you are a Relationship Builder, here are my top three tips:

1. Use a platform like LinkedIn which has been designed to encourage and promote relationship building. LinkedIn’s mission statement is to “connect the world’s professionals to make them more productive and successful” so it is perfect for the Relationship Builder

2. Find relevant Facebook groups and develop relationships with your ideal clients in your groups. Use your relationship building skills to attract clients.

3. Be reassured that you don’t have to damage your relationships by being present online. Instead of feeling pressured to hustle, sell, pinch, capture or target your ideal clients, think about how to attract them and build relationships with them instead.

To find out more, subscribe below and I’ll send you details of the next webinar in January.

The Thought Leader

You love sharing your opinions online!

Here are my top tips for you:

1. If your audience is on them, prioritize platforms that allow you the space to share your thought leadership. LinkedIn posts and articles are perfect for that. Thought leadership is actively encouraged on LinkedIn. You can also share blogs, vlogs and videos on your Facebook page or in groups if that is where your audience is.

2. Align your views to the needs of your target audience. It’s great to have lots of opinions but if they are not helping your ideal customer then you’re probably not getting the results you want online.

3. Find networks and organisations with large audiences who you can partner with to share your opinions. That way you will really maximise the impact of the time you invest in thought leadership.

To find out more, subscribe below and I’ll send you details of the next webinar in January.

The Celebrity 

My my, you love the spotlight.

Here are my top tips for you:

1. Spend time thinking strategically about the content you are creating. Is it providing value for your target audience or is it about you? You are aiming for that ideal crossover where the content is both helping your audience and is about you too.

2. Consider whether you are prioritising volume over quality. Spend some time reviewing your recent posts and see if you could do less, more targeted content for a larger audience. More impact, less time! It’s a winner.

3. Review whether you are creating content that will be useful over a long period of time, sometimes called evergreen content. Look for ways to move from creating very time sensitive, immediate content to longer term content.

To find out more, subscribe below and I’ll send you details of the next webinar in January.

The Pragmatist

You pride yourself on your realism and your ability to get things done.

Here are my top tips for you:

1. With so much focus on the day to day practicalities of your life, have you taken some time for yourself recently? Have you widened your view and considered what vision you have for your career. If this is something you’d like to do, I’ve got a free online course coming soon. Don’t miss opportunities by being too focused on the here and now. Having a vision of the future you want to create is powerful when you want to attract a new client or work opportunity.

2. When was the last time you were surprised? Consider whether you could be missing out on opportunities that you couldn’t see coming. I have personally found new clients and work opportunities in conversations with unlikely people or places. Consider where you might be able to find new opportunities that you might not have thought of before.

3. The world is always changing and sometimes our perceptions and mental models need to be updated. Is there any part of your working life where you have been surprised by someone getting an opportunity that they weren’t qualified or experienced enough for in your opinion. Consider how they got that opportunity and how you might be able to replicate that online.

To find out more, subscribe below and I’ll send you details of the next webinar in January.

The Introvert

You sometimes find the online world, like the offline world, exhausting. So many people, so much self-promotion, so much talking!

Here are my top tips for you:

1. The wonderful thing about the internet is that it does the work for you! You can write a blog post or record a video message and you can be quietly enjoying reading a book whilst others are reading your post or seeing your video. Use this to your advantage. Minimise the time you spend online in ‘real time’ and see how much you can automate and make available even if you are not there

2. Protect your energy for your most important clients and potential clients. If you can afford a VA to read and screen your emails that would be ideal. You can also put in place messages on your profiles about who you will work with and who is not right for you. For example, if you are approached about working for free and you don’t work for free, put a message on your LinkedIn profile or an email autoresponder. If you only work with clients who have a budget of £3,000 per month or more, put that on your website before your contact page.

3. Be mindful of who is in your network. Have a look through all of your feeds or your groups. Does everyone in your network make you feel positive, inspired, focused and motivated? Is there anyone in there who is draining your energy or making you feel bad? It’s ok to mute people or even disconnect from them. The platforms generally don’t notify them so they probably won’t notice. Your energy and your time is so precious, like you have a small group of friends, it’s good for you to have a small, close and highly aligned set of online connections.

To find out more, subscribe below and I’ll send you details of the next webinar in January.

In Conclusion

I hope you’ve enjoyed this blog as the lighthearted exercise that it is. It is a chance for self reflection and review rather than a psychometric assessment of your personality.

If you love it and it is useful to you as a framework, maybe I will commission a super smart psychologist to make it into a proper, rigorous psychometric assessment and charge some nice hefty fees for it like Myers Briggs.

For now, I hope you enjoy it for what it is and if I’ve missed a category, let me know.

Don’t forget to subscribe if you want to hear more about how to use these preferences to attract clients or new work opportunities.

Love Ruth