It's lonely at the top. Actually,it's lonely at the bottom, too, but, for purposes of this blog, let's stay on top. Even powerful, successful people occasionally experience feelings of isolation. They think no one cares about their welfare only what they can do or what they possess. When you find that you're spending more time with your virtual associates on Facebook/Linkedin/Myspace than real people, it's time to analyze your "click through rate" (CTR).
Online, CTR is the way to measure the success of your marketing efforts. It's derived by dividing the numer of users who click on a link in a web page by the number of times the webpage was viewed or "impressions." For example, if a website is viewed 1,000 times and a hundred people click on a link to download a related e-book, the CTR is 10/1000 or 1%.
As professionals, we are always marketing something: a service, a product, or ourselves. If you give a half-way decent seminar to fifty people, it's reasonable to expect at least one of them to approach you with a question or comment following the presentation. That's a CTR of 5/50 or 10%.
Now, let's extend that formula to our personal lives. What if we meet 20 people at a cocktail party/networking event and exchange business cards with all 20 of them? If no one emails or calls you later, your CTR is zilch, nada, squat diddly....So, that's no big deal. People are busy and you may not follow up either. Right? Yes, that's right sometimes. But if it's right all the time. You have a problem.
The problem is that the impression you give when people first view you is not compelling. They have no desire to use the "link" (i.e. your business card or website) and learn more about you. If no one at work ever invites you to lunch or happy hour, and no one at church ever invites you to brunch, and no one in your professional association ever expresses an interest in getting to know you better--face the facts Boo, you need a redesign. Your social capital is sadly devalued.
Hire a life coach if you like, but it's not that hard to make yourself more appealing. First, accept that we all have room for improvement. The top reasons people don't care if they ever see you again are: too loud, arrogant, and self-absorbed. If you're old enough to call yourself a Cougar, you know what's wrong with you. You've heard it over and over from angry relatives and concerned employers. Listen, it's okay to be less of you. It's okay to let someone finish their sentence even if you know the end of it already. It's okay to make eye contact with the admin instead of looking around for someone more important. It's okay to display concern about others' welfare. That doesn't make you weak; it makes you human.
Plain and simple, the people we want to be around are people who make us feel loved, needed, and necessary. If you really want to improve your CTR, be compassionate, listen with your heart, and learn to say "I'm sorry." Lastly, don't turn down any invitations from your new friends for one month. That's it. Now, go play!
Copyright 2009. Monica F. Anderson. All Rights Reserved.