Personal connection goes digital

In professional services marketing and business development, cultivating personal connections with clients and prospects is a fundamental activity.

It’s the foundation for building trust, strengthening relationships and growing your business.

Pre-pandemic, most personal connection initiatives looked like what my colleague Ann Lee Gibson calls “random acts of lunch” (or golf, cocktails, etc.). They were pleasant contacts but often lacked any real strategy or measurable result. But today digital tools have taken a more central role in creating and nurturing personal connections, allowing marketing and business development leaders to take a more thoughtful approach.

For example, video has emerged as a potent medium for supporting personal connections in marketing. Through video calls, webinars, podcasts or personalized messages, professionals can convey relevant expertise, passion and authenticity directly to their audiences. Seeing a face and hearing a voice add a human touch that transcends the digital barrier, fostering rapport and credibility. In Right Hat’s 2024 Top of Mind Survey of more than 100 legal buyers, 96% of respondents said they’d like to see brief videos as part of professional biographies.

Social media platforms, particularly LinkedIn, offer valuable opportunities for professionals to extend their network and deepen connections. By actively engaging with industry peers, sharing insights and participating in discussions, individuals can position themselves as thought leaders while building new relationships. Leveraging LinkedIn features such as direct messaging and targeted content sharing lets professionals tailor communications to resonate with specific audiences, further enhancing the personal touch.

Photography also plays a crucial role in introducing professionals to prospective clients. Through carefully curated visuals, professionals can evoke emotions, tell stories and create a memorable impression. Whether it’s showing them at work, sharing a candid moment with a group or incorporating visual elements that reflect personality and values, compelling photography makes people feel like they know you, even before they’ve met you.

Crafting biographies with a unique voice is another strategy to stand out and establish a personal connection with potential clients. Instead of presenting dry resumes or generic descriptions, professionals can infuse their bios with personality that resonates and stories that showcase their experience. A well-crafted bio not only communicates qualifications but also reveals the individual behind the professional facade, giving a preview of what it will be like to work with that person.

Incorporating these elements — video, LinkedIn connections, engaging photography and distinctive bios — into marketing strategies helps professionals bridge the gap between virtual interactions and meaningful connections. By prioritizing authenticity, value and relevance, individuals can cultivate trust and build loyalty.

Of course, it’s never a bad idea to invite a contact for coffee or a round of golf. But digital tools can be just as powerful — and you can use them anytime, anywhere.

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