In the last Blog Expert post in this mindset series we discussed confidence and how it can help you meet your goals and targets.
Now let’s talk about communication.
How effective are you at communicating?
Great, you may assume, as you have been talking for years and as a veteran blogger you obviously have a great command of the English language and know how to use it to gain readers.
Detrimental To Your Success
However, the majority of small business owners who spend most of their time online often fail to factor effective communications in to their business strategy, and this could be detrimental to your success as a blogger and entrepreneur.
The term ‘communication’ is derived from the Latin word ‘communis’ – this literally translates as ‘common’. This means that the phrase “to communicate” means ‘to make common’ or ‘to make known’.
Often regarded as a peripheral skill in comparison to more tangible attributes such as a sound business knowledge or good financial acumen, communication skills are at risk of being sidelined, despite the fact that they are fundamental for anyone wanting to make a success of their online venture.
Single Most Important Factor
The University of Pittsburgh’s Katz Business School conducted a survey in to the importance of communications, researching recruiters from companies with more than 50,000 employees. In the study, they found that communication skills were cited as the single most important decisive factor in choosing managers.
This shows that communication skills, whether you have no staff, one or many, is one of the single most important factor which contributes to the success of your business.
Despite the growing acknowledgement that communication skills are critical for us as small business owners, many individuals continue to struggle, unable to communicate their thoughts and ideas effectively, whether in verbal or written format.
This inability makes it nearly impossible for people to compete effectively online, hampering progress and preventing the engagement of stakeholders and the development of strong and fruitful relationships with suppliers and customers.
Facing Your Communications Demons
Communicating is not as tough as you may first imagine.
We do it instinctively, every day.
Each time you log on to your PC you are initiating communication online whether by commenting on other people’s blog, posting articles upon your own, or responding to queries and questions relating to your products and services.
The good news is that it just takes a few simple steps to establish yourself as an expert communicator, opening up two-way channels online between yourself and your clients.
Understanding The Nature And Form Of Effective Communications Skills
Great communications depend upon a number of elements:
- Understand what your key messages are
- Know your audience – what they expect from you, how you should be communicating to them
- How your communications will be perceived by your audience
- Situational circumstances – time of year, what is going on externally and within your chosen industry
We are bombarded with different messages every day.
The average person in America spends fifty-two minutes each day reading the newspaper. This means that in a seventy year lifetime (subtracting the first fifteen years as non-newspaper reading time), a little less than two years, are spent absorbing news.
According to the American Telephone and Telegraph Company, there are 24.5 telephone calls made for every 100 people in the entire world, and in every hour that an American listens to the radio in the US, there are over ten thousand words spoken.
All this means one simple thing to you as a small business owner, communicating on line.
Your messages need to be clear, accessible and concise. If you haven’t already done so, it could be time to assess your communications strategy and make sure it delivers all of these attributes, in order to keep your customers happy and engaged.
Previous posts in this blog expert series, the Six ‘C’s of blogging success :
You have to connect with your readers to get that understanding of their needs, people seems to lose focus of these simple techniques.
“Black Seo Guy “Signing Off”
Communication is very important and need more study we need to interact to our readers for the good both reader and writer
Communication is so important. Even if you aren’t the grammar king of the world, knowing what tone your copy is being perceived as is a great way to keep your key messages going to the right people.
It is very important.
I also think grammar is fairly important. Lots of spelling mistakes and bad english always puts me off and I don’t return.
Interacting is Good and Hiding is bad. Which one you like? I prefer first one because its help me to explore my thoughts!
I don’t think you’ll get very far on-line if you hid!
Andrew – I like to think I’m a very good at effective communicating, but I believe more so online than in the real world. I agree, effective communication is something that is lacking among a lot of small business owners out there.
And if you’re a blogger it is even more important for you to practice good communication in order to develop and maintain a good readership on your blog.
I loved the elements you listed for great communication, especially when you mentioned know your audience. Once you know how to communicate effectively with your audience your business will jump to the next level.
I think the internet has opened the door to those who found communicating in the real world, a challenge.
Personally, I’m not sure if I prefer one to the other.
I love public speaking and I love building relationships on-line.
Hard one for me to decide.
Communication skill is must… specially when you are offering some kind of service. It helps to explain the benefit of your service in a effective and attractive manner so that you can create good impression and force customer to use your service.
Not too sure if I would use the word ‘force’. I prefer persuade!
I recently read How To Win Friends And Influence People, and the research about hiring and promoting people with communication skills was underscored there too. In the book, this quote was mentioned, and it seems like a great fit here:
“The ability to deal with people is as purchasable a commodity as sugar or coffee and I will pay more for that ability than for any other under the sun. ” – John D Rockefeller
Thanks for sharing that quote.
It’s a great one.
In my experience the people I come across in ‘retail’ seem to have the worst communication skills.
I believe networking and good communication skills are a necessity for a successful online business.
I love networking and communicating with other bloggers. Sure it takes time, but it is well worth it. Building relationships and therefore trust with customers is important too.
Patricia Perth Australia
The speed at which you have built your brilliant on-line relationships…you could write and sell a guide on it.
Actually you are not the first person to suggest that 🙂 However, my first goal for 2011 is about to be achieved this evening….my newsletter will be published for the first time….yay.
My other goals I have written as a post, so maybe I should add this one. Three people and more can’t all be wrong 😉
Patricia Perth Australia
Go for it…
You’re completely correct…Communication is the “most important factor” in maintaining successful business relationships, but it also is the most important factor in all relationships be it family (spouse, children, parents, etc.) or friendships. So many problems wouldn’t occur if people would just take the time to not only talk to each other, but to also listen wholeheartedly when the person speaks.
I totally agree with you.
I used to have a boss who’s motto was:
Really if you want to succeed online .. start connecting with fellow internet marketers. I learned this the hard way. I tried to make it alone.. only to never take off. Finally it happened when I started out with another guy.
Thanks for sharing your experience. It is a great way to build momentum.
I agree with you that effective communication is essential. I guess the only problem is when we talk about controversial or really deep topics. A lot is lost when writing about it in text. I think that when I start to approach more controversial topics that require that the reader have previous knowledge I will refer them back to other posts and maybe even do a podcast about the topic at hand.
I hadn’t thought about a solution for this (controversial topics) before but now that I have an action plan I feel more confident in writing about them.
Thanks for writing about this.
All the best,
Communication is a skill and it can be learned. In communication, you just don’t speak. You also have to listen. When speaking, choose the right questions and when listening, listen consciously to perceive what the speaker is trying to convey.