When conducting business remotely, we operate frequently on video and rely on all things digital to communicate. In these virtual situations, we make impressions daily that ultimately impact business. Your virtual presence reflects the professionalism of your company.
Consider what happens at your company when:
- The director of business development takes most virtual meetings while displaying a messy kitchen in the background.
- Your management team’s LinkedIn presence is outdated and doesn’t align with your firm’s brand messaging.
- A senior partner wears t-shirts when meeting with key clients over video.
- Your client services manager routinely needs a follow up email to respond to meeting requests.
Situations like these (and others) may not seem critical, but they can have a detrimental effect on relationships, opportunities and revenue. When employees fail to make optimal virtual impressions, the overall strength and success of their team—and your company—suffer too.
This is avoidable. While you may have provided initial guidance to your staff on how to set up their home offices and work remotely, it’s not enough. People develop habits for better or worse. Supporting employees with proactive, ongoing guidance to improve their virtual presence ensures that their habits don’t negatively impact business.
Learn how we can help your team with
What Does Online Presence Consists Of?
So, what exactly is virtual presence? It’s how people appear and interact online. Some components include how you:
- Communicate by email, phone and collaboration tools
- Appear and engage on video
- Participate in meetings
- Conduct presentations
- Connect with clients and prospects
- Manage teams
- Come across on LinkedIn (and other social media)
- Network with individuals and groups
Throughout your company, there are likely several areas requiring improved virtual presence. When deciding which teams or individuals to help first, consider who engages most with clients, prospects, referral sources, investors and other critical stakeholders. Then tailor their training to functional areas and position levels, while also aligning with corporate values and culture. Doing this positions your employees for better success and enables them—collectively and individually—to be stronger brand ambassadors.
Reinforce that how you come across when working remotely is a priority by strengthening your own virtual presence. Lead by example, ensure positive support by leadership and communicate the benefits. Your team will want to follow suit so they can benefit from it as well.
For tips on how to make strong virtual impressions, follow us on
The Benefits Of Strong Virtual Presence
By helping your team navigate virtual business optimally:
- The director of business development will have a more professional-looking video background and make better connections with contacts who are no longer distracted by the messy kitchen.
- Your management team’s updated LinkedIn profiles will present them and your firm optimally to drive credibility, visibility and influence.
- The senior partner, in improved attire for virtual meetings, will impress upon key clients that he’s attentive and values their relationship. They’ll be more likely to recommend him to others or expand engagements.
- The client services manager will now respond in a timely manner to meeting invitations (or delegate when she cannot) and move forward onboarding, engagements and issues resolution, instead of causing unnecessary delays.
When working remotely, how your team appears and interacts on screen carries greater influence in shaping business success than most think. Helping employees at every level improve virtual impressions will increase credibility, drive better relationships and generate more opportunities. It also strengthens your corporate brand.
Adopt firmwide strategies to navigate new digital norms and support your employees with training for long-term success. It will have a positive impact on your business.
Author’s Note: A version of this article originally appeared on Financial Poise.