Simon Kolz

A weblog by Simon Kolz

Internet Etiquette for Business Success

You’re trying to recruit a downline into your program, you’ve tried every trick in the book, and no one is signing up. Is there a sign on your back that says you’ve got the plague? Maybe you’re lacking in internet etiquette.

Certain people skills are important for all business people. Online affiliate business presents unique challenges to the webmaster. While modern society tends towards individualism to the extreme, no consideration for others, and oftentimes total lack of self-restraint, internet relationships additionally have the mixed reputation of being cold and emotionless, depersonalized, fake, extreme (as in “flaming”), and untrustworthy until proven trustworthy.

Add to this skepticism towards commercialism both on and offline (“what’s he trying to sell me? what’s the catch?”) and you can understand the importance of learning internet ettiquette for business success. I’ll give you 8 points to keep in mind.

1. Thoughtful attention:

Most internet communication is via the written word. For example, I can tell you that a website is really cool; maybe you’re first impression is that I’m saying I like it because it’s hip and trendy. In the context of a discussion of website color palettes I may be referring to the shades of blue and gray used. Or maybe I mean the site doesn’t draw the visitors…you see my point. Clarity is important.

2. Taking the time for clarity:

The internet has accustomed us to instant gratification. Just as you may not stick around if a website takes more than 10 seconds to load, or if a webmaster takes more than 30 seconds to make his point, you may not take the time to clarify what’s been said in an email or chat and become angry or impatient. It’s important to understand intentions. Be careful to separate your own emotional reaction from what was actually meant. Be sure you understand that the intention was to poke friendly fun, not to criticize, and so on.

3. Timely communication:

Understand the customers’ or colleagues’ expectations and needs, and be considerate of how and when you communicate. Remember that people need to be remembered, recognized and included.

4. Create a culture of caring:

As I stated above, we live in a world of lack of consideration. Think about how careless we can become with our language when we rely on eye contact and body language to communicate our meaning. These are absent on the internet. We have to consciously create a culture of caring. Everyone needs to feel safe, connected and important. Building trust allows everyone to ask questions, which is the only way to learn, even when they risk appearing stupid.

5. Be the Super Affiliate you want in your downline:

Express your goals, accept responsibility for your words, remember that we are all teachers, be visible (in forums, in your blog, with personal notes and changes in your website text, updates and newsletters). Be honest and genuine, listen well, be generous and helpful, be clear in expressing what you need, give thanks and stay in touch.

6. Help others achieve their goals: Refer your customers elsewhere when appropriate, this builds trust like no other action can. This can even lead to reciprocity from your competition or a joint venture.

7. Find common ground: remember you are building friendships and teamwork as well as making money.

8. Remember, you are your team’s greatest advocate. If you’ve learned the above skills well, you know your teammates and can come to their aid and defense if need be. You’re there when they need you, and their testimonials grace your homepage.

If you allow yourself to grow and change in these 8 ways and apply them to your internet communications, you’ll be successful at building trust and rapport with your online colleagues. They’ll be scrambling to sign up and they’ll want to stick around.

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