You have seven seconds to make a great first impression when you meet someone face-to-face. And if you're lucky — 3 seconds in cyber-space. Twitter peeps don't have time for long introductions. Messages are capped out at 140 characters for a reason, time is precious. Here are some lessons I learned about making a great first impression in your tweets, your blogs, your website, or anywhere else where people are meeting you online:
- Pictures attract. Your readers decide in one second if they like your photo. One second matters. If you don't have a photo at the top of your message, you lose.
- Headlines are the bait on a hook. They need sparkle and glitter. Show your readers you are clever, well-dressed and professional. They may not see you, however, they form a mental picture of you based on what they see in your work. The headline is the first impression.
- Show them you care. This happens in the first sentence of your message. The first sentence is pivotal. If your reader makes it this far, you're on your way to a long-term relationship. They decided they like you and they are ready to move forward. Congratulations.
- Remember to ask questions. Readers are searching for solutions. They want to gain knowledge. I believe the question mark is like an upside-down hook. The right question used in a tweet or as a caption for a blog message will make your hook irresistible.
- Don't forget the handshake. The best first impressions are made when your reader connects with you. Invite them to shake hands with you. This is as simple as posting a "subscribe by email" button or a twitter follow button in a prominent location on your page. Another way to connect is to leave a question at the end of your message. This lets your readers know you care because you are wanting to hear what they have to say. If they like you, they will leave a comment.