Building Rapport into Your Personal Brand:
As a corporate photographer, I help people make a connection with their audience. But building rapport takes it one stage further.
The benefits of building rapport are enormous.
Establishing rapport significantly enhances your chances of attracting business opportunities. People are more likely to recommend you to others and support your ideas if you can build rapport with them.
Building rapport means more sales, audience loyalty, increased productivity, and more meaningful teamwork.
We have all been there. Some people are just easier to get on with than others. The conversation simply starts flowing. Before you know it, you are laughing together and sharing a moment. This is building rapport.
If only there was a way to build this kind of rapport with your audience when doing business. If you can make a connection, the conversation flows and then you share a moment. This would make communicating how you can make a difference to them so much easier.
The kicker is that our online world is full of short-term snippets of information. Data thrown at us all day is designed to elicit only an immediate (and fleeting) response. Over time, we can tune out to the constant bombardment. We become somewhat anaesthetised to the onslaught.
So, how can you build an authentic connection? One that could be described as rapport with your audience without actually meeting them? How can you 'stop the scroll' and get the full attention of your audience?
Starting from scratch
Let's go back to the basics. The dictionary definition of rapport is:
"a close and harmonious relationship in which the people or groups concerned understand each other's feelings or ideas and communicate well"
The original idea of rapport was derived from the French word meaning "to report" or "bring back". Today, we understand rapport to entail much more than just reporting facts. For us, it involves the shared experience of feelings, ideas and even emotions.
Let's look at this from a brand point of view. Sharing experiences, feelings, ideas, and emotions can lead to building rapport. When interacting normally you use body language to encourage connection. This could be nodding, mirroring pose or just smiling!
We can use similar techniques in our interactions online.
Here are some examples:
- Responding to engagement with our content as if we were talking to the person face-to-face
- Listening to others' responses in a genuine, supportive way, being positive and encouraging
- Sharing our experiences of problems, solutions, and learning points
- Signposting our feelings and emotions (don't worry, it does not have to be too deep)
Rapport Building Take-Away
- We can build rapport online.
- Sharing our experiences, feelings, ideas, and even emotions is more effective than reporting facts.
- Our response to comments and dialogue generated by our content should be genuine, supportive, positive, and encouraging.
Building Rapport into Your Brand from the Get Go
- Working with personal branding clients, I start with their stories. We work out what are they trying to say?
- Then we work on how we can best communicate their message both in words and with brand photography.