Likability: 4 Qualities to Become More Likeable Online and Off

Likability: 4 Qualities to Become More Likeable Online and Off


I got into sales in 1989 selling temporary and regular staffing, or placement services, to large and mid-sized businesses. I had no formal sales training but I knew that I could connect with people, getting to know them, allowing them to get to know me, and somehow that always led to business.

I have always been curious about the quality we call, “Likeability.” It’s an elusive X-factor that I assumed you either had or you didn’t. Some call it charm. Some call it persuasiveness. I just always considered it likeability…or unlikeability. That quality someone had that immediately made you like or dislike them.

I wondered if it was teachable? What made someone more likable than others? If I could break it down into activities or behaviors, then surely it could be teachable. While it may take considerable effort for some, for others these qualities come more natural.

Qualities of Likeability

  1. The ability to really listen to another person.

    Not a faked listening activity in sales where you know someone is going down their list just checking off the questions but not paying attention to your answers.

  2. To show interest in others and be curious about them and their work.

    To really want to know more about them. To want to learn something.

  3. To have a sense of humor…even a dry one.

    It’s just harder to like someone who is intense or too serious.

  4. To be confident in conversations…not awkward.

    Confidence is a deep quality that encompasses so much, but when you know your industry, products or services, and a little bit of knowledge about everything else, it goes a long way in being able to confidently jump into conversations and find connecting tissue with others. I call this the USA Today Confidence.

likeable likeability factor

The hardest nuts for me to crack back in my sales days were the impersonal ones that wouldn’t allow me to set that needed appointment where I could learn enough about them and then charm them into that next lunch appointment. There I would listen to them pour out their frustrations about their jobs and life, and then I would explain how I was going to help make those frustrations go away with our staffing solutions.

Trust was then built through proving ourselves. Sure in big proposals we submitted case studies and references, but only a few would call and check references. For the most part, people were trusting us based on the relationships we established. Based on our likeability.

The world is much different today. Google allows people to research your products and services before they ever contact you to buy. They can get to know you and like you, or dislike you, online. Trust can still be established through testimonials, on your website or social platforms. You can show social proof of your trustworthiness through the number of people who engage or share your content, whether you are asked to share your knowledge on larger platforms and if you have enough content out there that shows you are indeed an expert in your field.

[bctt tweet=”Google allows people to research you & your brand before they ever contact you. They get to know, like, trust you online.” username=”@GinaSchreck”]

If you take the four qualities or characteristics from our face-to-face sales skills and apply them to today’s online sales and marketing environment, pretty much, the same activities or behaviors apply.

likeable, likeability factor, build relationships online

Here’s how to be more likeable online:

  1. The ability to really listen to another person.

    Are you taking the time to read someone’s bio and perhaps the things they have taken the time to write on their social media profiles. You can learn a lot by checking out someone’s LinkedIn, Twitter or Facebook profiles. I love when I find a prospective client on Instagram, because there can be something very intimate about the images people share there. What can people learn about you from your profiles? Are you sharing things that make you LIKEABLE? Do you have content that proves your trustworthiness or expertise?

  2. To show interest in others and be curious about them and their work.

    Take the time to connect and ask a question or two after reading their profiles. What connecting tissues do you see? Is it where they live or grew up? Is there something in their work history that you are curious about? Now look at your own profiles. Do they cause someone to want to know more? Do they draw people in and show an interesting side of you that causes them to want to connect? If you are posting about how fabulously perfect and glamorous your life is, people may not be able to connect or relate. Be sure you are sharing your true you. To use an OVERUSED phrase, “Be authentic.” (That sounds so much like an American Idol saying, but it’s true.)

  3. To have a sense of humor…even a dry one.

    Remember, it’s harder to connect with someone who is intense or overly serious. I am not talking about sharing corny or potentially inappropriate jokes or comics on your profile. I’m talking about your unique observations or take on things. The way you reply to someone or what is shared in your content. Don’t leave your personality at the door.

  4. To be confident in conversations.

    Social media allows you to shine here since there is so much information that you can subscribe to and read. Be sure you are following and regularly reading blogs and social media posts from the industry experts in your space. Be sure to set up lists and follow industry news for your clients and potential clients. And be sure to follow USA Today on Twitter.


Today I was asking my brilliant (and all very likeable) contacts on Facebook about this topic and what other qualities they felt made someone likeable. Ray Williams said Mike Rowe was a great example of someone who is likeable online. He said being personable and not over the top (corny) makes someone likeable. Kristin Crocket said when someone is more interested in you than in themselves, they are instantly more likeable, and Thom Reagan said people who are encouragers are also seen as more likeable, and Barb Tomlin reminded us all that a smile is a very easy way to become more likeable! These are a few comments from our Facebook Live event. You can watch the replay below!

I’d love to hear from you. What qualities do you feel make a person more LIKEABLE or UNLIKEABLE? Share in the comments below!



Starting a New Business: What You Need to Know About  Marketing It

Starting a New Business: What You Need to Know About Marketing It

My son called me last week to tell me he is thinking of striking out on his own to start his own business. I was so excited for him. He has been an electrician for 13 years working for large and small companies. He asked for my advice on what to do first. I get asked that question a lot but when you are telling your son, you pause and think about it perhaps a bit longer. I’ve been doing this for a very long time, so there is a lot of information I need to pour in this vessel.

starting a business lots to learn

Many startups ask, Should I market my business before I open the doors or do I wait until I actually have the business up and running? Which comes first, the chicken or the egg? The marketing comes first, that’ s which one. You must build your network BEFORE YOU NEED IT. Get out early and connect with people. Provide your expertize early and show that you are here to be a valuable member of the community not just ask people to support your new business.

When you consider what marketing is, it’s communicating and building relationships with your ideal customers. So, if you just take that concept, when should you start communicating and building relationships? As soon as you can. You want to start identifying, connecting with, and building trust and likeability with people, sometimes even before you have an actual idea for your business.

marketing your business

Here is the advice and help I’m giving my son on how to start and market his new business:

Let Us Get to Know YOU:

People want to learn about YOU. Not just your promotions and sales material. They want to get to know and like you through the content you share. Don’t be afraid to share a little personality with your helpful content. Being likeable is huge when it comes to converting prospects to customers and with the use of today’s tools (blogs, social posts, video content) you can easily do this.

[READ MORE ON STORYTELLING IN YOUR BUSINESS HERE: Stories of Wine and Marketing: Storytelling In Your Business]


Show us a photo of you geeking out over new tools. Snap a photo of the pet duck you find in someone’s yard when you go to a job. Share a pic of your kids holding their tools wanting to go to work with you. (Hearts start melting all over the place)

If you are a consultant or you work mostly from home, you can share a photo of your favorite writing spot or a beautiful view on your morning walk as you get centered and ready to take on a big project. This tells us something about YOU! It makes you LIKEABLE.

[READ MORE: 10 Tips on Using Instagram in Your Business]

Be Helpful:

If you are an expert in something, be sure you are sharing regular helpful tips to draw me in and show me that expertize. Just because someone claims to be an “expert” most people will want to see proof. And today that means through the content you are sharing—blog posts, social media posts, email messages, videos, etc. Share helpful tips that help me and I will appreciate you and most likely come to you when I am ready to spend money.


If you are a relationship coach or expert and we meet at a dinner party, I might end up asking you about how to deal with a coworker who sits near me and smells bad. “How would you handle that type of situation?” These tips build trust, credibility and, depending on how you answer this question, possibly likeability. Share Q&A posts like this on social or your blog.

If you are an electrician and we meet at this same dinner party, I might ask you, “How hard is it to install the new outlets that have USB ports in them? Is this something I can do on my own?” Share these answers via short Q&A videos.


Stay Mobile and Use Tools:

To do what you have to get done each day, you either need to buy some roll-over minutes to expand your 24-hours or learn to use your smartphone to stay productive in the “slivers of time.” Whether you are waiting for kids to finish soccer practice, or standing in line at the grocery store, you can get a lot of your marketing and follow up work done when you have a mobile phone with the right tools loaded on it. You can take payments, check on invoices, answer emails and so much more. A good mobile device is your office on-the-go, and what entrepreneur is not always on-the-go?


Using a social dashboard tool like Hootsuite App on your mobile, you can respond to comments or questions on the go. Having your email app on your phone allows you to be more responsive. There is no reason you should have to wait until you are home at night to respond to get back to people. If you add in MailChimp, Canva, and Quickbooks, you may never have to go back to the office again!


Be Consistent:

When it comes to marketing your business, new or old, consistency is key. You cannot just market when you “have time.” If that were the case, it would NEVER HAPPEN! You have to make time to plan out your marketing content. For some reason when we get busy marketing seems to go by the wayside and then shortly we are not busy at all and we panic. Keeping the marketing train going will help keep your business consistent.


Use tools like Buffer to plan your marketing content and schedule it. Spend a 2-3 hours on the weekend scheduling out photos, Q&A posts answering different customer questions and links to interesting articles you have so you don’t have to worry about it while you are busy with your business. You can respond to others and add in spontaneous content as you find it or as things occur, but you will have consistent content out there even if nothing new pops up.

There are hundreds, if not thousands of people who do what you do. It is the person that keeps doing it day after day, month after month, year after year, that stays in business. Everyone knows what to do but very few actually show up every day and do it. Be consistent and show up (physically and virtually) every day and 22 years later, you’ll be telling others how to start their business!

Tweet This!

[bctt tweet=”Everyone knows what to do but very few actually show up every day and do it. #Consistency #Marketing” username=”@GinaSchreck”]

Mistakes I Made and Things I Wish I Had Done Differently:

Build Your Email List

You will likely hear this one from any entrepreneur you meet, and it’s true, start building an email list from the beginning. Don’t keep random email addresses in your Gmail or on business cards. Sign up for an email service like MailChimp. I like Mailchimp because it is free until you have 2,000 contacts and it has free automation features to set up a sequence of emails to go out without you having to do much, once it’s set up. Even if you don’t know what you’re doing in the beginning, just sign up for this and put everyone you meet into this database. You will be happy you did.

Market When You’re Busy

Another thing I had to learn the hard way is you need to market your business even when you are so busy with current customers that you don’t think you need to. Your marketing is relationship building for the future as well as for the present. When you turn that off, you will feel it in 6 months. If you have blog posts or videos you have created, add them into a tool like SocialJukebox to put them into an ongoing post schedule. This tool will help you keep your existing, and even old content, in front of a new audience as long as you’d like. It is different from tools like Hootsuite, as this tool puts your posts into a “jukebox” and puts it on auto-replay forever. It will mix them up and play them on different days and different times. You can adjust the schedule to ensure they don’t replay too often.

I’d love to hear your challenges or fears of starting and growing your own business. Throw them in the comments area and we will chime in with some ideas for you. If you want regular tips and tools for marketing and growing your business, be sure to join us in our DIYsocial Facebook Group—It’s FREE!