When It's Time to Set Technology Aside

Let's make 2018 the year of the face-to-face interaction.

At least three times a week I say, "God bless technology!" Usually the context is something like my online subscription for baby formula shipped to me at the very moment I ran out. Or I totally forgot a dentist appointment and an automated text message saved me from having to reschedule. Clearly technology is keeping me on track. And let's face, I have two children under four. Technology is key to my survival.

But today I was reminded about why it's great to have a good, ol' fashioned, face-to-face conversation with someone. I'm covering a story on a new Mexican restaurant in Onalaska, Wisconsin, called El Cerrito. It's a family-run business and the owner, Mario, is wonderful. My editor mentioned that email (my preferred form of contact for these kind of stories) may not work as well in this case, so I grabbed my three-year-old and headed over to see him. 

Though he was busy, Mario welcomed my daughter and I with open arms, sharing and laughing, even giving us a sneak peek at the carnitas he was making. I left inspired to write my story for the next issue of  SEVEN Magazine but, more importantly, I was reminded of the value of human interaction.

 Slow-cooking some yummy carnitas for the lunch crowd at El Cerrito. 

Slow-cooking some yummy carnitas for the lunch crowd at El Cerrito. 

When it comes to marketing your business, I fully believe that you need to have an online presence, complete with strong social media messaging and a clear, effective website. But one of the reasons people will seek you out online is because you've mastered the personal connection. Convenience is great, but so is kindness. 

I challenge you to remember that in 2018. Let's try to balance our Amazon Prime orders with a few more chats with customers. Let's try to emulate Mario and be welcoming to genuine conversation and interest in others. This is good practice as a business owner and as a human.

Try to think about marketing your business the same way you think about your investments. Diversifying your strategy is important. Build your brand with advertising, but also do it with conversation. It's a winning combination.