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Why You Need Emotional Intelligence to Succeed as an Online Entrepreneur

Guy Sheetrit
Guy Sheetrit

Attract and retain customers by understanding emotions and using them to your advantage.

According to the 2017 Kauffman Index of Startup Activity, the overall entrepreneur rate has been increasing steadily since 2014, and only last year, nearly 540,000 new business owners emerged in the U.S. every month.

Unfortunately, not all of these businesses survived. Stats published by the SBA show that almost 78 percent of small startups last only a year. Most of the people get the basics right for setting up an online store but fail to use emotional intelligence and consumer psychology tricks to get new customers and, most importantly, retain the existing ones.

Various studies from the Carnegie Foundation, Stanford and Harvard imply that, even though we focus on these abilities only 10 percent of the time, soft skills, personal skills and emotional intelligence contribute 85 to 87 percent of our online success. We discuss this in more detail below.

Use emotions to your advantage.

Entrepreneurs skilled at using emotional intelligence to their advantage stay ahead of their competitors. Not only are they better equipped to gauge the pros and cons of their business model from the perspective of the customers, but their networking prowess enables them to harness the power of social media as part of their SEO strategy for better results. On the flip side, a lack of emotional intelligence makes it difficult to execute these activities. The more attuned an online entrepreneur is to their emotions, the more they can convert potential customers, particularly when they don't always have the benefit of face-to-face interaction with customers.

Frequent communication is key.

Online entrepreneurs need to get one thing straight: They might be doing business virtually, but the interactions they have with their buyers must all be real. Only then can they build lasting relationships. But no matter how much you communicate, you cannot develop a rapport overnight; it will take time.

For online entrepreneurs, communication often takes the shape of messages or emails asking if they can share their content or be hired for their professional expertise. However, most businesses are hesitant to respond to such queries. That's because they do not know whether they can trust or like the sender.

In such cases, frequent communication may be a good idea. The online entrepreneur might not be speaking to the individual directly, but if someone asks a question on their social media post, the entrepreneur should respond. It's the smaller things like these that enable the person in question to remember the entrepreneur and reach out personally with an offer in due course.

Get over past mistakes.

People make mistakes. But the more you beat yourself up over them, the more trouble you will have with taking chances on new opportunities later. Risks are part and parcel of running an online business. So, unless you want to halt the progression of your business, you must focus on solutions.

The trick is to let go of problems that have no relevance with your online business venture. You should not let these mistakes develop into huge obstacles; instead, keep whatever lessons the experience taught you, and move forward. Set your sights on the future, rather than dwelling on your present circumstances. The online business ecosystem is constantly shifting and evolving, and you never know when you might strike gold, so do not lose hope by dwelling in the past.

Look at the overall picture.

Online entrepreneurs who are emotionally intelligent will recognize situations that can elicit a negative response. These people know when to step back and look at the bigger picture every now and then. So, they understand that they have two options in front of them: Either they can improve the current situation, or they can keep it aside for later until they are equipped to consider it objectively and arrive at a more positive outcome. In this case, the best course of action is to balance your schedule with potential stressors as well as uplifting activities. Toeing the fine line between these two zones will eventually lead to maximum personal improvement and self-growth.

Serve others and sell more.

When you serve help, educate and inspire others with your knowledge and expertise, you draw them nearer to your business. So how can an online entrepreneur serve their prospective customers? Well, for starters, you can try social listening. This is a powerful tool that can help you monitor keywords and then notify you as soon as your services are required by some platform. You can serve others via the conversations and engagement you have on a regular basis. Remember, the more bridges you build between yourself and your customers, the more easily your business will evolve and adapt with time.

Train yourself to be emotionally intelligent.

The truth is that not everyone is emotionally intelligent. But considering the important role it plays in the success of your online endeavors, you should learn to develop your emotional intelligence. Be warned, however – though quite straightforward, the process might be time-consuming. Thus, entrepreneurs must be not only determined but patient as well.

An online entrepreneur must train their brain by practicing emotionally intelligent behaviors repeatedly. Doing so will help them build pathways that eventually transform their actions into habits. Pretty soon, they will be able to respond in a more emotionally intelligent manner in the online sphere. And this can prove to be a boon in the world of ecommerce, where you need to keep up with rapidly changing trends and pay attention to the needs of the customers in order to survive and prosper in the long run.


Image Credit: Eviart/Shutterstock
Guy Sheetrit
Guy Sheetrit Member
Guy Sheetrit is an accomplished Senior Executive with 14 years of success across the technology, marketing, and software development industries. With extensive experience providing customized SEO marketing solutions for Fortune 500 companies, he is a valuable asset for companies going through a marketing crisis or looking to grow their inbound sales leads. His broad areas of expertise include SEO, social media, internet marketing, B2B, B2C, brand development, online lead generation, reputation management, SaaS, and demand generation. Mr. Sheetrit is currently Founder and CEO of Over the Top SEO, a leading SEO agency that focuses on generating inbound business leads in the gig economy and digital world. He has been responsible for leading Over the Top to be ranked as one of the top three SEO companies by the New York Times. A game changer in the digital marketing world, Over the Top advises clients from startups to Fortune 500s on search engine marketing, web site traffic growth and UI, organic search rankings, and Pay Per Click revenue. Leveraging a staff with a coding background, he and his crew are well-positioned to help clients increase organic traffic to their websites by providing customized software automation to boost SEO and web traffic. He previously worked as Founder & Inventor for in Israel, a niche site that scans websites for SEO problems to generated a detailed SEO report on areas in need of improvement.