Making a first impression is one of the few things in life that is completely in your control. Getting off on the right foot can lead to multiple benefits in future personal and business relationships. But how does this affect us when we communicate through digital media?

First impressions are just as important online as they are in person. The good news is many of the same tips listed here on how to impress someone in real life also work in digital world. The only problem: While you may have up to 30 seconds in person, you only have about 7 seconds when it comes to digital.

Therefore, here are 7 tips to impress someone online in 7 seconds:

  • Talk or type as if you’re talking to your BFF: When online, there’s a good chance you’re mostly likely talking to someone you don’t know – the more approachable you sound, the better the feedback you’ll receive.
  • Use humor: Just as you would in person, you can’t take yourself too seriously. Using humor will give you more appeal to a greater audience.
  • Be brief, and use sound bites: Nobody wants to stop and read something long online. Use sound bites – they work, and you can do less with more.
  • Use pattern interrupts: People who are online are usually scrolling through hundreds of messages at once. So how can you stand out? Interrupt with a question or an image, but do so in a pattern that makes sense.
  • Spark conversation: Shock jocks get it. Say something unexpected and provocative to gain attention online, but do so in a way that sparks positive conversation.
  • Strong message, but an open mind: People online are interested in what you have to say, but have no interest in being talked down to. Keep their interest with an open, yet strong, message.
  • Don’t take any connection for granted: Just as in real life, the next connection you receive may be the most important one – you can never know for sure.