Perhaps you’re a small business and you don’t quite know how to make that personal, emotional connection with others. Ted Rubin, acting CMO of Brand Innovators, has some creative ideas for you.

Rubin learned one of his earliest lessons about making a personal connection right out of college when he landed his first sales job. His father asked him when his first meeting was, and what time he planned to get there. He said 10 a.m., and that he planned to get there 5 minutes early.

“He said no, get there at 9 o’clock. Walk around the neighborhood. See what restaurants and other businesses are there. Go in the building. If you can get his or her assistant or secretary to see you in his office, you can see what are the photos on the wall? Where did he go to college? Does he like golf? Is he a grandfather or father? This is a way to create a point of personal connection, and emotional connection.”

Get personal on social media

Rubin said when it comes to social media, it’s wise to ask your employees to visit your customers’ Facebook® pages, Twitter® handles, and Instagram pages and see what they’re talking about. “Make comments that are relevant to them, not necessarily relevant to you. This stuff is not rocket science, but nobody’s doing it.”

He also encourages small-business owners to post about their personal lives on social media. “Stop thinking I want to keep business and personal separate. It’s not separate anymore. If you’re a small business, let people know that you have a family and that you care about them. People want to know who you are as a person. But more importantly, you’ve given them a personal connection. You’ve given them a way to talk to you.”

Ask him about his socks

Rubin has another trick up his sleeve … actually, up his trouser leg.

“I like funky socks. I’ve been wearing them for years. This started 6 years ago at a blogger conference where a blogger took a photo of my socks, and the next day everyone wanted to know, ‘What socks are Ted wearing today?’ I’ve been posting them almost every day from then on (check them out at #tedsockie). I have CEOs of Fortune 500 companies walk up to me in the lobbies of New York City buildings. They’re on their way to a meeting and they see me and they say, ‘It’s Ted Rubin. Come here! I have to take pictures!’

“People say who cares about your socks? What I’m doing is creating an easy way to start a conversation with Ted Rubin. They don’t have to think, what was his last talk? Or what did he say? All they have to do is remember that I like socks and the conversation starts.”ATTsmallbiz 2

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