Are you serious about growing your business?
If so, you need to remember one key thing…
“Business is all about the relationships your create and the people you interact with.”
It’s so true that people are more likely to buy from you if they know, like and trust you. And of the three, likeability is probably the most important.
Which means, part of your job as an ambitious business owner, is to raise your profile amongst your customer base and identify ways in which you can build your liveability, credibility and authority.
Believe me, this stuff is just far too important to leave to chance and most people don’t put in the time or effort needed to get this powerful machine working hard for them.
And that’s where it gets interesting – because if you do, it’s a sure-fire way to outsmart the competition…
Now I’ve been doing a lot of work recently with customers who want to create copy that supports a relationship-building strategy IN ADDITION to their traditional sales-based content. And it’s working.
Not only are they enjoying different types of conversations with their customers, they’re also boosting their authority and building customer loyalty.
Could any of these ideas work for you too?
What strategies will you use to build relationships?
To get you thinking, here are my three favourite ways to build a strong relationship foundation that can pave the way for future sales…
Blogging works as a relationship builder for a number of reasons:
- It transforms your website into a useful resource – as opposed to a pure sales pitch
- It provides content for social sharing (key for boosting your organic SEO rankings)
- Comments can initiate 2-way conversations with your readers
- The right knowledge can help position you as an expert in your chosen niche
- It’s an effective way to share a bit of your personality and become more real and approachable
But to be successful with your blog, you first need to know what you want your blog to achieve and do for your business and brand.
BIG HINT: it shouldn’t only be about making a sale.
Next, you need to decide your publishing routine. Once a week is good enough for most businesses – especially if you’re short on time.
Finally, take the time to plan an editorial schedule. You’ll be less effective if you publish on the hoof. It’s far better to work out a list of posts for the next month and then timetable them into your work plan so they actually get written.
2. Email marketing
The fact is that most businesses don’t communicate with their customers nearly enough.
So tell me – what’s your excuse
Perhaps you’ve held back because you don’t want to be “annoying”, or maybe you just don’t have the time. But here’s the thing. If you show up in a sufficiently interesting way, and you get the balance right between the sales pitch and “value”/relationship building content, you’ll get far better results.
Email tends to be more intimate than a blog. And if you commit to sending value-added emails on a regular basis, you’ll stand out from all the other businesses who only get in touch when they have something to sell. In addition, these value emails are a powerful way to showcase your expertise and give your brand a bit of personality.
Autoresponder sequences are a really powerful tool that can reduce your workload and ensure you have an effective way to stay in touch with your audience – without having to do a thing (once you’ve written the series of course). If you want to see an example of this in practice, check out my 30 Days of Copywriting Love series. It’s FREE!
3. Printed Newsletters
Done well, printed newsletters are potentially THE most powerful tool you have at your disposal to build relationships with customers.
I’m doing a lot more work with customers these days who are reaping the rewards of creating kick-ass newsletters. Here’s an example of one I wrote for Print Guy.
And the key reason newsletters work is they’re NOT perceived as advertising. As a result your content is far more likely to be read.
Now you may be reluctant to even explore the newsletter concept. After all, they do take time to complete. However you can reduce your workload by working with a writer who can create the words for you. And you only need to start out small – perhaps four-sides of A4.
To succeed with a newsletter, it can’t be all “selly selly”. For example, if you do have a special offer to promote, add an insert instead of writing about it in the main publication. In addition, get the content right. If you publish rushed, poorly written articles, you could end up damaging your reputation instead of enhancing it.
If you want to learn more about how to create a newsletter, check out this Quick Start Newsletter Guide for Businesses from Newsletter Guy. It’s seriously awesome, and it’s FREE!
My challenge to you…
What else could you implement this month to nurture the relationships you have with your customers? Please let me know your successes by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by leaving a comment below.