There are a lot of people out there trying to attract attention. Some people think that technology has made life impersonal – I don’t agree. I think it’s made it necessary for us to show our individuality and share some of ourselves so that people can get to know us.
We can now easily do global business, so if we’re doing business with someone in the US or Germany or China we want to know who they are. We can’t easily drop in for a chat. This means we need to be good at establishing relationships of trust through our computer screen.
Interact to Build Trust
This, I believe is behind the birth of Web 2.0 and interactivity on the internet. We want to know about other people – who they are, what makes them tick and are they someone we could do business with, socialize with, go on a date with, buy from. When people don’t know us, the way they find out what we’re like and whether they want to deal with us is partly through the words we write. They read our website content, our blogs, our Facebook comments etc.
Read Your Website Recently?
Boring web sites full of dry writing about your business or empty phrases just don’t cut it anymore. People want to know who is behind this business. Is it trustworthy? Do I like these people? Will they deliver on their promises? Who are they? Will they understand me?
Think about it – when you meet someone and they ask you about yourself or your business. What do you tell them? This is what needs to go on your website. What is it that you’re passionate about? Why did you start your business? How are you different to other businesses? Who are you? What’s the personality of your business?
How are you going to get this across to people?
5 Tips That Build Relationships and Boost Business
Here are five tips that will make your business writing reflect the new age of internet relationship building.
1. Be honest about who you are
If you/re a single home-based operator think carefully before pretending that you are a sizable business. I have gone onto ‘About Us’ pages where it’s talked about ‘Our Team’ and it’s obvious it’s just one person. There’s nothing wrong with that – be proud of being a sole operator with all the talents and skills that you need to do that.
2. Have a photo that looks like you
Not the glamour shots version or the one taken ten years ago! People want to see what the real you looks like right now. People aren’t looking to see if you look like a celebrity they simply want to know who you are and we recognise and relate to people by knowing what they look like. It’s as basic as that. Have your photo on your home page – it builds instant rapport.
3. Write in your own voice
Pretend you’re talking to the reader. People want to know what you’re really like. If you write in an academic, corporate way when you’re a fun down to earth person it’s not congruent – it doesn’t match. People will prefer the real you. You have a unique personality so share it with your reader.
4. Tell the story of your business
What made you set it up? What got you interested in the area? People like to know these things. Again they are the sort of things we ask people when we meet them in person.
5. Be transparent
This means be honest and prove to people they can trust you. Use testimonials, awards, association memberships, recommendations etc.
6. Use social media networks
These are the new ways people use to check people out, refer and build trust and networks. There are lots of them so it’s important not to get overwhelmed. Choose a couple that you like and contribute regularly. Get a Linked In profile and then choose a couple of other social media networks and contribute regularly. The regularity is what builds the trust.
7. Don’t forget that ‘snail mail’ still works
With so many emails these days, getting a letter in the post can be an effective way to reach someone. It has that personal touch that an email can never quite have.
Never forget that the most important asset in your business is you!