We’ve all got that friend who dominates conversations talking about themselves. You love that person because they are your friend, but you end up tuning out half of what they say because you are tired of hearing about them all the time. Brands and businesses can get the same reputation. It is important to balance your marketing between keeping your customers informed of important things like sales and new products with providing value-added content for them (which can be, but isn’t always self-promoting). Makes total sense, right? So how do you do it?
- Give it some time. Remember that most people will not become your client or customer the first time they interact with you. Don’t get discouraged if you create what you think is a brilliant post and people don’t come knocking down your door.
- Earn your customer’s trust. Most people decide within the first 5 minutes of interacting with you or your brand whether they trust you. If all people hear from you is self-promotion and sales pitches, they won’t believe that you have their best interest in mind. They are less likely to trust you. If they don’t trust you, they won’t be your client or customer.
- Provide value-added content to your followers. Uh, what? You are an expert in your field. Help your customers, even if it means that they don’t become your customer right now. For example: I make money managing business’ online presence. I also use my social media platforms and my blog to tell people how to do my job. I don’t worry that I’m going to put myself out of business. I want all businesses to be successful, so I’m going to share all the tips and resources I can. One day, they might decide to hire me because they don’t have time to manage their profiles on their own. Or one day they’ll be successful because some of my advice helped them grow. Both are wins. If you’re a glass half full person like me, you’ll see this as an investment, rather than a gamble.
- Thank your customers. There is so much competition in the business world and your customers have a lot of choices when it comes to selecting which business they want to support. Let them know that you don’t take it lightly that they have chosen you. People love to be thanked and recognized, so next time you get a new client, tag them on social media and thank them for their business. If you have a store front, take a picture of them with a new item they purchase. A little thanks goes a long way.
When you keep your customer at the center of your decision making (yes, even your decision of what to post online!) you will earn your customer’s trust, showing that you want more than just to sell your product or service. Provide helpful information: if you have a carpet cleaning business, write a post about the best secret ingredient for getting grass stains out. Finish the post with a subtle call to action like “If your stain is being stubborn and x ingredient doesn’t work, give us a call. We’ll help you eliminate that spot!”
Recruiting new clients/customers is hard. It takes time to cultivate relationships. Each time you sit down to draft a blog or post on social media, consider what your customers want to see before you think about the agenda you have to promote. I promise, it’ll pay off.
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