If you’re not getting business from your online efforts, you are probably not developing those relationships properly. Developing relationships online is very similar to how you develop relationships personally. However, I have had people say with regard to social media, “I don’t want to be everybody’s best friend on social media. I don’t have time for that, seems like a burden and I don’t like these people.” That attitude will set you back.
You don’t have to have to spend the time investing in every single person and go visit their grandmother in the hospital. Yes, that’s what a dear friend would do. Rather, online relationships are more about understanding what these people deeply desire and why they spend time online. Ideally, you take the time to learn about your audience and what you can help them with and how you can do it. How can you serve them and build credibility and trust with them by addressing what is important to them?
Relationships are built on four things:
(1) Trust Building
(2) Rapport Building
(3) Finding Their Crave
(4) Building Your Tribe.
So how can you do those four things really well in a somewhat repetitive manner without leaving people feeling like they’re a number? It’s a delicate art, and it’s not easy.
Over the next 4 weeks, we’ll be exploring how you can build relationships online, and spread the word about your business! Today, we’re covering one of the building blocks of the internet: Content.
Using Content to Build Trust
When I consult with clients we dive into questions like:
- What’s your communication style?
- What are the needs of your clients?
- How do they like to be communicated with?
- What are they engaging with online?
The goal is to meet them in the middle so that everybody feels good and you’re not expending the energy that’s draining you and you’re building a relationship that they feel is valuable.
When you’re starting an online relationship, you don’t have the ability to just ask what your audience needs. Instead, you need to research your audience, find ways to understand their needs in a broader context, and start by addressing those. One of the best ways to do this is through content marketing.
How To Use Content Marketing
To start the relationship building process powerfully, start by giving. Online the easiest thing to “give” is content. What you produce online says a lot about your expertise, and it’s a great way to get people to start to notice you. In fact, content is so powerful that content marketing is a strategy used today by companies from startups to Fortune 500s.
What does content marketing mean?
Content marketing is the process of producing information that you’re an expert in, which offers value to somebody. That content can include:
- How-to articles
- Opinion Pieces
- Comparisons Between Tools/Services,
- Before and After Inspiring Stories of Transformation,
- Case Studies, Statistics and Corresponding Infographics,
- Entertaining or “Edu-taining” Tutorials
- And MORE!
There’s a whole host of content that you can create that a particular audience sees as valuable. Each type of content addresses a different user “need,” and they should be paired with whose and how you want to capture attention.
How Content Builds Relationship
One of my colleagues, Christina Hills, teaches people how to develop WordPress websites. She once created a video where she pretended she was Julia Child, and she did a video on how to cook a blog. She included steps you need to take to set up a WordPress site using analogous kitchen items and food. It was informative and entertaining, and something that people could connect with. Her audience got to know her personality while getting a foundational understanding of what a blog is.
Then she was able repurpose that video over and over and over into her blog, offer snippets on Instagram, and put it on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube natively.
Content serves its purpose when someone who just watched it says “I understand a little more about creating a blog site, who this woman is, and that she has this expertise and she’s fun.” There’s a relationship just by her bringing out a part of her that likes to act.
If you don’t like to act that’s fine. There is something you do well or naturally that’s “you” and that people like you for that you can incorporate to bring your expertise online. It could simply be just sharing your top tips in a blog, in a downloadable PDF, or even in a video. There are tons of ways to bring out that content and then it’s about getting the word out about it, using your email list, using your social media, and tribes like Social Buzz Club.
Online Relationship Building Keys
By now you’ve learned the importance of content for building online relationships. We’ve covered:
- The importance of giving
- That content must offer value
- That content gives readers the chance to get to know you
Next week, we’ll be talking about building a rapport one-on-one. If you want to learn more about building a content strategy, you can email me or come over to socialbuzzclub.com, I’m also on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. Let’s connect!