Building relationships with your clients is probably an important first step that you have overlooked.
As a consumer, nothing is more frustrating than meeting someone, and within 0.05 seconds they are already trying to sell their product!
We are all exposed to hundreds of ads on a daily basis between billboards, pop-ups, commercials; it is no wonder that we become so turned off anytime someone takes this approach.
So slow it down girl!
I mean right now. Slow. It. Down. Take a second to think about people that you have bought from in the last year. Chances are you had seen them around for a while. They share their experiences, their life, and weren’t pushing their sales on you. They were, and are, being real people.
In a world filled with ads, it is important to be more than just a commercial for your business. You need to build people’s trust, share who you are, and create a friendly relationship before even stepping into the client/servicer roles.
In a world filled with constant ads, it is important to be more than just a commercial for your business.
You don’t want to be fishing for your ideal customer, that’s a lot of work! It is better to build up a brand, a community, and a fan base where your followers are reaching out to you.
Keep in mind that you are the expert, and have exactly what they are looking for because when you get to know them (I mean really know them) you will know their needs!
So you may be asking, “Really? That’s it? What’s the catch?”
The catch is that building a strong community takes time. Like, a lot of time.
My suggestion? Get into a headspace where it isn’t all about the sales. You should want to reach out to these people because you genuinely want to get to know them, and help them in a way that no one else can. It is fundamental to be passionate and motivated about your work or else it turns into a lose-lose situation for both you and your clients.
You need to build authentic relationships and make real connections.
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Why Are These Relationships Important?
You might be asking yourself, “Why do I even need to start building relationships with clients? Will this really make a difference? I’m in a unique market…etc”
My answer will always be, “Yes, yes this will make a difference!”
Going back to our roots, (I mean way, WAY back) social connections were critical for survival because people brought different skills (craftsmanship, hunting, cooking, etc.) and had to work together for the greater good of society.
Even though technology has brought us a long way, and is able to keep us alive much longer than ever before, we still have this innate need to be a part of a community. We want to belong somewhere, be a part of something greater than ourselves, and just be social! We want to connect and share with lots of other people.
This is why the internet and social media are BOOMING! We are able to socialize unlike ever before, and this is your opportunity to make your voice heard.
How to Build Authentic Relationships
Trust is one of the most important factors as to why clients will choose you instead of your competition! People want to be reassured that they are buying a legitimate, high-quality product or service.
A great way to build trust is to share part of your life online. You don’t have to expose your deepest darkest secrets, but people want to know that you are an actual human being who deals with the same problems as the rest of us.
Having an online presence is also useful in that you can share what you sell in a non-salesy way. One way of doing this is by telling a story about how you got from point A (where your customers are) to point B (where you are now), and mention the product you have created to help with that transformation. Story telling is a powerful strategy when put together correctly.
It’s important that once you build the trust of your audience, you continue to maintain it. Not everyone is going to like you or your business and that is okay. The point here is to be yourself, and attract the people who are attracted to your brand. DON’T try to be everything for everybody because this will come off as fake, inauthentic, and untrustworthy.
Ways to Build Trust:
- Show behind the scenes content on social media
- Share a real-life story
- Give your audience snippets of information about you (TV shows, food favorites, City, State)
- This is all information people will use to find a connection with you
- Set expectations (with your email subscribers, FB Group, etc.) on what to expect from you
- – stick to those expectations!
- Admit when you’re wrong, and make it right
- Always speak positively about other people and avoid gossip
Build A Community
Communities can be difficult to manage, but they are so worth it. The connections made in strong communities are priceless. Through communities, people are able to have more access to the information they are looking for.
People want to be a part of a group of others who are like-minded. They want to share their own stories, and make relationships. They want to know that they matter.
If you aren’t already a part of a community (online or in-person), I highly suggest joining one as soon as possible. Joining a community can be beneficial to your business, and can show you how you may want to build your own.
Related: How To Make Friends As An Introvert
How Do You Want To Thrive?
Take The Quiz.
A great community I know of is The Rising Tide Society, and there are in-person meetups in cities all across the country!
While having your own community can bring financial income, the focus should be on helping your audience by connecting them with one another. #CommunityOverCompetition
Remember, the lonely caveman rarely eats.
Facebook groups are often the go-to because almost everyone has an account, and it is easy to post questions, topics of discussion, and share your own expertise. You can also host live workshops, and promote events.
Other ways to build a community are to:
- Create a subscription-based community through your website
- Host events in your area
- Create a newsletter through email and feature members
No matter how you form your community, the one thing that they do have in common is YOU.
Allocating time for engagement is what most people don’t do. They don’t take the time to get to know their audience enough to know how to serve them. You need to schedule out time dedicated to connecting to others. It could be as easy as 15-30 minutes a day.
This connection can be found in many ways such as:
- Asking questions in social media posts
- Replying to comments
- Answering emails
- Doing a live workshop
- Liking their posts
- Giving shoutouts to followers
- Reposting when your audience features you or your business
People love the recognition, and it goes a very long way. Even if they aren’t interested in what you are selling now, down the road they will remember that you remembered them.
To give is to receive; am I right? As you connect with your audience and other people in your niche, it is important to continue to be supportive to one another.
You never know what someone is going through, and how a simple act of kindness can go a long way. This is really easy to do in a community setting, but is totally possible if you are not quite there yet!
- Repost their content and give shoutouts (without needing them to do the same)
- Give recognition when they have done something awesome
- This could be something as simple as featuring them in your next email blast
- Reach out when they share something more personal
- Give comments and likes
- Lend a hand or show empathy in times of need
- I saw an incredible amount of support during Hurricane Florence. People were donating food, water and even shelter. Even if you don’t have the resources to do this, you can always show support by letting them know that you are thinking of them and follow up to make sure they are okay.
Express Admiration and Appreciation
At the end of the day, without your audience, you wouldn’t be able to do what you do. They are the ones who help you to reach those milestones like 100,000 subscribers, a $10,000 course launch, or 1,000 people on your email list.
It is important to always recognize this and to stay humble. After all, even if you had the best designs in the world, they would be worth nothing without your customers’ testaments.
It’s much better to be in a business of great service instead of great sales. Service sells itself. The income is nice, but the relationships are what make all of the time and effort really worth it.
There are so many ways to express your appreciation, but here are some of my favorite:
- Host giveaways
- Dedicate a post or product
- Reply to comments
- Say thank you
- Do a discount/sale promotion
The only way to build your business is to authentically create awesome relationships with your customers. Your mindset should be on spreading your message, and the traffic will follow.
It’s not about throwing out a line and hoping anyone will bite. It’s about speaking to your people who want to know all about you. They want to know that you are trustworthy and genuine. Clients want to be recognized and supported, and they just want to be a human sharing their story with another human.