We live in an ever-increasing digital world. We each have the luxury of accessing the world’s information from a computer at home. We can shop from home and have our purchases delivered. We don’t have to walk down the street to get the paper. We don’t have to go to the store. We’re turning into a world of hermits.
Yet, this goes against human nature. We crave personal relationships. We crave closeness. We crave trust. We crave intimacy.
Success in your business will depend greatly on your ability to create personal relationships with your customers, your prospects, even your online friends & followers.
Here are some tips on creating relationships online:
- Open Up & Let Go – Many of us like to be very private. The Internet affords us the ability to do a lot from the privacy of our own homes. Many of use don’t like to share deeply personal things with the word. But, if you want people to connect with you, they need to get to know you. You don’t need to share your deep dark secrets, but you do need to open yourself up and be a little vulnerable. Before a person can make a judgment on whether or not they like you, they need to have some information to base that judgment on. Use your blog and your social media accounts to help people get to know you.
- Don’t Take Yourself So Seriously – Yes, you’re in business. But, people want to do business with people, not businesses. Your business should be an extension of who you are as a person. Lighten up a little, let your hair down, and let people get to know the real you.
- Interact – Your online relationships, just like offline relationships, cannot be one-sided. And, they take time. Dedicate some time each day to respond and comment on your friends’ & followers’ posts. Let them know you care. Show them that you’re interested in them as people, not just as clients.
- Use Email Wisely – Although social media is growing like wildfire, and that’s where a lot of online interaction now takes place, email is still people’s inner sanctum. If someone is willing to give you their email address, they trust you. Or at least, they’re wanting to trust you. Use email wisely as a tool to inform, connect, and respond. If you abuse email, you’ll lose that trust.
- Be Consistent – I’ve made the mistake in the past of going dormant with my online activities for a while. When you do that, relationships dwindle quickly. Stay consistent in your efforts and in your communication with those you have relationships with. Don’t give up hope when you feel like you’ve blogged your last blog, you’ve posted your last update, you’re tired and worn, and no one online seems to care. Keep it up and eventually it will pay off.
What are you doing to build & maintain relationships with your clients? Share in the comments below.