It is well-recognized that people do business with people they know, like and trust. Although it’s the third component of the equation, building trust is most critical. People first have to get to know you, either face to face, through online social networks, or through regular communication from you; grow to like you; then develop trust in you.
1. Building Relationships by Getting Others to Know You: Online marketing is more challenging because unlike face to face marketing where your facial expression, voice tone, body language, and even appearance are able to convey your message; online marketing is dependent on what you say and where you say it. “Where” is the easier part – it may be a static website, a blog, social networks like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, or other forums. “What” is harder! Why? Because every person who reads what you say can understand or interpret it in a different way. You could easily say something that in your view is funny but others read it and take offense. That’s why many people will add things like LOL, :), tee-hee, or other indicators of humor to help convey the tone of what’s been written.
2. Building Business Relationships by Getting Others to Like You: As you reveal your true self and become real to people they will get to know and decide if they like you. In all aspects of business, but moreso in online networking and marketing, it is very important that you show you care about others by offering your assistance and providing quality information when possible. This is part of the steps required to build lasting business relationships. In so doing, people who have never met you or are never likely to meet you will come to regard you as ‘the person next door’, the one they can look to for solid advice or recommendations.
3. Building and Improving Relationships by Getting Others to Trust You: Trust is not only a logical act but also an emotional one. In giving trust to others you may need to expose your vulnerability to others. Interestingly, some of the most successful internet marketers have stated that their list grew when they revealed a mistake they’d made or something that indicated they were not perfect and how they corrected it. Do you see how one action leads to the other? They trusted the ‘world’ not to ridicule their mistakes and the ‘world’ responded positively showing that they felt the inidividual could be trusted; they’re human just like all of us.
All forms of business and marketing present their own challenges. Understanding how to minimize the obstacles can help you to become more effective in building relationships in your online business and create a circle of success.