SUPER important. As bloggers and online business owners we have to show our trustworthiness very uniquely. It’s not always easy to show “Trust me” online, but there are ways we can do it.
Research shows we only have a few minutes to gain the trust of our customers and clients. Once they land on our website it’s up to us to help them believe in our products and services. It’s easier said than done, so I thought I’d offer a few ways we can start implementing these strategies for our business right away.
Be super honest
This is my first-and-foremost go-to strategy of all time. Seriously. If all else fails, honesty will not. You may have set yourself up as an expert in your industry, but folks can smell dishonesty from a mile away, which is why it is so important to remain true to yourself.
I know, I know- it’s difficult to see this play out in the business marketing world where it seems everyone’s credentials are over-the-top and egos are over-inflated, but there really are a segment of online marketers who believe in integrity and honesty. Make sure this is part of yourbusiness model and you’ll see great results.
Your client trust factor will go through the roof because you aren’t afraid to show your failures, your hangups, your hiccups, your uncertainties. Be approachable and relatable all the while offering great value. Which leads me to my next point…
Bring loads of value
Why do your clients love you? If the shoe were on the other foot and you were the client, why would you be interested in your own services? Do you see how you are bringing value to your clients? You can bring value in many different ways: through free information, helpful emails and follow-ups, phone calls and coaching sessions, webinars, a YouTube channel or a podcast, and of course, your blog.
Bringing value to your client will make a tremendous difference in your trust factor. They trust you because they love what you offer to them, and they trust your expertise. So don’t be afraid to bring it on!
Clients also love to know that you are stable. You’ll be there even if they don’t hear from you in a few weeks. You are around. You haven’t closed shop. You will contact them again and offer them more value. Stability means everything to your business and momentum will keep things alive and well for you.
When your clients know they can count on you to follow through on your offers or that you’ll do exactly what you said you would, they trust you even more. What’s great is you are likely to receive referrals as a result! What a great way to expand your business- by word of mouth. Stability will take you a long way.
Now, I’ll admit (in an effort to be more relatable and transparent) I haven’t always been as stable with this blog as I would have liked. I got busy and I just haven’t truly worked my blog like a business this past year. Sure, I was working on business activities and making money, but I could have done so much more with my blog…so I’m working to change that this year, and I am excited for what’s ahead!
Being a blogger means you need to find your tribe. What is a tribe? Your tribe is your network of followers: viewers, listeners, readers, that love you and what you offer. So yes, you have to know who your tribe is and get them on board with you! But, just how do you go about doing that?
Find your tribe through social networking. You’ll want to find like-minded peeps by checking in at social media groups and working those groups until you’ve gotten to know the people. I run two completely different niche blogs. So, in order to find my niche audiences I have to go where they are. For me, that results in a lot of time spent on Youtube, Facebook, and Instagram. I am also finding success with Pinterest and attempting to resurrect my Twitter. One of the best ways to find your tribe is to figure out where they are and go hang out with them. It’s only through socializing with your tribe that you’ll get to know them better and figure out what their needs are. This leads me to my next point:
Find your tribe by listening to them. [tweetthis]Find your tribe by listening to them.[/tweetthis]Your tribe wants to feel heard. If you spend your time where they congregate you’ll begin to hear their needs loudly and clearly. You’ll hear their complaints, their questions, their problems. You’ll figure out quickly what their needs are and get ready to serve them in a phenomenal way. You listen by congregating and connecting. Drop in and say hi to someone on Youtube and leave a comment on their video. See what folks are discussing on Instagram. What seems to be the greatest needs of your tribe as you listen to their questions on Facebook groups? Really listen to their problems and understand that you may very well have the solutions they’ve been waiting on.
Find your tribe by offering solutions.
What kinds of questions are others in your niche offering to their tribe similar to yours? Go read their blog posts to see some possible solutions based on theirs and gather some ideas for your own solutions. What can you offer to your own tribe that will solve their problems? This is what sets you apart from the others! When you have solutions to offer, you’ll begin attracting your best audience…and you will find your tribe!
Watch my list building video to understand why I believe it’s so important to get that list started if you haven’t already!
Why is it important to start your list building strategies?
You want to get your prospects coming back to your site over and over again. Repeat traffic is especially important in Google. Also, you’ll want to share your content with the same readers again and again who enjoy your offerings. If they’re on your list, you can let them know when you’ve come out with something new just for them.
Your list is your #1 asset. You can export and take this list with you to any mailing list provider, and this is your list. These are your followers, your interested subscribers. They absolutely want to hear from you because they signed up to do so. What if someone signs up just for your freebie and walks off? That’s okay, too. Count it as a loss worth the investment. You’ll have more people interested in your offerings than you will those who are just mooching off your freebies.
Lastly, in list building, you’ll want to be a solution. When building your list, remember the reason your prospects are signing up with their email. Not everyone is on Facebook or Twitter or Instagram. You can’t reach everyone through social media, but you can reach your true tribe of followers when you send them a personalized email. They signed up because they needed a solution to a problem. If you offer that solution, you will be a gem to them.
I hope these tips are helpful to you. I love bringing you tips that motivate and inspire you to keep on doing you, mompreneur!
I had the wonderful opportunity of interviewing Carol Dunlop, a social media strategist and web designer, on today’s podcast episode.
Who is Carol?
Carol Dunlop is a published author, web designer, graphic specialist, entrepreneur, expert blogger and social media strategist who mastered the tools of visual communication and design long before computers and the Internet became viable resources for small businesses. Drawing on over 20 years of experience working with nearly every web technology and design software, including good ‘ole pen and paper, she is able to take a simple thumbnail sketch or jumbled client notes and develop it into the creative project her client envisions. While taking a break from the web industry madness, she became her own best client for web design, development and marketing. She returned with a renewed sense of purpose and now shares her insider’s knowledge with small business owners who want to make their website a successful and profitable part of their business. Carol can frequently be seen, heard and read about in one of her numerous media appearances be it TV, radio, magazines or newspapers.
Our podcast conversation
One of her favorite quotes is by J.K. Rowling.
It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might has well not have lived at all, in which case you have failed by default.
How she got started in business:
She began her journey of entrepreneurship as a Mary Kay consultant.
Working with businesses with “champagne” ideas but with no budget, she decided to move on and feed her passions through a new venture which fed into CSI.
What exactly is a social media hub?
The social media hub is essentially your website. You need a centralized place to send prospects to your great content- which is home base.
What type of website is best for an entrepreneur (free, paid, static, or blog)?
Carol recommends self-hosted Wordpress. Free is not always the best because you can’t make money with your free WordPress blog. If you’re really serious, you should set up your company site using WordPress.
So be sure to figure out your goals and how you’re going to make money with your blog.
What are the best social media platforms for businesses to use?
Carol recommends that you have your business on Facebook. With over 1.2 billion people she believes you should not neglect this platform.
She also suggests that we use Twitter. She has met many of her prospects on this platform.
Thirdly, she highly suggests that as a business, you should be on Linkedin.
Pay attention to the culture of each, get used to certain platforms, then branch out into others.
Is email marketing dying out?
No, it’s not dead- and Carol says that if you build a loyal list it doesn’t matter if you have a smaller list. Engagement is key. Definitely email marketing is still alive and kicking!
What is the best kind of information to share?
You should share the information your audience wants to know about. Use surveys, ask them questions, and find out what they need.
As an information provider you become the source for your subscribers.
How do we find the time to post at our blogs?
You don’t find time- you make it. You’ll need time to research, write about, and post what your audience wants. Carve out time and use tools such as Hootesuite to help you schedule your social media postings.
Carol’s business challenges
One of her challenges is finding the time to work within her business while helping her clients plus balancing the time to keep up her own site content. It’s a juggling act but she is able to keep her vision going and help the visions of her clients’ businesses as well.
Favorite aspects of her business and what inspires her to move forward in business
She enjoys designing! She loves what she does, and she also loves getting paid! Helping her clients be their best also helps her to be the best she can be.
How she balances her business and her personal life
Diagnosed with breast cancer in 2011 while her husband also suffered a stroke the same year, she developed a resolve that she would not make any more excuses. She and her husband spend time together in the morning at the gym, she works, and when he returns from work they hang out together after dinner. Carol has developed a simple approach to life while living it to the fullest.
**Carol is offering a free social media marketing analysis
I had the pleasure of interviewing Jimmie Lanley and speaking with her about social media and her experiences as an entrepreneur and her appreciation of Google plus.
Who is Jimmie?
Jimmie Lanley co-owns a social media business, iHomeschool Network, that connects bloggers with each other in a supportive environment and connects bloggers to companies in mutually beneficial projects. She started 2014 with a radical decision for someone in the homeschool niche– abandoning her Facebook business page with over 10,000 likes. Instead, she and her network are investing where they see long-term results: weekly G+ Hangouts on Air, podcasting, Pinterest, and YouTube. You can connect with Jimmie on Google Plus or learn more about her professional services at jimmielanley.com.
What we talked about
We start off the show with an ice breaker. One of Jimmie’s favorite quotes is by Zig Ziglar.:
“There are no traffic jams on the extra mile.”
How Jimmie got started in online business. Jimmie is the mom of one teenage daughter. She got started in social media as a blogger which she believes has helped to consult with other businesses in social media.
Jimmie shares a few Google Plus nuts and bolts
Jimmie has over 44,000 followers on Google Plus! We talked about the different reasons Jimmie is attracted to this platform- including: privacy, idea-centeredness
What is Google authorship? Taking advantage of your introduction section on Google Plus+ is optimal.
We talked about some of the benefits of entrepreneurs using Google Plus.
The shelf life of Google Plus postings compared to other social media platforms.
What are Google Plus circles?
How can Google Plus help a business with online networking?
Jimmie also shares some tips on conducting and attending Google hangouts.
Jimmie shares about her business
One of Jimmie’s business challenges: work is seasonal for Jimmie’s business in a type of ‘feast or famine’ way. She also spoke about the discouraging aspect of having to convince companies of their need for her services. Through this challenge, she found that inbound marketing and content marketing has been much more helpful to her in bringing clients to her business who are already convinced that they need her services.
Jimmie’s favorite aspect of your business: she enjoys working one on one with clients. She also enjoys managing Google Plus pages for clients.
Jimmie’s inspiration that motivates and keeps her going with business is bottom line: making money. 🙂 She also has figured out a system to take care of herself and make time for her family and friends.
Words of encouragement/advice for solopreneurs: Get outside of your comfort zone, and just go for it!
Recently I wrote a post about overcoming business fears (especially for women and mompreneurs), and I felt that a great piggy back on this topic would be to explore some helpful tips on getting past the “I hate social media” mentality.
I don’t particularly love all aspects of social media, but I’ve found certain “hot spots” that have become my main hub and that I really enjoy using. At the moment, Google+ and Pinterest are two of my favorites.
When it comes to social media, here are just a few tips that may help you to navigate through all the preconceived notions that might turn you away from it.
Be willing to get out there.
If I had a dime for everytime I heard someone say: “But there’s too much to learn-and it’s a crazy madhouse out there in blogosphere world”, I’d be a rich lady.
The whole point is, if you don’t get out there and wade into the ocean of social media, you’ll never experience the fullness that being a business online can be. In other words, social media, despite its complexities, can be used to really give your business the boost it needs.
But you have to first be willing to first take off the skeptic lenses and try viewing social media from a different angle.
Getting out there doesn’t mean sink or swim. You don’t have to let social media overtake your life. Use tools like Buffer or Hootsuite to simplify tweeting and posting to your social media channels. Nobody expects you to be plugged in at your computer all day. You also don’t have to worry about your message getting drowned out with all the noise. When you’re first getting your feet with with social media your concern shouldn’t be how many others are already out there, but instead, to ease your way into the conversations and make room for your own message.
Getting out there means you reach far more potential customers with your message. The whole point of using social media for business is to make your message more visible and prominent to your ideal customer. You can’t make a message visible when you’re not involved and when you don’t have an account opened with Google+, Pinterest, LinkedIn, or Twitter, for example. Which leads me to my next point…
Be everywhere, but focus on a few places.
When I help clients gain visibility on the web, I personally encourage them to set up accounts in various places, grabbing up your company name and making sure you have ownership of your brand in places like Twitter or Facebook.
Even if you don’t plan to use many of these social outlets, at least be there. Have a presence everywhere, but only focus on being at a few places.
What I mean by that is- go ahead and set up your Facebook, even if you don’t utilitize it much. But if you enjoy using Pinterest, spend most of your time there.
So- have an account with your brand name present all over the web, but focus your energy on a few hot spots that make your time worthwhile.
Importance of using social media in business
Now that we’ve talked about getting past the initial fears of jumping in…how about we focus on some of the importance of using social media in business.
Raising awareness for your brand. You’ll soon find your digital footprint all over the world wide web once you begin utilizing social media- and that is exactly what you want. Of course, being sure to monitor the awareness to keep in touch with what your customers are saying is equally as important. But having those initial videos, podcasts, blog posts, tweets, and pins- when done correctly- are going to help your business tremendously.
Starting conversations related to your brand. This ties in quite well to my previous point, but you can really drill down and focus on the idea of starting conversations. After all, that’s what social media is about anyway. When you find a relevant conversation, hop in and join the discussion. When you’re not aware of one currently, then start your own and invite others to join in your conversation. This ultimately sets you up for success as your conversations lend toward establishing your expertise and gives your company the extra boost of awareness. It lets others know you have something valuable to share and that you can help solve their problems.
Participate in networking. As in the previous two points, you can see that virtual networking plays a major role in social media. Converse with your potential clients and customers, but also converse with those in your industry. Once you’ve chosen the social media platforms you’re most comfortable with, it’s all about starting up and joining in on conversations, and beginning to network with grace!
Has this been helpful?
What are your thoughts on social media and how it affects your business? Do you enjoy using social media or would you rather do without?
Hi, I’m Demetria– podcaster, blogger, and homeschool mompreneur of two beautiful daughters and wife to an awesome Navy officer. This blog is my outlet to share my love for helping women and moms start an online business with a blog. To learn how to start a blog you can read my book, take my course, or get coaching. I’m here to help you!