When trying to build an online relationship with prospective customers or clients, overcoming the distant, impersonal nature of internet communication is a daunting challenge. However, when you make your content personal you go a long way to overcoming this challenge. In other words, if you wish to achieve your online marketing goals, you must Share Yourself; Show Yourself; and Shed Your Fear of doing so.
Explaining who you are to the prospect is the first step in building a more personal online relationship. Sharing your values and ethical standards, as well as the life experiences which helped you form them, is critical in building an ongoing, long distance relationship with your prospects. Your education and work experience are also valuable information to share, illustrating your expertise in your chosen subject.
Beyond these, the reasons you began your business as well as your goals in doing so, will also help your prospects to understand and trust you. Allow them to form a picture in their minds of who you are and what your business can offer them. Help them to understand why doing business with you will benefit them.
You do not have to become their friend, that would be presumptuous, but it would help if they didn’t dislike you too.
Once they’ve formed a mental image of you, allow your prospects to “meet” you, virtually, by showing yourself to them with imagery or video. Put a face to the name, and the identity you are building, and they will think of you before your competition.
If you want to be The Guy they go to when their needs coincide with the benefits you offer, having a picture of you in front of them, as well as in their minds, will only enhance this.
Please remember to keep your imagery in context. A shot of you water skiing in your Speedo would probably be inappropriate for a legal services website.
Shed Your Fear
Shed the fear of revealing a bit of who you are to strangers. It does not pay to be shy when marketing yourself or your business, your products or services, online. Overcoming the quite natural fear of putting yourself out there for strangers to judge is critical to the success of your online marketing campaign.
Remember, these people are strangers. Their judgment of you means nothing, except how it affects your online business relationship. Some will dislike you, but some will love you. If you truly believe that what you have to offer is special, that your product or service is unique and has value, then you must force yourself to bring it to the public. Don’t worry, it gets easier over time.
Once again, don’t overdo it with the personal information. Confessing to a long stint in rehab may not be the most effective trust-building tool.
The most effective online marketing strategies will always involve a personal touch. If you appeal to your prospect on a person-to-person level; if you share yourself, show yourself, and shed your fear, you will always be much more successful in your online marketing efforts.