Regardless as to the product or service you think you are selling, the reality is you are selling trust. Yup… trust.
If people like you they’ll listen to you, but if they trust you they’ll do business with you. Zig Ziglar
When you are building your online Social Networking profiles, keep in mind your purpose and your message. You will likely be connecting with friends and family (social friends), but you will mostly be trying to connect with people who you want to engage and educate in an effort to eventually gain their trust and thus, their business. The business of selling trust entails putting yourself out there, in some instances, a little more then you may comfortable with.
People are cautious about how they spend their dollars – regardless of the status of the economy. If I am going to make a purchase, particularly for a service, I am going to be sure that it is with someone I have had several interactions, know (at least virtually) and trust as an expert in their field.
How is this done?
Yes, it really is as simple as sharing.
- Share your knowledge
- Share your passion
- Share your interests
- Share your thoughts
- Share your perspective
Pay attention to what is going on in your industry and fill your friends and followers in on it. Offer insights on how one can best take advantage of the newest gadgets, the latest trends, and how your services / products help them to do that. I am not suggesting that you create a blog post with the idea of blatantly advertising – but when people see that you are entrenched in what you do, when they know that you LOVE your job, they are captured by your enthusiasm and willingness to help them out.
Trust is a tricky thing – it can take weeks, months or even years to build it up… and be destroyed in a split second.
Monitor your profiles. If someone tags you in a picture or in a note, make sure it meshes with who you are and how you market yourself. Remove tags on photos that are less then complimentary or that you find somewhat compromising. My online philosophy is simple: Do not post up anything that you would not want your mother or grandmother to know about you. Stick to simple rules and you can not go wrong.
Many of my non-for profit clients are trying to get their message out to the masses to increase online (and offline) donations. Some target the big, one shot philanthropist, others go for the long tail and try to capture many little donations. In either case, trust is the first ingredient to success. If you are out there representing your NFP organization, it is twice as important that your profiles are spotless.
This isn’t to imply that you pretend you are not human. People love doing business with real people and real people have real interests, hobbies, jobs and families. Allow your profiles to reflect that; but not to the point where a friend of yours is posting up a photo of you face first on the street after having one too many.
Plan, share, educate, engage, monitor…
What is your plan on building trust with your connections?