On “Wednesday is Friends Day” we typically talk about social media or even host an occasional guest blogger, but, since we’re discussing lead capture systems this month, today I wanted to share a few tips on how to strengthen the bond between you and your audience.
Once you have your free giveaway (or “ethical bribe”) created and set up to deliver via your auto-responder, you need to nurture the leads you’ve collected. This is done through follow-up emails, again delivered via your auto-responder. If you missed it, yesterday’s post shared how to set up an auto-responder.
The first set of emails sent to those who’ve entrusted you with their email address should introduce yourself to them. Let them get to know you. Let them learn to like you. And, most importantly, let them grow to trust you. I call these first 5-7 emails the Know-Like-Trust series.
Getting to Know You
Without being overly personal, give your audience a glimpse into your life. One of my friends has built a huge “tribe” by letting her followers get to know her dogs. She doesn’t share much about her personal life, but she and her dogs visit area state parks from time to time, so she shares pictures from their outings on her company’s Facebook page. On a recent hike, she called one of her dogs by name, and a woman who was hiking with her family immediately stopped and said, “Wow! I read all your Facebook posts!”
Because my friend let her audience in on a controlled portion of her personal life, she has become “real” to them. There’s no need to gush over every detail of your life. Trust me, people probably don’t care, and you don’t want to tempt potential stalkers. Choose something about you to share – like my friend picked dogs and hiking – and periodically include references to that aspect of your personal life through updates on Facebook, Twitter, and through your email marketing. It’s especially important to share a little personal info with your email list, because not only do you want them to get to know you, you want them to like you.
Learning to Like You
When people identify with someone else, they are more likely to like them. That’s one reason why it’s important to share a bit of your personal life with your readers. Another way people learn to like you is through your writing style. Make it conversational and let your personality come through in your blog posts. Let people know you’re a real human with real dreams and dreads.
Don’t whine and fuss, but it’s okay to once in a while share that you’ve had a challenging or stressful time in your life. Everyone can identify when “life happens,” and people like those they can identify with.
In your initial Know-Like-Trust email series, share a bit of “your story” with your readers. Why did you get in the business you’re in? What challenges have you faced and overcome? What are your goals for the future of your business? Keep it relevant to the reason they joined your list (to learn more about your industry), but keep it real, too.
Growing to Trust You
Consumers have become more and more skeptical in today’s market. It’s imperative for people to trust you. When you say you’re going to do something, do it. Be consistent with your email messages. Be consistent with your blog. This is an area I’ve struggled with, and it has honestly hurt my business. I’ve had good intentions, but I have let life issues creep in. Now I’m in the process of starting over in many areas.
Another way to get people to trust you is by providing valuable content. This is one area where I’ve had good success. I try to research and provide information that will help my readers, and because of that, I’ve had good response from the majority of them. I’ve worked to develop a reputation of someone who provides content my readers can trust.
Once you’ve introduced yourself and part of your personal life and shared your story, it’s time to include valuable content to your list. Give them things you don’t give to your blog or your Facebook page or Twitter followers. Make it special, just for them. Make it worth their time. Make them glad they’re on your list.
Only after you’ve put in the time to develop a Know-Like-Trust relationship with your audience will you be able to sell your products and/or services to them.