Your content is good. You know your material. You know how to put words together in a way people want to read.
You’re nearly there.
But the game isn’t won yet.
No matter how strong a writer you are, you won’t grow the vibrant audience that supports your business until you fit one more piece into place.
Let’s take a look at what that might be …
The reality is, your audience won’t pick up real momentum until you’ve mastered the “know, like, trust” factor.
Face to face salespeople have known this for decades, but some content marketers are still struggling to get it right. Unlock this reader response for more comments, social shares, and followers. For invitations to guest post. And for a transformation in your blog, your business, and your reputation.
I hope so, because I’ve got 30 ideas for you …
10 ways to get known online
If you’re a Copyblogger reader, you know that high-quality content marketing attracts attention and builds your reputation — it lets people see who you are and why you’re worth listening to.
Your audience grows in proportion to the quality of content that you create and deliver.
How do you “become known?”
- Get clear on who you’re talking to: Don’t talk to “everybody”. Identify your buyer persona and tightly position your content for that buyer.
- Assert expertise in your niche: Use content to position and prove yourself as an authority. Give your ideas names and labels, and present formulas alongside empirical evidence. This approach has far more impact than simply spouting your opinion.
- Create the right content: Research, ask questions, and dig deep to ensure you create content your target niche wants to consume.
- Develop a valuable free product: Use it as an incentive to build your email list. Jon Morrow’s Headline Hacks is an excellent example. First discover what’s keeping your audience up at night, then offer a detailed solution packaged in an eBook, special report, or white paper.
- Encourage sharing to a wider audience: This expands your network and helps more people get to know you. Social media simplifies the mechanics of sharing, but to leverage its power you must be remarkable in some way … thought-provoking, engaging, stimulating, entertaining, etc.
- Build relationships with key influencers: In the authority stakes (as in all of professional life), who you know is almost as important as what you know. Use social networking and blog post commenting to attract the attention of influencers in your topic. Don’t be a suck-up, but do be smart and tactical. After all, you won’t be the only one vying for attention!
- Create a popular blog: Focus on your topic, express your personality, and use it as a base to express your unique perspective. Some great advice sites are out there to help you get better at this. I like Pushing Social and Boost Blog Traffic.
- Interview the experts. This proven technique lets you tap into the audience of an influencer (and cheekily position yourself with them).
- Guest blog: If you write articulate, interesting, and unique guest posts for relevant blogs, you can tap into a whole new audience. It’s the quickest way to get known by more people.
- Get creative: Content marketing isn’t all about the written word. You can explore webinars, product reviews, podcasts, infographics, white papers, ebooks, and video to name a few. What would appeal to your audience?
10 actions to build likeability online
Imagine two people with an identical product and an identical price.
One person comes across as boring and impersonal. The other is charming, interesting, and makes you feel good. Which one would you rather do business with?
A high profile alone is not enough to convert prospects into customers. You must also build relationships to nurture your likeability.
Here are ten ways to become better-liked online …
- Be authentic and express your unique voice through your content.
- Be real: If you come across as a dull, faceless company you’ll simply turn people off. Instead boost your popularity by writing with passion, sharing your stories, and getting personal.
- Be nice! It sounds obvious but unfortunately it isn’t. Don’t annoy or badmouth people. Be helpful, responsive, and generous with your time and your attention. Your audience will love you the more for it.
- Initiate a two-way conversation: Invite your audience to engage and interact with you. Invite comments on your blog posts and ask questions in your autoresponder sequence.
- Be relevant: Listen, research, and ask questions to discover your audience’s pinch points. Package your ideas into thought-provoking blog posts, share solutions on a webinar, or drip ideas through an autoresponder.
- Be visible: While the written word is powerful, it’s not the whole package. Incorporate video interviews, Google+ hangouts, and podcasts into your content marketing strategy. Allow your audience to hear you speak and see your body language.
- Put your face to your name: Remove the egg from your social media profile, display an engaging picture on your website, and tell your business story in a captivating way on your About page.
- Get your social media ratio right. Remember the 95% relationship building, 5% selling formula.
- Be generous: Share content and promote other people. Don’t expect people to share your stuff if you don’t demonstrate a commitment to do the same.
- Deliver social proof: If your numbers are good, show the tweets and shares of your articles or publicly state your subscriber numbers. Content that has attracted a lot of attention will attract even more.
10 factors that build trust with your audience
While you’re delivering your truly valuable content, you’re not selling, but you are paving the road to eventually selling a product that’s related to your content down the line. When it comes to selling online, authority and likeability alone are rarely enough — you need to become truly trusted.
Here’s ten ways to gain trust online …
- Give away (some of) your best stuff: The web is swamped with free content. If you want to stand out, even your free offers must be remarkable.
- Don’t disappoint: If you say you’ll post an article every day, post an article every day. Break your promises and your credibility evaporates.
- Be consistently good: Train your audience to expect a certain level of quality from you and constantly deliver. When you do, they’ll come to you first rather than going elsewhere.
- Incorporate testimonials: Let a third party vouch for you by sharing their experience of your work in their own words. It’s a great way to demonstrate how you deliver a positive experience.
- Use case studies: Real-world stories give examples (and proof) of your work and demonstrate your capability.
- Don’t steal: While it’s wise to be open to ideas that you tweak to make your own, never plagiarize. It’s wrong. (It’s also stupid and counterproductive.)
- Avoid jargon and pompous language: Keep it simple, be approachable, and cut the rubbish. We have inbuilt BS detectors and are adept at sniffing out the bad eggs.
- Apologize when you need to: You’re not always going to get it right. When you make a mistake, put your hand up, acknowledge the error, and state plainly that you’re sorry. Your audience will respect you far more than that futile attempt to hide it away.
- Give your audience space: Use content to allow your audience to choose you — in their own time. Whether they come to you in a day, a week, or a decade, you’ll get far more respect than that sleazy salesman who just won’t go away.
- Offer guarantees. When your audience is ready to buy, reduce their risk. For example, offer a 30-day trial, or money back guarantee. Your sales will benefit.
Over to you …
When you combine the elements of know, like, and trust to your content and actions, magic ignites. You become an authority on your subject, and you build a tribe of fiercely loyal followers who can ultimately become loyal customers.
But results like these take time and effort. You need to put the work in — to fight hard for your space. And you can never give up.
How about you?
About the Author: Georgina El Morshdy is a UK copywriter and content marketing consultant at Gem Writing. You can also catch her at the Micro Business Hub where she helps busy micro business owners grow their business with ideas that work.