The Internet is great place for building relationships. Business relationships.
Building relationships, in turn, is about trust. Often trust and engagement go hand in hand. If you want a potential client to engage your professional assistance, build their trust. If you want a potential client to trust you, start by trying to connect with them. Here are 7 key principles to keep in mind.
1) Consider your voice. And use that voice consistently. You may work with clients who are dealing with difficulties or stressful matters. Accordingly, balance a voice that is both professional and welcoming.
2) Understand your platform. You may have a number of great articles but not much in the way of photo content when it comes to your expertise. Don’t feel like you ought to use photo based platforms such as Pinterest and Instagram just because they are there. This means you tax lawyers. Pick the channels that best allow you to add value to the viewer. If you are fantastic at writing, write a blog, or try tweeting.
3) Consistency. Similar to real life, you are more likely to gain trust by being consistent and reliable rather than flashy.
4) Add Value. While it is important to maintain a channel, don’t feel you have to post a blog/picture/tweet when you don’t have something valuable to say. Fewer well crafted blogs, newsletters, and the like may have more impact on your readers than several written just for the sake of producing content. Think about what your reader is looking for, and tailor your content to make it worthwhile for them.
5) Engage. Social media is social. Don’t be afraid to participate. If someone likes your Google+ post, or asks you a question over Twitter, write them back.
6) Pick your platform(s) wisely. You may be a wonderful photographer, but if you aren’t adding value to your clients, reconsider if the platform is right for you. Also consider how often you can engage meaningfully, and how often your viewers can listen. Just because you can write 5 blog posts a day, doesn’t mean you want to post to the point of saturating your viewers.
7) Search savvy. To help provide engaging and relevant content, search for terms common to your business or service. Social mention, and topsy, for example, allow you to see what is trending right now and can help you steer your next blog post. This will also help you avoid recreating existing online content.
While you may be hesitant to start because you don’t want to risk your reputation or use a social media channel incorrectly, keep in mind that you can start slowly and see what channel or strategy works best for you.