Building my care business and subsequently, this coaching business has been on the back of my relationships. The word “relationship” extends to friends, family and beyond. It’s harder to network in person these days, and even if it weren’t for the current circumstances, it’s often difficult to find the time. However, I’ve come to find that there are a variety of ways to attract, engage and retain those who become my advocates, or as I prefer to call them, my true fans.
These are the people who build you up, support you and shout about your business. They could be customers or other business associates you work with or people who’ve met you in person. Whoever they are, they are the champions for your brand.
How do you go about finding these people once you’ve exhausted your immediate fanbase of nan, partner, best friend and pet dog?
Create Valuable, Relevant Content
People find you through the content you put out on social media, your website and downloadable resources. Use social media to promote the great content that links back to your website to help people get to know you. This is where your nan and best friend can help. If they share with their following, you’ll get more eyes on your posts.
While it’s good to share other people’s content too, if you only ever share posts instead of creating your own content, no-one will visit your site or get to know you as an expert in your own right.
Offer a Little of Yourself
I used to be very cynical sharing what was put to me as “emotional content’. I thought I’m not going to sit there crying on camera. Then it was put to me in a different way by a lady I met on a retreat. She said, “People don’t want to hear your knowledge, but your opinions and experience.”
That shone a different light on it. She wasn’t talking about being emotional but offering personal stories that resonate. They would rather read a story than be told lots of facts, so now I always share things that have actually happened to me. Lots of business owners relate to my reasons for franchising my business because they are going through the same hurdles and they learn how I have overcome mine.
I also share some of the things that haven’t gone so well for me as people need to relate to humans. No-one is perfect. It’s okay to show a little chink in your armour now and again.
Stand for Something
There are lots of companies out there wanting to make a quick buck and only care about the bottom line. Companies that demonstrate their ethics attract people who share those same ideals, even if that company charges more than a competitor who doesn’t support any cause.
It’s therefore essential you make it clear what you stand for and why. This should be obvious on your marketing, in your tagline and in your social media posts.
I don’t just help people franchise their business to make more money, I solve a problem for business owners who have no time to spend with their families any more.
Get Other People’s Input
When you add a new service, create new marketing materials or change the colour of your logo, ask people what they think. This shows their opinion matters to you and is a great way to know, like and trust them.
This is an example of the Benjamin Franklin effect that suggests you get someone to like you by asking them a favour. This comes from a story in the politician’s own life when he asked a political rival if he could borrow a book in his collection. After this event, the two men, in fact, became firm friends – The rival thought well of Franklin after having helped him.
“He that has once done you a kindness will be more ready to do you another, than he whom you yourself have obliged.”
You can read about Franklin’s story and the psychology behind it here: https://effectiviology.com/benjamin-franklin-effect/
Look for In-Person Opportunities
Find reasons to meet people in person and make connections, as long as you feel safe doing so. Attending networking events regularly means you become a familiar face and people feel comfortable talking to you.
Other ways you can spend time getting to know new people are:
- Retreats – These can be in Bali or 20 minutes’ drive from you home.
- Coffee meetings with people in online groups you’re a part of.
Recognise Your True Fans Personally
If there are people in your Facebook Group who are really engaged, then send them a private message to connect with them one to one. Send them a Thank You card if they’ve done something kind for you. It goes a long way to cement a positive relationship.
Recognise Fans in Your Facebook Group & Page
Make a public post acknowledging their achievements and successes. Invite them to feature on your site as a testimonial, success story or a guest blog. Also, share their content and encourage them.
Invite People Behind the Scenes of Your Business
We’re curious creatures by nature, and as such, we love to see what other people’s lives are like. Share glimpses into your business and home life so that people feel you are open, honest, authentic and approachable. It may seem like cheating, but showing off your working from home setup, preferably with a dog, is enough to get you some likes. It worked for me.
Offer a VIP Option
Reward your fans by inviting them to a VIP group or give them a special reward, such as extra content, money off, invites to a private webinar, a free consultancy call. We live in a society that rewards new customers, but those that reward people who’ve stuck by you are few and far between.
Acts of Generosity
Time is the most important thing you can give someone else. Take the time to help people out in private and public forums. Give something away for free if you want to demonstrate your value to potential new fans.
These are just some of the things that have worked for me. What ideas have worked for you?
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