Meeting new people in ‘the real world’, you quickly develop a sense of who they are, what they stand for and how a relationship with them can work to the benefit of you both; whether that is a new work colleague, a potential customer or a networking contact. You can build rapport over common ground and find ways that each can be of benefit to the other.
When you are building relationships online, the person to person interaction becomes at once more challenging and more important because you are taking part in it at one remove – your personality, abilities and trustworthiness need to be more apparent because the usual cues you rely on in person such as appearance or body language are not in front of you.
So how do you go about gaining that likeability and trust in order to build relationships that will lead to interest, loyalty and ultimately purchase?
To do this well and to do it consistently, you need to do the following:
- Listen to what your audience are saying – what they want, need, love
- Learn their values so that you can target your messages more effectively
- Constantly engage with people, both publicly and also privately as follow up
- Enable conversations between others and help them make contacts
- Provide or facilitate assistance – point out a helpful article from elsewhere, offer customer service
- Don’t expect immediate results
Cultivate your online relationships well and they will develop – into friendships, partnerships, customers – and it will also help you to learn and develop along the way.
I would love to how you build your online relationships and what works well for you – leave me a comment below.