By Bonnie Buol Ruszczyk
by Josh Chase, principal and product manager, Run Level Media
I’m constantly amazed at the lack of understanding by business owners when it comes to how to promote their business online. I suppose this is a challenging task, but doesn’t have to be if you understand your targets’ expectations.
I recently presented on this topic at one of the Atlanta Small.biz luncheons, and I learned a lot when preparing for that talk. Part of my process for any presentation is to record my thoughts and ideas as they happen so I can later put them into some sort of organized format. I highly recommend this tactic, whether you use a digital recorder, a smart phone or good old-fashioned pen and paper.
I also took a close look at how I act and converse with people online. I have multiple online personalities, including “Joshua Chase,” “Scattered Blogger” and “joshcaza.” Some may know me as one, while others follow me in multiple places. And while I often post on more personal and non-business topics, they all eventually lead to information on what I do professionally.
Being an entrepreneur and business owner, I find myself constantly researching and pondering the best approach to build new business. Typically medium and large companies have a marketing team, which provides collateral and resources to its sales team. We don’t have such a team. What we do have is our relationships and our reputation. So with this in mind, I’ve determined that there are three main ingredients to building solid, long lasting business relationships.
Embrace human interaction, whether it is in person or on the phone. Human interaction gives people the opportunity to “know” you. There is a human and emotional element in personal interactions that will allow them to grow to like you, and eventually grow to trust you. To have a successful business relationship, you must remember these three things:
- People do business with people they know
- People do business with people they trust
- People do business with people they like
Keep your digital presence consistent with your offline presence. Obviously there can be some slight differences, but ideally the persona that you have in person should match the one you have online. Often, as business owners, we feel compelled to rifle off our capabilities and hard sell what we do when we really need to listen and establish trust. Understanding the pain points of the businesses you are courting is more important than what your capabilities are. If you don’t understand what their business need is, your capabilities will fall on deaf ears.
Treat a business meeting like a cocktail party. Talk a little, listen a lot. Ask questions to familiarize yourself with what they do and what market and industry they target so you will understand if it’s appropriate for them to use your services. By learning as much as you can about them, you’ll have the information you need to build a case about how you can help them grow their business or provide a solution for a problem or need.
In the end, trust is what will foster success. Trust is gained by establishing an emotional connection through human interaction. So be human, not a resume.
URL for slide-deck – https://slidesha.re/eYUFNv