Service businesses often strive to be everyone’s friend. The customer is always right. “Everybody” is a potential customer.
But the longer you’re in business, the more you define your ideal clientele, the more you realize that way of thinking is flat-out wrong.
You’ll never get everybody to like you. You’ll never be everyone’s friend.
Just like you’ll never make every customer who walks through your door fall in love with you.
Some customers do. Some customers become raving fans. They’re the ones you work hard for.
And some customers you’ll never please. Everything goes wrong with the transaction. Mistakes happen. They leave unhappy, ready to tell the world. And there’s very little you can do to change it.
So why worry about those few? It is human nature.
But if you focus on the ones you connect with, you’ll learn to be more likable. Everything you do online will have more meaning, because you’ll be focusing in on the ones that truly love you.
People have choices today. In seconds, they can type in Google and find several other sites just like yours to do business with. It’s easy to find your competition. Price wins every time when it all comes down to a search.
That’s why it’s your job to make sure it isn’t just based on search. It’s based on opinions too.
That’s where your online content can shine. What you say online matters. How you say it matters too. People love when you “speak their language.” When they feel you “get them”, they are more likely to stick around.
And that can mean trying a few out-of-the-ordinary things.
A lot of business owners and managers still think they are separate from their brand. Nothing is further from the truth.
Consumers want to buy from a person. Even when they know it’s a very large corporation.
Why? Because they feel like they can get answers from Jeff Bezos. From Amazon? That’s a tougher, uphill climb.
Of course, Amazon is a very large company. And while your company might not be that big, you can learn some valuable lessons from them. You can use their rules of engagement and apply them to your own online business.
It doesn’t have to be you at the top that communicates with your audience. But you better have someone in place who does. Someone that creates blog posts, shares things on Twitter and Facebook, comments when people leave reviews, and fixes things before they turn into larger problems.
Why? Because people care. People carry around their mobile devices from the moment they get out of bed in the morning, until they turn out the lights late at night. They are also “checking in,” finding out what people say, connecting, communicating. And they notice when companies engage – and when they don’t.
Always Think About Value
Being likable doesn’t mean you have to turn your online presence into reality television. You can still separate business from personal. You still should focus in on marketing and sales.
Ever heard of the 80/20 rule? Then you know 80 percent of your efforts often go to just 20 percent of your customer base. Your job as a marketer is to turn that around.
Find out what works for your audience. How can you reach out to them and speak to them in a language they love? Then keep doing that, over and over again.
You might be able to do that with your emails, for example. It’s a great way to deliver content to those that want it most.
If email works, work hard to build your email list.
That starts by building a landing page telling visitors exactly what they’ll get when they sign up.
Then it takes lots of traffic to that landing page to build your numbers. You have to hit hot buttons. You have to be likable to the people you’re driving there. You have to reach out to them where they congregate online. That might be through a Google ad, or a Facebook ad, or simply content ranked well because it’s received careful SEO tactics.
You take them by the hand, speak to them, lead them where you want them to go, and get the sale in the end.
Don’t Forget The Online World Is Changing
That seems like a fairly simple idea, doesn’t it? Of course, we know online is changing. We see it every day. Baby boomers don’t use the internet the same way as millennials. Generation X doesn’t shop the same way as Generation Z.
That means you have to cater to different customer bases in different ways.
And the easiest way to do that is with content.
Yes, it still starts with content. That means creating blog posts that are SEO focused and traffic-driven. You have to touch on the topics people want to read about. You have to provide high-quality copy that people really want to share. And once you have that sitting on your site, picked up by Google, helping you come up high in what people are searching for most, then you use that same content to reach out to people in different ways.
Write conversationally. Like this post. Your content should not only have something to say, but also say it in a way that makes people want to read more. People don’t want another boring article. Yawn! Instead, they want to be educated in a fun way.
That means reading something that makes sense – no more writing solely for keyword placement where you write the keyword, over and over and over again.
It also means using fun things along the way. If you find a funny video, use it. Make your own if you’re able. Create a meme. How about an infographic? Or just use a really great photo, and share it because it’s the fun thing to do. Cat photo, anyone?
Of course, you shouldn’t just do this randomly. You should have purpose in mind.
That’s where your online strategy comes into play.
You do have one, don’t you?
If not, maybe it’s time.
We can help with that. We’ve helped a lot of companies just like yours navigate this new world. The online world where you have to work to be likable, you have to create an audience that loves what you do.