How hard is it really to be human online? If you ran a brick and mortar business, wouldn't you be personable and friendly to everyone who visited your store? Why should you be any different with your e-store?
It is so easy to hide behind internet store front and remain nameless and faceless. But it isn't prudent.
Take some time to walk out front door of your e-business occasionally, too. Remember green grocer sweeping his store steps? You should do same. Visit with people online who are part of your same community. Communicate through email, networking, even making phone calls. Get out of your store and into your neighborhood! Be human online.
It is so easy to not be human when doing e-business. And it costs you so much business not to be human.
The next time you read an article or observe a discussion online jot down a note or send an email to author or participants or subject of discussion. Tell them why information was of value to you, and even venture out to ask them some questions. If you write articles yourself, ask permission to quote individual or even do an interview. Flattery in its most honest form will still take you far!
When you take a human approach to reaching people online, you get huge results. Very often, these same people who previously seemed so unattainable will visit your site, make comments, and even ask to publish or quote you and your content. With, of course, a link back to your site.
What did you invest in contact? A few minutes. Twenty tops?
A perfect example is my dear friend Jan Crowell. Jan, who lives thousands of miles away from me, saw some of my posts on an email list and took a moment to get in touch with me directly. That was five years ago! She has been with me through infancy of http://www.SuccessPromotions.com as well as my youngest child. We have shared successes, failures, ideas, and a wonderful friendship. All because she took a moment to make a human contact with me. I'm pleased to have a wonderful review of a product Jan introduced me to on my web site. http://www.successpromotions.com/creview.html Jan has probably earned more sales of this product for me than I have done myself.
Jan has also done lion's share of design work for my site. Not to mention, my logo! She put forth a little effort to get in touch with me. And got a friend and customer for life. (And I don't know what I would do without her) By way, you can email Jan at firstname.lastname@example.org
When you become human online, and network accordingly, you create not only to traffic, but something even more valuable - credibility amongst people who in turn have important contacts and credibility with a broad audience.
There is a belief that everyone is connected to everyone else in world by no more than six outward circles of personal connections. And that was BEFORE internet. I have a personal contact base of people in over 14 countries. And my client base is wider than that.
So how do you make these personal connections?
Send email. Write letters. Ask permission to do interviews for articles. Write and tell authors how much and why you enjoyed their articles. Share your own tidbits of information with people.
I use a customer relationship management software program called GoldMine (TM). Other similar products include Outlook Express (TM) and ACT (TM). GoldMine helps me keep track of who I know, who they know, what people's interests are, how I can be of help to them, and maintains records of all historical data of previous contacts with each of them. So when I get a new customer who has a similar niche market to a customer from three years ago, I can make electronic introductions and help two otherwise strangers do joint promotions. Thereby building further each one's personal contact base.