Do You Treat Your Customers Like A Close Friend?

Think about all the businesses that you buy from regularly. How do they talk to you? How do they respond when you call them up? How do they sell stuff to you?

Are you just a wallet handing over cash to them, or do they deliver more than what you pay for? I'm gonna bet that you answered the latter. That's because people want to be treated like people, so we patronize businesses that view us as friends and not ATM machines.

How about your own business? Do you give your own customers that warm fuzzy feeling of having a close friend around, or are you just selling to them?

Don't Sell, Help!

The fact of the matter is, people nowadays are getting a bit tired of companies merely throwing their brands, advertisements and commercials at them. Sure a lot of people still love buying stuff, but they want to buy from companies that understand what they want, what problems they have.

So that's exactly what you need to do. Show your audience that you're a person by actually making their lives better through helpful content. Help them by giving them the right information to do their jobs, sharing useful tips and tricks you've found along the way, and asking them for feedback on how you can do better.

Let's twist the traditional way of marketing and make it more engaging, friendlier and more human.

Why Go Through All The Trouble?

That sounds like a lot of work, right? Yes it is, but it actually has a big payoff. Did you know that 84% of Americans go online to research a product before deciding to make a purchase? That means that the most helpful lad (or lass) in the block gets the most visitors. And not just visitors, but people who are already eager to buy.

It won't happen overnight of course, but sharing helpful content is like building a castle. Lay each piece brick by brick the right way and you'll have solid business that will last a very long time.

What other things do you get by helping other with helpful content?

  1. Build your influence online. It's a simple formula that many an online marketing maven has cracked. Help people by giving valuable information, and they in turn will look to you for advice. By showing that you always have their best interests in mind, people will not hesitate to buy your products.
  2. Increased visibility online. Great, helpful content invites more posts. More posts from other blogs or websites makes you more visible in search engines. And that in turn ensures that people go to your site more often than the guy below you, which means more potential buyers.
  3. Free marketing! Yes, free! Everything nice and appealing in the internet always goes viral. So if you're more visible and influential online, bloggers and media folks will start talking about you. They won't hesitate to share your content everywhere and anywhere, growing your customer base in the process.

Okay, How Do I Start Helping My Audience?

Simple. First, do your research and know your customers intimately. Understand who they are, their problems, the things that matter to them and the stuff they pay attention to. It's also important to know what medium they use, how they use it and how often they do.

Next, build your content. The best way to help the most people online is by sharing tons of content. Not just useful content but also content that lifts the spirits, encourages action and gives valuable insights. Here are a few types of content you can create:

  • Guest Posting. Blogs love guest posts. After all, they don't need to do anything since you do all the writing for them! Create articles that will strike a chord with the blogger's audience by making them fun as well as informative.
  • Guides. A lot of problems in the world can be easily solved by a step-by-step guide. Offer one of your own (which may or may not involve your products) and teach people how to solve their problems on their own.
  • Reports A report that's chockful of information will not only be well read. It's also sure to be well-shared, especially among the thought leaders of your industry. Make sure to get your facts straight and make a compelling case for what you want your readers to do afterwards.

Getting Things Done

Now that you know about your customers, you're ready to create your content. If you have the talent for writing, I'd encourage you to stop reading right now and get going! But if you don't, or if you don't have the time for it, then maybe hiring someone else to write for you would be a better option.

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