How to Build Trust Online

For the last two weeks we’ve been talking about the importance of building the “know, like and trust” factor online.  So far we’ve given tips on how get known for your content, and how to build likeability through all your online activities.

 

This week it’s the turn of trust.

 

Everything we’ve suggested so far has been leading up to this bit.  It’s all well and good being known, and people being aware of you, and it’s great if they like you and want to interact with you – but if they can’t trust you?  Well, they’re not going to buy from you or recommend you further down the line.

 

We all know that trust is earnt, and there’s no reason why you can’t build that online.  Here are our top tips for precisely how to do that.

 

#1 – Give stuff away

We’ve already touched on this previously, but giving stuff away is a great way to tackle all three building blocks of successful networking.  Sharing your best content (there’s so much free stuff on the web, please don’t give people rubbish) will show that you’re authentic, but equally it will show you value your audience.

 

Giving stuff away means you’re generous, and not just in it for the sales.

 

#2 – Don’t disappoint

We can debate all day about how often you should post on social media or update your blog, but the reality is an arbitrary number means nothing if you’re not going to stick to it.  If you say you’re going to post a video every day – do it.  Going to produce a weekly blog?  Do it!

 

If you put it out there and then start breaking your promises, you’re already showing that you can’t be relied on to deliver.

 

#3 – Be consistently good

Following on from consisting posting, your posts also need to be consistent.  People need to know what they’re going to get from you – your content has to be of the same standard throughout.  Don’t just throw something together because it’s got to be done, take your time to craft a specific message, and keep it inline with what you’ve offered before.

 

If people know what to expect from you then they’re more likely to come to you before going anywhere else.

 

#4 – Share testimonials

It’s easy for any of us to say wonderful things about ourselves, so occasionally let a third party vouch for you.  Share testimonials, and let other people use their own words to demonstrate how you add value, or provide great customer service.

 

Try to mix it up a bit – is there any way you can use a case study to really make an impact?  How about getting someone on video talking about why they love working with you or using your products?

 

#5 – Avoid jargon

 

We can all be guilty of it at times, using industry jargon, and forgetting that other people might now know what the Hell we’re talking about. People can smell BS a mile off, even online so it’s vital you don’t try to hide behind complicated and technical language.  Make sure you are approachable, clear, concise and easy to understand.  Never talk down to your audience, and always be happy to answer their questions and explain yourself when needed.

 

#6 – Apologise when you’re wrong

 

No one is perfect, and there are times you’re going to make a mistake.  It might be a faulty product, a poor service, whatever; when you make a mistake put your hands up and admit to it.  We are all human, so the error is never really the problem, it’s always the way you handle it that matters.

 

Don’t try to hide from the fact you got something wrong, use it as an opportunity to review your processes, and work out how you can avoid that issue arising again in the future.  Those who have been impacted are likely to forgive you a lot quicker if you embrace the situation, and use it as a catalyst for change.

 

 

Remember, Time Saving Heroes offer a wide variety of content writing services as well as social media management. We’re happy to have a chat and give you tips on what you can do to improve your offering for your audience, so pick up the phone and give us a call on 0161 883 2024.

How to Build Likability Online

Last week we wrote about networking, and the importance of building the “know, like and trust” factor, and how that translates to online relationships.  We gave seven tips on how to build awareness via your content, whether that be your website, blog or social media activities.

 

This week we thought we’d look at building your likability online.

 

How likable you are really does matter when it comes to the buying process.  If you’re faced with two identical products, offered at an identical price who you purchase from will come down to personal preference. If one person is boring, difficult to communicate with and leaves you feeling uninspired and the other is open, friendly and engaging – who are you going to go with?

 

Some people are great in face to face situations, but often struggle to translate that in to online personality, which is a problem when it comes to relying on social media marketing.  Here are our top tips on demonstrating your likeability factor in a virtual world.

 

#1 – Be authentic

So many people think they can hide behind corporate personas and behave in ways they think they should behave in.  Nobody actually buys that, because what people are actually looking for is authenticity.

 

Your business is a brand, and as such it has a personality.  Let that shine through in every single piece of content you put out.  Be you, be real and be proud of what you stand for.  Create all your content in your own unique voice – just because a competitor is stale and dull and hides behind anonymity, doesn’t mean you have to.  Break your industry standard!

#2 – Be nice

Really this should be obvious, but so many people fall in to the trap of letting this one slip.  Don’t badmouth other people, no matter how tempting it might be.  A competitor might have made an error, but don’t ridicule them for it – maybe offer a viewpoint as to how the error could have happened, and what could be done to avoid it in future.  Don’t criticise.

 

Equally, be generous with your time, responsive and helpful to those who get in touch with you.

 

#3 – Initiate conversation

Ask your audience to get involved when you put out content.  Invite comments on blog posts, ask questions, look for opinions.  Remember, if you get feedback, in any form, make sure you respond to it.  Conversation really is two-way!

 

#4 – Be visible

Words are brilliant, and a great way to share information but make sure you are visible in every format.  Make the most of checkins, and Google+ hangouts, add video (both pre-packaged and live streaming), consider including podcasts and photos.  Mix it up a bit so you can appeal to everyone, and then you’ve got a better chance to analyse what is, and isn’t working.

 

Variety does make you far more interesting, and helps build likeability.

 

#5 – Put a face to the brand

It’s really hard to like a logo, people like people, so make sure your face is out there.  If you’re a larger business and have a team behind you, get some group shots, showcase your individual employees and make sure you tell your story in all About Us sections.

 

Let people in, show them what happens behind the scenes, give them sneaky peaks of your daily work life, what makes you tick, the things you love, the things you don’t, your annoyances, your highlights … let them in.

 

#6 – Get the mix right

Your marketing strategy should be 80% relationship building and 20% selling.  Some argue the ratio should be as high as 95% to 5%.  A lot will depend on you, your brand and your audience; however, it should never be less than 80% focussed on your audience. NEVER!

 

#7 – Be generous

Your content strategy shouldn’t just be about your content.  Make sure you share other people’s ideas and content too.  It really annoys me when people complain no one is sharing their content, when they don’t do it either.  Honestly, what do you expect?!

 

Think about the things your audience would find useful, and share third party information, offers etc surrounding that.  It really does make a huge difference, and the law of reciprocation means people will catch on and return the favour, eventually.

 

 

Remember, Time Saving Heroes offer a wide variety of content writing services as well as social media management. We’re happy to have a chat and give you tips on what you can do to improve your offering for your audience, so pick up the phone and give us a call on 0161 883 2024.

How to Get Known Online

Our Lu is the current Chair of Bury Business Group, the oldest and largely networking group in the Bury (Greater Manchester) area.  One thing that is key to successful networking is establishing the “know, like and trust” factor.  If people get to know you, they get to like you (hopefully) and ultimately they can trust you to do a good job.  All of that means they’re likely to use your services themselves, but even more importantly, will recommend you to their friends and family.

 

Most people understand that when it comes to physical face-to-face networking, but move that online, and all logic seems to go out the window.  Social media marketing, content marketing – whatever you want to call it, is absolutely no different.  You have to put the work in to be consistent, and show that people can know, like and trust you.

 

How do you do that when it comes to content?  If you’ve started a blog, or are thinking about creating one for your business, how do you build those relationships in a virtual world?  Here’s our top tips for getting a good online reputation.

 

#1 – Know who you’re talking to

Too many people think that because they’re content is going out online they’re talking to everyone.  In theory, your content has that potential, anyone can stumble across something you share; however, you’re not trying to appeal to everyone.  You cannot sell to everyone.

 

Here you need to be very clear about your buyer persona’s. Who is your target audience, what do they want to hear and read about, what interests them, and what products or services are they likely to want from you?  Make sure your content is tightly centred around them. Be completely specific!

 

#2 – Be an expert

One of the best things about blogs is that it allows you to express an opinion within a chosen field or topic, and as such you can exert yourself as an expert. However, giving your opinion isn’t enough. Give your ideas names and labels, really come up with something unique, rather than just spouting industry givens and common knowledge. Do something to really make YOU stand out, so you can become a thought leader.

 

#3 – Create the right content

No matter how tight your buyer persona is, and how on point you believe you are, the best thing you can do is actually ask your audience what it is they want to get from you.  Do your research, ask questions, dig that little big deeper to really understand your actual audience.  You may even find that you’re attracting a completely different market, and that’s one you can work with.

 

#4 – Create a free product

Yes, we know you want to make sales off the back of your blog, and you can, but one of the best ways to do that is to create a free product that you can distribute easily.  What problems do your target audience have, and how can you help them with that?  Create eBooks, newsletters, courses, top tips, podcasts, how-to videos and so on that your loyal followers have access to. Ask them to sign up, and from there you can create a database of people to reach out to (just make sure you are compliant under the new GDPR regulations).

 

#5 – Build relationships

It goes without saying that you should be building relationships with your audience, taking the time to actually connect with them rather than simply throwing content out there, but that’s not the only thing you should do.  Make sure you’re following key influencers in your market and industry, connect with them, comment on their content, share their content, interact and build relationships with them, too.

 

That doesn’t mean you have to be a suck-up and start virtually stalking these people, but get involved in genuine conversations.  Ask questions, and encourage interaction.  This is a great way to get noticed, and could lead to some interesting debates and further content to put out.

 

#6 – Interview the experts

Following on from the above point, if you can build relationships with key influencers, you may be able to interview them as part of your content.  That way you can tap in to their audience in a big to increase your own.  Everyone benefits from increased exposure, and your audience will enjoy seeing something different and having an alternative perspective.

 

#7 – Guest blog

Guest blogging on other sites is a great way to further expand your own audience and reach.  Showing that you’re not the only one who values your opinion, but being invited to share content on someone else’s platform is a further example of social proof, and will definitely do you and your brand no harm.

 

 

Remember, Time Saving Heroes offer a wide variety of content writing services as well as social media management. We’re happy to have a chat and give you tips on what you can do to improve your offering for your audience, so pick up the phone and give us a call on 0161 883 2024.

Top 10 tips for Twitter content

A lot of our clients are brilliant on social media. In fact, some of them are killing it on Facebook. However, when it comes to Twitter, they tend not to do as well.  There’s something about that strict character limit, the inability to write longwinded paragraphs of explanation that put a lot of people off.

Whilst we get asked it of every platform, people seem particularly concerned by what they should be posting on Twitter.

So here are our top 10 tips for what you can share via your business Twitter page:

#1 – Your products

It goes without saying, we’d think, that you should be advertising your products on Twitter.  You can maximise exposure by using hashtags to link to relevant industries, or audiences you want to target.

Always try to use photos where you can to make a better impression and reach more people.

#2 – Motivational quotes

It’s not everyone’s cup of tea, so don’t take this as a given, but depending what you do, motivational and inspirational quotes can be great to share.  This is especially true if you work in a holistic, well-being, or coaching type of industry.

#3 – Company achievements

Entered a competition, won an award, just been given a new contract?  If something amazing has happened in the office, then talk about it and share it via Twitter.  Again, use photos where possible.

#4 – Industry news

Share things that are happening in your industry.  It’s a great way to showcase the fact that you have your finger on the pulse.

#5 – Share your opinion

Whilst sharing industry news, why not add your own opinion too?  Not only does this show you know what’s going on, but that you’re knowledgeable enough about it all to discuss it.  This helps place you as an expert in your area, and will increase your social proof and credibility.

#6 – Cross advertise

Just because you’re on Twitter doesn’t mean you can’t advertise your other social media accounts.  Why not share something from Facebook, LinkedIn or Instagram?  It’s a great way to let people know they can follow you elsewhere if they want to – but try to keep your posts different for each platform so you don’t come across as spamming.

#7 – Tweet greets

Personally we love a Tweet greet, for example, “Good morning”, or “Happy Friday”.  There’s no reason why everything has to have a purpose other than being friendly.

#8 – Fun facts

Share information, stats, facts and fun tidbits of information that your audience might find useful.  Ideally these should relate to your services, products, business or industry.

#9 – Retweet

Not everything you share has to come directly from you.  If a customer mentions you, why not retweet their post?  Equally, why not RT things that other people are saying that might be useful to your audience?  Not everything is about competition.

#10 – Have a laugh

The whole point of social media is to make connections, and showcase your brand’s personality.  You can’t do that if all you’re sharing is the same sort of information about your products.  Why not spice things up a bit by adding in some jokes, funny pictures or anecdotes?  Brilliant if they can relate to your industry, but not the end of the world if they don’t.

 

 

If you want any help with getting to grips with Twitter, or coming up with a marketing strategy, then don’t hesitate to get in touch with us at Time Saving Heroes. You can call us on 0161 883 2024, email hello@timesavingheroes.co.uk or just message us below.

What to consider before you post that photo

Generally speaking I’m a pretty mild mannered individual; however, there are some things that really bug me. For example, the other day a Facebook friend I knew from my days as a playground Mum posted a photo of her daughter online. It was a great photo, and to be honest there was nothing wrong with it – apart from the comment she attached to it.

Essentially, she had asked her daughter for a photo, despite the fact said 8 year-old child wasn’t comfortable with it because of the outfit she was wearing. The daughter had agreed, apparently reluctantly, as long as the Mum didn’t share it on social media.

And yet, here I was, looking at the photo of an uncomfortable young girl, whose privacy had clearly been violated.

I won’t lie, it made me feel physically sick and really, really angry.

Then of course I calmed down, and realised it was an opportunity to blog – and that made me happy because I like feeling inspired (and getting on my soap box).

Everyone knows that when it comes to marketing, visual content sells. As social media marketing has taken an ever stronger hold more and more businesses are finding ways to reach out to their audiences and make a bigger impact.

If you sell a product, no matter what that is, there’s plenty of opportunity for you to take photos and create content around that. To make things more personable though, you may want to showcase images of your customers or clients using your products, or even pursuing your retail store.

However, there are legal ramifications involved in doing this, and it’s really important you think about the images you are taking, who they are of and what those peoples’ rights are, before you start sharing them as part of your online marketing strategy.

Admittedly there are laws that allow you to take photographs of people in public, but it’s important to realise these laws change when the person taking the photographs represents a business. Taking a photograph of a large crowd is one thing, but that’s unlikely to be an option for smaller businesses. This means that any photographs you take are going to be of people who are easily identifiable, and people may take exception to that.

I’ve said it before, and I will no doubt say it again, but what happens on social media stays on Google forever. You might post a picture of someone once, and whilst it will temporarily be on your timeline or appear in someone’s newsfeed, it will remain online forever. If you don’t have someone’s express permission, you could be in trouble.

What you need to think about it:

If you are taking photographs of people, and you want to use these as part of any marketing efforts, then you are using them for commercial purposes.

  • Reasonable expectations of privacy – even if someone is in public, if they are having what they believe is a private moment when you unexpectedly take their picture, you may not be able to use the generic public laws when it comes to photographs.
  • Consent – to avoid any confusion, it is always best to get people’s permission before you either take, or certainly use, photographs of them for any reason. In an ideal world, ask people to sign a consent form which you can keep as part of your ongoing records.

If you want to avoid any potential snags with customer photographs, there are some other options you can consider:

  • Why not set up a selfie board in store, and encourage your customers to come and have their photographs taken? You could enter them in to a prize draw so they could win something if they do.
  • Ask customers to send in photographs of them using your products on specific social media channels. Make sure they tag your account, and identify a specific # for them to use. This will help increase exposure as well.
  • If you want to avoid all legal pitfalls, why not just hire a photographer to take images of your products? You could even use images of your staff at work, and having a great time (as long as you have their permission first, of course).

 

5 ways Facebook Live can Liven up your marketing

Our intrepid leader Lu is a bit of a fan of content.  Fuel her with coffee and she’ll write thousands of words a day. However, content isn’t always the best way to get your message across.  No matter how well it’s written, people don’t always want to sit and actually read through what you’ve taken the time to write.

Which is where video comes in.

We are an inherently curious species (cats have nothing on humans), which means when a video pops up on our timeline or newsfeed, we’re going to click on it.  The same isn’t always true, even of a blog with a fantastic headline.

Admittedly, not everyone wants to video themselves, and 99.9% of us hate seeing anything played back that we’ve appeared in, but it really is a great way to get a message across, and can spice up an otherwise text heavy social media approach.

Live video, even more so, is a top way to get people to actually engage with your brand and page.

Here are our top five ways to make the most of live video on Facebook.

1 – Use it address blog comments

So, you’ve written a great blog and it’s got people talking, engaging, commenting and asking questions.

Rather than simply replying to each individual message you could instead respond via video.  Take a moment to recap your original content, then go through a few of the comments you’ve received.

If you’ve had a few good comments, and maybe someone has a different view to the one you’ve expressed it might even be worth inviting that person to join you on a live interview.

2 – Do a behind the scenes sneaky-peak of your business

We hear it over and over again but people buy people.  That’s why showing a behind the scenes look of your business is a great way to get buy-in.

Perhaps it’s a staff member’s birthday, or you have a special event?  Stream it live so people can still feel involved, even if they can’t physically be with you.

You might even want to address a business process that helps you to run more efficiently, or a trick you’ve picked up along the way that could be of benefit to someone else.

3 – Promote your event

Once you have all the details worked out, take to Facebook Live to announce your upcoming event. It could be a seminar, webinar, training session, launch party or some other celebration – whatever it is, get it out there via video.

You’ll automatically create a buzz because the people that have tuned in to your broadcast will be the first to find out all about it.

The key with this sort of announcement though is to make sure you have an easy to remember URL for people to remember, so they can go to find out more or sign up.  Also, don’t forget to copy the link in to the comments for those that couldn’t remember!

4 – Answer FAQs

You can create a script and pre-select FAQs that you want to answer. You know your business, and your customers best, so you know what some of the sticking points might be during the buying journey, and you can easily address them via video.

You might even want to run a Q&A session instead, inviting people to comment with their own questions that you can answer there and then.  This really does improve engagement, and can provide fantastic customer service.

5 – Tease new products

If you’re launching a new product that isn’t yet available on your website, you can use live video to showcase it, and tease your audience.

Explain the new product, it’s features and how it can benefit them. What problem does it solve, or why would it make their life better?  If it’s not already available, one of the best things you can do to actually increase sales as a direct result of the video is to offer a pre-order link.  Perhaps even with a discount.

This way you can also track what sales are directly attributed to your video.

 

 

We hope that’s helped, but if you have any questions, don’t forget to give us a call on 0161 883 2024 and we’ll be happy to help.

If you leave your marketing until you have time, it’s too late

What do you do to promote your business?

Every business is different, but the one thing that’s always essential is marketing.  It doesn’t matter if you’ve got people forming an orderly queue for your services, you still need to market. NEVER make the mistake of thinking you’re busy, so it doesn’t matter.

Yes, you might well be busy, and therefore remembering to do all the important things like updating your blog or posting on social media can seem impossible.  But, the reality is, you should never wait until you’re quiet to promote your business.

That’s just insanity.

Hiring a virtual assistant can ensure that you can juggle everything that your business needs.  You can stay focussed on meeting new clients, or doing the physical work whilst a Time Saving Hero takes on all the time consuming, yet essential, digital marketing aspects.

Here at Time Saving Heroes we can:

  1. Manage your business blog
  2. Moderate comments via your blog, and respond where necessary
  3. Add images and tags to your blogs
  4. Create lists for email marketing campaigns
  5. Keep email lists up to date (adding and removing subscribers as necessary)
  6. Creating and scheduling newsletters and marketing emails
  7. Write blog posts
  8. Update content on your website
  9. Produce other content marketing material (infographics etc)
  10. Do research on keywords

 

If these are things that you keep meaning to do, but just can’t find the time for, get in touch with one of our Time Saving Heroes today.

Just give us a call on 0161 883 2024 or email hello@timesavingheroes.co.uk and we’ll be happy to help.