When you hire someone to do work for you, you are entering in a contract of trust. You trust that the person or company that you’re hiring will do what they say they will do. And before you hired them, you did your research. You checked online reviews, you asked friends or family for a referral. (I don’t know about you, but I would only recommend someone whom I know and trust that they are reliable, and will do what they promise they will do.)
How do you build that trust if you’re just starting out?
How do you portray that trust to other people – strangers – besides your current customers? Word-of-mouth these days is not enough.
Put yourself in your potential customer’s shoes. When they need or want something and they’re not sure where to get it, they’ll Google it. If they were looking for what you have to offer, what would they enter in the search box? Your company name? Not if they’re not familiar with you. They’re probably going to enter keywords or phrases of what they’re seeking. Sometimes it’s questions, sometimes they’re trying to alleviate a problem. You have to recognize and define what those pain points are and provide basic answers on your website.
That is where a blog comes in
Your blog contains short, 250-500 word, articles with tips and advice on how your potential customer can solve their problems. Then, you have to share that blog post in the social media networks. Think of it like a syndicated news column. That’s how it gets out to the public. That’s how you get noticed. That’s how you establish credibility and trust.
Google sees those posts. Twitter posts come up in Google searches. Anything posted “Public” in Google+ gets indexed in the Google search engine.
It’s really easy for a Facebook user to “tag” your company when a friend asks for a referral – only if you have a Facebook business page and it’s set up properly. Same thing for LinkedIn and Twitter.
Videos help you show off your expertise. People see your face and see that there is a real person behind the company. You can give tips or do a “how-to” video demonstrations.
All this requires both strategic and tactical marketing plans and learning how to use the social media tools properly and effectively to help you get known as an expert in your field – a person who your target market can trust to help them.