On your journey to build relationships, you have developed a substantial web presence by sharing your content and interacting with your online connections. You share in order to help. Always avoid giving people the hard sell no matter what.
Your main objective for writing and syndicating content in your niche or industry is to provide other people with valuable, educational, and useful information. As you share more and more of your content, you start to build stronger and stronger relationships with the people in your online communities. You establish yourself as a subject matter expert (SME) and you keep strengthening your credibility and your reputation by interacting with others and consistently providing them with information that can help them to solve their problems. There is no other motive for you whatsoever. Nobody wants to be “sold.”
A right time and a wrong time
From a practical perspective, as a business owner, there will come a time, of course, when you will be selling your goods and/services. Just remember that your approach to selling your offerings to other people must be done in the most appropriate and unobtrusive manner possible. An appropriate place to connect your readers with what you are selling is at the bottom of your article in a resource box on your landing page. It is very important to remember that you shouldn’t consider selling anything until you feel that the relationship with the other person is strong enough to withstand it. The trust and credibility must have a very strong foundation before that point. Always remember to avoid (at all cost) allowing your content to sound like a commercial. If you don’t avoid this, you may suffer consequences in two very important ways: your readers may reject you and your articles may be turned down for publication. Most of the article directories have strict guidelines about what they will and won’t accept for publication. Self-promotion is a giant no-no!
There are several things that you must try to avoid when it comes to your content:
- No name dropping: You should try to keep your content as generic as possible when discussing product brand names. It is ok to mention specifics in the resource box but it is not ok to mention specifics in the body of your article. You should use the article to give your readers helpful tips and tricks, and other pieces of information that you feel they will find valuable. If you provide them with useful information, they will keep coming back to you for more.
- Avoid mentioning money: Anytime you mention a price in your content, you are automatically trying to sell what you have to other people. There is simply no place for it in the content that you are providing to others. That is what goes on an advertisement. Never use blatant sales text in your articles.
- Not educating your customers: It is extremely important to communicate in as transparent a way as possible. This transparency should start at the very beginning of your relationship and follow through forever. The more honest and forthright you are with other people, the more they will respect and trust you. If you include this in the foundation of your relationship, it will take you very far.
- Not being able to put yourself in other people’s shoes: If you are able to make other people understand that you are one of them and that you truly understand what they are going through and how they feel, they will relate to you on a human (and emotional) level. You should never give them the impression that you are different (or God forbid, above) them. First of all, it isn’t true and second of all, you won’t get anywhere with an attitude like that.
Your focus should always be on helping other people. If you put them first, you won’t run the risk of being misunderstood or coming across negatively. Your objective should be to continue to build credibility and knowledge and to continue to hold the position of being the person who others come to when they need answers. You should remember that you are selling something every time you interact with another person online. What you are selling is creative thought, valuable information, and compelling and exciting interactions.
We are pleased to provide you with the insightful comments contained herein. For a free assessment of your online presence, let's have coffee.
Carolyn Cohn is the Chief Editor of CompuKol Communications LLC. Mrs. Cohn has a wealth of experience in business writing as well as having a strong editorial background. She manages all of the company’s writers, journalists and editors as well as writing, editing and publishing several business articles a week on a consistent basis, which are syndicated globally.
Mrs. Cohn has run several editorial departments for other companies. She has over 25 years of editorial experience and her expertise covers a wide range of media, such as online editing, and editing books, journal articles, abstracts, and promotional and educational materials.
Throughout her career, Mrs. Cohn has established and maintained strong relationships with professionals from a wide variety of companies. The principle that governs her work is that all words need to be edited.
Mrs. Cohn earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from the State University of New York (SUNY) at Buffalo.
Mrs. Cohn is a member of the American Medical Writers Association (AMWA).