I was recently asked by a group of budding entrepreneurs (who are ironically starting a digital agency) why they thought most of my clients chose to go with me for their social media and website needs. The answer is much more simple and straightforward than you may think. I feel my clients have gotten to know me, like me, and trust me long before they ever signed a contract. This has led to not only new business partnerships, but many mutually beneficial relationships, expanded networks, and friendships.
Business, just like everything else, is all about relationships. You naturally want to do business with people you know and people you like. You’re more eager to trust someone and give them your business or your carefully ear-marked marketing dollars if you feel you have been able to form a relationship and a bond with them.
To create lasting relationships, businesses used to have to rely solely on old-fashioned sales calls and face-to-face meetings. We are so fortunate now that we can also get to use tools like social media, in conjunction with face-to-face relationships, to increase visibility and build trust.
Here’s a perfect example. When I first launched my business I got a write-up in Crain’s Chicago which was HUGE. You couldn’t ask for better PR out of the gate. I got a lot of initial leads from it and I still work with many of those original clients today. But let’s face it that was more than a year and a half ago and people have long forgotten that, or at least so I thought.
I got a phone call last week from a woman in Chicago who was looking to launch a business in Michigan and needed branding, a website, and social media. Perfect! I love entrepreneurs and I am passionate about MI. I asked her how she heard about me and do you know what she said?
She had read my article in Crain’s Chicago more than a year and a half ago and she had been following me via my social media channels ever since! She said she loved my work and was quite interested in working with me. WOW.
I really hope that she and I can work together but no matter what it is just one more real-world example of how in order to succeed as a small business today, you absoutely must be engaging with your potential customers online.
Do you have hands-on examples of how social media has lead you to new customers?