How many times have you heard the phrase lately
It’s not personal, it’s just business.
When did we become a society that cared so much about our business that we have forgotten to be personal? Here is another one for you:
People won’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care.
#IRLConnectionsMatter. Each and every reader is not merely a statistic, but a person with a soul and a problem they are hoping you can help them solve. Here are 8 ways improve the blogger-reader relationship, to stay personal, and convey genuine interest and care to your readers.
1. Interact on Social Media
Don’t just pre-schedule your questions and posts and then wipe your hands and walk away. Jump back on and check-in to interact, respond and answer questions. Your readers will know it’s not just a ploy for engagement but a sincere desire to be social.
2. Respond to Comments
When you get comments on your blog, respond to them. Validate their concerns and opinions. Let them know you hear and care.
3. Send Thank You Notes
Writing thank you notes seems to have gone out of style, but you’d be surprised at how much a handwritten note can mean to your customers or readers. You will stand out to them and next time they need your products or services, they’ll think of that note. Can’t send a handwritten note? Don’t have their address? Reach out on Social Media. Thankfulness is never wasted in relationships.
4. Give Special Treatment
It is expected that online businesses and blogs will offer something to new subscribers to their lists, but have you thought about giving your long-term customers a loyalty discount? If just once a year you offer a few items at a deep discount to customers who have been with you at least six months, or create an exclusive freebie, just for them, it will go far in making them feel that you care about them.
5. Create Referral or Affiliate Rewards
Your happy customers will likely tell others about you anyway, but why not encourage the process by offering referral rewards. You can offer a percent off future services, a free gift, or a commission. All will be appreciated.
6. Offer Prompt Service and Attention to Detail
Another way to make your readers feel cared for is to address their needs very quickly. A prompt response to their email or social media message, especially when it is a customer service issue, will impress them.
If you pay attention to the small things, they’ll notice. Call them by name, personalize all correspondence, be consistent, communicate on time or early for appointments, etc.
7. Ask for Their Help
People love to talk about their own experiences and to give their opinions about things. But, often they will not do it if they’re not asked. Ask their opinion periodically to encourage conversation and to show that you care about what they have to say as well.
8. Be a Resource
We can’t be all to our audience. They will inevitably need something we cannot give them. Instead of just saying no, or I don’t know, say yes by recommending someone who can give them the information they need. When you become a resource to your readers, they’ll be loyal to you because they know you care about truly helping them more than you care about just making money.
There are so many websites and blogs being published today, that people do not have to read yours. Genuine sweetness, helpfulness and personal interest in them when they reach out to you will go a long way in improving the blogger-reader relationship, in making that connection count, and in creating a loyal audience for your blog/business.
Katie Hornor is a professional blogger, international speaker/mentor and founder of Como Blog, a bilingual education site for bloggers and online business owners, and the new Como Blog Connection, an affordable membership program where you will find resources, connections and coaching to spur you on to reach your business dreams. Get info about The Connection and download the Free ebook 50 Powerful Tips for Successful Business Habits at Como Blog.