The reach of the internet is massive. Unless you live on an island in the middle of the Pacific where access to the information superhighway is determined by the weather. Even with spotty connectivity, the potential for reaching a broad spectrum of potential customers is something to consider when planning your marketing efforts. Living on the side of an active volcano as I do, I haven’t much control over a steady internet link, that’s why I like media management tools like Hootsuite to make regular updates on my behalf.
A Global Audience at Your Fingertips
Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and even Pinterest, host huge populations of potential clients just waiting to be exposed to your business message. Before diving in headfirst, it's important to know what works, and more importantly, what doesn't work. When it comes to building a brand, there's nothing quite so powerful as a satisfied customer's testimonial. No matter the size of your business, a sincere review made by an actual user of your product can help establish credibility and trust in your brand.
Product reviews, testimonials and customer endorsements are nothing new, it’s been an established method of advertising for years. Problem is, shady marketers have latched onto this tried and true method, making it more difficult than ever for businesses to establish a level of trust with clients. It can sometimes be hard to tell the wolf in sheep’s clothing from the honest Joes and snake oil salesmen. Thankfully, there are a couple ways to combat this. First is to ensure you're following the current FTC guidelines, and the second is to be consistently honest with your audience.
Testimonials You Can Trust
- Use Real Stories - Readers appreciate hearing stories shared by real people, just like themselves. Not only does this give them someone to relate to, it offers a source of hope and optimism as well. Be ready to share personal stories, but to do in a way you're comfortable with. We don't need to know the name of your husband and three children, for instance. We'll understand who you mean when you say "my main man and the minions"
- Give Honest Information - Don't cloud the waters with obscure claims of a wonder product sure to make life better in every way. No matter how satisfied a customer may be by your products and services, they have to be clear in what the item is intended to do. Whether it's computer repair, or dollmaking, it helps other potential customers narrow the search for their desired product. Also, if you’re featuring a testimonial from a customer, it’s important to disclose if they’ve been paid, or otherwise compensated, for their endorsement. I always appreciate it when I see my favorite beauty gurus on youtube rave about a product then follow up by saying that they have not been paid by the manufacturer for their feedback, it lets me know that they truly love the product so much that they wouldn’t just suggest it to their sister, but the whole world as well.
- Assign Homework - Before asking a customer for a testimonial, make sure they're familiar enough with your product and services to be genuine and sincere with their feedback. Don't simply ask if they would recommend you to others, find out why. Other potential customers will appreciate knowing what to expect before they purchase.
- Be Consistent - Stories from one or two satisfied customers is great. One or two stories from satisfied customers each day is even better. This means you must be consistent in your efforts within the marketplace. Get your name out there and slowly build a mass of satisfied customers along the way. This also means you have to possess a quality product worth buzzing about.
- Orient Your Updates around Your Business Goals - In addition to testimonials from customers, it’s important to demonstrate consistency in your own words and actions. Don’t simply rely on your customers saying you’re a family oriented business that’s committed to the community, demonstrate this by posting images of you and your employees participating at community events.
It Won't Happen Overnight
There is no quick route or shortcut to success, regardless of what field you enter. There's no secret either, because it all boils down to making some effort each day to maintain the momentum of your growing business. Don't buy into the claims that you can see grand results in thirty days or less, shady salesman like that may find themselves seeking a team of criminal defense lawyers if they're not careful.
About the Author:
Freelance writer Rachel Cook recently went snorkeling for the first time ever, and enjoyed it so much she researched scuba diving, only to find out she needs a certificate. If she hadn't found out that piece of information, she would've dove right into the water, breaking the law. The same thing can happen to online businesses, which is why Rachel rests easy knowing sites like http://www.bgs.com/ are available for valuable information.