If your work involves the sourcing of clients or customers online you may find yourself trolling forums, blogs or various help sites waiting for that one person to post a message saying “Hey, I broke my site please help me fix it” and then all of a sudden 30,000 replies come in from 12 different countries all promising to solve the original posters problem for an amount that drops by 15% with each reply, eventually ending when the original poster accepts an offer from “insert third world country here” to completely fix, redo, update, SEO and sprinkle magic pixie dust all over their site for $12.00, I don’t know about you but I won’t turn on my computer for under $100 so those types of deals don’t interest me.
Instead of chasing dead ends and wasting your time fighting for hours to make $20 you need to do a few things differently, time is money and I for one prefer to work smarter instead of harder. I worked in sales for the better part of 15 years selling high end products that were typically priced between $250,000 and $5,000,000, dealing with those kinds of transactions taught me a few things and re-enforced a few as well. When you are dealing with people you have to remember that they are people too and that people like to deal with other people they like, who will treat them fairly and with respect and who aren’t so self involved or egotistical that no one can stand to be around them. Bottom line, people buy things/services from people they like and there is no changing that.
Online business communication isn’t so different from any other form of communication, if your clients like you they will do business with you. So, how can you leverage your social “curb appeal” in the online marketplace and use it to benefit your business? It’s quite simple, all you have to do is interact with people, be real, be honest and find those who have a need that you can satisfy. One of the best mediums to use for this is Twitter, there are millions of people at any given time who are in need of some form of assistance with something and they are talking about it. If you are a wizard at grooming pets, use Twitter search to look for people talking about it, you will be amazed at who/what you will find. One great aspect about this is that you are not limited to only searching those who follow you, you can search all of twitter for people that are talking about whats wrong with their site or how to get something to work, find them, interact with them and who knows, you may end up with another quality client for your business.