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“Getting to know you, getting to know all about you!” The song lyrics ring in my head. Most likely they remind you of a romantic relationship, but truly we must know all about our customers, or at least their needs, wants and desires if we are truly going to provide what they need and be of service to them.
Readers visit your website each day. They are there for information to start. They may keep coming back because of your charm and wit or to get to know you before they try your product or service offerings. Let them know that you are real person by returning the favor and visiting them too.
Everyone is a REAL person but not everyone comes off like they are. Business owners who intentionally stay aloof from their readership set themselves up for all sorts of scathing comments. They are like royalty in ivory towers – high and unreachable.
You are one part of the business equation. Your readers (potential customers) are the other part. Without traffic, you can’t hope to make a sale. Unless you build relationships with the readers, they won’t see any reason to stay loyal to you.
Chances are, at least one third of your readers have some sort of presence in cyberspace. More than likely it will be a blog. They may be professional bloggers, recreational bloggers or online entrepreneurs like you.
One way to get to know them is to visit their sites. If you have your own blog for your business, have a category devoted to reader news. Offer free products or discount coupons when they volunteer to give their blog or website address to you.
Next, visit their blogs. Read what they have to say and the kind of topics they talk about. Leave helpful comments that show you actually read the posts and not just wishy-washy “I came to visit you to say hello.” Really get involved.
If you have an RSS reader, you can include all of their sites in it so that you will be notified when there are new updates. Participate just like any other follower of the site. They will recognize your name.
Sites, that you like, will benefit when you link back to them on your site. Organic links rank higher in search engine eyes than simply doing each other a favor and exchanging links. On your blog, you can post reviews of their blogs or just write posts that highlight each one. This is essentially a review without calling it that.
Interacting with your readers and getting to know them in this way is mutually beneficial. Those organic links work both ways. Besides, you never know who will hear about your business through these comments and other relationship building techniques.