What should be the #1 goal of all your marketing communications? So much focus in the digital marketing world is on statistics: traffic, hits, conversion rates.... These are important things to know, but there is another question that is more important to ask about every digital marketing campaign, or any marketing activity for that matter. Does this build a relationship?

It is becoming more and more important to build a connection with prospective clients. You may have heard of the "Know, Like, and Trust" factor. It says that people won't buy from you unless they feel like they know you, like you, and trust you. There are many ways to build relationships through communications, but here are a few you can start using today.

1. Know who you are talking to and talk about them
If you really know the characteristics of your prospective clients, you can let them know that you understand their challenges and their needs. If people feel you understand them, it builds trust. Does your marketing focus entirely on the merits of your own product or service? Try focusing on your prospective clients, and how your product or service can help them.

2. Use a personal face in your marketing communications
People don't connect with companies, they connect with other people. In some cases, a brand can build trust. But for most small businesses, it is important to have a person who is the face of the business, to whom prospective clients can relate. Do you have a picture of yourself on your marketing materials? (And was it taken in the last 2 years?) People have a natural desire to "put a face with a name." Using pictures and video of yourself increases people's ability to feel connected to you.

You can also convey personal stories to build a relationship. Sharing struggles and personal tidbits adds a human dimension to your marketing that really engages people and builds trust. This doesn't mean you should share your private drama with your prospective clients. But try including some details from your life and experiences in your online communications.

3. People buy "why you do it"
There is a wonderful TED talk by Simon Sinek in which he describes how people make buying decisions. "People don't buy what you do, they buy why you do it." It is obvious that a prospect has to have some need for your product or service. But, in the end, what they are buying is a philosophy, an ideal. I'm not doing the concept justice in one paragraph, but consider why you do what you do. What do you believe about it? How does it make the world a better place? And then, talk about those things in your marketing materials.

These are just a few ideas of ways to build relationships through your marketing. What other ways can you think of? How can you implement one or more of these in your business today?

Best wishes,
Sarah