I hear you out there. Those unspoken responses to my previous post. You know, the one where I said that getting clients wasn’t about price? Yeah, that one. And you’re thinking, “Those points are well and good if you have clients already, but how do you build trust in the beginning. You know, when you’re just starting out?”
It’s still about building trust, even when you don’t have satisfied clients to give you glowing testimonials.
You have to let those potential clients get to know you. That used to mean attending local networking events week after week, robotically spouting your elevator speech and handing out business cards that likely never got out of the pocket they were tucked into. Even then, it was difficult to build trust, it was more a meet and greet than a chance to really get to know anyone.
Social media has changed all of that. It’s leveled the playing field for those of us who never felt comfortable in those sweaty handshake situations and it’s given us a way to show others what we can ‘do’ not just how well we can give a sales pitch. Blogs, Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and others allow us to open ourselves up to the world and let them see what we’re made of.
Are those groans I hear?
Are you among those service providers that have been dragging your heels about joining Twitter or building a Facebook page? Did you feel vindicated when you read some article about social media being overblown as a marketing weapon? I hate to break it to you, but social media should be a service-based business’ best friend.
You see, the key word in social media is social. It gives you a way to introduce, interact and inform your target market about who you are and what you can do for them. And more importantly it gives you a way to build trust. There are three things your potential client needs to be confident of before they can trust you with their business needs.
- They know you. Meaning they are confident that you are who you say you are.
- They understand what you do. The details, not just the overview.
- They perceive that you are competent at what you do
In order to accomplish these things you need to use your social media accordingly. Use your photo, not a logo as your profile picture and allow your personality to show. Just be careful about what you share for personal information.
Use status updates to share not only what you do, but how you do it. For example, look at the Twitter tweets below.
There is a big difference between sharing what you do with your social media followers and telling them what your industry can do. There is absolutely nothing personal or social about the tweet above, nor does it show anyone what you do or how you do it.
How much more personal does it feel if you say:
Can you feel the difference? With the second tweet you’ve made it much more likely that someone curious about using a virtual assistant now sees an item you could help them with and also introduces them to a tool that you use to do so.
When done right, using social media can help your potential clients get to know you, better understand what you do and give them the perception that you’re capable of getting those things done well. In effect, it can be a tool to build trust in you and your business, even when you’re just starting out.