Does Your Small Online Business Ooze Influence?
How is it that some small online businesses manage to influence the masses? What they say, how they say it and when they say it all seems to provide a response, a reaction from others. Is this something that can be turned on like a tap? I don’t think so! It is something that is earned and no amount of “gaming the system” will provide.
How to become influential or respected in your business niche comes up quite a lot in my business and personal development activities. It is always there, impossible to avoid, in fact it is probably central to everything that I do as a small online business owner. After all ……….
The 4 major factors of influence are:
As I child I was told that concerning presents “you don’t give to receive” well as cynical as it sounds people and business do. Businesses are built, contracts are secured and partnerships are developed around the principle of “you scratch my back, I scratch yours”. It always has been and always will be.
If you or your small online business are only looking to receive, then you are fighting a no win battle. Be smart, use reciprocity in your favor. Give! Yes some people will just swallow up the gift of generosity and never offer anything in return. You have to be willing to accept this. Many people out there will have the same philosophy as you and I, a little mental check list of people who have done good things for you and when the time is right they will return the favor.
In terms of the online world it is akin to social media. If someone comments, tweets or likes your content then you are more inclined to find out about that person and potentially return the favor. Quid pro Quo
2.) Social Proof
Before we, the consumer, pull the trigger on important, and even unimportant decisions, we take a look around to see who else has made the commitment.
When running a small online business one of the most powerful marketing tools you can have at your disposal are testimonials. Testimonials are the most powerful and persuasive tools in convincing prospective buyers of the value of what you are offering.
Other good ways to highlight social proof for your small online business are to invite your target audience to be part of your online community, share any other industry or niche related news that your business is included in and of course competition or business award wins are also fantastic and newsworthy content to distribute.
Be careful not to go over the top! It’s building credibility not blowing your own trumpet!
People do business with other people or businesses that they like or trust!
That might sound cliché but it is so true. If you are working on securing a 5 year contract which would mean that you would be interacting with that business or consumer a few times a week, do you think it would be important if that person liked you? Of course it would.
If you are not likeable think about what you can do to improve the way people perceive your small online business. Go back to point 1, reciprocity. Start giving, instead of entering every relationship with your hands held out.
Oh, and don’t fake it!
Establish your small online business as an authority in your niche. If you are able to do this, it is a sure fire way to gain credibility with prospective new business partners. Highly effective people know, the more authority you have, the more likely people will open their ears and listen to you without being overly critical, giving you the ability and time to influence.
How can you increase your authority? Get your business website or blog noticed, write a book, or provide guest content to influential websites in your niche. Ask your prospective customers what they actually want and provide resources where they can find it.