Everything you do in business… whether it’s online or in a store front… is about building relationships. People have choices. You know that you will go where people make you feel good. You may even pay a little more just to patronize such an establishment.

building_relationshipsPeople buy from folks they know, like and trust. That’s your challenge when developing a business – to let everyone feel as if they are a friend because you’ve been open and honest with them.

Here are a few techniques that work to build relationships. How many are you using? If you make it a habit to have all five in your communications you’ll notice a difference in the money you make from online efforts. Your business will realized greater growth.

1. Your Photo

Yes, give up your vanity, don’t worry about getting your best glamour shot. Just get your photo up where everyone can see you. This means putting it on your website, in your newsletters, at the bottom of your email. Let them see you and get to know you. Use different poses occasionally, and different outfits. Get a little casual – without losing your professional stature.

2. Your Name

Let them see your name everywhere. You want them to know it, remember it, and pass it on. Make it easy! Don’t assume people know who you are. Put it on your website (first and last name). Include your name at the bottom of your promotional literature. Start writing a newsletter in “letter” form so that when you are done, you “sign” your name.

3. Your Signature

Yup, take a medium-weight Flair tip pen. Write your first name and your last name multiple times on a white plain sheet of paper. Scan it into your computer. Use the screen capture software like SnagIt by TechSmith to create a first name handwritten image and a whole name handwritten signature. Use one or both frequently – on web pages, in email notes, in your ezine.

When people see something as simple as your handwritten name, they feel they aknow you better. You know, yourself, when you see that signature, you get a “feeling” for folks. Use it to your advantage.

4. Talk With, Not At, People … Use Casual Phrases And Language

Try to be casual in your writing, not too stuffy, formal or academic. One great technique is to put down ideas you want to say, then go back and add some lightness to it. Just talk with, not at, your audience. Throw in some words and phrases that seem “off the cuff” – things you’d say in person, but wouldn’t think about using in “formal” communications.

5. Personal Sharing – Schedule, Events, Thoughts

As you’re talking “with” your audience, share a few items. No, don’t get too intimate or maudlin, but let people into your thoughts, your day, your world. Use the first person of “I” or “we” at times, telling them how you feel about things. Alert them to events that are coming up (where you will be) which might be of interest to them. Allude to something that happened to you recently – which leads to a thought or a message. The idea here is to “let people in” on what you are doing or thinking … connecting it to a message for them. Let it help build their knowledge and comfort level with you.

When you strategically use these five specific techniques you allow your readers to get to know you, like you and trust you. Then, they are far more apt to buy from you – and that’s the point isn’t it!

See how well a Swanson Health Products email broadcast, sharing products and welcoming into a mailing list, incorporates some of these ideas in their bottom banner.