Give Them More of What They Want – Building Relationships Pt. VI
I hope you’re learning something valuable with this series of posts about Building Relationships for the Long Term. I’m anticipating that by the time I’ve posted the last article, you’ll have an arsenal of information that will help you succeed in building a strong customer base and keeping them happy to be on your list – especially if you give them more of what they want…
Today I want to talk more about giving your readers what they want.
Your readers should be so wrapped up in the idea that you are one of the few people online that genuinely cares about them and their business that they will jump at anything you say is worth their time and their money because they have learned that you only tell them about things that you believe will benefit them – now that’s a mouthful, so read it again!
When you can get your readers to believe that you have their best interests in mind (through your past actions), whenever you tell them about a product or point them to a resource, they will learn to listen to and trust what you say – since you’re able to give them more of what they want.
But, doesn’t giving your readers free information only train them to expect more free information from you and not to buy?
Not really – for two reasons:
1 – Your readers know that if they want you to keep producing quality free information for them that they have to buy your products or the products you recommend. It doesn’t hurt when you remind them on occasion that your time is valuable and that you’ll keep publishing only if it’s in your best interest to do so. Kind of like what I’ve been doing did with these posts.
I publish for profit. As soon as it’s no longer profitable for me to produce information like this, I’ll stop and you can be 100% sure that I’m not kidding.
2 – People online don’t know who you are. You have to demonstrate that you have some knowledge about your supposed area of expertise before they can believe that you know enough to give them recommendations on products that will help them.
Do You Just Want to Be Average?
If you’re just the average publisher who pushes a bunch of recycled articles surrounded by ads, how is that any different from what they do? If you can’t offer them any more than they can offer themselves, you become unnecessary.
The main thing people are looking for is guidance from others who seem to know something more than they know. The only way people will see you as that person is if you show them. If you don’t know anything, then go out and learn something. Then, show others what you’ve learned – give them more of what they want. That’s all any good teacher does.
They are constantly learning something new.
Really, what it comes down to is you understanding what people think. People expect you to go after their wallet without proving yourself first. People expect your newsletter to be full of “junk” and ads. People expect you to look out for your needs first.
Surprise Your Readers!
When you start asking your subscribers for feedback you need to keep in mind that most of them won’t respond, but some will. Maybe a lot of them will. That’s a good sign, but it may not seem that way when you start thinking about how you’re going to respond to everyone who emails you. One trick to engage those who didn’t respond is to post the answers you did receive, as part of your next blog post.
Here’s what to do in that situation…
Instead of doing what a lot of people do which is to answer emails for hours at a time, set aside 10-15 minutes and go through all your email 2-4 times a day. It’s easier to knock all your email out in blocks than it is to try and handle it in bits and pieces throughout the day.
Set up specific times for getting to your emails and for the most part, stick to that schedule.
The most important part about asking your readers for questions is responding to those questions within a reasonable amount of time. I’ve had problems with that in the past and it was partly due to me not setting a schedule for checking my email. When you have a schedule, it’s easier to have the right mind set to answer those questions.
Am I saying that you can’t check your email sporadically during the day? No. Sure you can; as long as you mainly stick to whatever schedule you’ve set for yourself. Any extra time you spend going through your email is entirely up to you.
You might think some of the questions you get from your readers are of little value and you may even think some of them are a waste of your time to answer. However, you should always try to keep in mind the fact that any question someone asks is important to him or her so those questions must become important to you.
Think about it. Even though email is easy to send, it still requires some effort to compose an email and send it out. When you send email to someone, you expect a timely response because your question or concern is important to you.
YOUR readers are no different.
The Bottom Line
How do you feel about people who do things for you? Aren’t you more willing to do things for people who have already done things to benefit you? Of course you are and if you honestly ask yourself why, you’ll come to the conclusion that it’s because you want those people or that person to continue to want to do things for you in the future. That’s how newsletter publishing works.
It’s a measured give and take. When YOU give YOU to subscribers, they will give to you if only to keep you in the mood to keep giving to them. If all you do is try to take from your subscribers you’ll start breed resentment at your attempt to snatch their hard earned money at every chance you get. So – never forget to give them more of what they want.
Your subscribers buying from you is a direct result of your efforts to make them want to keep you in business so you can continue to do things that benefit them. That’s basically it. People care about their needs above and beyond yours so take care of theirs first and the profits will follow.
This Seems Like So Much Work!
Building relationships for the long term may seem like a lot of work, but if you think about how you’d like to be treated or what types of information you’d like to receive if you’re on someone’s list, you’ll see the point.
Examine what others are doing (if you’re on their list) and see how what they’re offering makes you feel. Are you learning something new? Or are they just trying to get you to open your wallet every day? Which approach do you prefer?
I know that I really appreciate learning new things and then being directed to something that could help me along the way rather than having some ‘guru’ trying to shove their next big product (that’s going to make me 1000’s of dollars in a couple of days) down my throat.
In my humble opinion, putting the work into building relationships for the long term, and making sure I give them more of what they want, is an extremely worthwhile investment of my time. Otherwise, I wouldn’t be sharing this type of valuable information with you right now.
That’s it for today’s post. Tomorrow, I’ll be sharing why it’s important to be yourself, even if some people don’t like it.