It’s almost cliché: People buy from and work with people they know, like and trust. People get to know you through your content, and they trust you based on your reputation and track record of service. But how do you get people to LIKE you?
Be honest. Who doesn’t like an honest person? If I came to you and said I did a really stupid thing and asked for your forgiveness, you would almost certainly forgive me AND think more highly of me, even though I did the stupid thing. But if I tried to cover it up and you found out, you probably wouldn’t like me, and who could blame you?
This is why mistakes are actually an opportunity to strengthen the relationship between vendors and customers. When the vendor owns up to the mistake and takes immediate action to correct it, the customer will often feel even more positive about the vendor than if the entire transaction had gone off without a hitch.
Be responsive. When someone takes the time to write to you, write back. When an affiliate has a question or concern, answer it immediately. If you can’t, let them know you’ve received their message and will be replying as soon as you can.
If your joint venture partners and affiliates can’t get a hold of you when things are running smoothly, they’ll be concerned that you won’t be there for them should something go wrong. And if you (or your assistant) answers customers questions in a timely manner, you will stand apart from those competitors who never bother to reply.
Be passionate. Yet another reason to work in niches you love – when you’re passionate about your topic, people just naturally like you. You exude an energy and charisma that draws people to you. Positivity is contagious – and people who are passionate about the topic will naturally bond with you.
Tell stories. Imagine a subscriber is on 10 emails lists. 9 of those lists are a constant bombardment of “BUY THIS!” But the owner of the 10th list tells stories. In fact, every email s/he sends contains a story, even if it’s still selling something. Which emails will get opened and read? And who will the subscribers like more? I know of list owners who promote a product every single day to their lists, but because they always tell an interesting story, their open rate is through the roof.
It’s no different than 150 years ago when the farmers would sit around the wood stove in the general store in the middle of winter. The farmer with the best stories was almost always the most beloved of the bunch.
Be yourself. Vulnerability, humility and authenticity will shine through every time. Which of your friends do you like the best? Odds are it’s the ones who don’t put on a facade and can just be themselves.
In the long running British series, “Last of The Summer Wine,” 2 of the main characters were Compo and Foggy. Compo had all sorts of faults, dressed like a bum and obviously didn’t care what people thought. Foggy, on the other hand, was continually trying to paint himself as a regimental, heroic leader. He cared a great deal about what others thought and often told stories of his many imaginary exploits in the great war. Of course he was really rather timid and somewhat incompetent. But he was too busy putting on a false front to notice that he was the only one who believed it.
So which character do you think was most beloved? Compo of course.
Use humor. You don’t have to be a comedian or even tell jokes if you’re not good at it. Simply telling tales about yourself and laughing right along with your readers and viewers will show you have a sense of humor. And they will be able to relate to you all the better when they see you can laugh at your own stupid mistakes.
Surprise people. Find ways to pleasantly surprise your affiliates and customers and they’ll keep coming back for more. For example, you might do a blog post in which you thank each of your active affiliates by name. It wouldn’t cost you a cent, but it would certainly surprise and delight your affiliates when you took the time to publicly recognize their efforts.
Be thankful. Thank your joint venture partners and affiliates every chance you get (see the previous paragraph.) And of course thank your customers. Simply sending an email is a good start, but consider taking your gratefulness further by sending e-cards or actual snail mail cards or even calling. Imagine calling someone who just purchased your $97 product just to say thank you. You’ll have a new best friend for a customer every time you do it.
Keep it simple. Every day the world gets a little bit more complicated, which is an opportunity for you to find a way to simplify things. Taking complex ideas and distilling them down to their simplest forms makes it far easier for your audience to understand what you’re saying and to appreciate you for making it easy for them.
Take a look at every component of your business and find ways to simplify. Is your ordering system a 4 page maze of forms and check boxes? Simplify it. Is your product 26 videos of step-by-step information? Make a mind map so they can see the entire thing on one page. Do you make new affiliates jump through a hoop or two before they can promote you? Simplify. The last thing anyone needs is more complication. By making things simple, you will again become that much more likeable.
If you are the marketer who is honest, responsive, passionate and thankful, who tells stories and uses humor, who keeps things simple and down to earth and even occasionally surprises people, you will be well-liked indeed.