Did you know that building rapport online is possible? Most people view building rapport as an in-person or Zoom meeting activity. However, knowing how to build rapport online with clients is essential to connecting with your community. It builds trust and an online connection with potential customers before they contact you. You can build rapport online by:
Being truthful and sharing your authentic self which is the key to building trust.
Showcasing who you are through your profile pictures, cover photos, and video.
Providing engaging expert content that truly helps people before they contact you.
Being viewed as an expert in your niche and that you provide the best solution.
Dominating Google page one for your brand to instantly communicate that you’re an authority and influencer.
“Spray and Pray” No Longer Works
The mistake most business owners make is producing content that they think potential customers will be interested in, and then sharing it across social media.
Their focus is selling themselves and their offerings using a “spray and pray” technique that no longer works. They think, if hundreds or thousands of potential customers see their content, they will line up to work with them. In reality, this content is rarely seen, read, shared, or acted upon. It doesn't contribute to building rapport online.
It’s a motion versus productivity approach that is usually a waste of time and leads to frustration.
Getting It Right!
Here’s how you can build rapport online. Not only will you achieve a competitive advantage, but you’ll also increase your conversions. However, you need to decide between building a personal brand vs a company brand.
Step 1. Know and understand your audience and niche
Most people generate content without much thought. They view creating content as a necessary evil and just want to get it written and posted. Many prefer to outsource it. Some just rewrite common niche information and figure it’s good if it reads editorially correct. They expect this approach to attract new customers. When nothing happens, they become frustrated but continue to repeat the same process. To remedy this, “do the following for building rapport online:”
Truly Understand Your Audience
Here’s an alternative that helps you to understand your audience and builds rapport. Don’t guess. Instead, contact your current customers and/or reach out to those that are part of your target market. There may also be Facebook and LinkedIn groups, as well as forums to research. You can message them or post your questions about the problems they face and are seeking some pain relief. The list of issues and other feedback will be the foundation for your expert-level educational content.
When potential customers are ready to buy, they want to trust a business before they do so. They conduct a Google search, and usually, the results look the same. Every competitor is shouting, “Work with me, I’m the best!” It appears like a step-right-up carnival. This is a turnoff and is not building rapport online. It can repel customers. Even when they visit social media, they get inundated in the same manner. You need to reinvent your approach and address the real concerns potential customers are searching for online. Then provide the answers to their problems.
You can also provide answers to the questions they are unaware that they should be asking.
When they see your content, they feel you are helping them before they contact you. Additionally, research the questions your audience is asking. You can search on AnswerThePublic.com for your niche. Enter your keyword phrase, select your country and it will provide the questions asked. You can use the research to publish a frequently asked questions (FAQs) page or include them in your content.
Authenticity and expertise can build rapport online.
It's the foundation for attracting new customers.
Questions to help you get started
Describe your audience
- Who is my customer?
- Who is not my customer?
- What problems are they looking to solve?
- What questions are they asking and researching?
- What are their frustrations?
- Are there any trends that will affect them?
- Do they have their own niche terminology?
- Where do they hang out online?
- What authority websites do they visit?
- What products or services like mine do they use or think they need?
- What type of communication style/tone do they prefer? (Formal or conversational/friendly?)
Own Google for your Personal Brand
The Brand Velocity Program is a training and resource solution that was created for entrepreneurs. It's designed to help them build their personal brands online. This communicates their authority and trust with both Google and potential customers while gaining a competitive advantage.
Step 2. Adjust your mindset for creating content
To build rapport online, you need to create your content as if you’re talking to one person - not your entire niche. Imagine that your best friend comes to you with a problem because he or she knows you can help them. Would you quickly provide some cursory information to get it over with? If you did, how would they view your sincerity? Since you respect and care about them, you take the time to listen attentively and then provide the best information you can to be helpful. Use this same approach when creating your online content and you’ll build rapport.
Although you cannot directly ask your audience questions online, you can answer the questions you know they are asking, or more importantly, provide answers to the questions that they should be asking. That’s what influencers do!
Think of one question that your potential customers are asking.
Visualize you are talking to your best friend and making eye contact.
Your authentic commitment to helping them.
How your friend reacts with appreciation when you answer the question with information that helps them.
That is how you need to think and feel when you create your content. It’s that important for building online rapport! It helps you to connect with your audience when you haven’t met them in person yet.
Step 3. Write a list of what value and benefits you can provide to potential customers
Every competitor has a product or service that they provide, and they all stress that they offer the most value for your money. So, what value and benefits can you demonstrate that convince a prospect to contact you? How do you differentiate yourself from your competition? There are:
- Core values that define you and your business. They pertain to your beliefs and ethics.
- Your value proposition defines the value you will deliver to your customers through your products or service.
- Benefits define how your offerings will help to solve your customers' problems or improve their business.
With people worried about online scams, they want to be confident that the businesses they choose to work with are ethical and can communicate and live up to their stated core values. Your core values are important to communicate trust to potential customers. You should add your value proposition to your website’s About Us page, as well as include it in your online content.
Core Values Examples
A value proposition refers to the value your company promises to deliver to customers when they consider choosing to buy your product or service. A value proposition is part of your company's overall marketing strategy.
How to Write a Value Proposition
- List the benefits your product/service offers.
- Describe what makes the benefits valuable.
- What is your customer's main problem?
- Connect this value to your customers’ problems.
- Differentiate yourself from your competition for this value.
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Enhanced User Experience
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Make a list for the following:
What are your core values? (See above examples)
What is your value proposition?
What customer benefits do you provide? (See above examples)
How do you differentiate your business from your competition?
This critical information can be strategically added to your online content to build rapport with potential customers.
Step 4. DO NOT sell to potential customers. Rather, allow them to buy from you.
Customers prefer to conduct research about companies and solutions and resist a direct sales approach. Once they decide, they reach out and contact the business that they’ve decided to approach.
When you’ve built a strong rapport online, the money will follow, and you won’t have to sell directly.
Because you’ve authentically communicated your value and expertise through your content without asking for money in return. You’ve demonstrated that you not only understand and have experienced the problems that challenge them but also, you’re willing to help them online for free. This approach builds rapport, and trust and works 24X7 for your business.
Additionally, when you do reach out to potential customers or receive referrals, they’ll conduct research about you. When they search and see your content, they’ll recognize that you’re an authority in your niche and they “feel” you can help them.
Step 5. Provide essential and unique educational content
Determine the way your audience prefers to receive content. It’s usually in either a formal or conversational tone. This is important to determine if you want to succeed.
Here’s an example. Let’s say an accountant wants to create content to build rapport online. There can be two potential target audiences. One is providing content for other accountants, so this is content for peers. The second audience is small business owners who want to hire an accountant to help their business.
Peer-to-peer content is usually more formal and technical. For Example, informing about a new law or regulation.
For small businesses, the style and tone are usually conversational. To build rapport, the content needs to be easy to understand and convey the benefits to the company. You’ve heard the saying, “Okay, now give it to me in English.” Or “Please, dumb it down for me.”
Here are more examples:
For those of you that are interested, you can learn more details here.
If you’re interested in learning more, you can get all the details here.
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What is Network Marketing?
Network marketing allows you to start and build your own business. You can work from home and make your own hours. You’ll get to directly sell products to earn immediate income, as well as grow your business by attracting others who wish to become your business partners. This is referred to as your downline. It’s people helping people to succeed. Your sponsor is part of your upline. He or she and others in the upline will help to ensure that you understand the products and help you grow your business. I’d be happy to answer any questions to ensure the opportunity is right for you.
The difference is the formal answer appeals to your mind. It was a clinical answer written to correctly answer the question. If all a reader wanted was a definition, it was successful.
On the other hand, the conversational answer was written to appeal to the readers’ emotions. The tone is engaging and motivates the reader because it makes them “feel” that they can build their own business as part of a team with plenty of support. It was all about them.
A formal tone is like a conversation with an unknown person or as the content would appear in a textbook.
A conversational tone is like a conversation between two people rather than merely presenting the information. You directly address your audience and casually convey your content to your audience.
Some tips for writing conversational content:
Use contractions, e.g., you’ll and not, you will.
DO NOT write as you text. It’s more like email.
Write to an individual as if it was your best friend.
Use the words “You”, “We”, and “I.”
Use the active voice. (For example. “The dog chased the cat” and not “The cat was chased by the dog.)
Engage your audience with questions.
Write short sentences and paragraphs.
Use understandable words and include words that align with your niche’s terminology.
Become a storyteller when communicating your background and niche experience.
People research with their analytical minds but buy with their feelings.
Don’t just recycle common content - differentiate and provide “AHA” points when your audience reads or views your content. If the content is already easily found in a Google search, then provide or add information an expert would share.
Solving pain points build rapport online and triggers the emotional buy.
Once you write the content, wait a day, and then reread it. You can then edit accordingly.
Have someone read it and get their feedback. Was it understandable, helpful, and to the point? (A plus if they understand your niche).
Aligning Content with User Intent
Before you write your content, you want to ensure that it aligns with user intent. If users are searching for something specific, then your content needs to provide it. You need to give searchers what they want. User intent is divided into the following four areas:
- Informational (How to and answering questions)
- Comparison (Pros versus Cons)
- Transactional (Want to buy a product or service)
- Navigation (Searching for a login or download page, etc.)
Your goal is to have your traffic stay longer on your site and not bounce back to their search results page. The longer they stay, the better the chance they can become a customer. Time visitors stay on your site is one of Google’s SEO signals.
You want to ensure that your content has a consistent flow and ends with a call to action. The goal is to impress your audience, have them want more, and eventually contact you.
Decide on the topic and hook for your content ensuring this is something that interests your target audience. The headline should be keyword-friendly (keyword phrases that are being searched in Google) and hook your audience. For example:
X number of ways to do __________
X steps for creating _____________
How we got _______ results with _______ method.
Short opening paragraph followed by actionable tips as a list of steps.
The remaining content
The call to action (only one per piece of content)
Ask people to comment, like or share.
Visit your website.
Offer them a gift to subscribe to your list.
Offer a free 10-minute consultation.
Refer them to another piece of content.
Ensure every piece of content has a call to action. This helps your content to convert your audience so that you can continue to engage with them. This is important for building rapport online.
Creating your content
Determine your call to action.
List the key points that you wish to include.
Write the information for each talking point.
Use bullet points when it makes sense.
Separate each with a sub-title and space accordingly.
Introduce your call to action.
Add your call-to-action with a clickable link so your audience can take immediate action.
End with a summary about you and your business.
Create your headline (This is intentionally last and should arouse curiosity or interest).
The following tips will help your content marketing strategy:
Text length does not matter. The depth of the content rules.
Repurpose your text content into video and audio files. (Duplicate content only matters on your website. This can trigger a Google penalty).
User/Audience experience is critical.
Spend more time updating your old content making it expert-level versus creating new content. (Only one new article per week is acceptable unless you have no previous content.)
Focus on a single niche and go deep with your expertise. This will strengthen your brand online which ultimately helps to build rapport with your audience.
Ensure your keywords align with your topics.
Get on video. It’s the best way to connect with people and build rapport when you can’t meet in person. With video, you cannot fake authenticity and viewers can sense if you’re sincere or not. Video can quickly build rapport online.
Make your posts multimedia. Include:
Video (increases engagement)
Links for immediate action
Link out to a related authority site in a new browser window.
It’s getting cluttered and more competitive online and will continue to do so. If you want to succeed in establishing a strong brand and building rapport online with potential customers, then you need to provide expert-level, education-based content to a specific niche audience. Ensure that you understand the method of communication necessary and address the problems that your audience is experiencing in an authentic and sincere manner.
Less content is more, however, you need to provide expert-level content that gives you a competitive advantage. Ensure you update your previous content to an expert level. When you build rapport online, you’ll have created a lead generation machine that works 24X7 for your business. The Brand Velocity Program can help you to establish a strong personal brand online, as well as protect your brand with an effective online reputation management strategy. You can also visit the Brand Velocity training page to review the course outline. Additionally, it's important that your content marketing plan helps with building rapport online.