In the new economy there is one major truth that stands above the rest… trust equals revenue. If you are a small to mid-sized business it is the amount of trust you can build between clients that strengthens your brand. With trust comes happy clients and with happy clients come referrals. Trust is a fundamental building block to all businesses.

With that in mind… marketing is built under the assumption that stories can create an emotional bond between a consumer and a brand… a client and a service. Can you tell a story… create a service and en experience that builds trust?

Social media can help you build that trust.

1. Content

Content is the number one way you can build trust with potential clients. By creating meaningful and thought provoking content you are building a bridge to later sell that person on your services. Talk about what you do on a daily basis. When I say you.. it means you are writing and communicating stories that happen to YOU and not your industry. Create a blog on WordPress and get started. Want a paid system? Try Compendium.

2. Be Transparent

Being transparent is extremely important when writing content and when participating in the social networks. Be human. Customers are people too. The people who are interested in your thoughts and suggestions want to know about you as a person.  They want to know how you helped LARRY the plumber or Susan the accountant.

3. Picture of Your Day

When you are using social networks make sure you put up pictures of your daily life. If you have a cell phone with a camera take some pictures  and share them with your connections. Just don’t over do it. We can only look at so many professional business or glamor shots in a day and no pictures from the shower!

4. Picture of You

Use your real picture.  Don’t use your logo. There is only one exception to this rule. If you are using Twitter for your business and personal (see my company @Brandswag for an business example and @kyleplacy for a personal example).

5. Saying Thank You

If somebody helps you share information or decideds to retweet a post.. make sure you thank that person. They are helping you spread the word… they are your online evangelists.. If you miss a thank you.. don’t let it kill you.. but try to make the most of the people that help you out.

6. Do Not Auto-DM on Twitter

See my post… I hate Twitter Auto-DM

7. No Hard Selling

I don’t care about your enewsletter or the new lotion you are selling. Also, just because I reply to a tweet or a message does not mean you can message me back and sell your wares. Social media is a long sell process. You are developing content in order to gain an order of trust with people in your area of influence. We are now experiencing a relationship driven economy… get on the train.

8. Time is Important

Remember that you are building relationships.. do not trust the people that tell you to add 1023920 friends and make $10,000 a month. It is a load of crap. Build your following slowly… create relationships in an online environment that can be transferred offline.

9. Criticism is Important

You will be criticized. It is a truth of open communication. Take it with stride and respond. If you are debated… make sure you debate back. Stand up for what you believe and you will gain trust with the people who are listening…. and watching.

10. Have fun

Good Lord… is it that hard? You have the ability to connect with thousands… and thousands… and thousands of people from every nationality… and life experience. Just imagine your ability to expand your knowledge base and learn?!

One thought: If you are not enjoying and having fun with what you do… quit… go find something else.

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