The first step to getting online leads is building visibility. Your prospects have to know you are there before they can make a decision about whether or not to use your products and services.
The second stage is building trust. Actually creating an online relationship over the Internet is much harder than merely being noticed. Social media profiles are vital to gaining your prospects’ trust for five reasons:
1. Your profile establishes a presence in a trusted community.
In the television show, “Yes, Virginia, There is a Santa Claus” eight-year-old Virginia writes, “Papa says if you see it in The Sun, it’s so.” If she were writing that letter today, it would probably read, “If you see it on Facebook it’s so.” Many people today use social media to research products and services and even to make buying decisions. Just being a presence on Facebook or Twitter gives you some credibility.
2. Your profile shows that you are easily accessible.
When creating your profile, make sure prospects know exactly how to get in touch with you by telephone, email and Skype. If your business has a physical address, include that as well. Potential and current customers are far more likely to trust you if they know exactly where you are and how to reach you should they experience problems with your goods or services.
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3. Your profile allows you to share information and news.
Many businesses make the mistake of trying to make their profiles seem too casual and “chatty.” Your profile is not the place to talk about your hobbies, pets or family issues. It is a great place, though, to share information that might be important to your prospects such as changes in insurance laws and new packages that you are offering. Update your profile regularly so customers know your page contains up to date news.
4. Your profile is a great place to put testimonials.
You’ve probably received several positive letters from grateful customers. Instead of just reading them and tucking them away in a file, ask the customers’ permission to put those glowing words in your profile so that prospects can see the many ways in which you are appreciated.
5. Your profile is a place to post professional images.
It’s easier for a prospect to trust someone he or she can see, so make sure your profile includes a photo album with professional-looking pictures of your sales staff, customer service representatives, and anyone else at your agency with whom the prospect is likely to come into contact.
Building trust is an important part of finding leads online. Your well-crafted social media profile makes it easy for prospects to feel as if they know you and trust you.