I came across a very interesting article about the art & business of crafting your online self by Tara Gentile and I began to think about this very concept in terms of marketing your business online.
You have no doubt heard the mantra that people buy from those whom they trust, so how can you possibly trust someone whom you’ve never met and who could live on the other side of the world?
In Tara’s words, “how do you communicate the “essence of you” to people who’ve never met you before?” I believe that this question is even more important when you’re asking people to part with their money for something that you are offering online.
So, how do you communicate the “essence of you” so that you will be trusted enough for relative strangers to do business with you over the internet?
Why, through social media of course. There are more and more social media sites appearing across the net which devote a large part of themselves to business networking online.
Even Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, MySpace and many other ‘social’ networking sites have recognised that business people are a very important aspect of their online presence these days.
But there are sites that now go further and devote themselves almost exclusively to business professionals who want to meet and do business with other business professionals. However, the above mantra will still apply in human relationships – people generally tend to do business with others that they feel that they know and trust.
With that in mind, these business networking sites focus more on the background – both personal and professional – of their members and usually have some sort of rating system whereby members can rate other members on the quality of their prior business dealings and general interactions.
This sort of rating helps to shorten the learning curve for busy marketers whom have little time to make any in depth background checks on online entrepreneurs other than the good old ‘Google search’.
Quite apart from the quality of the products and services being offered, people want to know whether or not potential business partners are ‘nice’ people or ‘good eggs’. After all, who wants to do business with rougues or scoundrels?
This is precisely why “The Online You” is a crucial factor in internet marketing and why you must portray yourself effectively and extensively across the net using social media and, more relevantly, business networking sites.
They are geared towards business professionals and they even combine affiliate programs and referral bonuses for members to add to their business arsenals.
These business networking sites are many and varied but there are a few new kids on the block that I’ve written about before that I believe are going to be taking the online business world by storm. There is also another that is due to launch within the next couple of weeks and is currently in beta mode. More on that to come.
Ending with some more of Tara’s thoughtful post:
“you know me as the words i write, the information i share, and the people i introduce you to. i am all those things, put together, and examined.
but i am nothing without relationships
if its not for you, the people who i work hard to cultivate relationships with, i am nothing.”
Chineme – http://internetmarketingviews.com