It’s true, people don’t like your business…
…they like YOU.
When it comes to your KLT factor (Know, Like & Trust) it’s not your biz that matters so much as the people behind the biz.
Because we humans respond positively to personalities, not companies.
We’re not attracted to the abstract – we’re attracted to people, especially those who remind us of ourselves… or versions of ourselves that we want to be.
(Although interestingly, it seems that whenever a company is perceived as doing something wrong, it’s easy to blame ‘the company’ rather than an individual.
You hear how “Ryanair cancelled my flight”, or “Facebook stole my data” or “Amazon treats their workers like slaves” etc.)
But when you need more of your potential clients or customers to like you – and you do if you’re in this for the long game – it helps a helluva lot if they can see the personality behind the paperwork.
Last week we looked at how your audience can get to know you better through your messaging, so it’s time we dove deeper into part 2 of the KLT factor:
How more of your audience can LIKE you.
For most digital business owners, this is way trickier online than in person…
Because even if you’re a dazzling Will Smith-esque fountain of charisma offline, it takes time and effort for ‘likeability’ to develop with a prospect on the interwebz, where you can’t rely as much on natural charm or physical presence.
But as the best digital marketers demonstrate daily, it is still possible to communicate likeability through your sales messaging.
Here’s a few ways you can draw your ideal prospects closer and create a bond with them when pressing the flesh isn’t an option…
We all know by now that stories create bonds between people. It’s a skill that’s been passed down for as long as we’ve been walking and talking.
When it comes to storytelling in your digital biz, there are plenty of opportunities. One of the most high-impact places to do it is obviously your About page.
Try creating an unusual or interesting About page that reveals something unexpected about you or your company.
Remember the 3 Rs of a good About page: it should be Revealing, Relatable and Relevant.
People visiting this page (usually the second busiest after your homepage) are actively looking to learn something more about you, and often for validation of their existing opinion.
At this point they WANT to like you – they’ve understood something about what your product / service can do, and now they want to confirm that you’re the biz they should spend money with.
So your About page readers are looking for likeability – for a sense that you’re a business run by real people, not by perfect automatons.
Use storytelling elements here to reveal something about you, help your ideal customer or clients to relate to you, and keep it relevant to how you can best serve them.
Unite and interact
You can also demonstrate your personality through your interactions with others. Remember: online, everyone is (potentially) watching! But that doesn’t have to be the terrifying prospect which, let’s face it, that sounds like…
Think of it as your chance to let others see the real you – generous, creative, bold. Tweets, posts, comments and often even emails can be accessed by others, so don’t put anything out there that you wouldn’t be prepared to repeat in a discussion later.
Who you interact with can affect people’s perceptions of you by association – so show your allegiances with the people or institutions that matter to you. Testimonials, quotes from partners and collaborators, and messages of support go a long way.
Dropping names is ok, if you make it relevant and not purely designed to show how ‘connected’ you are. And any pictures you use to back this up should communicate a sense of authority and mutual respect… rather than just “Here I am hassling Gary V into taking an awkward selfie on his way out of the conference”.
Show your scars
You’ve overcome some tough challenges to create your product / service, or to get where you are today – and that’s a good thing.
No point trying to pretend everything happened to you in a straight line of genius planning or upward curve of success. That would make a pretty dull movie, wouldn’t it?
Own up to the tough times, the hurdles you had to clear, and the breakthroughs that came as a result.
Help others raise themselves up too – identify where your ideal prospect may have been let down by someone like you were, ripped off or taken advantage of. Try to be empathetic, rather than superior.
Don’t overdo the LOLs
If you’re funny, be funny – sometimes. Just don’t try too hard to do it all the time. It’s unnecessary, and it can even distract from what you really want to say.
Humour can be divisive, and you may find that a high proportion of your ideal clients / customers don’t share the same sense of humour (or even the same spelling of it).
Lead, don’t follow
Clearly, most of us prefer modesty to braggadocio and ass-hattery. But that doesn’t mean you can’t sell from a position of both generosity AND confidence.
Be bold in your messaging – demonstrate your strength and self-belief in your products and services. People respect those who lead the way, even if they started doing so reluctantly…
It’s funny how many consultants and solo biz owners who I’ve worked with tell me they were surprised the first time they realised they were leading rather than just giving.
This is a great feeling, and something that can spread to others around you – so if you can communicate your experience of it while remaining grounded and relatable, people will respond well to it.
Of course, some people are more reluctant to self-promote than others. Not everyone feels at ease showing off about what they do, and that’s ok…
Introverts can still lead by example in their messaging, by being true to their values and quietly demonstrating rather than preaching.
Don’t try to be liked, just recognised
We all want to recognise our best qualities – or the ones we wish we had – in others. So don’t try too hard to be likeable… just do your best to be recognisable.
When you put your own personality into your messaging, the people who that resonates with will recognise you, and grow to like you quicker than if you stayed anonymous – and those who aren’t interested will simply move on.
(That’s fine, they’re not your people. Remember: nobody’s target market is ‘everyone’.)
Keep showing up
Sales messaging that builds your brand isn’t a one-and-done thing. It takes time, and it takes consistency. Selling Unique isn’t an overnight process, which is why KLT is such an important part of it.
While likeability can come through being unique, entertaining or charismatic, it can also come through more steadfast qualities like reliability, honesty and consistency…
As the old phrase goes, 80% of success is showing up. Be reliable in your content, and deliver on your promises. Show up today, show up tomorrow and show up again, in support of your core message.
You can demonstrate consistency by repeating your message to help others understand it better, so ‘familiarity’ blossoms into ‘likeability’.
And being consistent is a great way to earn the TRUST of your audience too, which leads us nicely to the final part of our KLT focus…
Click here to read about that in part 3