People buy from People…even Online #onlinebusiness tips from Wendy Shand

The Mother of InventionWendy Shand is the founder of the family friendly villa specialists, www.totstotravel.co.uk has been building her online profile for the last 8 years.  Here’s how she does it!

When I first started out, I hoped that I could hide behind my brand…until I realised that people buy from people and, what’s more, they buy from people they like and trust.  And that’s before we go into the value of being easily ‘Google-able.’

This is a big deal.

This means a whole bunch of different things but mostly it means that I needed to come to terms with any fear I had about failure and put my head above the parapet.

And if I was going to fail, then it would be a much more public affair.  With my name (and face) in the headlines!

Once I’d come to terms with this idea, I realised that, like anything, if I was going to ‘go public’ then I had to commit to it and do it properly and be the ‘personality’ behind my brand.

So here’s my online strategy for building your online profile:

1)     Make up your own Profile Raising Kit:  You’ll need a really good set of photos of yourself and a biog and most of all you’ll need to establish ‘your story.’  For example, my little boy fell into an unenclosed swimming pool and that has been the motivation and vision behind creating a portfolio of genuinely family friendly holiday villas that you’ll find on www.totstotravel.co.uk.  Now it’s your turn, what’s your story?  What is it about you that will get people wanting to read and hear more?

2)     What’s your take?  You’ll need to find your voice and be confident to use it.  Start with the issues in your industry.  What advice do you give your friends about what you do?  What people want is the ‘inside track.’  They want the industry secrets about how they get a better deal, avoid the pitfalls or achieve something better than what they could have done by themselves.  There’s plenty of content to keep you going just there!  And you’ll need to share something of yourself.  The highest levels of engagement happen on the social networks when you demonstrate your personality, share your passions and from time to time demonstrate some humility.  Remember this process is about building relationships over time.

3)     Build relationships and trust: Once you have your story and your Profile Raising Kit then you need to go about building lasting relationships.  So, you’ll need to identify who you want to listening to you.  Obviously there are your clients but there are also journalists, key influencers, potential joint venture partners and more.  Make sure your message is consistent and benefit led.  That last sentence is really important.

4)     What’s in your tool box?  Your website, your blog, a PR agency, social media, online speaking ops (for example as a guest expert on somebody else’s webinar), your newsletter and other people’s blogs and websites are all tools that you can use to begin to get your message out there and to build your online profile.  Each of these are important tools in building your online profile.

Wendy ShandWendy Shand is the founder of the family friendly villa specialists, www.totstotravel.co.uk.  Wendy’s villas are uniquely visited and vetted to ensure that they are stylish and safe; they come with Tots To Travel’s Essential Child and Baby Kit Guarantee for travelling light and all the pools are barriered for child safety.

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