Have you ever needed help with anything?
- jumpstarting your car,
- picking up your daughter from school, or even as small a favour as
- receiving a package for you when you are not home.
I’m the kind of guy that doesn’t like to ask for help. Really. However, I can’t avoid the fact that we, as humans, are social people. We can’t do everything by ourselves.
And when I need help, I always ask a friend to lend a hand. Many people would ask their family members, but my parents are three hours away from my home, so they are not really the best option.
I need someone nearby that I can ask for help, like my neighbours.
I need to know them, become their friend.
If I don’t know them, I can’t ask for help. Right?
This is a fact also shared anywhere in the digital world.
When you have a website, and you have trustworthy content and a good network, you want to have readers come your way – readers who are seeking the help that you can offer them.
Like you and me, these readers would first go to a friend for that help or someone they trust enough to be a friend.
And that’s where you and your website come in – if you are their friend.
#1. Build a rapport
You can start by telling your own life story. Like I do. People relate better to someone who is open about themselves and let people know who they truly are.
Many folks who are also embracing the digital world are being more open about themselves by sharing personal videos that let their readers know a bit more about who they are.
While individuals can share their stories through these personal videos, the business can do the same by using explainer videos.
Always remember, however, that to be a good storyteller, you should also be a good listener. The best communication is two-way communication, got it?
#2. Ask them if they need help.
See this bar? This is how we ask our readers, visitors, and friends what help they might need.
I know that sometimes it’s not easy for people to just randomly ask questions of a stranger.
Therefore, having a website that makes it easier for people to know you make them comfortable looking around and seeing if you have something that they need.
We are asking if you can help them and will make it much easier for them. Asking them nicely if you can help is way better than pushing them to contact you.
Psychologically, it’s easier for people to follow whatever their hearts would like to do than follow someone else’s orders. And certainly, direct orders may build up resistance.
#3. Bribe them with gifts.
People love receiving gifts. For example, let’s say you just moved into a new apartment. Which scenario below do you think your new neighbour would appreciate more?
What would they think if you just knocked on their door and ask if they can help you decorate your walls? What would they think if you knocked on their door and brought a bottle of wine as a gift?
A gift, when it’s given because something is expected, something in return, however neatly it is packaged, may be considered a bribe.
And, in the scenario above, we are giving away something because we are expecting (or hoping, asking, whatever) to get something back in return.
Yes, I would call it a bribe. But if done in kindness and as an advanced “thank you” for something in return, it is a bribe that is quite acceptable.
Within the digital world, we use these “advanced thank you gifts” all the time. Don’t be afraid to bribe your readers.
#4. Communicate with them often.
Friends have names. You should know your visitor’s names as well. You need to communicate with them. And that’s why you should ask for their emails and not phone numbers (though it’s an interesting idea to be able to call everyone that visits your website).
If you don’t know how to get your “friend’s” name or email address, read #3 above. Ask them how you should contact them or where you should deliver the gift.
Once you have this information, start communicating with them. Send them weekly emails or monthly if you feel like it. As long as you communicate with them periodically, you will notice that you’ll start receiving replies from them.
I was a bit hesitant to send weekly emails to our readers until my friend Bryan pushed me to do so, explaining it was the best and “right way” to keep up with my internet friends. Let’s save this story for next week though
You can also have a live chat plugin, like Olark, which would help you to communicate in real-time with anyone on your website. Does this all sound good and make sense to you?
This post is all about helping you get more friends through your website. I enjoy making new friends, and I hope you do, too.
Let me write down a quick recap of this post:
- Open up. Tell real stories. Be honest.
- Ask if they need the help that you can provide on your website – because they probably do.
- Don’t be afraid to “bribe” your readers with gifts.
- Get personal. Ask for their names and emails. Send them something.
Whether you need to ask for something in return or not, that’s entirely up to you.