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How to create a relationship with potential clients

For some business owners, it’s tempting to think that they’re simply one new sales technique away from a massive breakthrough in their business.

But this type of thinking is now “old school”, and customers no longer respond well to the traditional sales mindset. Instead, content marketing allows you to nurture your leads and create ongoing relationships with potential clients.

In fact, content marketing is much cheaper than outbound marketing (costing 62% less), while generating more than three times as many leads.

This is because content marketing is about providing helpful, unique, and interesting content for your target customers. Instead of talking “at” your customers, you’re a trusted source of information within the industry.

Here are some tips for creating a relationship with potential clients:

Treat them the way you like to be treated
This seems obvious, but it’s something we often forget. When you’re interacting with potential clients, put yourself in their shoes.

Remember that every visitors to your website is an individual person, and avoid seeing them as just another number. One great way to make this easier is through the creation of buyer personas. These help you direct all of your content towards a target customer with a name, job, and particular demographics.

Create the right content
When creating content for your customers, you need to know what it is they’re looking for. That’s why it’s so important to get to know your customers, their interests, and their biggest problems.

This will allow you to create content tailor-made for your readers- whether they’re a B2B company looking for a new software solution or an everyday customer wanting advice about a specific problem.

Consider the expertise you have which could be turned into content. These days, you have a wide variety of options to help you connect with your clients, including blogs, whitepapers, ebooks, videos, emails, and more.

Have a personality
In today’s highly personal and interactive world, businesses and brands need to have a public face. Throughout your content and social media, you need to maintain a consistent personality and voice.

Be human, have empathy, emotions, and an understanding of the issues your potential clients are facing. This allows you to get closer to your leads and become part of their daily lives.

Partner with experts and influencers
Your aim should be to become a trusted source of information so potential clients can run their businesses better. The information you’re providing needs to be cutting-edge, unique, and unbiased. One good example is the IBM influencer program. The company has partnered with a group of bloggers, including authors, IT analysts, and business partners. These ‘influencers’ are focused on IBM’s business priorities such as virtualisation, data security, businesses analytics, and cloud computing.

Since these influencers have a network and independent followings, their objective, balanced opinions educate potential customers for IBM.

Focus on a long-term relationship
Content marketing allows you to forge relationships with both potential and current clients. But this requires a foundation of trust. The moment your content begins to feel or look like a sales pitch is the moment you lose credibility.

American Express noticed this yearly, launching OPEN Forum back in 2007. This online community allows small business owners to get advice from experts, share insights, and build connections. You won’t find any canned marketing messages here, but in 2010, OPEN received more than 10.5 million page views.

How to understand your customers and why this is good for business growth

Creating a relationship with potential clients will help your business grow authentically. If you need help putting together a strategy to do this, get in touch today to learn more.