Vesta Digital Blog

How to Build Your Online Reputation by Being Generous

Posted on: September 9, 2010

generosityI recently read a great post on Copyblogger by Dean Rick, a very popular freelance writer. The post is called Give and Grow Rich: The Power of Focused Generosity.

The idea is that being generous, as an online business will bring you more customer loyalty and brand awareness that your business can’t help but succeed. It is these little practices of generosity that will make your small business stand out among your competition.

Here are a few key points from the post by Dean Rick:

Offer something free.

It can be an ebook, a blog tool, a product sample, a subscription to a genuinely terrific newsletter, or any form of valuable information. It can be anything really, as long as it’s free and relates to your core product or service.

One newsletter I subscribe to used to barrage me with products to buy. I was just about to unsubscribe when suddenly the publisher started being generous, sending occasional emails with valuable information and tips with no hard sales pitch. That made the other more product-focused emails a lot easier to swallow, and I remain a loyal subscriber to this day.

Give something beneficial.

Of course you have reasons for being generous, but don’t make people feel manipulated. Do something for the recipient’s benefit. No conditions. No self-serving verbiage.

Allow the “payback,” if and when it happens, to come naturally. Not only does this make you more likable, it can actually change the way you think about people. They stop being “marks” or even “prospects,” and start being real people you honestly care about. And that will come through in your content.

Give something of value.

What you give should have real value for the person on the receiving end. If you run a blog on financial planning and want to “upsell” your readers to a paid online seminar, don’t just give them a self-serving “tease” that piles on the sales patter . Offer an informative sample of the course with solid value even for those who don’t sign up.

Put a personal face on your gift.

Take off the corporate suit and tie. Don’t have the gift coming from your “business.” It should come from you personally. It is much easier to feel indebted to a person than to a faceless, formal company. And people are more likely to be loyal to you as a person than to your business empire.

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