Sunday, February 13, 2011

Cultivating Trust.

by Louis Bertrand Shalako


All Rights Reserved

No commerce can take place without some element of trust. Building trustful and fruitful relationships is the key to any successful business.

This is especially true in the virtual world. How does the little old lady from Pasadena know that you can be trusted and you're not just going to grab the cheque, 'perform some work so it isn't legally fraud,' and then bolt?

She doesn't. Building relationships takes time. If facebook and its counterparts are now the new Main Street, then let us go back to that model of 'kinder and gentler times.'

The past really wasn't Mayberry, okay? But the important thing to remember is that in the old village economy, everyone knew everybody else, and quite a bit about their personal business.

They knew who drank, who strayed, and whose kid was sick, and whose grandmother was dying. People don't buy things out of sympathy for your suffering, far from it.

They buy things from people they like, trust, respect or admire. They buy things they need, want or like. If you've ever really felt like you were screwed over by someone you liked, you probably never went back. You might have gone out of your way not to go back--and not out of spite, but sheer self-defense.

There has been some question as to whether 'you' are the product; or if some 'artifact' that can be 'shipped' and then 'billed' is the real product.

Labels are useful for convenience, although they have their limitations.

I am a writer. I write things, things which I then sell or try to sell to editors and publishers and readers around the world. It's what I do.

Whether we write on sheer speculation or sign people up for a monthly newsletter, really doesn't matter. People work hard for their money and they like to know who they are dealing with.

Simply interacting with people helps them to get to know you. Serving them in some way lets them get some idea of who you are.

Twitter is a wonderful medium for social networking.

First and foremost, it is a rich source of relevant posts. I get data and tips for my work.

The 'perfect tweet' would be helpful, informative, relevant, funny, non-threatening, and not cryptic or even enigmatic. It would be targeted at your audience, your followers, who are presumably there for a reason.

If you need to remove a person or entity from the list of people you are 'following, just do it. To tolerate someone is one thing, to take abuse out of politeness is another.

Like facebook, sometimes I just sit there and listen. This is a skill which is highly-underrated in today's virtual economy.

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