Those that know me well know I'm a bit of a cat freak. I have literally had a cat living with me at all times except for a few college years. So, when a tiny, skinny white cat started showing up in my backyard, I took it upon myself to be its caregiver. I told myself I would just fatten her up a little, and that was it. I left some kibble out for her with a bowl of water. A few hours later, it was gone. I wouldn't see her every day, sometimes a week would go by and I would get a little worried, but sooner or later she'd show up again, and I'd put out some food. She was quite skittish, so I could just set it out and leave it for her, but I was determined to connect with her. I kind of fancy myself a "cat whisperer" ha ha I know, weird, but I am usually able to get cats to like me. My eight year old daughter joined in on my campaign and with regular feedings, the kitty, of course, started hanging around more. Now, when she'd come by every other day, we'd set the bowl down and watch her eat from around the corner. We named her "Snowball" as she is completely white. Bit by bit, day by day, we'd inch closer, until finally I could sit down within a few feet of the bowl and Snowball would come up and chow down. If I reached to pet her, though, she would flee. My husband teased me during this whole time because I kept on insisting "I was not going to get attached, we have two cats, I don't want another, blah blah blah." But, in my heart, I wanted this cat to like me, I needed her to trust me. I went on a quick vacation to see my sister, and during that time, we had a horrible rainstorm. My husband, who had teased me the whole time, rigged the garage so she could get in and out as she pleased, while being sheltered from the rain. He started feeding her morning and night in the garage! When I got back, I resumed the duty of feeding her. I could call out to her and she would come running from whatever yard she'd been prowling around, chirping and purring. I would pour her food, and again attempt a brief touch. She would dart out of the garage, returning a minute later. Finally, one day, she let me get one good swipe of her back without running away. Progress! Then, this morning, she gave in. She decided to trust me fully. I gave her a scratch under the chin and she rolled over on her belly (a move a scared cat won't do since it's hard to run from that position). She purred, and rubbed up against my hand. I stopped so she could eat, but she rubbed up against my hand again. I think it had been so long since she had been loved, she craved it. It made me so happy that I had won her trust. I think we may have another cat in the Walker family...
Building trust is so important, not just when dealing with stray cats, but in your marketing as well. That was a really long example of building trust, but it shows how long it can take, and the small steps required to get there. If you are producing content for your site, don't expect your audience to "chirp and purr" right away. It takes time. Your job is to keep providing value and expertise to win their hearts. I have made a concerted effort for the past eight months to show up and keep churning out daily quality content, and I am just reaping the rewards. Keep at it, build the trust, and you will see a difference!
Some tips for building trust online:
Post content daily
Mix a blend of your subject matter with other things like quotes that might apply
Show your face and introduce yourself
Ask questions at the end to encourage a response
Like and more importantly, comment on other people's pages
Join some smaller Facebook groups to get support from others in your industry
Start using video so your fans can see you and your personality
Have you had trouble connecting with your audience? Let me know if I can help!
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September 19, 2016
How a little white cat reminded me about trust, in life and marketing!