Most marketers get it wrong. When they say things like, “You don’t propose on a first date,” we all nod our heads.

And while it’s true that you shouldn’t sell the first time you meet someone, that kind of “advice” is so patently obvious, it should not be considered advice at all.

Then they say things like “just deliver consistent value”. The problem is: By itself, that doesn’t work anymore. Why? Because people are tired of being marketed to, under the guise of “serving”.

And they’re tired of being spammed, under the auspices of the mighty Email List. 😲Oh, no, he didn’t! Oh, yes, I did. (And you agree.) 😀

So, what’s the “secret” to connecting with your ideal customers online?

Well, you don’t connect with people just by telling a good story. Or just by growing a Facebook page. Or just by having an “engaged” Facebook group. Why? Because…

The “secret” to connecting with anyone is thousands of years old.

That’s great news! It means that you don’t have to figure out an algorithm. Or rely on the latest “viral” tactic to help you.

Even better, the best way to connect with people online is actually simple and effective, when you follow these 3 pillars… hidden in plain sight.

Pillar #1: Focus on Relationships Above All Else

Attracting ideal customers online isn’t a lot different than attracting them in person. Where most marketers go wrong is they tend to de-personalize the online “lead gen” process.

And you know the marketing “experts” are heading in the wrong direction when the process of connecting with people online has degraded into the pursuit of “generating leads”.

After all…

Isn’t there something inherently wrong with referring to human beings as “leads”?

So, what does your ideal customer want?

Simply put, they want a relationship.

No, that doesn’t mean you have to bare your soul! They just want you to simply connect like a normal person before you share your value with them.

When you do that, the revenue will follow.

Pillar #2: Pay Attention to Cultural Trends

Most business owners simply follow the advice of others who have “been there and done that”. Sounds smart, right?

Well, yes… and no. Because that’s not all you should be following.

If an “expert” tells you something that’s worked for them in the past, that doesn’t mean it’ll work for you now.

So…

How do you know if someone’s advice might work for you? How do you remove the disconnect between what an “expert” tells you and what you should actually do?

It’s simple, really…

Pay attention to cultural trends.

For example, when your ideal customers start saying things like, “I’m deleting my Facebook app,” do you think it would be wise to invest your time (and adspend) on Facebook?

Or because Netflix, Hulu, and YouTube have successfully altered our viewing habits from anticipating weekly episodes to binge-watching episodes, do you think that a weekly FB LIVE show will be as compelling as perhaps releasing an entire “season” of whatever your industry is craving?

And how many people are doing this? Not anyone I know.

Contrast that with seemingly everyone “going LIVE” on Facebook or Instagram just to “be consistent”.

The point? Very few people pay attention to cultural trends.

Pillar #3: Be Who You Aspire to Be

If you believe that you were made for more, your ideal customer will believe that too.

If you live out your true identity, they will live out theirs too.

If you care about others, they will sense that and care about you too.

People follow others they aspire to be.

But if you’re a micromanager or a jerk or a bad leader, those people who are following you now, well, they soon won’t be.

If you treat people poorly, it’s gonna catch up with you.

Or if you work so much you don’t have time for your family, then your ideal customers will begin to take notice and think, “Hmm… That’s not really who I want to be.”

Yet if you choose to become the person you aspire to be, the kind that others around you love too, then your ideal customer will want to join you.

Figuring out which social platform you need to be on or which tech you need to use, well, that’ll become much clearer when you get the fundamentals right.

So, what are those fundamentals? What’s the “secret” to attracting ideal customers online?

Build relationships first, pay attention to cultural trends, and be the person you aspire to be.

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