Written By: Cheryl Ellemberg, www.abdpromotions.com, www.ABDwebsiteDesign.com

Often, we will ask “How do you reach out to your target audience?”  Even before that we will ask “Who is your target audience?”

Someone once said when beginning a conversation, you should “anchor” the conversation….meaning start off at a place when you are on common ground with the person you are reaching out to.   Afterwards, “chunking” helps – meaning once you have common ground, build from there and chunk onto the conversation and commonalities you have discovered.

With our business, we have always known that our target audience is the small business owner.  Knowing who you want to help and why makes all the difference.

To that end, building a relationship requires listening.  Do you listen to the needs of your customer?  Are you gathering that information and including it when you offer your products and services?  In this economy, we have a new customer base that is, to coin Gary Vaynerchuk’s term, a “Thank You Economy”.  This is a smarter consumer base that is attracted to a culture where you give first and naturally, you receive back.

Reaching out to your consumers takes time and patience.  It is, however, a very worthwhile endeavor to build a loyal customer base, which then becomes part of your marketing for future business.  They are your arms and legs, eyes and ears in the field.  It’s called “Word-of-mouth” marketing.  Going through the extra effort to help someone out is not only meaningful, it is a good business practice.

Reaching out to consumers can be in person or through a number of social media platforms-  Twitter , Linked In , YouTube, Facebook ABD , Facebook GPP, Foursquare, Google+ ?.

How you reach out is one part of the equation.

Next, we ask – will you maintain your customer relationships over time?