Guest post by Tamara Monosoff, author of The Mom Inventors Handbook: How to Turn Your Great Idea Into the Next Big Thing.

Our world has changed. People are digesting information differently than ever before and as a small business owner and entrepreneur, it’s up to us to change the way we are communicating with our customers.

With reality TV, social media and live streaming videos 24/7, people expect small business owners to be visible and real. As entrepreneurs, we need to spend time with our customers, speak with them directly, and give them the answers they are seeking without holding back.

Here are three simple steps to connect with your customers on a deeper level and help sell more products and services to grow your business.

Step 1: Give your best information away for free. If you’re a business owner then you are knowledgeable about your area of expertise. One of the fastest ways to get known in your industry is to give your best information away for free even if it’s the very information that people hire you for. In other words, if you want to sell more then… give more. I’m not saying give it all away. However, being generous will not only build trust, appreciation and credibility but it will also trigger word-of-mouth marketing as you invite your audience to share the wealth with their colleagues, co-workers and friends. As you build your following, your fans will opt-in to your list, giving you the  opportunity to nurture the relationship over time.

Tip: Create a quick how-to video packed with the helpful content, a downloadable eBook, or a PDF that can be easily shared by your prospective customers. Doing this will help you build a following of loyal fans and repeat customers.

Step 2: Dust off your webcam and GO LIVE!

The second fastest way to generate more sales is to go live.

As you likely know, Facebook boasts 8 billion daily video views. Are you there? Well… your customers are. Take a look at these 2016 stats from analytics firm, eMarketer:

  • Facebook video posts have increased by 94% in the U.S.
  • Facebook Live videos are watched 3x longer than regular videos
  • Brands are experiencing success with a “6.3% engagement rate for Branded Facebook videos.”

The key to success on Facebook Live is not to sell directly to your audience but to personally engage with your prospective customers. The best way to do this is to continually invite them to free workshops, webinars and to download valuable opt-in gifts. Give them consistent, special attention to show that you genuinely care about their needs. Be generous and share information openly, ask them for feedback and how you can best support them and then most importantly… LISTEN to what they say and respond specifically to their answers. If you are being authentic and generous, your fans will appreciate and trust you. This engagement will inspire them to learn more about your other products, programs and services.

TIP: The fastest way to find your target customers is to join “groups” on Facebook using the search box. And, remember when you Livestream on Facebook, you can repurpose those videos and repost them in other places where your customers reside like LinkedIn and YouTube. You can also share your videos with existing customers via your newsletter or blog so that your current customers benefit from all the great content you’re sharing.

Step 3: Prove it!

It’s been proven that the words and experiences of others sell your products, programs and services better than anything else. Always ask happy customers to turn on their smart phone and film a quick video testimonial about their positive experience working with you. When you get these golden nuggets share the news everywhere including Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube and beyond.

Tip: There is a simple, brilliant new tool that I highly recommend called UseProof.com. As people opt-in for your gifts, webinars, or lead pages, a notification with their picture and a message will pop up that says something like, “David from Michigan just downloaded ‘3 Ways to Generate More Sales’ PDF.” You can label the message however you like. Just seeing other people downloading the gift inspires people to add their names to your list too.

Being more generous, being engaged and visible, and highlighting the results of your customers are three strategic ways to generate more sales, make money, and build the loyalty and trust of your customers.

Dr. Tamara Monosoff is a digital marketing expert and bestselling business author. Tamara has been featured on the Today Show, Good Morning America, CNN, U.S. News & World Report, Wall Street Journal, Oprah, People & Time magazines. Before becoming an author & entrepreneur, she served in the White House and U.S. Department of Education as a Presidential Appointee to the Clinton Administration. Learn more at TamaraMonosoff.com.