It’s amazing what being nice will get you life. It’s even more amazing what it will do to your brand and your business. Establishing goodwill and loyalty with your audience should be a main area you focus on. When you perform acts of goodwill for your audience they will reward you with loyalty and love. Treat people right and they will treat your brand right.

Here’s 10 things you can do to establish goodwill with your market. But don’t stop with these 10, always strive to do something cool for them.

#1: Provide Unexpected Surprises

People love surprises and when you can surprise a customer with something cool and unexpected they’ll love you forever. I’ve sent books and food to my members, among other things, for no reason whatsoever. You don’t need a reason to do something cool for someone. I’ve attended events where the organizer brought out a surprise guest. The ideas are endless. Don’t worry about the cost. You’ll end up making more money, generate strong word of mouth, and keep customers longer.

#2: Be Real

The word “transparent” gets thrown around a lot these days. You have to have a brand that is completely open and transparent. If you screw up (and you will at some point) be honest and real with your audience. They know you’re human and they’ll respect you a thousand times more for being upfront and real with them.

Don’t ever try to hide something or trick people. This is the kind of stuff that gives marketers a bad name and it makes you a first class douche-bag. Make sure everything you do and offer is crystal clear. You’ll do more business that way.

#3: Always Make Your Customer Happy

The customer is not always right. I’m not sure who originally said that, but they are an idiot. That being said your focus should be on making your customers life happier. Have them leave feeling better than they were prior to coming into contact with you. It doesn’t matter whether it’s an email, blog post, video, product, or whatever. It’s incredibly important to make sure they’re happy they came in contact with you.

A customer who is truly happy with your content, product, or service is a customer who will buy time and time again. Don’t try to just leave them satisfied…leave them blown away.

#4: Be Consistent

When it comes to your brand or your business, the market demands consistency. They aren’t looking for a johnny-come-lately or someone who’s here-today-gone-tomorrow. They want to know they can depend on you. For someone to become of a fan of yours or your business you must let them know they can always count on you to deliver.

Consistency builds confidence with consumers. Be sure to focus on being consistent and reliable.

#5: Give More Than You Pitch

I love to sell. I love the art of selling. But I also know that I’ll sell more when I give first. A strong brand is built on trust. No one wants to be pitched to over and over. No one will trust a brand that offers little content while throwing a pitch down their throat. I’m not saying you can’t pitch, by all means do. You’ll have to if you want to survive and thrive.

But there has to be a balance. I’m not sure there’s a magic number but I like to follow the 80/20 rule. So in content that will include a pitch I like to have 80% be great content while the remaining 20% is left for the pitch. You can also follow a 4:1 ratio. This works best when your content is actually good. Don’t put out crap. If your content sucks then it doesn’t matter if you give us 10 pieces of content for every 1 pitch.

#6: Care About The Relationship With Your Audience

Everything you do is branding. Every interaction you have with your target audience is either increasing that relationship or hurting it. The more value you provide for your audience the stronger the relationship will be. You can’t build a sustainable brand without caring greatly about your audience.

Be aware that every email you send, every blog post, every Facebook or Twitter comment should add value to your audience. Care about them…it shows.

#7: Give Back

Make no mistake about it…giving to charity is a good marketing strategy. And there’s nothing wrong with it. If there’s a charity that speaks to your heart and you are in a position to give back then it’s your obligation. You’ll often see offers that mention a certain percentage is going to X charity. This is a win-win-win.

The customer wins because they get the product/service they want and they can feel good about themselves for helping someone in need. The charity wins because they are getting donations and attention they wouldn’t have had otherwise. And you win because it’s showing the community that you care. And when you can involve your customers in giving back you’ll build a super-tight relationship with them.

#8: Provide More Value Than What You Charge

People believe they get what they pay for. So how do you generate massive buzz and word of mouth for your business? Simply over-deliver. I personally hate the phrase over-deliver because it’s been used so much it has lost it’s impact. That being said, any time you can go above and beyond what your customer is expecting you win…BIG TIME.

Let’s say you charge $500 for your product. If the value you provide your customers is clearly worth $1,000 or even more then you’re going to have some very happy customers. These are the kind of customers who keep coming back because they know you’ll treat them right and exceed their expectations.

#9: Spend Time On Your Audience, Ignore The Rest

Don’t make the mistake of focusing your time and energy on people who aren’t your target audience. I see this a LOT in the wonderful world of social media. You know better than to assume the whole world wants your product/service. That type of un-focused, blanket marketing is a recipe for disaster. Focus on your fans and focus on the people who will become fans.

The more time and energy you spend communicating with people who don’t fit your target market, the more you alienate the ones you really want. I’ve seen authors ignore every positive comment on Amazon.com about their book. And then turn around and respond to all the negative comments offering them some time on the phone. Here’s a tip: take care of those who take care of you and screw the haters.

#10: Follow Up AFTER Purchase

What do you when someone purchases your product or service? Once you’re done celebrating, do you follow up with them? I’m going to go out on a limb and guess that you don’t. But you should! Your product may be amazing but that doesn’t mean your customer will know how to properly use it or get the most out of it. A simple follow up phone call or email can go a LONG way towards strengthening the relationship with your customers.

Once someone makes a purchase they are a bajillion times more likely to purchase from you again. Don’t be ‘one and done’ when it comes to sales. You’re trying to build a stable business and you do that with repeat customers. Take care of them and help them get the most out of what you have to offer. The better the results they get and the more satisfied they are, the more likely they are to spread the word about what you do.

As you can see, it’s not hard to build goodwill with your market. Most of these tips should be a given anyways. Step back from your business and make a list of all the ways you’re building goodwill with your audience. Find the areas you can improve on and focus on those. None of this is hard to implement and there’s no excuse to not take care of your fans.