You like people who are similar to you, don't you?
You like them because they validate you. Or at least, they validate a belief or idea that you hold true to your sense of self.
They might share a political viewpoint or support your favourite football team.
They may read the same author as you, or love travelling to your favourite city.
Whatever it is, when somebody shares something personal that you can associate with, they're showing that they're no threat to you, and that you can trust them.
Find ways to show your customer that you're just like them
Think about your friends, and the people you choose to spend time with. I bet you've got loads in common. Or at the very least, one niche or specialist interest.
I've got some friends who love craft beer, ones who like to explore consciousness and others who are total bibliophiles.... Sometimes these interests overlap, and that's where even stronger bonds can be found.
We like people who we understand, and we trust them more because of it.
For this reason, it's a wise idea to show your human side whenever and wherever you can.
Think about your audience and what is important to them. Then think of ways that you can demonstrate how this is important to you, also.
You should start supporting local community projects or charities. This is something that will increase both your visibility and credibility (and it's also an awesome thing to do, regardless).
You'll usually meet some well-connected people along the way too. (Charities seem to attract experienced networkers, for some reason)
People who are seen giving to others are viewed as having plenty. And generosity is very often reciprocated... So try to give, happy in the knowledge that every time you do, you're increasing the likelihood that the universe will pay you back in some unexpected way.
To demonstrate the point even further, let's invert it, and see what happens then.
Try to think of situations where we see people as being different to us.
I immediately picture images of war, hatred, argument and conflict... It's not a pretty way to see the world, is it?
This tribal nature of viewing others as separate from us creates an insider/outsider group mentality.
Our early ancestors feared people who were different from them as they likely posed a threat to their survival. This instinct has passed through thousands of generations and is still clear to see in conflicts all around the world, be it between different religions or rival football teams.
This is why it's key to be relatable and let other people see themselves in your view of the world.
Try to see the world through your customer's eyes. Make sure what is important to them, is also a priority of yours.
Think of yourself as a mirror... Pick up on what is important to your customers, and show this back to them.
It's what they're looking for, after all.