When you were a child you didn’t think about building websites.
You never thought about market research or product creation.
Pay-per-click campaigns on Google and Facebook Ads didn’t exist. Even if they did, you wouldn’t have cared.
If you were like me, you’d be too busy playing outdoors and asking mom and dad if you could play with your community friends just a bit longer into the night.
You spent your time learning and talking to other kids at school. Everything was exciting and you met new people everyday.
Family members told you how big you were getting and they’d squeeze your cheeks or annoy you with questions about school and who your girlfriend or boyfriend was at the time.
It was all about relationships and just being yourself. Yeah, life was all laid-out and easy.
Relationships still matter
Today, making friends (and having fun) are still part of the equation. It even applies to business and purchasing. Don’t believe me? Study your own buying habits.
Who would you buy from first:
- A yellow page listing
- Random Google search-generated website or
- A site that you now frequent or was referred to you by your peers?
You’d buy from a trusted peer referral or website you often visit. You’d buy from a site that sends you a newsletter to your email inbox, gives you discounts for being a loyal subscriber and keeps you coming back for more.
The business that nurtures a relationship with you by way of routine contact or perks for “sticking around” is the one that will win. You’d prefer to give your hard-earned money to those you know and who you feel familiar or friendly with, right?
Keep that in mind when running your business or before you start one. It takes traffic to make the numbers work but it takes rapport to turn prospects into loyal customers and build a sustainable business.
Relationships = business growth
The buzzword(s) “relationship marketing” carry massive weight. Study the way people now connect online. Facebook and other social networking sites ARE the internet.
The number of social media profiles are approaching the billion user mark and the companies that know how to nurture relationships online will endure.
Does paid traffic and market research still matter? Of course. You have to know where your market is hanging out online and what they are begging for you to provide them. Paid traffic can put your brand and message in front of more people and fast.
But just remember it shouldn’t stop there.
No single paid ad can make the impression (no pun intended) that a direct “Like” or comment on Facebook can. There isn’t any magical ad copy you can crank out that will make people believe in you like answering questions, live, in your Twitter stream will.
With all the media channels available to our businesses today, you have the ability to listen in to what the market is saying about your products and brand. You have the benefit of being able to directly engage others and build trust by solving their problems or answering questions soon after they’re published online.
Relationships are the new currency.
Patience and giving first
It’s a whole new digital world. You’re older and have, hopefully, learned to be patient. Get out there and make connections and forge new friendships with your potential customers. They expect it now.
Program yourself to give before you receive and you’ll see the true power of our Thank You Economy in action.
Remember your inner child
Starting a successful business online isn’t a race.
It’s a journey. Much like the journey we’re all taking together from childhood through our adult lives. We’ve learned to be social by the natural order of things.
The online business realm isn’t all “click to order” and transaction based. Are you remembering to leverage, today, the social tendencies of your youth?