BUILD RELATIONSHIPS, NOT THINGS.
As part of a discussion taking place in a private Facebook group I’m in for members of a course taught by Carrie Wilkerson and Paul Evans, a co-member expressed her appreciation to Paul and Carrie for the reminder they gave in their materials that what everyone should be focusing on is building relationships not things.
Paul and Carrie are right. While I acknowledge that you still have to build the “things,” which are the products or services you sell, I also know that if you don’t have anyone to sell them to, you’ve wasted your time. Your services will get very lonely if there isn’t anyone out there who knows, likes and trusts you enough to let you and what you have to offer in their front door, so to speak.
IT’S VERY INTIMIDATING TO ME.
One group member expressed a bit of angst because she is a bit of an introvert. I admire her for sharing how she felt about all of this.
“I manage to be a pretty shy, people person, if that’s even possible. Making audio or video is very intimidating to me.”
I shared that sometimes it helps to remember that people like being asked about themselves, or what they are doing. Often times it’s easier when there’s only a keyboard and monitor in front of you, and not actually a face-to-face interaction. It takes work when it’s uncomfortable to start with for you, but being deliberate about looking for ways to always ask a follow-up question is is a great way to build relationships.
- After someone posts “I was so nervous when I finally decided to quit my 9-to-5 corporate job to do this,” you show you care when you say “Oh, interesting, when did you leave corporate America?”
- Or a simple follow-up of “How did your class reunion go?” after someone posted on Friday they were off to their 25th high school reunion.
- Even easier than both of those is the always-kind RT, or ReTweet, on Twitter, or Share on LinkedIn, Facebook, YouTube and Google+, just to name a few. Trust me, we content producers LOOOOVE seeing our content shared! That’s a gesture that goes a long way with some toward developing a relationship.
IT TAKES PRACTICE.
After prolonged use of this practice, it gets much easier. It’s like a muscle…the more you flex it, the stronger it becomes. It truly does become second nature after you do it a lot. Just slow down a bit, and take time to connect.
- Focus on building relationships, not things. (Thanks Paul and Carrie)
- Follow-up on comments by asking questions.
- Share other peoples’ content often.
- Stay genuinely curious. This not only helps you learn, but it also helps you remember to ask questions.
- Remember that you’re not alone. There are A LOT of people out there that aren’t that comfortable building relationships.
- Slow down and take time to connect.
Oh, and did I mention practice?
Building Blocks Photo credit: Holger Zscheyge on Flickr, Creative Commons License
Carrie & Paul have many courses, which can be found here (affiliate link)