It’s a no-brainer that relationships matter—deeply—when it comes to clients and colleagues, right?
So why do we seem to forget about building relationships when it comes to growing our on-line market authority?
It’s as though all that hard-wiring to build and cement business relationships evaporates when it’s no longer strictly about closing a deal.
My theory after working with countless consultants and big thinkers on this:
We convince ourselves that all we have to do is push out brilliant content and the world will gobble it up. That we don’t need to expend our precious energy connecting to the pivotal people who make the decisions about sharing our stuff.
It’s why your pitches to get on podcasts go nowhere or your offering to an influential blogger never gets a response.
You’re sending your authority building into a black hole.
And the thing is, it’s not even like you have to become friends—which is challenging when the object of your affections is constantly bombarded with requests.
You just have to warm them up.
Of course it should go without saying that whatever you’re pitching—a piece of content, an interview, an alliance, or even just joining your email list—needs to provide exceptional value to your target.
But once you’ve jumped that hurdle, the one thing that will distinguish you from the hordes approaching your target audience is your humanity.
And that means building relationships.
Doing your homework before even thinking of approaching a digital gatekeeper (would you cold call/email a potential client without doing some targeted research first?)
Respecting their time (short, pointed emails that clearly demonstrate you’ve studied up on their point of view, audience and preferences).
Offering something of value first—like say introducing an “influencer” to your audience (here’s where absorbing their content pays off—you can translate their point of view directly to your audience, connecting the dots between them).
Being human. Email subscribers in particular adore hearing from an actual human—not corporate perfection. And they don’t want to be sold to every five minutes either—your job is to find the right balance between giving and asking.
Following up—naturally and humanely—to stay in touch. Keep track of who you’ve resonated with so you can keep the energy flowing between you.
Less speaking from the pulpit and more coffee table conversations. Yes, you have a mission to transform your audience that sometimes requires being on the dais. But look for those intimate moments where you can connect one-to-one (chatting with a podcast guest on my zoom screen before we start recording is a favorite).
It’s a little too easy to forget about relationships while we’re busily trying to promote our ideas.
The trick: slowing down just a tad and being human. Plus it’s way more fun.