For Entrepreneurs: The Art of Relationship Building
As entrepreneurs, you tend to see the world differently, and in order to be successful you need to make the most of your understanding. Everyone will agree that forming strong relationships is the key to making things work well and growing a profitable business. It’s equally important for entrepreneurs to nurture relationships with clients and make their online presence felt.
So how do you go about initiating and building strong relationships with people who matter to you, and to your business, as well?
1. Develop your network
Developing your network is the first step to building strong relationships. Ideally, you should start by hosting a good website to represent you, your product and your business. This way, you can establish your identity and also express your values. Keep the communication message clear and make sure you have a good user interface.
Allow visitors of your site to send in feedback and connect with you through other mediums. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and a blog will be good starting points. Once you begin to build your network, you’ll have to invest in taking this forward.
2. Nurture and care for relationships
Making new contacts and developing your network is just the first step to new relationships. You need to invest a huge amount of your time, resources and effort to feed these newly established ties. Treat people the way ‘they’ want to be treated, rather than how you’d like to be treated. We are all individuals and come with different value systems. However, honesty goes a long way in strengthening relationships.
It is also important to ‘give’ something before you can start expecting something in return. Give your users value for their time. An informative blog post, an educational podcast or easy access to other useful links will be valuable to your audience.
3. All business is personal
Social media interactions, these days, largely revolve around representing a brand as an individual with whom you can connect with rather than trying to address a passive set of consumer. As an entrepreneur, it is your responsibility to personalize these connections. Be visible and accessible to all your customers and to the potential ones as well. Keep communication open and transparent. You’ll want to ensure that no feedback, suggestion or comment goes unnoticed. You need to treat these new connections like relationships in your life. Indeed, business too, is personal.
You can also offer rewards to regular customers and visitors. What better way to recognize and appreciate loyalty! We all like receiving gifts, so why should our interactions online be any different? Rewards can be a simple thank you message on your site, or can go up to coupon codes and discount vouchers. Your clients are sure to be pleased with this gesture and they’d definitely come back for more! These small investments go a long way to strengthen the bond that you share with those who really matter.
With a little time, effort and practice, you will be able to master the art of relationship building online, and in person.