Building quality and valuable relationships is an invaluable skill these days. This skill is not something everyone is innately equipped with. In fact, not only are some not very good at building relationships they are down right awful at it. This is not to say that one cannot improve. Of course you can. But in order to improve you must first identify those areas in which you, well…suck. *Said with LOVE*
Much of what it takes to successfully build relationships is dependant upon the parties involved. My frog could be your prince is what I’m getting at here. So please feel free to add your own commentary in the comment section.
- Begging is not hot: It isn’t hot when the family dog does it. It wasn’t hot when my ex-boyfriend did it. It certainly is not hot when you do it. Don’t act desperate for people to follow you, friend you or add you. Instead concentrate on being someone that people want to follow and friend.
- Talk WITH people, not AT them: I’ve seen your Twitter stream. You’re all about promoting content. Yours and others. You’re popular…I think….you’ve got a lot of followers anyway. But you don’t seem to talk to anyone. Perhaps you do it behind closed doors but that’s not a very good public representation is it? The social space is about conversation and if you’re nothing but a bull horn I think you’re missing the point and most of the fun.
- You still think “networking” is the goal: Do you lead with your business card? Really? Can we please all agree to move beyond this? Now, I’m not saying there isn’t still value in exchanging business cards (although some might disagree with even that) but please give me a reason to want your business card. Talk to me. Engage me. Let’s trade ideas. Then, when its time to part ways offer your card or ask for mine as a way to continue the conversation.
- Mind Your P’s and Q’s: And your followers/following. It would be nice if your following/follower ratio wasn’t important, but let’s be honest: It just is. As you engage people in the social space, and specifically on Twitter they will go through their own process of judgement to determine whether they are willing to follow you back or not. One of the first and most baseline units of measurement most use on Twitter is the persons follower/following ratio. Are you following 1200 people, with only 250 people following you? Increasing your followers takes time so be patient. Be mindful of your ratio as you’re doing this to maintain a non-spammy quality follow appearance.
- Know Your Boundaries: This is a basic marketing principle. Know your audience and learn to read people. There are certain people who have taken the time to build a relationship with me that allows them the freedom to call me out, joke with me or even flirt if they want. Have you taken that time? If you don’t know, I’m guessing you haven’t. Don’t move to fast. You wouldn’t go in for the kiss as soon as you get to the front door on your first date would you? Precisely.
- Follow through and Follow up: So you met at a conference and had great conversation. Don’t let the flame die. You’ve got great momentum with a potential new contact and you need to take advantage of that. Follow up with them and connect on the platforms that make the most sense for your relationship (LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook etc). Maintain this connection. Check in with them every once in awhile. Keep the relationship alive and moving forward.
Surely some of you reading this have more examples to add. Please feel free to contribute in the comment section. Or feel free to disagree with me. It’s cool.