Today’s Biz Ladies post is from Meagan Visser, a creative business owner and coach who inspires moms to follow their creative business dreams. She offers marketing, time management and basic strategies for building successful creative businesses while having a family on her site, MeaganVisser.com. She is also the author of Creative Business Marketing 101, a seven-day e-course designed to get your creative business marketing on the right track. Today she shares some great tips to building key business-growing relationships. Thank you, Meagan, for this wonderful post! — Stephanie
Read the full post after the jump . . .
Would you like to be associated with some of the top experts in your niche?
Would you like those associations to further your business by bringing you more customers, more sales and more opportunities?
It can happen. It all comes down to using attention, and today I’m going to show you how you can get your business attention by giving attention to others.
The Gist of Relationship Marketing
I’m sure you’ve heard of relationship marketing.
Relationship marketing is a newer method of marketing your business that involves developing relationships with your connections instead of doing things the old-school way (aka the cold call).
It’s where you invest your time in getting to know your connection, and eventually forming a relationship that will benefit the two of you.
Compare this to knowing nothing about a connection and blindly pitching an offer, hoping they will take you up on it.
Which do you think will give you better results?
The Importance & Benefits of Building Relationships
Developing relationships with connections is critical to growing a successful business. Not only does it open doors for you that may not have opened otherwise, but it also establishes you and your business as reachable, friendly and easy to connect with, qualities that are very important in today’s online business world. It can also give you a head start or boost when it comes to growing your business, and you won’t have to work as hard to get ahead.
Taking It One Step Further
Let me challenge you today to take your relationship marketing one step further by focusing on “attention.”
Everyone wants attention, but to draw attention to your business, you must give attention to others, be it a potential customer or other beneficial business connection.
As you know, there are many relationship levels that you can have, starting with acquaintances and moving into deep friendships and even on up into intimate relationships.
Remember that I said relationship marketing is investing your time by getting to know someone and eventually forming a relationship that will benefit you both? That’s true, but with relationship marketing alone, you may never move past the contact- or acquaintance-type relationships, and those alone aren’t going to provide much benefit to your business.
Sure you may get some new customers and maybe score some guest posts on some niche blogs, but there’s so much more that you can have. That’s where this attention concept comes in. It will move you into deeper relationship levels that will benefit your business in ways you don’t even expect.
Embracing “Attention Marketing”
By adopting “attention” into your marketing strategy, you’re giving yourself an extra boost that will move you into higher levels of relationships with your connections.
It’s like climbing a ladder. You must start at the bottom and work your way up one rung at a time. The bottom rung may include introducing yourself and your business to someone, therefore developing a contact-type relationship. The next rung up may include commenting on their blog or promoting their latest product. They may start to recognize your name over time and thank you for promoting them, but you’re still just an acquaintance.
Once you start showing them more attention than just a “Hey there, I loved your latest post” type comment or re-tweeting something they said, you’re moving on up that ladder and into deeper relationship levels with them.
Eventually you may move into a friendship-type relationship and then on up into a collaborative-type relationship. The higher you go, the more benefits you will see.
You and your business are associated with your connections on these levels. They may start referring you to people they know who need your business. They may interview you or feature your products on their blog or in their magazine. You may have the opportunity to collaborate on a project together. You never know where these deeper-level relationships may lead to, all because you showed them some attention.
Making It Count
Now let me add here that if you’re only trying to develop a relationship with your customer or connection to get results for yourself, you’re going about this the wrong way. This is a two-way street named “Sincere St.”
People can smell manipulation a mile away, so make sure that the attention you’re giving your connection isn’t fake. The attention you should be giving at first should have nothing to do with you. It should be all about them. Yes, in the end, this good karma is going to come back to you and your business, giving you attention and great opportunities but only if you go about this the correct way.
Sincerity and generosity will take you far.
Let’s say you’d like to get a product of yours featured in a top-notch magazine in your niche. This is a big goal of yours, but in order to reach this goal, you’re going to have to develop a relationship with the magazine editor first. Not just any low-level relationship either, but a higher-level relationship that has the potential to reward you both over and over.
The first step is to follow the magazine editor on social media sites where she networks and introduce yourself to her by not only saying “hello” but also telling her why you like her magazine so much and how it benefits your business. You don’t ask for anything. You only connect with her.
Over time you continue to share articles that really spoke to you and features that you liked, you answer any questions she may ask, you provide her with helpful insights as a reader of her magazine or send helpful recommendations you think she would value. You promote her and her magazine to others who would benefit from it, and eventually you can even ask her for an interview or for advice on something related to your business. By this point she knows who you are, and she’s probably checked into your business a bit. You’re on her radar, and she knows you’re sincere.
Eventually, the perfect opportunity is going to arrive at your door. Either you’ll see that the magazine is looking for new products to feature or she may come to you directly and ask to feature a specific product of yours. You’ve reached a level of friendship and collaboration.
Now your hard work and generous attention-giving has paid off. You’ve reached your goal, you’ve developed a great connection that will last and the benefits you’re seeing in the form of new customers and a huge increase in sales are unbelievable!
Relationship marketing is definitely something to take advantage of in your business, but don’t settle for a shallow, low-level relationship only. Strive for something deeper, more meaningful and more beneficial. Use attention to take your marketing up a notch and reap the rewards of a sincere, generous spirit.
Leave a comment below & share your thoughts on how you plan to use attention to boost your developing relationships!