Relationships in business and the online space…
Are you an entrepreneur? How do you do it?
There are a lot of opinions about how to initiate a client-business relationship for small business owners and we are here today to share some common opinions and our top tips to connecting the dots and closing the space between your acquaintances, following, and making them into your friends and customers.
The following is based on our opinions, what we have analyzed that works for businesses, and generalized social media tips! Get ready, we go into a lot of detail, so bookmark this post, whip out your favorite mode of note taking, and take a few to let it all soak in! 🙂
Building relationships are a crucial part of any business model to create loyal clients that want to return to your business establishment. Not every client needs to be your best friend, but they do need to trust you. So, how do you find that fine line of how much is enough?
- the answer is different for every BUSINESS!
- the answer is different for every CLIENT!
Now, it’s no surprise that both myself (Syd) and Michelle have experience in the Direct Sales/Network Marketing world. That being said, we are HUGE proponents of ‘the fortune is in the follow-up’ and NEVER sending cold messages. So, we took to Facebook and IG stories, and a few of our favorite networking groups and asked how the heck other business owners do it. Here’s what we found:
Business owners shared that:
- If there was no relationship formed there was a very slim chance of closing of sale.
- They let [relationships] happen naturally and allow potential clients to approach them.
- Build a relationship like they would with a coworker. Send them specific things to their lives, show them [the client] notice and tend to the details.
- The deeper the relationship got, the more people asked for free or discounted services.
Syd & Michelle Input
Here’s our follow up opinions and questions to what Business Owners shared with us. Please note, we are not saying there is ONE way you should do this for your business, we are simply igniting conversation and providing some insight within each topic!
- No relationship = no sale. This is very often the case. With this day and age, everyone is selling something of some sort – Isn’t that AMAZING for the entrepreneurial world?! Power to the WAHM and WAHD! But anywho, this is a huge commonality and THE reason we (as Syd & Michelle Social Management) preach to our clients and even strangers that building a community. More on that below. *Soapbox coming!*
- Letting Clients come to you to ask for your services – Do you have TIME to WAIT on them to decide? What if they change their mind or forget? How can you increase your ’turn around’ time from follower to friend to customer to increase your ROI and your time spent on your social channels and within your networking events?
- Coworker style relationship + detail driven suggestions – we love this suggestion! Coworker style relationships are professional, maybe you have some inside jokes, but maybe not. You’re cordial, friendly, and task driven at work, and this metaphor for how to do business is amazing! Detail driven suggestions also show your client that you took the time to take into account what you think they need. They will feel safer with you (pending your presentation of said suggestions) and more prone to be a loyal customer of yours! Love love love!
- Besties = Freebies. Sadly, this is the case often. In the day and age of the blogger, and the best friend and family discounts, the ‘can I get a discount’ is an often occurrence. Now, props to those people who ask for free or discounted services, because how do you know if you never ask, right?! But here lies the problem – we, as small business owners (since we are fortunate to have so many these days), we want to support other small business owners. See details on when to enter a collaboration relationship below as a meeting in the middle ground!
*Soapbox* Why your business needs to build a COMMUNITY
Your business needs to establish relationships, nay, a COMMUNITY is SO much important for your brand. Why? Because when you build and uphold a community, it allows everyone to feel welcome, like they belong, and trust you that much more quickly.
That’s the coup de gras of business, right? Instantaneous loyal customers? Repeat loyal customers? Customers that love your brand/business so much that they tell ALL their friends how amazing you are? Yes, nod your head yes right now, love. 😉
How can you build a community?
- Provide content of value
- ENGAGE within your following – watch stories, reply to ALL your comments, ask for their opinions and SHOW THEM you listened.
- Be consistent
- Be Authentic
However, how you build out your community within those 4 sub topics listed above will vary specifically per brand and business. But the pillars remain the same across the board. Need help developing your community building strategy? Let us know – we specialize in this! Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
When to enter into a collaboration relationship
We mentioned above that you may find yourself in a situation where a freebie aka a collaboration relationship will benefit not only the person who will be receiving the freebie, but also your business as well.
Don’t get us wrong, FREEBIES are GREAT for your business – if the relationship is the right one. The ideal collaboration relationship is one where both parties benefit in ways that will add value to their businesses. The most common example is a blogger reaching out to a brand for free product/samples, etc, in return for a blog post and posts on social media about their products. This allows the blogger free content for their blog/social accounts, and also provides the brand content and exposure to that blogger’s network. The same holds true for business to business swap of services – you want to very clearly make sure that the swap is in the best interest of both parties involved.
As Chalene Johnson referenced in one of her IG story rants – services tend to be de-valued when given for FREE, which is sad. We would hope and wish and pray that it would be the other way around, but actions speak louder than words in this instance. Don’t discount what you’re passionate about! Your ideal client will find you, value what you’re putting out to the world, eat it up at full value, ROCK the content, and see all the successes you have offered to them.
What’s best for your business?
At the end of the day, no one can tell you how to run your business, and you are the best judge of what is the best route to take to make sure you hold true to your passion and mission within your business. Keep that in mind as you encounter initiating new client relationships, obstacles, successes, and more! Stay true and authentic to yourself and continue to manifest those thoughts of success and they will come true!
Here’s to being in business and rocking it as entrepreneurs!
Do you have any comments, questions, additions you’d like to make to this blog post? Please comment below! We love your input and value everyone’s opinions! xoxo, Syd & Michelle