How would you feel if I told you that you were just a transaction? That would probably make you feel pretty rough, right?
The truth is that many businesses are operating on transactional relationships. They reach out to you, encouraging you to purchase their product, and you buy it based on their e-blast on Facebook DM. This form of communication doesn’t have its eye set on the future.
This month we want to help you not be that boring business or person looking for a quick sell. We want to give you two thoughts that will help make you feel less gross when connecting with people.
- Long-term relationships = long-term assets
Relationships have always been an interesting discussion in the Wholesome Media world. We have team members who find relationship building very easy and others that find it exhausting and difficult. One thought sticks out regardless of whether you enjoy connecting; the longer you have a relationship, the higher the chances that that relationship might become a long-term asset. In society today, some people classify themselves as “part-time introverts,” meaning they struggle in new social settings, but once they have relationships, they become incredibly comfortable and outgoing. This is precisely why you should spend time and energy developing a relationship because it could affect how someone fundamentally thinks about themselves. You could have a huge impact!
We value every relationship we create on social media as a long-term relationship. We don’t do this because it could lead to an asset, but because we genuinely believe in connecting with people. Let us give you an example!
When I started social media, I followed this fantastic woman named Christine Gritmone. She is the queen of personal branding! We built a relationship over a couple of months, leading to Wholesome Media helping her with her weekly Twitter chat, #ChatAboutBrand. To this day, we often text and tweet a good bit. We still help out as community managers on her Twitter chat as well. She also invited us to help with a new community she and her team are building called Social Media Pulse Community. We are getting at that because I sent that first tweet, and I stayed in touch; she has helped Wholesome Media in many ways.
Taking the time and effort to develop that relationship helped each of us become long-term assets to each other, all because we cared about what she did and valued her knowledge.
If you think that relationship only worked out because I tweeted at her all the time, you are WRONG!
- Relationships can’t be one way.
I love how Ken Coleman talks about relationships, “connecting means you’re both essentially making deposits into a joint account that you can each draw from.”
Developing connections depends on a dialogue between the two parties. Great relationship builders connect by sparking questions and thoughts from the other person in the conversation. At Wholesome, we like to ask questions of creators and then have a conversation with them in the comments. You should always be pursuing relationships with a spirit of exchange and kindness.
Have you ever attempted to talk to yourself? Most people think it’s helpful, but there is no output if you just throw ideas around your head. Relationships work the same way; if you never engage with other people, you cannot develop yourself or the people around you, and you will never grow or build a community.
I encourage you to reflect on recent emails, social media posts, and conversations. Think about if you focused on a long-term relationship that emphasized dialogue. Look at the length of the discussion. How could you have asked more questions to spark conversation? How could you have made the conversation more about the other person?
“If you make a lot of transactions, eventually you will run out,” says Ken Coleman. Stop transacting and start connecting!