In Business, and in Marketing, Relationships are Golden.
Remember the Golden Rule? “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” It’s a pretty simple concept designed to teach people to treat others as they would like to be treated – but it isn’t just for personal relationships. The Golden Rule applies to business and professional relationships too. Have you ever considered how you would like to be approached by other professionals, or how you would like your business to interact with other businesses? Your answers to those questions can provide a good starting point for how you can start building better relationships with others in your field. You can start by applying the Golden Rule.
The Golden Rule is actually a key principal of marketing, and builds on the idea that companies can achieve as much, if not more, through collaboration as through competition. Competition is healthy and necessary in any market, but collaboration can have benefits that last longer and are more profound because those benefits are based on having real, positive, and mutually beneficial relationships with other professionals. And as you have probably learned, relationships are two-way streets. Positive actions toward other professionals have the likelihood to be reciprocated with other positive actions. Although, just as is the case with personal relationships, positive actions are not always returned right away. But, delayed gratification is no reason to stop creating relationships. Creating relationships with other professionals is about doing what is right and helpful to others, sharing experiences, building ongoing rapport, and recommending each other’s services and products to appropriate clients at appropriate times.
Here are some ways that, perhaps. you have thought about, that describe how you would like to be treated by other professionals and how you would like your business to interact with theirs:
– I’d like other professionals to share their business challenges with me.
– I want other professionals to see me as a thought leader and expert in my field.
– I want other businesses to approach my company about ways that we can collaborate.
– I’d like other professionals to share information about my business with others.
In today’s world of social networking (and social marketing, actually), it’s easier than ever to apply the Golden Rule.
Some of the best marketing opportunities to be had revolve around the concept of relationship building – both in person and online. One simple form of relationship building in digital marketing is linking to other websites. A healthy business website should have outbound links. Outbound links are relevant links on your website to other relevant business websites. Inbound links, also called “backlinks,” are links from other websites back to yours. Both types are important because Google, as well as other search engines, give rank and credence to websites that connect to other quality websites who are relevant to their industry. In simple terms, Google looks at links as affirmations that your business has a great relationship with other businesses. How do you choose to whom you link? You start by building real relationships in the industry and finding out who is worth collaborating with and who deserves a link, a validation, in essence, from you.
Another great way to build relationships with other professionals online is to join LinkedIn. LinkedIn provides a forum for thought leadership that allows you to share knowledge about your industry on a regular basis. One of the best things you can do for a LinkedIn connection is to share some of their thought leadership. If a connection has posted something on their blog that is amazing, share the link on LinkedIn so that others can benefit from their expertise.
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