ROR – Return On Relationships!SOCIAL MEDIA | Nirasha Jaganath | October 27, 2010 at 7:42 am
Good things take time. Like wine. People look for shortcuts all the time, because they “claim” they have no time – or as I would put it, won’t make the time. You see people do crazy things like buy followers on twitter, since actually talking to people and making people want to follow them might take too much darn effort. You see people want to talk to, or sit only by, influential people, because they think somehow it will rub off. They think, like a disease, success is contagious. Sometimes they are willing to work ONLY if they know of something guaranteed in return.
Relationships happen with people not products
When I work now, it is for relationships. Products, links, traffic and compensation come and go. In fact they go so fast you wonder why you even bothered. Relationships involve feelings, and though that seems to go against every business lesson previously taught, it must be why mom blogging has been so powerful. I feel, and I react. I am more likely to act on, and support something if I have a (good) relationship with someone than rather with a product. I will listen more.
Exciting things happen through relationships
So listen up all you guys sending me mass emails, you get paid for your time – make it work. If you care about quantity and living in my trash box, keep sending them. But if you want quality, take some time, research and then pitch me. I may not take the bait, but I will respect you (for respecting me) and most likely not forget you. It is why relationships matter. Whether it be with bloggers, or fellow brands. Since I barely get my act together to pitch companies I have been fortunate to experience some pretty exciting projects and every single one was attributed to a relationship I nursed.
When they talk, I listen, because they took the time, to listen
There are several people who don’t get it, and continue to spew out advice and direct one-way communication and wonder why the effect is not the one desired. Do people care? Why should they? There are also many that do get it and if I had to quickly scribble 2 that come to mind it would have to be people like Ted Rubin (Previously ELF Cosmetics and now OpenSky) and Julie Cole (Mabels Labels). Do they hover around blogging conferences in hope of selling their product? If so, they don’t make it obvious (to me). What these guys do is establish and nurture relationships so they can understand the environment. When they talk, I listen, because they took the time, to listen.
You can’t win if you are not in the ring
No question about it, building relationships is time consuming and fraught with uncertainty. It must be why dating is so stressful. Probably the strongest trait in social media is the one of building relationships. So if you want to play in this arena, fake will only get you so far, and then you’re on your own. Although time invested in some relationships may seem fruitless if they don’t bear the fruit you are targeting, the lessons and insight gained can be valuable in strengthening future relationships. There are some who prefer to sit on the outskirts and throw commentary like confetti, but you can’t win a round if you are not in the ring. Sure you may take a hit at times, but it is the only way you can throw a punch too.