Join my weekly Radio Show

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Marketing Strategy 6: Relationships that Count-2

Part 2

The rule books have changed somewhat. Social networking has opened the doors for relationships to be created across the miles. I have hundreds of friends on Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin and Plaxo that I don’t know, have never met, and will more than likely never meet in my lifetime. (Yes, go ahead and connect to me, I like making new “friends”). How do I know these people? Through relationship building. The written word is now King. If you can write, and write well, you can create relationships. Those relationships will open doors, and I mean big doors.

Learning what makes up a good relationship is the key in the real world as well as the virtual world. This year I published a lady that I “met” who has become a good friend of mine. Our first correspondence was sometime in 2008, and while we have never met face-to-face, we’ve exchanged hundreds of emails and at least several marathon phone calls.

She and I connected at the invitation of a mutual friend on Facebook. We got to know each other and when she presented me with her manuscript on teaching children to write fiction (and she is a published children’s novelist), I was interested in taking a look. I loved her work. With some additions and suggestions from me, which she quickly implemented, we had a new Media Angels product. Susan K. Marlow added another book to her ever growing list of accomplishments, "Reach for the Stars: A Young Fiction Author's Workbook." Sales have already surpassed expectations.

This took place through relationship building. Hers and mine. Relationships, the best kind, are mutually beneficial. People who look at things from the perspective of “what’s in it for me” tend to be labeled early on as takers. Those who are very helpful on the other hand can be taken advantage of as well. It is important to set some boundaries and work within your comfort range.

I recently joined a women’s business networking group in Ft. Myers. Now I was face-to-face. I couldn’t hide behind my words. It was me and them… a sea of them, many professional business women use to getting up in a group, introducing themselves and their business, and they had talent. It didn’t take me long to become acclimated. Why? Because I watched, and I learned from the pros.

We have a one-minute introduction about ourselves, our product or business, and what our needs are from the members in the room. I watched women who stated or stumbled over their intros, and others that asked several questions of the members, or spoke about making lives easier with product X-Y-Z.

If you remember my opening post, I claimed that I resorted to humor when I was in a nerve racking situation. This was no different. When it was my turn, I quipped I could barely say my name in one minute let alone tell about my business. The clock was ticking...was I prepared for this? No...but I was able to muddle my way through and the second time I was more knowledgeable about what to expect. This group is all about making relationships in order to refer each other's businesses and help with brainstorming sessions, meeting with speakers and an array of other worthwhile endeavors.

As an author you may wonder how this would help you. Word of mouth, especially women’s mouths, can be a very good thing, or not. If they like you or your product everyone will know. My husband was a member of a similar networking group but found that once work picked up he was unable to attend meetings. You need to use what works for you. In this situation, I can represent my business, as a consultant for aspiring authors but still give out business cards for my husband’s remodeling business. Relationship building is at the forefront of this endeavor.

One other note here, I quickly began telling my friends who were in business about this group, and soon an email from the group leader was sent out to all of the members. I was surprised to see my name signaled out as the person who had invited four new guests to the group, being I had joined only two weeks prior. I thought this was normal. Don't keep something good to yourself, share. This is how relationships work.

Relationships… making them is much harder than breaking them.

Next: My top ten list of making Great Working Relationships!


  1. Very true and it works not just for authors and business but in life. Several of my dearest friends are people I met on these social networking sites. Some of them I have never met face to face.

  2. I agree, I have made some wonderful friends across the miles, and reconnected with some old friends. Understanding how to use social networks to forge relationships is so important to business person in today's society. We would never have imagined these changes and the importance of the written word even ten years ago as it relates to selling products.