16 Nov How to Fuel Food Business Growth with Real Business Relationships
Here’s the brutal truth about online growth:
There are WAY too many people in food digital marketing today that think ”being technical” is the key to success.
They say, “if I talk technical jargon people won’t understand me, they won’t learn my tricks”.
If only it was true…
If you’re serious about generating long term business success online, you need to realise that techniques for online growth are exactly the same as in real-life business.
So in this post I’m going to show you how building business relationships offline and online is STILL the key to success.
And yes, there are a few tools you can use to automate these but I’ll tell you why automation should NEVER come before true sincerity.
First though, let’s look at how we build #REALBUSINESS (tweet this) relationships.
That means adapting to the language your counterparts talk.
If I’m talking to you, a business person, you don’t care much about how much SQL, PHP or HTML I can write.
So I’m going to define what you would normally do to create, nurture and benefit from true friendships and acquaintances online.
In order to show how important this is I’m first going to explain how to create, nurture and help your friends and acquaintances.
THEN I’ll show you how this is done online.
CREATING real-life business relationships
We’ve all heard the saying quality over quantity.
It just so happens…
That if you’re looking to build relationships with people who can benefit your business, you really do need to follow this advice.
One excellent way to grow your business network is by attending networking events where your clients or fellow business owners hang out.
Another way of growing relationships is through friends and family that you already.
And if you want to make these people count towards your business you need to decide how to explain what you do.
And it should be the same, every time you meet them.
And I don’t mean an elevator pitch. It’s always good to think about what your elevator pitch might be. But what I’m talking about is a clear explanation of what your business does day-in day-out.
That way, your name and passion will be etched on their brain when they are talking to someone who needs your services.
Then you can move on to nurturing your new-found friend.
Remember this too…
You’re not just looking to meet people who can be YOUR customers.
In business you need all sorts of relationships.
Suppliers, employees, affiliate marketers… the list goes on.
NURTURING your REAL-life business relationships
Now that you have a focus on building HIGH QUALITY relationships, you need to decide how to nurture them.
You might ask them for a half an hour catch up outside of the first meeting to find out more about what they do.
This can be in a coffee shop or at your place of work or even theirs. It depends on how formal you want it to be.
When you meet, find out as much about them as you can. Avoid talking too much about yourself.
By that I don’t mean you don’t tell them anything or answer their questions in detail. But once you have answered a question – fire the same question back to them.
Then you might ask them what their challenges are in their work or business.
You would ask them where they want to get to within the next couple of years. And find out how they expect to get there.
Then your mind starts going as you can help them.
Helping your REAL-life business relationships
Now that you know what your ‘friends’ want. You start wondering how you can help them reach their goals.
Whether that be finding them a customer, helping with their business, introducing them to someone who could help them.
Without expecting anything in return.
You’re not worried though, because chances are you know will get something in return but it won’t be as a direct payment for your help.
By helping someone with their challenges, you’re very aware will have a much bigger chance of being remembered by them. And what’s more, they will remember your challenges.
Then your REAL business relationships help you
This is where you reap the rewards from all your efforts.
Over time, as you build your business network, your turn will finally come where you will be introduced to your dream customer or affiliation.
That doesn’t mean you should hang around and wait for this to happen. You still need to be engaging in other marketing techniques.
There’s the classics, such as cold calling and cold emailing but
They might introduce you to a contract could be worth, hundreds, thousands or even millions.
How can your real relationships help your website?
HI talk about how networking can help your online growth.
Here’s the truth…
Nearly everyone you meet in business will have a website. And as we go over the next ten years, more and more people will be looking to grow their websites as a profit centre.
SO here’s what you need to do:
Ask the people you meet if there’s any opportunity to do a collaboration between their site and yours.
If there is, it means the sites will have something in common.
If they say yes, then you’re in with a shot.
First thing to do is ask them if you can write a page for their website and reference your site on their page.
That way, they don’t have to do anything apart from get your written piece uploaded.
And if they don’t have a webmaster, you could ask yours.
In turn, you might even get your website manager a new client.
Everyone’s a winner.
The other option is for both of you to write a piece on your own websites and reference theirs
The point is this..
21st century business owners need to get better at 2 things:
Asking for a reference on someone’s website
And writing high quality engaging content for your site and other peoples.
Business is no longer a ‘gift of the gab’.
How did I create business relationships to grow businesses?
I found out that the webmaster of an academic website was looking for some educational material for their students.
I wrote an article on the Personal SWOT Analysis and reached out the this lady who managed the academic.
If you don’t know how to here’s the process.
Creating ONLINE business relationships
The great thing about online business is that the concept of building relationships is EXACTLY the same in real life.
But how do your relationships get your online business in front of the world
Put it this way…
Behind EVERY website is a PERSON.
That person has challenges and dreams. And if they are anything like you or I, they are open to meeting new people.
You just need to find out what their goals are, let them know you’re here. And that you’re keen to help them out.
DO NOT ask them for anything.
How do you do that?
Firstly, get involved in active discussions. Just like you would when networking, you are looking to meet like minded people.
Secondly, find a list of websites and authors with who you want to connect.
Check which social media they hang out on.
And then, Just like you would in real life, introduce yourself to them and ask them a bit about their business / challenges.
It’s that simple.
IN the online world, telling people your website exists is known as ‘Blogger Outreach’.
And I reckon you will hear this term mentioned more and more over the next few years.
Once you’ve found the people to connect with, you then need to nurture your new-found website owners who want to connect with you.
Nurturing your ONLINE business relationships
If you do this, you will reap the benefits in the future. Whether that be in terms of sales, online growth, new connections who introduce you to people who can help you or anyone else.
I already talked about having a one-2-one half an hour catch after you get introduced to someone new.
It’s the same here. If you really do hit it off with someone in the virtual world, and they own a website from which you could benefit, just ask if they fancy a 30 minute catch-up
This can be done over Skype, phone, lunch, coffee or drinks, it doesn’t really matter as long as you get a chance to find out their challenges and goals.
Helping out your ONLINE business relationships
It’s difficult to remember the challenges of everyone you meet. Which is why QUALITY IS more important than QUANTITY.
BUT you need to remember as much as you can.
Because while you’re talking with someone else who can help the people you’ve met online, you can really be thinking about how you can help them.
Most of your nurturing may well be done using
What happens when your ONLINE business relationships help YOU
Once you’ve done all that, here’s how they will help you…
By Linking in to your website.
Referencing your passion on their social media accounts.
Sharing your insanely brilliant content on their web platforms.
By collaborating with you on a marketing piece.
Even introducing you to people you can serve.
The power comes when all your relationships are helping you out in different ways.
So remember building relationships online is just like growing relationships in #REALBUSINESS and real life
Are you an experienced marketer who can compare your real business experiences to your work in online marketing?
Do these 2 things for us
Let us know in the comments below and we will reference your website if we use your idea
or have a go at writing for us.