What is relationship marketing anyway?
It seems that every time someone talks to me about it, the definition of what relationship marketing is always comes up.
The quickest way and shortest form answer to this question is canned and seems very impersonal. Here’s what you get from Google when you type in What is relationship marketing?
Relationship marketing was first defined as a form of marketing developed from direct response marketing campaigns which emphasizes customer retention and satisfaction, rather than a dominant focus on sales transactions.
See what I mean?
Now, while this may seem ok to you, for me it doesn’t cut it. That’s why I want to try to answer the question, the real question of what is relationship marketing specifically to social media.
What’s Relationship Marketing To You?
Anyone can have a canned answer and a memorized response for certain things that evolve around our business but unless you make it personal, it is still estranged to your readers and followers.
I know the end result of relationship marketing brings in more brand ambassadors, more customers, more people that trust what I tell them, etc. But one cannot continue to focus on the end result when the beginning hasn’t even been established yet.
We know that business relationships help us climb the ladder of success and they bring us into more visibility, therefore growing our brand and reach.
But relationships are the people, not the influencers, that are up under your brand, holding it together. They are the glue keeping it from falling apart. And some of us dare to turn our noses up at these followers.
Shame on you.
Without these people, you would be nothing.
It’s sad that relationship marketing on social media, while it has a fancy outer perception in most businesses and solopreneur ventures, it is a mere shell, a facade, to other people because while they appear to be interested in relationship marketing, they are really only out for the end result.
Be careful to understand that you realize why your business relies on relationship marketing and who is the most reliable in this process. When we forget about that, and we think we did it ourselves, that’s when we can start to get into a little trouble.
You’re nothing without the people, so show them love.
Relationship Marketing Is Customer First
There has never before been a more free market based community.
More and more businesses are understanding that in order to gain the trust of their customers, they need to help them.
The first step in the relationship marketing process is always help.
Show customers why they should do things, how to do them, and what things they need to do in their business. This can start out with the idea of what do I have, or what can I offer? Now, the next step is to learn how you can use this information you have to make someone else better at what they do.
Since you’re not a mind reader, you have to come out of your blog every now and then and start engaging with the actual people that will be potential customers for you in the future.
Relationship Marketing Is Super Targeted
Another answer to what is relationship marketing is that relationship marketing is targeted. It’s niche specific searching. And then when you’ve narrowed it down, go even deeper than that to find your group.
For example, if you are great at Pinterest, then you will want to find other people that are using Pinterest for their business.
Done? Good, now go even more narrow and specific than that. The next step is to find something about Pinterest that you’re really great at. Perhaps it’s the new promoted pins feature. Start to narrow your search and find people that are looking to get better at promoted pins.
Now go create some great content that you can give to them that will help them with their Pinterest ads.
Help them find you as well on social by creating Google+ communities or Facebook Groups that show off your expertise and also give them a place where they can come and ask questions and get help.
You will eventually use this expertise in your industry, and the free content that you are giving them, to generate a potential customer base because all of this work cultivates trust in the people.
[ClickToTweet tweet=”Relationship #Marketing is a Responsibility Action. It’s Their Response to Your Ability” quote=”Relationship marketing is a RESPONSIBILITY action. It’s their response to your ability”]
Relationship Marketing is Mirroring
Relationship marketing is about reflecting what the individual wants to see from you. That’s why its so important to learn your audience and do what is necessary to get close to them.
The only way you’re going to get anywhere with your business in relationship marketing is when you show a likeness of yourself in someone’s business.
When you mirror people, you become so relevant that you know what they’re talking about, you understand their problems, that you can see where their goals are going in business.
On a psychological level, the psychology of mirroring can lead to you building individual rapport with a person. That’s great news because rapport is where you want to be with your target audience.
Rapport is where you have a close and harmonious relationship with someone that you are targeting for your business. On a subconscious level, these people see themselves in the actions that you do, in the empathy that you project, and it leads to a great marketing strategy if you can understand how to perform it in the right way.
In performing this well, you will start to see the consistent dialogue that comes with relationship marketing.
When you can successfully learn how to mirror someone that means that you completely understand everything about them. In this case, business. You can insert yourself in a position to where you can get to know everything that there is to know about the person and what they’re trying to accomplish.
How do I do this anyway?
You are only human.
I mention this because I want you to understand that you are flawed. While you may be the best marketer to put pen to paper, you will still have some problems in the human arena. One of those problems is self preservation.
It is the disadvantage of having to throw yourself and your own ideas away so you can put your target audience and their goals before yours.
The best way you can start to mirror someone is to genuinely care about them and what they are trying to achieve.
But it’s a hard thing to do. When you can put someone else before you, then you have began to understand the first steps in the process of mirroring.
Relationship Marketing is Capital
Ted Rubin talks about a new success measurement called Return on Relationships where it talks about using relationship marketing to build your business from the ground up.
This is your relationship capital, the wealth of your business, and it starts with one person. Just like I have always been saying…
Become a hero to one individual at a time, and you will start seeing your relationship capital growing. ME
When you invest your time in helping people, you will be investing in the best stock on the web. Granted, people are flaky and shaky, but you be you. Let them see who you are on social media and allow them to invest some time in you as well.
While it’s ok to promote the yin yang out of your own posts, there may be a situation where someone may need some help in a certain area that you have no expertise in. Since you are on a quest for true relationship marketing, you will find someone else that has the answer.
The goal is to help them. Even when you can’t do it.
You can’t risk losing your capital. Every ounce of help that you give to people today will become a return on a relationship investment that you will be pleased with tomorrow.
Below are some tips I’ve created for you to go by. Take a look.
The Final Thought
I hope I have enlightened the question of what is relationship marketing for you and your brand today. There are some people that just don’t understand the position that marketing to people like this can help you.
If you put all of your eggs in the basket of relationships, even though people are unpredictable, you will still have enough left to make omelettes and that’s ok.
Relationship marketing should be the first thing you think about when you start your work for the day, and the last thing you remember when you turn off the lights at night. It’s bigger than any of us.
It IS us. It is you.
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