This is the first C as discussed in my last post about my relationship marketing pilot program.

When I think about the 3 C’s of Relationship Marketing the starting point is always Communities. This is where you get to find your ideal Connections (C2) and understand what Content (C3) is most important to them. The video below talks a little about this. But I wanted to write a few extra thoughts.

So often people go into a new community and blast out their message. They wait a few days and blast out their message again. Then repeat 3, 5, 27 more time. They wonder why they aren’t getting the response they want. Here’s the secret: If you want more engagement on your posts, you must first be more engaged on other’s posts. It’s that simple!

Your best bet is to hop into a new community, be it online, at a networking event or even a tradeshow and Listen FIRST (you can listen with your eyes). Get the lay of the land. Understand what is important to the group. Do your research. Then engage with others by making sure what you have to say is relevant to them. This is tough because as salespeople we know what we have to offer and when you’re a hammer, everything looks like a nail. But don’t be like that…nobody wants to get bludgeoned. And you certainly don’t HAVE to sell to everybody.

Another important tip is you don’t have to be everywhere all of the time. It’s far better to go super deep in a few communities than go super wide in many. The old saying is something about better to have one 100 foot deep well, than 100 one foot deep wells. Sure you may start out in a bunch of different communities, but as time goes on, figure out which ones add the most value to you AND which ones you can add the most value to. Not sure where to start? Here’s the short list in order of importance:

  • Where your ideal customers are
  • Where your ideal business partners are
  • Where the thought leaders in your area of expertise are
  • Where your competitors are
  • Where your potential future employees are

If you can spend time learning from, engaging with and becoming a thought leader in communities with these make ups, you will be well on your way to success.

Thanks to Mike Brennan of MITechNews for the cool video.

Thanks to Kirk King of Continuity Programs for the awesome space.