I talk a lot about the value of building and nurturing connections.
Connections mean so much. We’re all looking for connection. We’d like to find ourselves working with people who we like and who have values similar to our own. But more than that, we’d like to find ourselves knowing those people.
Feeling connected to others and like we have a shared purpose with them is so important to our health and happiness and our sense of place in the world.
Feeling cared for and caring for others in your circle — their success, their challenges, how their day is going — that is powerful stuff.
Too often, when we build business connections, we see them as a means to an end. We don’t really intend to — our minds are on the project, the paycheck… not on the person. But they are people. And they want to feel connected, too.
Nurturing your connections isn’t all that hard. It involves opening conversations with people over and over again, like you already do with the most important people in your life.
Ask them how they’re doing.
Ask them if they have anything big they’re working on that they’re excited about.
Thank them for something they wrote or posted recently.
That’s really all there is to it… unless you want to do more.
You can also go a step beyond to really surprise your connections and make them feel valued.
To do this, tap into your own personality…
One of my colleagues loves pie, and so she occasionally sends a colleague or client a pie to celebrate a milestone or to say thank you or just to let them know she’s thinking about them.
You might enjoy writing poems… you could turn the name of your connection into a poem.
Or, maybe you enjoy making craft cocktails. You might make your signature drink and then record a video making a toast meant to delight and surprise one of your connections. Imagine the smile they’ll get when you send that video.
Doing something a little off-the-wall that sings of your personality can make a big impression, particularly on people who already know you and like you. (For the brand-new connections, make sure you keep things, you know, not awkward.)
You can build your whole business by making connections and being genuinely curious about the people you’re meeting. I know… I’ve done it.
It’s low-key, it’s easy, and it feels pretty darn good. Why not give it a try? What will you do to delight and surprise your connections?
New on the Site
Don’t miss out on our latest Practice Assignment. This is an opportunity for you to practice your writing in a real-world-like way. There’s a brief, a deadline, and a chance your work will be reviewed in a live webinar. In this Practice Assignment, you’ll try your hand at writing a personality-packed, informative email welcome message. Find the details here.
One of the biggest influences on the keywords you choose for your Search Engine Optimization efforts is search intent. In this Tech Corner, Andrew Murray introduces you to five kinds of search intent and shows you how to use them to do better keyword research. Enjoy!
Whatever project or goal you take on, it’s likely in the beginning that your progress will be a little shaky. But as you get to know the lay of the land, you have a choice — to aim high or to eke by. In this Reality Blog, Suzanna Fitzgerald explores the moments when we tend to aim a little lower than we need to and how to combat that instinct.
Mark Your Calendar
Thursday, November 18: As the year draws to a close, it’s time to lean into your goals and make as much progress as you can. In this Reality Blog Update, Suzanna and I will be talking about what that looks like, and what her plans are for making a big splash before the year’s end. I hope you’ll join us.
Around the Web
Seven good tips to help you write stronger copy — I especially like #3.
“Go improve results, you must serve a customers’ needs better. And that is a (very small) public good.” This is a quick case study in how to do good conversion rate optimization.
When you have a blog, sharing to social — both your stuff and other people’s work — is essential. But how do you choose what to share? These four guidelines will help.
And then, here are a few more things to keep in mind if you want to do social well.
That’s all for now. Make it a great week!