Last week, I had the opportunity and good fortune to share my Thanksgiving wine picks with Spokane area wine lovers on KXLY920 radio station and KXLY TV’s Good Morning Northwest show. While some may think of me as a media whore, I love these opportunities to showcase Spokane wine and of course Nectar Tasting Room. While these opportunities sometimes seem to come out of the blue, they are not by accident, they are by design. The great thing is that anyone can develop the relationships they need for success in their industry.
Over the last few months I’ve been doing quite a bit of thinking on “relationship marketing” and building strategic connections; so much so, that I’ve started a book about the subject (only on chapter 3 of 12 right now). While I may not “do” relationships and networking correctly all the time, I have seen the power of these strategic connections in action these last 12 months. Here are three tips for turning online relationships into offline success.
1. Be genuine
People can spot a phony. Be who you are regardless of your faults and failures. There are some people I don’t get along with. I can be impetuous and quick to speak without thinking through the consequences, but I am also quick to apologize and know my shortcomings. Many people can build a wide and shallow network but it will collapse like a house of cards if the roots are not deep and genuine.
2. Be purposeful
Build relationships that can be symbiotic. This isn’t done to meet selfish needs but it is done with thoughtful intention. As a Washington wine blogger, I knew that I needed the bigger community of established bloggers. I intentionally sought out and connected with people like Washington Wine Report, Seattle Wine Gal, Paul Gregutt, Wild Walla Walla Wine Woman and more. These relationships became mutually beneficial and even spawned some great friendships.
Knowing that social media marketing and developing a brand required a broader reach, I intentionally connected with local influencers like Pam Scott, Visit Spokane, Ally Shoshana, Monte Tareski, Barb Chamberlain (and so many others) along with the growing local traditional media population on Twitter (enter the radio and TV contacts). Be purposeful about the connections you make whether it is media, non-profits, industry alliances, or popular influencers.
I would speculate that at least 90% of my great “offline” relationships began through “online” purposeful connections.
3. Be giving
Some people are consumers and users. By their very nature their endeavors dry up because at their core they are taking more than they are giving and eventually there is nothing left to take. I love what I do. I love Spokane and the wine scene here. While I have been intentional about most everything I’ve done, I also love seeing the success of those around me and promoting our area. From day one when 5 people watched a video and 3 people read a blog post, it was about adding value to the community. A good friend recently reminded me that it was this “giving” that was so attractive at the beginning. As a business owner with bills, new stresses and responsibilities, I have to admit that I briefly lost sight of giving and became inwardly focused. People often ask if a wine bar around the corner is our competition. I always respond with, “No, I love that place. I often go there when I’m not working.” I love promoting them and their events. Regardless of whether there is a direct financial return, giving should be at the core of what you do. I’ve recently learned that there is a basic principle of the universe. Where your attention goes, your energy flows. Living life with open hands to give also allows you to receive back as well. Many of the most valuable relationships I have were birthed out of giving relationships with the Spokane Symphony, American Childhood Cancer Organization INW, Make a Wish foundation, Cancer Patient Care, Cystic Fibrosis and more.
Relationships are the key to success in any endeavor. Relationship marketing is the unique combination of building and nurturing relationships both online through social media and offline through traditional means. In my opinion, relationships grow through selfless effort and sacrificing your own needs for the greater good of others. Be genuine as you intentionally and purposefully build relationships with key people. Look for ways you can give back to each of those relationships and success will be yours.
For those of you who are interested, I’ve included both the TV and radio spots here for you