BY: Liz Rodell, Public Relations / Communication Specialist

It feels like in today’s world, people are constantly bombarded with messages and advertisements throughout their day. According to research, the average person can see or hear up to 5,000 ads a day. Media outlets and advertisers continue to innovate and dive deeper in their tactics. For many businesses, it can seem daunting and overwhelming to get their message through as they build their brand.

When you build your strategic plan for your business, I encourage you to bring it back to basics and include relationship building. While there are many different approaches to do so, building a relationship with your target audience will benefit and further your business.

Word of mouth is your best advocate.

As we said previously, we are bombarded with messages constantly. Whether we are looking at a InstaStory or driving home from work, we see messages from brands but rarely absorb them. What do you remember? Your friend telling you about the moisturizer she recommends, or the laundry detergent your mom told you to use. The words that we hear from our trusted network of friends and family carry weight. Therefore, as you build relationships in your business and focus on connection, it will create a ripple effect through that individual’s community.

It builds a true connection, resulting in loyalty and a sense of enrollment.

When you build relationships with your target audience, it results in a true two-way connection. As these people learn about your brand, they feel like they are a part of it. They advocate for you amongst their friends, they show up to your events, and they feel like they are part of telling your story. If the day ever comes where your business makes a mistake, they are loyal to your brand and are able to see past an isolated incident.

It creates the space for communication.

Once the relationship is formed, it allows for valuable communication to take place. As you generate innovative ideas for your business, you now have a group of people to talk it through with. Some of the best results come from collaboration and listening to the customers’ needs. They also trust you and value your business enough to share their feedback with you. You will find them sharing ideas or opportunities that you may have otherwise never known about.

While these benefits of relationship building all sound great – how does one go about implementing this with their business?

  • Conduct a SWOT Analysis – What are the strengths and weaknesses of your business? Are there any external opportunities or threats?

  • Brainstorm unique ways to build relationships – This may look like hosting events, creating an influencer program or even shifting how you interact with your target audience to allow for a relationship to form.

  • Don’t take on more than you can handle – the goal of relationship building to create intentional relationships. It does not have to be an elaborate plan. Create a vision that you know will work with the other facets of your business.

While they take time to grow and flourish, the relationships that you build for your business will reap beneficial results. Seek to build genuine connections and create a community the supports your organization’s growth through feedback and enrollment.