Did you know that one of THE most valuable things you have are your relationships? Of course you know that when it comes to your personal life, right? But did you know that this is also the case in your business? More valuable even than money in the bank?
Andrew Carnegie said: “Take away my millions, and leave me my rolodex, and I will make it all again.”
Yes indeed, who you know and your relationships with them are more important even than your financial assets. Why? Because as we’ve seen in the last 5 years, housing, stocks, and financial assets can disappear – virtually overnight. But your relationships – those last provided that you cultivate them well. Interesting, right?
You have all different kinds of business relationships: partners, affiliates, competitors, customers, clients, students, potential clients and students, etc. Today I want to talk about what I call your Village – otherwise known as your “list.”
In the 21st century and the internet age, the equivalent of your rolodex is your “list.” You’ve probably heard, you’ve got to have a list! And it’s true, having a sizable database – which is what your list actually is – is super valuable and helpful in building, sustaining, and growing your business.
Building your list, a key aspect of marketing, is as simple as creating community. You build your Village of people who know who you are, who know what you do, and who are interested in you and your offerings, some of whom will buy from you now or in the future. Some will leave, and some will be your raving fans forever.
If you want to be able to leverage your expertise, and scale your business, you need to build the number of your contacts who you can connect with regularly. This is particularly critical for those who are well established in stage two and want to move into stage three and four of business development. Without a sizable database it is much harder to leverage. And if you are in stage one, building your database now will assist you moving forward and creating a strong foundation to scale with later on.
I know for some of my people the technology of this can be a bit daunting. I want to give you some perspective on this that I hope will inspire you.
The computers, software, and internet have made this so much easier than it ever was before. I remember when I was building my network marketing business in 1997-99, I was using index cards, a physical tickler file, my paper calendar, and a phone. The internet barely existed and no one was using email yet. I had the latest technology – a MAC SE, remember those?
Just this morning I was listening to a program in which the founder of Ontraport, Landon Ray, was remarking upon the sea change that technology has created. It used to be that those with the best advertising and sales departments – and I would say the biggest budgets – were the winners in business, not those with the best products and services. The internet has changed the game because now just about anyone can get on-line, and for a very small budget, build an email list, develop a website, and create an on-line presence. We are not in Kansas anymore.
When you open up to seeing this from a business point of view – wow, the opportunity is enormous. Let me emphasize a couple of things today, and then I’m going to follow up on this article next week to show you how to bring together your in-person and on-line efforts to build your Village, your reach, your reputation, your business, and your income—wooo hooo!
Aren’t known for being awesome at building relationships? Aren’t women known for being awesome at conversation, connection, and empathy? That’s you, right?
Guess what? That means that you are awesome – or will be awesome – at using the internet to scale your business. Why? Because the internet is a cold medium, and what makes it work is when you warm it up with your personality, your style, and your ability to tune into your people and engage them in conversation. The web is best used as medium for engagement and relationships – that’s why social media has become so popular! Because the platforms are designed to help you engage with others using the net.
No matter how big your “list” is – 200, 500, 10,000, or 100,000 – the more you write to one person, and connect with one person – your ideal client – about what is troubling her, challenging her, frustrating her and causing her to seek assistance on the internet, the more successful you will be. And as a girlfriend, I would imagine that is something you know how to do!
So today I want to leave you with the understanding that you already have the key ingredients of what it takes to use the internet to build your Village, to leverage your expertise, to expand your reach, together with all the benefits that go along with that. You ALREADY know what to do – only you are not accustomed to doing it in this context in this way. Next week, I’m going to give you more specifics about how you can do just that!