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How to build relationships & make a gajillion dollars

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Sorry – if your purpose for building relationships is based on making lots of money, this post isn’t going to help you do that. Sadly, though, I see lots of experts, gurus, ninjas or whatever who teach that sort of thing. I’m sure if you google it you will find lots of people willing to take you down that path.

I’m not one of them.

See, every time I do a month-long guest blog series like 28 Days to Getting Your Sh*t Together, or pull off an incredible live event when everyone says “live events are dead”, people ask me how I managed to be friends with the kind of people who help me make those things happen.

Here’s the news flash: there isn’t a magic formula to it. There isn’t a system you can memorize. And relationships like the ones I am lucky enough to have don’t happen overnight.

I’m going to give you the secret to them, though, right here and right now: Help others.

Yep. That’s it.

So that you can get this super secret sauce working right now, here are some steps to get you started:

1) Identify a handful of people you would like to know better on twitter and/or Facebook.

2) Take the time to read what they are up to. Tweets, Facebook posts and blog posts will help you get to know them and what is important to them.

3) Help them spread their message. Re-tweets, Facebook likes and shares, etc. make this pretty simple. This is also a great way to engage in an actual conversation with someone.

4) Comment on their blog. These days, getting a comment on a blog post is really a challenge. By commenting, you help the author and it can also open the door to a conversation.

5) Repeat steps 1-4. Often. But not in a creepy stalker kind of way. 🙂

Do these steps enough and the people on your list will begin to engage with you. Unless they have no social skills or think they are all that and a bag of chips. In either case, I recommend dropping them like a hot potato.

One last word of advice: until you’ve built a solid relationship with someone, do NOT ask them to help you, promote you, support you or anything else. It’s like proposing too early in a dating relationship – ICK.

So there you have it: my super-secret formula to relationships. And if you make a gajillion dollars from what I just taught you, I fully expect a percentage. 🙂

What do you think are important keys to building successful online professional relationships?

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  • Peter Mis

    Great advice. Giving is the foundation of getting, especially when getting isn’t the primary motivation. Thanks for sharing!!

  • Peter Mis

    Great advice. Giving is the foundation of getting, especially when getting isn’t the primary motivation. Thanks for sharing!!

  • I am a giver by nature and this makes perfect sense!

  • I am a giver by nature and this makes perfect sense!

  • Lori Gosselin

    Hey Sarah, great post. I think of building social media connections as “going out and making friends.” It’s fun and you can’t spread yourself too thin and still be authentic. I love that!

    My 21 year old son discovered Dale Carnegie’s book, “How to Win Friends and Influence People” – a classic that deserves to be re-read, particularly by me when my son is raving about it. Good solid advice in that tome!

    I like your last word of advice ” until you’ve built a solid relationship with someone, do NOT ask them to help you, promote you, support you or anything else. It’s like proposing too early in a dating relationship – ICK.”

    Thanks!
    Lori

  • Lori Gosselin

    Hey Sarah, great post. I think of building social media connections as “going out and making friends.” It’s fun and you can’t spread yourself too thin and still be authentic. I love that!

    My 21 year old son discovered Dale Carnegie’s book, “How to Win Friends and Influence People” – a classic that deserves to be re-read, particularly by me when my son is raving about it. Good solid advice in that tome!

    I like your last word of advice ” until you’ve built a solid relationship with someone, do NOT ask them to help you, promote you, support you or anything else. It’s like proposing too early in a dating relationship – ICK.”

    Thanks!
    Lori

  • I fully agree with ideas on relationship building. I also try and connect people. The other day I met an artist who was telling me her story of her success. I commented on how I believed so many people would benefit from her experience with attitude and staying with it are so important. I connected her with a local gallery and educational center. I don’t know if the connections will ever be made but I gave her a name. I am patient in the belief that I will attract the same kinds of connections. I just haven’t helped enough people yet. Here’s to getting my stuff together. Blessings.

  • I fully agree with ideas on relationship building. I also try and connect people. The other day I met an artist who was telling me her story of her success. I commented on how I believed so many people would benefit from her experience with attitude and staying with it are so important. I connected her with a local gallery and educational center. I don’t know if the connections will ever be made but I gave her a name. I am patient in the belief that I will attract the same kinds of connections. I just haven’t helped enough people yet. Here’s to getting my stuff together. Blessings.

  • jaideep.bhattacharya

    Hi Sarah – Great post in my opinion. You have to help others before asking for help yourself. One more thing I think is necessary is the ability to keep in touch. You have to keep in touch with your contacts – be it via facebook, linkedIN. Some ways to do so are – recommending articles, asking them advise on issue they are experts in,  recommending some books etc. 

    But helping OTHERS is the most important feature – I totally consent. 

    Jaideep