If this article was simply about building relationships with other online entrepreneurs, all you would have to do is find the right places to connect with and reach out to other online entrepreneurs.
But a truly successful relationship requires much more than connecting. In building a relationship that will benefit and further your career, the same crucial rule applies as in building any valuable relationship in life: do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
This means that even though these relationships will further your career, you should have more in mind than meeting someone who will give you great tips and leads. You must want to serve and help them as well.
With these principles in mind, let’s explore your part in forming such a relationship.
Where to Meet Others
There are myriad ways to meet online entrepreneurs both in-person and online, but finding opportunities to connect with others face-to-face is especially important. Attending entrepreneurial conferences or events enables you to meet heavily connected and successful individuals. And joining online or in-person groups or clubs allows you to connect with others who are in a similar boat and who are looking for a support system.
While meeting others in person, reach out and speak to them. Be bold. Find common ground.
You can even meet people via the internet. It’s not as creepy as it once was! Find communities on social media relevant to online entrepreneurship and people who share common interests. Join those groups and follow those individuals. You’ll be surprised at just how many follow you back.
Of course, this is only the starting point. This creates a connection but not a successful relationship.
Building Better Connections
If you attend a conference or event, good for you. You’ve found a way to meet people. If you volunteer at a conference or event, better. You are now obligated to interact with speakers and participants. Better yet, you’ll have opportunities to serve those individuals. If you are part of the event or planning committee, best. You’ll work in-depth with individuals for extended periods of time.
Why is it so much better to volunteer than simply participate? You’re now doing good for others, and when you do good for others, they’ll want to do the same for you.
For example, Cassidy Tuttle, founder of Succulents and Sunshine, a popular online membership site, comes to present at a conference. You’ve signed up to volunteer at the conference, and you’re assigned to introduce her. This gives you the opportunity to chat with her, find out about her successes, and relay her successes to those in attendance. You can comfortably and easily converse with her—and you are doing so with the intent to assist her. This allows you to make a much stronger connection than someone who comes and introduces themselves after the presentation is over (and it’ll be much more likely that she’ll remember you if you add her on social media).
If you don’t have time to volunteer, look for other ways to assist. Be kind and inquisitive to those around you. Ask them about their products and be truly interested in what they offer.
The same goes for being a member of a group or society. Find ways to help others learn how to be better entrepreneurs. Offer your services to help the group or society grow. As you look for ways to serve, you are forming powerful relationships with others. When you prioritize others, they’ll appreciate what you have done for them, and they’ll want to do the same for you.
Even online, you can find ways to help others. Comment in positive ways and share what other entrepreneurs have posted. Join their online membership communities. Spread the word on what they have to offer. Provide feedback when asked. This will be much more successful than simply interacting online.
Following Up on the Connections You’ve Built
Once you’ve interacted with others, follow up with them. If you met individuals at a conference or event, add them on social media. Continue to support them.
If you met people in a small group setting, stay active in the group. Find other ways to connect with them outside the group. Encourage the group to socialize in ways that go beyond professional (for example, do dinner afterward on occasion). This allows you to develop friendships and form real bonds.
Even relationships established online can become successful. You might find opportunities to host events with various individuals or even meet up in person at an entrepreneurial event or an event they are hosting.
Now that you’ve helped them (and even before), don’t be afraid to ask for help. Reach out for tips or to collaborate on marketing projects (co-host events or find ways to advertise each other). You can also ask for recommendations. When you’ve done your part, they’ll likely want to help you.
The true recipe for a successful relationship lies in doing for others. And it’s important to remember to be sincere. Yes, these relationships will benefit you, but that shouldn’t be your main motive.
As Dale Carnegie said, “You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.”
Remember the keys to establishing a successful relationship with online entrepreneurs:
- Find people at conferences, events, groups, societies, and online.
- Obey the golden rule. Show you are interested and invested in other people. Assist them.
- Follow up and don’t be afraid to ask for their help.
How have you established successful relationships in the business world? Do you have other ideas for building relationships? Please let us know in the comments below.If you liked this post, please follow us on Facebook for more great content. You can also find us on Twitter and Instagram.