Both Terrence Holt, President of Holt Brothers Inc., and I were invited to participate in the Shop Talk Money, Marketing & Media Bootcamp last Friday, attended by more than 50 entrepreneurs and would-be entrepreneurs. After listening to many of the speakers, a powerful theme emerged.
Business, the entrepreneurs were told, is all about relationships.
Terrence kicked off the event and told entrepreneurs it was important to pursue relationships and not revenue. “Relationships last a lifetime and bring along revenue,” he said. It’s also about your team’s relationship, too. He encouraged the group to hire people who have skill AND fit the company culture. Then, make them proud to work for you.
Jeremy Sisk of Xperience4Higher talked about building relationships with consumers through Facebook marketing. “You can build a personal network by providing value to others,” he told the group.
Mike Williams, Managing Editor of Triangle.com, used the word “relationship” a number of times, advising business owners that building connections with reporters is key to getting coverage – that, along with a compelling story. “Go to coffee shops, get to know the reporters who cover you,” he said, adding a news release isn’t always enough.
For my session, I talked about the elements of an integrated marketing and branding plan. Through such efforts, you build connections, evoke emotions and find ways to relate to your audience. Good public relations should also be part of your plan because it allows you to tell your story. An integrated plan, simply put, sets the groundwork for relationship development.
So for all of you in business (or thinking about starting a business), remember that relationships are key to your success. Don’t take them for granted. Nurture them. Build trust. And watch the magic happen.
Special thanks to the News & Observer for hosting this event for local small business owners and entrepreneurs. We hope we provided some nuggets of information that will help them build their businesses. Read the article here.