Connection can REALLY grow a business. It makes the way for support, referrals, opportunities, and resources to flow our way.
But, when it comes to the kind of connection that pays off for the long haul, posting content online isn’t enough. Starting a Facebook group by itself doesn’t cut it. Booking loads of sales call is just step one.
Because GENUINE connection is the only type of connection that lasts and builds your business long-term. Being yourself, getting real, and staying vulnerable with your community – THAT’S the long-term strategy that will pay off more than you can even imagine.
It’s not an easy strategy, because it requires authenticity, consistency, and sticking around for the long haul. You can’t ebb and flow based on inspiration, you can’t give in to doubt, and you have to show up even when you don’t feel like it. Genuine connection isn’t about trying on a shiny new personality to fit in with the trends. It’s about creating lasting relationships that turn into an engaged cheerleading squad just for you. (I’m talking a squad of potential clients AND mentors, colleagues, and friends.)
If you want your business to stick around for years rather than seasons, then it’s really important to be yourself from day one (or starting as soon as you finish this post). Not only will it allow you to connect with the clients you’ll best serve, but it’ll also make you instantly happier. Your work will feel true to you, rather than fake, inauthentic, or disingenuous.
Does connection freak you out? Does it make you nervous, give you butterflies, or leave you wanting to hide behind your computer screen?
I hear you. But the thing is, connection doesn’t have to be hard. It doesn’t have to be complicated and it definitely doesn’t have to feel like “work”. Connection is simply finding something in someone else that you find within yourself.
A shared experience. A common passion. Similar beliefs and dreams. Like traits or activities or even fears.
This is SO powerful when done right, when you genuinely find common ground, because it reminds us that we’re not alone.
We’re not alone in our experiences.
We’re not alone in our fears and doubts.
We’re not alone in our beliefs or our wants.
We’re not alone in our hopes and dreams.
And, we’re definitely not alone in business – even as solopreneurs. So, instead of the mindset that connection is difficult, that it’s something not meant for you, or that you have to change who you are to fit in with the crowd…what if connection was simply searching for common ground? How might that change the way you approach a potential relationship?
Connection isn’t complicated (just be yourself), but I’d still recommend a strategy. After all, a strategy is ALWAYS useful in business because it provides direction and vision. That being said, your strategy should NEVER be to change x,y,z about yourself so that you can be successful. You’re perfect the way you are — and anything less than all of you will NOT give you the business of your dreams!
So, what kind of strategy are we looking for when it comes to connection?
The one that feels good, builds on our strengths, feels totally in alignment, and provides a plan we can follow. One that encourages us to be our truest self, get visible with our message, and provide value on platforms that we vibe with!
For me, my connection strategy looks like sharing my story and the REALNESS about entrepreneurship. Instead of pretending everything is perfect, that nothing is ever hard, that I don’t experience stress, or that I never come across fears or doubts…I’m going to do everything in my power to share what things actually look like (for me at least).
One of the most recent ways I’ve taken this stand for genuine connection is through my Facebook Live Show, Happy Thoughts, with my best friend Sara Wiles. We share ALL the things – the good, the bad, the ups, the downs – in business and life. Because when it comes to entrepreneurship, it’s not always easy. You have to be everything in your business when you start out. You have to always be willing to go to the next level of personal development. You’ve got to show up and do the dang work.
THOSE are the conversations I like to have – and the ones around which I consciously build my connection strategy. What about you? What conversations do you want to have? How can you use that to guide your strategy?
When it comes to execution, we have to ask the tough questions about what we’re already doing – and what we’re not.
- Am I genuine?
- Am I being authentic?
- Do I show up consistently as myself?
- Am I doing everything I can to build connections and deepen relationships?
For me, I’m incredibly fortunate to already have great relationships – with my biz besties, peers, and community. However, I know there are ALWAYS more layers to peel back and deeper connections to be formed.
So, when I think about the execution of my strategy, I think about showing up consistently even when I don’t want to. I think about pushing myself to GO THERE when sharing real life on my Facebook Live Show, Happy Thoughts. I think about regularly creating new opportunities to be real. I think about staying open in emails and Facebook posts to my community, sharing the seemingly mundane like what I’m reading, what I’m dreaming of, etc.
Because just like it’s important to teach, to coach, and to share expertise, it’s also important to get REAL. To allow your audience to know you on a deeper level. It doesn’t have to be complicated. It can be as simple as sharing bits and pieces of your my day – the seemingly mundane stuff that binds us all together.