creating true relationships with people… you know, real human beings. There’s no secret formula for building relationships with others, but there are certain things you can do to help improve your chances of creating a real relationship with another person. In this post I will run through five steps to help you create deep, meaningful relationships and hopefully, at some point in time, you’ll be able to leverage those relationships to create thought leadership content, increase linking root domains, and ultimately increase search engine rankings… the right way. Let’s dive in.

Treat People Like People

The first step in building meaningful relationships is seeing and treating people like people. This first step is critical, plays a huge role in the following four steps, and comes from a book which I recently finished reading called Leadership and Self-Deception. It’s a fantastic book, and I encourage everyone to read it, ponder it, and implement in their lives. In fact, our team here at Stryde will be listening to this next month as soon as our audible credits are reloaded. It’s that powerful! I would be willing to bet, that 99.9% of all marketers see journalists, authoritative bloggers, and industry influencers as “obstacles” in their way, keeping them from publishing content on the websites they own or write for. They don’t view them as real people, with real problems, and real needs that need to be fulfilled. The minute we put this thinking aside and focus on them as people we will begin to break down the strongest barriers and connect with them one on one. handshake

Chat About Things Other Than Business

  Now that you’re on the same playing field as other people, you must take great care to spend time chatting about things other than business. Why you ask? Think about how many times bloggers, journalists, and webmasters get “pitch” emails about why they should let you tell your story or publish your content. Several, sometimes dozens per day. Stop it! Right now! When I’ve created meaningful relationships with people in or out of my industry, it’s been through discussing similar interests, discussing family and kids, discussing sports, etc. Let’s take an example from this weekend. Jeremy Dearringer from Relevance reached out to me to share a Kickstarter project that Aaron Aders is running. It’s a longboard that feels like your snowboarding on asphalt or pavement. I love longboarding and snowboarding and was excited to check it out and discuss further. Now, I’ve never met Jeremy in real life. I’ve only exchanged emails, tweets, and had a few phone conversations with him, but consider him a good friend. I’d do just about anything for him and I’d be willing to bet that he’d do the same. Why? Because we’ve built a strong relationship and can share things we probably wouldn’t share with others that we don’t know as well. Seriously, it works. I know it’s hard to put aside your business interest and your ego but do it. You won’t regret it!

Help Your New Friend With One of Their Challenges

Another thing you’ll learn in Leadership & Self-Deception is that other people’s problems and concerns are just as important as yours. When you realize this and see people as people, you suddenly want to help them, which creates stronger bonds with your new friends. I can’t tell you how many times I see people asking questions or complaining about something on Twitter. I’ve done it and I guarantee you have too. When someone takes time out of their busy schedule to help you, how do you see that person? As more a friend or less? So slow down and take time to listen and pay attention to those who you consider to be your friends. When you’re able to step in and solve a problem for them, your relationships become that much stronger.

Don’t Forget To Say Thank You & I’m Sorry

Sounds super easy AND super cheesy, but you should always express your gratitude when someone else helps you with one of your challenges. Along the same lines, if you screw up… and you will apologize, FAST! Nothing hurts relationships faster than failing to say thank you and failing to apologize. Enough said.

Stay In Touch Often

The last thing you need to do to create amazing relationships with others is to stay in touch often. As with saying thank you and I’m sorry, there’s not much else to say about staying in touch. Just make sure you take the time to keep up on what your friends are up to and communicate with them regularly. Put these all together and what do you have? The recipe for a perfect relationship that you can use to help you satisfy your needs, whether you trying to place content, generate backlinks, or whatever. Image Credit:]]>

Greg is the founder and CEO of Stryde and a seasoned digital marketer who has worked with thousands of businesses, large and small, to generate more revenue via online marketing strategy and execution. Greg has written hundreds of blog posts as well as spoken at many events about online marketing strategy. You can follow Greg on Twitter and connect with him on LinkedIn.