What Value Can Personal Connection Add to Your Business?
Those who know me, are aware of my love for the TV series, Outlander.
It may have been that time I tried to cram myself through the rocky outcrop on Mt Wellington, or the kilt I bought my Greek husband, or perhaps my midnight dancing dressed in a sheet … Whatever gave it away; they know I’m a fan.
Earlier this year when I resurrected my Twitter account, I decided to go through and follow the characters in the show. I know, I know; it’s not as though they’ll follow me back. But perhaps Sam or Cait will need legal advice, and when they tweet about it, I’ll be there. If you share my scepticism, you might also share my surprise when I was ‘followed back’ by one of the characters.
Scott Kyle is the actor who plays the role of ‘Ross the blacksmith’ throughout season 2. I knew who he was, of course, but upon watching the episodes for the 14th time, I made sure I pointed him out to my long-suffering husband; reminding him (in case he’d lapsed into unconsciousness) that Scott follows me on Twitter.
Now, I know Scott has a practice of following everyone who follows him, but the response still made me feel quite special. And that’s not the end of it. As I took a peek through his feed and saw the notifications and comments from others, I realised that he actively engages with those who follow him. Not with generic messages, but quite personally. That’s a mean feat, given the number of followers he now has.
So, what can we, as business owners, learn from that?
A little bit goes a long way.
Depending on the industry you’re in, it’s not always possible to engage with all your customers. But in a world of systems and automation, that personal touch is a way to be heard above the crowd. Even though I already knew who Scott Kyle was, my husband didn’t; but he does now! And, so do you. I’ll recognise him in other shows, mention him to friends, and be interested to hear of his involvement in future projects; all because a routine connection was made personal.
Know who butters your bread (or stirs your porridge).
A finite supply of time and money generally means business owners decide carefully where each is spent. A key factor in making good decisions is understanding where your money comes from in the first place. Some of us sell to individuals; others deal business to business. If your marketing targets a particular part of the community, then it makes sense that your time should also be spent there. Know who makes the purchasing decisions and take the time to make a good impression.
Build on what you have.
Unless it’s the David Jones New Year sale, few businesses have their doors stormed by customers throwing cash at their staff. But we do have a circle of clients who each have their own networks. Treating those clients well instils a sense of loyalty. So rather than waiting for the business equivalent to a lead role in Star Wars, make the most of ‘the following’ you already have. Nurture the clients you’ve already worked with and don’t underestimate their ability to spread the word.
Life has a funny way of surprising us. Businesses who have been around for decades can close almost overnight, and once famous folk can find themselves featured on Where are they now? Investing in people, building relationships and connecting in a meaningful way creates a foundation that grounds us. The practice of personal connection is not only beneficial to business, but to life in general.
So, as you pull on your tartan socks and enjoy a dram by the fire, spare a thought for young Scott and the wisdom he has inadvertently inspired among the readers of Smallville. Take a page from his book and consider how you can better connect with your audience.
“The opinions expressed by Smallville Contributors are their own, not those of www.smallville.com.au"
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