What Kind Of Relationships Are We Building?

When I made the decision to leave Los Angeles and move to Texas I knew the hardest part about it would stem from being separated from my family.

It is almost twenty years since the last time I lived aloneI won’t lie and say there aren’t aspects of having my own place that I very much enjoy. Since the kids aren’t here yet and I don’t have to be a role model I don’t always make my bed and sometimes I leave dishes in the sink.

But I also very aware of other things, such as I spend the bulk of my free time…alone. I eat alone, see movies by myself and that is ok. It is a temporary thing and there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

My children both told me recently that they miss the good night and good morning hugs we normally exchange. I do too and every time I watch the video above I wonder how many people rarely or never get a hug.

What Kind of Relationships are We Building?

In the age of electronics we often walk around in invisible bubbles we create and I wonder if it builds in more loneliness for those who don’t have anyone.

When I look at it from a business perspective I see huge opportunity because human nature makes us want to be part of groups and communities. Most of us want and seek out relationships.

None of this is ground breaking or particularly profound but sometimes we ignore the obvious and that is what is staring back at us right now.

Relationships make the difference personally and professionally.

More Than Just A Number

It is easy to forget that we are all more than just a number. Most of our social media accounts highlight the number of friends and followers we have.

Those of us who run ads or sponsorship opportunities on our blogs learn early on that we need to breakdown the demographics into numbers because marketers/brands respond to those and thus it is more important to say that we have 10,000 readers instead of 400 Toms, 350 Dicks, 983 Staceys and 129 Zeldas.

But the funny thing about that is if you had more detailed information about those readers you would open up more advertising opportunities because you could provide more targeted ads.

And more targeted ads means you can charge more for the opportunity to speak to those numbers people.

The Value of Pictures

One of the things I have noticed is the impact of the posts where I include pictures of myself. That is not meant to sound arrogant either. I expect the reason behind it is that pictures help build relationships.

When you look at photos it helps you gain a better understanding of who the person is and it often provides context for how you might be similar.

Daddy Daughter Day

Daddy Daughter Day

One picture and suddenly you begin to see the writer in a different light.  There is a reason why so much money is spent on the visuals for advertising/marketing of products.

What Kind of Relationships Are We Building Online?

No one wants to feel like they are being used. People remember how you make them feel and if you make them feel valued and worthwhile they are happy to help. Make them feel badly and you reap what you sow.

The inherent lack of personal contact that comes with being part of the online world makes it even more important to focus on building relationships with others.

We talk about content being king and in many ways it is. Our time is limited so we choose to spend it in the places where we get the most value. If you have to choose between spending time in a place where the people make you feel good as opposed to somewhere else where the content is superior but the atmosphere is unwelcoming which do you think you’ll choose.

There are a lot of people out there who need a hug. Figure out how you business can hug them and you’ll gain the kind of customer who sticks around for the long haul.

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3 Comments

  1. Mary Stephenson August 8, 2013 at 1:36 pm

    Hi Josh
    You are so right about the difference in relationships online as opposed to offline.  Although different in many aspects I do feel a connection with online people, that if I actually met them in person we could carry on an interesting conversation.  You are right the online folks might know more about us than many friends offline do.
    Our faces can’t be read, it is our written words that spell out who we are and therefore the communication is opened wide.
    As for your hugs…we could all use more.
    Mary
    Latest post: http://necessityofchange.com/lessons/why-men-should-carry-clean-hankies/

  2. KDillabough August 8, 2013 at 6:28 am

    Sending hugs all ’round 🙂 Cheers! Kaarina

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