When it comes down to it, whether you consider yourself a marketer, a blogger, a teacher—whatever—we’re all after the same thing—We want to make connections. That’s right, connections. I want you to read this and every other article on TSL and feel something. That’s my goal with everything I write, and I know it’s yours as well (or at least it sure as heck should be). And this, my friends, is the essence of ‘Relationship Marketing’.
It never ceases to amaze me how hard-line so many bloggers are. And when I say ‘hard-line’, what I mean is that a writer sticks to one subject and never digresses from it, and certainly never delves into their personal lives when blogging about their niche. Folks, in this day and age of social media, this is dumb. That’s right. It makes no sense and is the antithesis of relationship marketing. In fact, if you’re a blogger and think you can be GREAT while remaining a closed book to the world you’re very likely sadly mistaken.
The Light Comes On
4 years ago, when I literally had no idea what a ‘blog’ was, I commenced writing a quarterly newsletter (paper) for my swimming pool company. In my mind, I saw this medium as an opportunity to teach our customer base all about swimming pools, and while so doing I’d also be able to better market our products and services. But as an additional component of the newsletter, I decided to include a small section called Marcus’ Musings, where I’d write a personal story/experience that included some type of life lesson.
Shortly after the first edition of the newsletter went out to our base of roughly 2,000 customers, I received many, many positive emails expressing their appreciation for such a resource. But what I found most interesting about these emails was the fact that the overwhelming majority wanted to talk about Marcus’ Musings, and not all the great information I’d taught about swimming pools.
Although I didn’t fully realize it at the time, this was the beginning of how I truly came to better understand the phenomena of relationship marketing.
Two Incredible Examples from Two Incredible People
I bring up this little story because today I was reminded by two excellent bloggers of the need we all have as writers to open up about ourselves and be personal—even if being personal takes us ‘off road’ and doesn’t necessarily focus on our niche.
My good friend Ingrid Abboud at NittyGriddy has become well known for her ‘Super Post Sunday’ articles. This is where she takes a look at the week before around the blogosphere and serves up to all her readers the ‘best of the best’ for said week. But with this week’s Sunday post, Ingrid started off in a most unique manner:
Seven years ago this coming Tuesday (March 22), I lost someone who was very dear to me; someone I owed a lot to, someone I loved with all my heart. It was unexpected and very sudden.
This statement, and its corresponding heart-wrenching story, were written simply to express Ingrid’s appreciation for Danny Brown’s exceptional article that posted this past week entitled ‘Precious Time’.
And just as Ingrid wrought incredibly strong emotions with her statements, Danny commenced his post stating:
Many years ago, I had a big falling out with my parents, and we didn’t speak for three years. It was a stupid argument, but being the pig-headed Scots that we all are, none of us wanted to be the first to say we were wrong.
During that time, my grandmother had a serious stroke and died within a few months of having it. Because of the argument with my parents, I never got to say goodbye to one of the most amazing women I’ve ever known.
To this day, I regret that immensely.
Hopefully, anyone who reads this will visit their blogs to experience what thousands of other readers already have, but the main question I want to bring up with these examples is this:
Why are two of the internet’s most well-known ‘Social Media and Marketing Experts’ telling personal stories about tragedies in their life that have really nothing to do at all with their niche??
As you already know, the answer is simple—They understand the power of relationships. They open themselves up so folks like you and I will think, “Wow, that guy Danny is as real as it gets….” and “Geez, that gal Ingrid has experienced some major hardships….just like me.”
Personally, I have experienced these types of comments again and again and again on this blog, none more so than when I wrote about my little boy’s cancer scare, which lead to many, many personal emails from readers to my inbox expressing their sincere feelings spawned by the article.
The Power of YOU
I’m sure by now you get my point. I don’t care what your niche is, you need to be personal, and there needs to be times when you open up to your audience about ‘YOU’. No, you needn’t give all of yourself, but just by showing a little vulnerability and opening up on occasion you can establish powerful relationships you never previously imagined possible.
OK, it’s time we talk. What’s your take on getting personal? Do you do it? Why or why not? And if you do, what has been its effect on your blog and reader relationships? C’mon folks, jump on in, have your say.