3 Keys to connecting and deepening new relationships

Creating relationships that matter is not easy. But it is easier if you use the 3 keys I'm sharing in this article.

How you show up is an expression of your brand

I have written a lot about content creation, and how to connect and nurture through your content. In this article, I want to look at connecting, building, and growing new relationships from a different perspective.

This is about developing new relationships not focused on content creation, but still on messaging.

This is about connecting with one specific person at a time – either through messaging or face to face (in person or in a video call).

The key thought behind this is to build relationships and grow your network regardless of whether you are going to work with that person or not.

This is not about prospecting. This is about building a supportive community that helps you build a referral network. A network that is not centred around others referring prospects to you but everyone serving others with the intent of contribution and growth.

Connecting with new people is not the same as cold calling

Whether you receive a connection request or send one out, it is important that you are connecting with purpose.

It helps if you are clear on your purpose and why you want to connect with new people.

Ask yourself…

  • What do you want to achieve through connecting?
  • Whom do you need to connect with?
  • How do you need to show up when you’re connecting?
  • What does the person you’re connecting with need?
  • How can you make the first (and all consecutive touchpoints) valuable to your new connection?

Understanding what you want to achieve and what the person you’re connecting with needs defines the nature of your relationship.

Relationships are about giving and contribution in the first instance. It’s about creating a relationship that comes from an intention to give and serve - whether that is paid or free service.

When you are coming from a place of service, then that changes your communication, and it also changes your behaviour on the social media platforms you are active on.

Be mindful of social media Do’s and Don’ts

Facebook has just introduced the @everyone tag for group leaders. By using the @everyone tag, group owners can send every group member a notification to any posts they create in the group. Some are welcoming it as a tool to reach their whole community – others are abusing it as a license to spam.

So far, I have mostly experienced it as the latter and in a recent post, the majority of people is leaving groups because they feel spammed.

It’s important to understand what your community wants and what they tolerate or support.

There are a few absolute NoNo’s:

  • Sending a pitch on first contact
  • Express a demand (e.g. like and comment on my post)
  • Sending a generic message because you can’t be bothered to take a close look at the profile
  • “Over”-tagging people in every post
  • The list goes on…

These are just a few practices that show that you are not really interested in the person you are connecting with. That you want to talk to them but not have a conversation. This is the entry to a one-way street (and probably to being blocked).

Instead, think about:

  • Really seeing the person, reading through their profile and finding a connection or discussion point that breaks the ice and lets you start a conversation
  • Listen more than talk – because everyone has the desire to be heard, seen, and acknowledged
  • Be genuinely curious and make your new content the centre of your attention
  • Do something small for them that they appreciate

That could be…

  • to give them a mention or shoutout in one of your posts
  • sharing a helpful resource with them
  • introduce them to someone in your network
  • comment on their posts
  • invite them to a conversation (in person or video)

These are just little gestures, but they can have a huge effect.

I mentioned listening above – that’s in fact the first key to connecting and growing amazing relationships!

Key #1 – Listening

You listen to people not only when you are having a conversation but also when you take a look at their profile and activities online.

“Listen” in to how they show up online. What are they talking about, what are their values and beliefs, what do they post about, and what’s their tone of voice?

Following your new connections before and after connecting with them is an amazing approach to discovering and tracking trends, learning more about your audience, and preparing for 1:1 conversations.

Conversations that go deeper are a lot more memorable.

When you do speak with your new connections, allow them to speak without interruptions. Listen actively and acknowledge what they are saying with questions that encourage them to share and expand on their subjects of choice (and passion).

Sometimes, having a conversation is just a way of processing your thoughts and if you let your conversational partner “speak it all out”, they can develop amazing insights that they attribute to your listening.

And lastly, following up on a listening session later, shows that you care and that you take an interest in how they are doing and whether they need a bit more support.

Key #2 – Positive Energy

One thing that I love about living with dogs is that they always show an abundance of enthusiasm for whatever you do. That alone brings a smile to my face and it also makes spending time with them so addictive. (And yes, I rather spend my time with my dogs than with a grumpy person!)

The same applies when you are meeting with other people in your network. When you are genuinely interested in what they are doing and show enthusiasm and appreciation about the opportunity to meet with them – then you are raising their level of energy and creating a positive experience.

I find it important to acknowledge each person you meet as the person they are (with all their quirks and idiosyncrasies) and their stories.

Let them feel how curious you are about what they have achieved and what their goals are.

Brainstorm with them, challenge them and make suggestions.

Meet them with upbeat energy and don’t moan or have a complaining session about someone or something that is happening. Positive energy is so important – and no one likes negative nellies that complain about everything and everyone.

It’s also important to look a bit harder and see the person behind the actions to find out what is driving this person. Understanding why they are taking certain actions that might not be helpful at this stage of their journey.

When you understand that, then you can make suggestions for going forward. You can share your ideas and thoughts and inspire them to think out of the box and change perspective so that they get unstuck.

And most importantly – always enter a conversation with an intention. Know what energy you want to bring into the conversation so that you can enter the call with positive energy and leave the call with positive energy. Conversations like that will be remembered. Especially when you engage in topics that are important to them. Even if that means doing a bit of research upfront.

Key #3 – Acknowledge & Encourage

Far too often people get overlooked. People want to be seen and they feel it deeply when no one takes the time to acknowledge them and to see them as who they are.

And taking it a little further is to praise them for their achievements. Especially when you are working on your own. Nobody else really sees what you are doing and achieving every day.

People don’t see what’s behind creating consistent content, a 5-day challenge, a webinar, a new coaching programme, or running a business on your own…

And sometimes they are stuck and you get the opportunity to find the points that get them stuck and support and encourage them to move past their roadblocks.

To connect on a deeper level means getting into deeper conversations. Checking in on their purpose, their mission and vision – and questioning whether they are still aligned with their purpose and taking the necessary actions to move forward.

Often these very foundational things get them stuck because they have grown and changed like the world around them– but they have not updated their messages and brand statements and find it hard to articulate their changed messages.

As a result, they might tell you that they feel stuck or that they have lost their momentum (and joy) to post consistently.

There are a few little things that you can do to support your contacts in this situation…

  • you can support their social media presence with quality comments and questions
  • invite them to an interview or a training session in your group
  • encourage them to stretch and get out of their comfort zone. Try out new things and tackle new topics
  • Reassuring them that they belong to your community and that they won’t be judged

I know that this is a lot – especially if you consider your whole community. But it is absolutely worth the effort. It’s worth making these little interactions count and adding some value at every touchpoint.


You are co-creators of your relationship. That means that you both have skin in the game and your community will support you with the same enthusiasm that you are supporting them with.

Relationships thrive on contributions from both parties.

They thrive from consistent support. Consistency signals that you are always there for them, always in the background ready to jump in and ready to work with them when they feel that they are ready too.

And if you feel that you are ready to be supported – then drop me a message! I see you and I am ready to support you!

Categories: : Brand Messaging, Brand Storytelling, Client avatar, Conversion, Credibility, Customer Avatar, Customer dreams, Engagement, ICA, Ideal client, Idealcustomeravatar, Lead Generation, Marketing, Messaging, Online Presence, Reader Engagement, Storytelling, Strategy

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