Relationship Marketing

Relationship Marketing

Relationship Marketing, a better name for social marketing or network marketing?

Relationship Marketing is a term I’ve been using since 2005 or thereabout. It came about in rebellion to the status quo of the internet “gurus” and mlm “experts” who continued to hammer away with the conventional “wisdom” that network marketing was simply a numbers game. The more people you pressured – I’m sorry – introduced your opportunity to, the more signups you got and signups equal success in network marketing, right?

Wrong! In fact, those with the highest signup rate usually have the highest attrition rate, but that’s another article…

Marketing is all about developing lasting relationships. It doesn’t matter if you call it network marketing, online marketing, internet marketing, social marketing or whatever.  It’s like sitting in your local coffee shop in a comfy chair sipping your favourite brew.  You can sit in a corner in the dark by yourself and never meet a soul, which does nothing for your business, or you can sit out where the action is and meet old friends and make new friends all day long.  Relationship Marketing Coffee Shop

You can spend hours and days and months and even years perfecting your ad copy, your headlines and your subjects. But if you don’t have anyone to send them to, they won’t produce.

Some people try to get around this problem by using email harvesting robots and mailbots, or worse, by buying “targeted” lists. Their idea is that if they fire enough bytes out blindly into cyber space, some of them are bound to hit their target.

If you are thinking about doing this, DON’T! It is not only a waste of time and money; it is a great way to lose your ISP, annoy thousands of potential clients, and get blacklisted. In other words, it’s the perfect way to destroy your business.

Even if you make some sales this way, they are one-time sales and then you have to go through the same risky process all over again.

Please, don’t waste your time on such useless and annoying practices! Marketing is about developing relationships. Get to know people.

Allow me to digress a little.

When you sell something online, you make a little money. It gives you a small amount of satisfaction, but it doesn’t last very long. The joy of the sale is soon overwhelmed by the fact that making the next sale is darn hard work.

On the other hand, when you set out to develop relationships, you make friends. Friends are there whether you are making sales or not.

Friends WILL buy from you if you have something that is valuable to them.

Friends will also share tips and ideas they have discovered with you, making your efforts much more effective.

Friends will recommend you to their friends.

Are you getting the picture? Relationship Marketing is the most effective form of viral marketing that there is. Today we call it “social marketing,” but that really is just another name for it. People YOU have developed a good relationship with will tell THEIR friends about you. They, in turn, will become your friends and tell their friends about you.

Ah….” you say, “But this takes time! I wanna get rich right now!!”

If you want to jump to the head of the wealth line, you’re going to stay at the tail. You can’t jump the queue to wealth. Anybody who promises that you can is a liar and probably a crook who is trying to jump the same queue by draining sucker’s wallets.

Relationship Marketing first of all rewards you by expanding your circle of friends with similar interests to yours. You can’t put a price on friendship. As you pass through this life, you realize more and more just how much more valuable friends are than money.

However, Relationship Marketing WILL make you wealthy if you make your number one interest PEOPLE, you treat these people with integrity and respect AND if you happen to have a product or service that really is valuable to them.

I strongly suggest that if you don’t have a great product or service at this time, don’t worry about it. Work on getting to know people, first. You will find the rewards much greater than you can imagine. Your best source for good products to sell or excellent affiliate programs is the people you get to know. They will be happy to share their ideas with you once they get to know you.

Do spend a lot of time on social networks like Adlandpro, Facebook, Google, Twitter and other popular sites. Meet people, meet their friends, and their friends, and so on. I have a circle on Google + called, “My Friends and Your Friends.” That’s how relationship marketing really works. I get to know your friends and you get to know my friends, and the more we are together, the happier and richer our lives become!

So, be friendly. Take a real, sincere interest in every person you meet. Pay attention to what they are telling you and find out their interests, likes and dislikes. In short, be a friend! Go the extra mile to be helpful. Be a good friend!

Once you get to know a number of people, start a friendly newsletter. There used to be a number of good list servers that would host your list, free, but now you will have to pay for such a service. Constant Contact is an example of a good one. More and more social sites are also providing ways like bulletins and walls for people to keep in contact with their friends, and these are proving to be more effective, as email is constantly becoming more difficult to deliver as ISPs put up tighter and tighter mail munching programs in their futile effort to stop spam.

Do not use a newsletter to fill your friend’s email box with hundreds of new programs. Give your friends real content in your newsletter. It doesn’t have to be hard-hitting, cutting edge stuff. Just keep them up-to-date on what you are doing and how things are working for you. Tell them about your experiences, however humble.

Most people who have been online for any length of time will find a simple article about your own experiences much more interesting than a hundred polished articles from so-called gurus. (These are all over the place and mainly just the same old stuff rehashed and repackaged)

Remember, these people are your friends, or are becoming your friends. Treat them the way you want to be treated. It is ok to include classified ads in your newsletter (as long as your listserver allows it). Just don’t put them before your main article, and don’t overdo it. Remember, remember, remember: this is first and foremost a letter you your friends!

Relationship marketing (aka network marketing) is a wonderful, fun and profitable way to earn virtually any income you want… but… It will only work when you realize it IS work… (but work that’s so much fun!)and… that marketing is about developing relationships. So relax, have fun, and make friends. The wealth will come with time.


Dave Cottrell is the Adlandpro Affiliate Manager.  His profile is online, here.


  • What a wonderful analogy of sitting in a coffee shop and talking to people ..not to sell, but to share information.
    I was reading a post by a person saying that going on different social networks was a waste of time, that it was not needed and I sat and shook my head. I feel there are many ways to market what you are doing, with business cards, advertisements etc. But when you build relationships, especially online, then you stand a chance of increasing your sales, not to mention becoming a person to trust.

    Buying lists, buying followers, being a bot in any manner is just a way to spam people and people need to rethink this kind of “poor” behavior!

    Everything takes time to build… building your business whether affiliate marketing or any other kind of marketing, means learning the basics….

    Great share Dave and two thumbs up 🙂
    Diane ( Blogneta) recently posted…How to Make Work at home – Workable!My Profile

  • Great advice Dave,

    It is so old, yet underestimated by most. Many new marketers believe that because internet is so vast, it won’t matter what kind of method they use, and some don’t even use their real name, some hide behind anonymous names and some make fake names. Eventually reality will catch up with them. Sooner or later and this works for any other domain.

  • Pingback: Relationship Marketing | NicheBytes

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