Relationship Building Online: Rapport

Welcome back to my blog series about relationship building online! Last week, we covered the importance of content strategy for grabbing people’s attention and reeling them in with your expertise.

Today, we’re covering the next step in relationship building: developing a rapport.

Developing a Rapport

Now that you’ve put yourself out there and someone has responded, you can build a relationship like you do when you go to a networking meeting “IRL” (in real life.) The first thing you do when you go up to somebody is you shake their hand and say hi and you introduce yourself. On social media, a “like,” “friend request,” or “follow” is that handshake. It’s someone saying “I’d like to know more about you and I like what you’re about.”

When you’re being very positive about somebody else publicly, that builds a relationship. It can be as simple as wishing them a happy birthday, liking their posts, retweeting their tweets, shari one of their blogs, or thanking them for their wisdom that they’ve shared. This goes back to the rule we discussed last week: start by giving.

givingBalancing Your Giving

It’s important to remember when you’re first connecting with someone online: Don’t give away your whole system. First off, even if you did, a lot of people couldn’t be successful without your guidance. You don’t want the people who just want the “secret” and then want to DIY it themselves. They’re not in your market. It’s the people who want to do it with you who are. You market is going to say, “Wow, this person has amazing information, and I definitely need to get inside their brain and and do what they do.” Frank Kern, the internet marketer said, “Give your best stuff away free.” That doesn’t mean give it all.

Want to know if you’re “giving” too much? Here are a few warning signs:

  1. You  have the thought (or worse, someone says to you) “I can’t believe I’m (you’re) doing this for free” or “I’m (you’re) doing this for such a low price.”
  2. The “giving” is draining you, and not producing the results you need. If you’re not getting results, then you have to re-evaluate.
  3. Giving too much can also be like fire hose in the face, and that will turn away people. If they can’t consume it, if they can’t absorb it, and you’ll see customers drop off after a few interactions.

Get on Their Level

Jumping off that last point, I often talk about meeting people where they’re at. So many people want to talk about what they are an expert at and what they do, but that’s not where their customers are. The nitty gritty details you’ve learned in your experience aren’t what they care about; people want to come to you with a problem, and see that you can acknowledge and work with them, at their level, to fix it. They’re craving something, they have a deep desire; you have to meet them at that desire and start there.

Two business people shaking handsIn addition to my social media business, I’m also a certified hypnotherapist. So a lot of people come to me for weight loss. Now I know they want to lose weight, but really what they need is self-esteem, a rewiring in their brain. They don’t have the confidence, they have things that hurt them in the past.

If I start by saying we’re going to heal your past and get you more self-confidence, they don’t care about that. So I have to say to them, “Are you ready to finally get over your lifelong challenge with your weight?” If the response is “Yes,” I can talk to them about what they’re thinking in their mind, and that’s a huge relationship builder. I know that their self-esteem going to make the biggest difference for them if they want to lose weight, but we can get to that later. I have to start where they are.

Key Points:

Congrats on making it this far! You are invested in creating relationships online, and that is great. After reading this second part of my series, you’ll have learned:

  1. Start with a “handshake”
  2. Find the people who want to work with you
  3. Meet people where they are

Master Your Online “Giving” And Gain Influence

One of the most powerful ways to compliment another is to share their content to your social media accounts. This is a great way to be generous online and give influence. If you want to be seen as an influencer, consider joining an club of thought leaders who give influence to each other. Check out Social Buzz Club.

Next week, I’ll teach you how to find your customers’ “crave” and bring that one-on-one relationship to fruition. If you want to chat one-on-one with me in the meantime, you can email me or come over to, I’m also on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. Let’s connect!



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