The Secret To Building Relationships

About a month ago I couldn’t even tell you who Huan Nguyen was. He may have been a subscriber to my blog, but more or less he was just a guy with a funny name behind some computer screen to me.

Now I subscribe to his blog, follow him on Twitter, and he’s my closest fellow blogger. How did our friendship develop so quickly? Huan’s a marketing genius. He understands relationships are important and he knows how to build them.

I’ll be using the rest of this post to talk about why relationships are important as well as the secret Huan used to build a relationship with me. This powerful secret can be used to build a relationship with ANYONE you want, but first let’s talk about the importance of relationships.

Why Are Relationships Important?

  1. They’re the most fulfilling aspect of life. Life is meaningless without them. Material possessions are worthless if you don’t have anyone to share them with. Hobbies and passions are important, but you can’t get a deep sense of fulfillment from them alone.
  2. You’re going to need relationships to achieve your goals. You can’t do everything yourself. I can write the most epic blog posts in the world, but if I haven’t built a strong enough relationship with my readers it doesn’t matter. If you don’t trust me you’re not going to take my advice and you’re definitely not going to share my posts.

What Kind Of Relationships Can This Secret Be Used To Develop?

Initially I planned to write about how to build relationships with other bloggers, but I quickly realized this secret could be used for any type of relationship. It’s relevant whether you want a blogging buddy, a new best friend, or a significant other.

The Secret To Building Relationships… Give Value First

No matter what kind of relationship you’re trying to develop you need to realize your give/take ratio is going to be a bit lopsided at first. Huan spent time leaving daily comments on my blog for a week or two before I ever decided to give his blog a chance.

Since then, however, I’ve read every blog post he’s made and commented on most of them as well. I’ve enjoyed reading his blog, recommending it to several other bloggers in the process, and am now dedicating a whole post to him. The thing is, if he wouldn’t have taken the initial interest in me I never would have done any of these things.

If Huan would’ve sent me a spammy email begging me to read his blog without ever getting to know me I wouldn’t have bothered to check it out. Why?

Because when someone asks us to provide value for them without knowing if they’ll provide value in return we immediately run the other way. Nobody wants to be leeched off of. Fortunately, you can hack your relationships by becoming an anti-leech.

Because of human nature, when you provide value to someone else they feel inclined to reciprocate. Some people are value sucking leeches of course, but the majority of us like to pay others back when they do us favors.

It’s important to realize, however, that although most people will reciprocate your favors, most will not initiate favors. The worst way to make friends is to wait for others to befriend you. If you want rewarding relationships you need to be consciously creating them.

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