FedEx Print & Office thought I was crazy for ordering 1,000 posters.
A friend of mine was in a wedding competition to win a dream wedding. The competition was based on the number of votes each couple received. With less than a week left in the competition, my friend needed help getting more votes.
That’s when I came up with the idea to order 1,000 posters that we would hang on every bulletin board within our community, asking them to vote. I spent endless hours hanging posters. No one would be able to walk more than five minutes without seeing one.
I thought we were going to win easily! However, despite all the marketing efforts, my friend only received a few votes in comparison to his competition. Based on how many votes we got, it seems like the only people who took the time to vote were the people we knew already and personally asked to vote.
Maybe increasing engagement isn’t about how much marketing you do, but rather the strength of the relationships between you and your members. People are more likely to show up when you have a relationship with them. The stronger your relationship, the more likely you will be able to influence their behavior. So, how can leaders strengthen relationships within their community?
Here Are 3 Relationship Building Tips for Leaders
Reach out one-on-one.
You don’t need to send out mass emails or messages to build relationships with your community members—instead, reach out one-on-one and create meaningful connections. This could mean taking the time to send individual messages or emails, having conversations over coffee, or giving people personalized attention when they attend events.
Everyone has something in common with someone else—it could be a shared interest in a specific hobby, similar values or beliefs, or even just an appreciation for the same type of music. Whatever it is, find that commonality and use it as an opportunity to form a bond with your community members.
Show genuine interest in others’ lives and stories.
Take time to get to know others by asking them questions about their passions and interests, listening carefully to what they say, and responding thoughtfully instead of simply nodding along without engaging in conversation. Not only will this help you learn more about each person as an individual, but it also creates an atmosphere of trust where people feel heard and respected, which is essential for lasting relationships within a community engagement setting.
The power of relationships cannot be underestimated when it comes to building successful community engagement. It’s not just about how much marketing you can do but rather the quality of those relationships that will keep people coming back again and again! By following these tips for strengthening those bonds through one-on-one conversations, finding commonalities amongst members, and showing genuine interest in others’ stories, leaders can create meaningful connections that will last for years to come.