One of my private clients, whose business is doing well, in the low six figures annually, suddenly came to me and announced that despite some of her intentions to expand her community and business, she realized one of her real marketing needs was around community and relationships.
She’s not alone. In the middle of Facebook, Twitter, and every other form of digital connection, I still hear a crying out for community.
My client, along with so many other people I know, feel like they are constantly putting out effort just to keep their social calendar full of people they love. It happens to my life, too. I forget to reach out, and suddenly the weekend is just me and Michelle (which isn’t bad at all).
Those kinds of weekends are fine sometimes, but I know that the juice of friendship and enough social connection is a big part of what keeps our hearts full.
Here’s why community is important to marketing your business. I’ve talked about how a sustainable, successful business needs to be held in a network of loving, caring relationships. Friends and community keep you nourished so you can meet your clients and customers with a full heart of generosity. This is true marketing.
Those same friends can give you support when things are a struggle. Have you ever invited a friend over to keep you company while you clutter-cleared your office? If not, try it, it works wonders.
One key to community is freedom. Specifically, giving up freedom. The less energy you need to put into maintaining your community, the more you can put into showing up for and with your community.
A great example is that great, fading tradition, the Sunday night family dinner. In resurrecting a tradition like that, you give up the freedom of choosing what you want to do on Sunday night. But what do you gain in return? And what does your business gain in return?
Here’s some suggestions for you:
- Create your own “Sunday dinner” tradition.
Who do you know and care about that you would like more community with? Whether it’s once a week, once every two weeks, or once a month, how about inviting them to a regular shared meal that’s on your calendar for the next year, and doesn’t have to be recreated?
- Work time as social time.
One of the biggest insights I took from Eric Brende’s fantastic chronicle of a year living with Amish community was that more traditional communities didn’t have a lot of “free” time for socializing, so to speak. But they did share a lot of work together, such as in barn-raisings, or other common efforts that require more hands on deck.
Do you have projects around your home or garden that would be more fun shared? What if you started a habit with your friends of having work parties as shared social time?
The more you fill up with love, community, friendship and nourishment, the easier it will be for you to grow and develop your business.
About the Author: Mark Silver is a spiritual business teacher who works with clients who want to make a difference and need to make a profit. Join his weekly newsletter filled with spiritual wisdom at http://www.HeartofBusiness.com/new-here