All of us want to build better connections with others. We crave stronger personal friendships and more significant and meaningful professional relationships. But how do we foster those? I’m finishing up a book that I highly recommend called “How to Win Friends and Influence People in the Digital Age.
Not only are the principles shared valuable for establishing stronger relationships, but they’re also interesting to study from a marketing perspective. Advertisers are, after all, trying to establish a connection with their audience and considering that consumers get bombarded by hundreds if not thousands of messages vying for their attention every day, learning how to connect with others genuinely is a skill worth cultivating.
In a world where there are content companies and social media strategists who dedicate their full-time job to cultivate conversation online, it’s more important than ever to be sincere in your advertising message. Sincerity is fleeting, and I’d like to advocate for bringing it back! What if we invested time in getting to know people without expecting something in return? How about instead of reaching for our smartphone in a waiting room, we engage with the stranger next to us. That used to be the norm. Now we can’t grab our iPhone fast enough when we’re forced to sit in “awkward situations.” Ironically, what we now consider awkward used to be a very typical opportunity for social interaction.
I know a news anchor from my days working in TV who says that she likes people who are interested and interesting. Taking an authentic interest in the people you meet will open opportunities to deeper and more productive relationships. Try investing time this week in getting to know about someone else’s hobbies and values. Don’t approach it to “get something” out of the relationship. Invest in getting to know someone better selflessly, and you’ll likely be surprised by the positive outcome. They may be shocked in this digital age of superficial “connections” and short attention spans. Let me know how it goes! I bet you’ll find you’re able to build lasting friendships and eventually you’ll even influence people.