By: Angela Caban, MHRM
If you work hard to establish a partnership with a brand, do you have to continue working hard to maintain that relationship?
Absolutely not. But you do have to keep in mind that the business world is made up of relationships. Take a look at retail corporations all over the world. They worry about customer retention while continually devising marketing strategies to ensure that the relationships they build with customers go beyond making purchases. They don’t solely want you to step into their store to buy, but they want the type of relationship with you that is mutually beneficial for both parties. Once you’re happy with their services and products, they gain a loyal customer who will spread the word within your social circle.
Think of your business in the same way major retail corporations do. With the amount of competition out there, you should always stand out and go above and beyond what other companies are doing. Continuing to move forward with a brand beyond the contract can also open the door for future opportunities. Similar to how retail corporations interact with shoppers, you’re building a relationship with the brand that is built on confidence.
I am going to share with you three easy ways to nurture your brand relationships. These three tips will ensure you are giving clients the right amount of attention and exposure while demonstrating to them your willingness to build more than a business partnership and showing pride and passion in your work.
Keep a close eye on what the brand you are working with is doing. Do they have new products or services coming soon? Two great ways to stay informed and keep track of the latest is by setting up Google alerts and signing up for their newsletter. Both tools goes right to your email and you can stay up to date on what is happening with brand partners.
Entrepreneur Tip: You can easily curate content based off of the information from Google alerts. Just give the brand a heads up and link back to their site. This is a great way to show your loyalty to them and get a little content in for your site as well.
Take the time to connect with the brand on social media. Do more than just re-share content; start a conversation! The best place for this, of course, is Twitter. Be authentic when talking about the brand on your social media accounts and have fun with it. The biggest mistake I see is putting no effort into posts. Don’t make it sound rehearsed, or worse yet, don’t just share a post and not make a comment.
Entrepreneur Tip: Schedule a post or two a month and share it with the brand. I typically send out an end-of-month email to the specific brand with the entire list of social media and blog links. I also ask them if there is anything they would like to see coming up. It’s all about giving them the option and making it easy for them to find. Also, remember the 80/20 rule—80% is for them, while 20% is you.
In order for any business relationship to develop and grow, it needs honest feedback. Take the time to ask the brand if there are any areas on which you should focus more. Always be present to their concerns, active in listening, and consistent in your content.
Entrepreneur Tip: Does the brand you work with have a brand ambassador program? If not, encourage them to start one. Working with a large television brand, I outlined the perks starting an ambassador program would provide for them. Brands appreciate the sincere interest in helping them grow and build awareness.