I recently returned from my coach Alicia Forest’s Online Business Breakthrough Workshop. It was very refreshing, actually, as the event was kept purposely small to give it a true workshop feel. I had a lot of fun not only learning, but networking with the others and finding out all about their particular businesses.

Now that I’ve had time to absorb and reflect upon the event, a couple of key things stand out to me, and I thought it would be helpful to share them with others as well.

1. People will tell you what they want, if only you’d ask.

A bit of a “duh” moment here for me! This is something I preach but don’t always practice. I actually ask people who join my list initially what they would like help with via a survey-–and this is done automatically. Meaning, it is part of the autoresponder messages they receive when they sign up for my free 5-part e-course.

However, I realized that there are many people who have been on my list for a long time who I haven’t reached out to in order to find out what they currently want. (You can be sure I’ll be remedying this shortly. ;)) Not only that, but I’ve been dutifully filing away that priceless information I receive from the new subscribers and not always reviewing it as much as I should. Ok, WAY less than I should. Big ah-ha!

2. Never underestimate the value of bringing people clarity.

One of the best parts of this event was not just meeting online friends for the first time in person, but meeting some of my blog readers and newsletter subscribers for the first time as well. That was such a treat for me—and interestingly, once home, I realized that several people came up to me and shared something similar: that they find my information valuable because a) it’s not fluff and b) I provide clarity on the topics I teach in a world where there’s so much overwhelm and confusion.

I was honored to hear that and so grateful to know that people appreciate it. It’s nice to know you’re on the right track. 🙂 If you are providing a service or product that helps un-complicate or demystify something for others, take comfort in knowing how valuable that is to them!

3. It’s not about the social media tools and tactics, it’s the space between.

It’s about the relationship. At first glance, this seems very obvious to me. And before the event, I certainly knew this already, no doubt. In fact, I even refer to myself as a relationship marketing specialist. However, it wasn’t until chatting during a break in the content with a colleague that this was really driven home for me.

The names of the tools and websites might change, and yes, a lot of what I teach is about web-based marketing, but at its core, it’s about people. A business owner with something to offer and a prospective buyer with an interest. Two people who most of the time need to form some sort of relationship first before the sale can occur.

And what I LOVE and never tire of teaching others about is that space between. It’s almost like a courtship, that space where the relationship blossoms. 😉 And it’s SO important, hokey as it may sound.

But yes. It’s so much more than Facebook, or Twitter, or newsletters or blogs—and when the names and technologies change (and they will), that courtship, that relationship building will remain and be as important as ever. And I’ll still adore it. 🙂

Thinking again about my ah-ha’s reminds me that no matter how expensive, or how hard it is to be away from family, or how much travel is involved—getting out there to events once in awhile can not only be great for business, but can help you develop personally as well.

And that can have benefits more far-reaching for you, the business owner, than you ever imagined.

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