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Warming Up

Do you want to be my friend?

Children ask this humblingly vulnerable question all the time but for us adults, it’s not so simple. The process of making a new adult friend usually involves:

  • Meeting someone for the first time, by chance, and striking up a conversation with them
  • Meeting someone again, probably still by chance, and chatting some more
  • Repeat until you’ve met them enough times that it’s no longer awkward to make plans to meet them on purpose

I don’t think many of us think about the process this way, of course, but it’s roughly and broadly accurate. Most of us would balk or look around for the hidden cameras if a stranger walked up and asked to be our friend.

Businesses Are Not Friends

I’m not suggesting you join clubs or go to bars to try and pick up friends and then get them to enrol in music lessons. Ew. 🤢

But the type of marketing that many businesses do is the equivalent of that. You can’t push people to go out for coffee with you (or sign up for a first lesson) without them first getting to know and like you. And for them to like you they need an opportunity to build a relationship.

The trouble is, much like in real life, you don’t get to control where people get their first, second or third impression of you – it might be in the supermarket when you’re buying a mega sized tub of ice cream and you’re wearing sweaty post-workout clothes. 

The difference with your business, though, is that you can control every aspect of it. You can make sure every page on your website is attractive and enticing, every Facebook post interesting and relevant, and every flyer showcases your superpower to its fullest. 

You don’t want your customers to be your friends, but you do want them to build a relationship with your business. That requires multiple touchpoints.