What is relationship capital? What does it mean to be an influencer?
How do influencers build relationship capital? Are there mistakes that people make along the way to building their relationship capital?
One of the biggest assets an organization or business has is relationships, so much so that it is helpful to consider relationships similar to capital assets. Here’s one way to understand what “relationship capital” is and its importance to your business.
Related Vision, a company with expertise around relationship capital, says that “The network of people and organizations that represent its customers, partners, suppliers, employees etc, constitute its Relationship Capital.” Think of relationship capital as the sum of everyone that is part of an organization or a business.
Each person within that sum has unique potential influence. “Influence is the ability to get other people to follow your lead in a one-on-one basis,” says Teresa de Grosbois, author of Mass Influence: The Habits of the Highly Influential. She also says, “As soon as we’re talking about a one-to-many basis, then we’re talking about mass influence.” Knowing how to best use your influence is the key.
We are all influencers... we each have our own circle of champions, supporters, and people that we are in relationship with. These relationships flourish when they:
- Involve mutual reciprocity or a mutual willingness to help and support one another
- Respect the time needed to build trust and the relationship
- Value integrity (and model this through actions and words)
Some of the mistakes that people make with influence and relationship building with influencers are:
- Premature asks (asking before there is a relationship)
- Not following up
- Being a champion for them in a way that is not congruent to their brand
How you can build influence and meaningful relationship capital:
- Take time to understand each other's brands, mission, etc.
- Come from a place of giving and supporting. Look for ways you can support the other individual and make powerful connections for him/her (speaking or media opportunities, like-minded influencers, etc.).
- Support their platform. Connect with them on social media, be a champion of their posts, and invite the other individual into your world (to meet your followers).
- Be a champion for their launches, events, projects, and message.
- ...and most importantly... be yourself.
You can listen to the replay of this content rich conversation here.
As you go through the rest of the week, take time to recognize and appreciate the influencers in your life. Being a champion for others helps you build your own relationship capital.