Building Fewer, Deeper, REAL Relationships
Copyright 2012 by Willie Crawford
When I first started internet marketing, back in 1996,
I was taught to build a list, build relationships with
list members, and then sell them solutions to their
That is an excellent business model if you actually
take the time to do that, and use the proper tools so
that the process doesn’t become overwhelming.
Most email marketers understand the process to be:
1) You set up an autoresponder.
2) You offer an ethical bribe (a gift) to get them to
join your opt-in list.
3) You give them the gift and then follow-up via
autoresponder with related information, tips, and
4) You post your opt-in form and offer in as many places
5) You sit back and collect your fortune, generating a
flood of revenue any time that you want it with the mere
push of a button (sending an email)!
MOST internet marketers discover that it’s not really
that simple, when they notice that no one is responding
to most of their emails. They’ve most-likely MISSED the
part about actually building relationships, and providing
genuine value to their readers.
Around 2002, when I attended my first internet marketing
seminar (one that I spoke at), I learned all about joint
ventures. I learned that if you work with, rather than
competing against, others in your industry, everyone
generally does better.
As I learned more and more about joint ventures, I
gradually developed into a joint venture expert, and then
eventually became a joint venture broker. As a JV broker,
I not only made a lot more sales by working with others in
my industry… I also got paid to orchestrate joint ventures
for others who hadn’t completely mastered the craft.
Today, a major portion of my income is from coordinating
joint ventures for my own projects/product launches, and
for those of my clients.
The email marketing and the joint venture brokering
became really, REALLY successful when I learned “the secret.”
That secret is, you actually need to focus on building fewer,
deeper, real relationships!
You are actually (usually) much better off with a list of 1000
subscribers who consistently look forward to, open, read, and
respond to your emails than you are with a list of 100,000 who
As someone with numerous lists, in numerous niches, I have
learned this lesson via “the school of hard knocks.”
I’m not advocating that you stop growing your list. I AM
advocating that you actually get to know WHO your list
members are. Get to know what their biggest concerns are,
and what they really expect from the relationship with you
(as a subscriber).
The easiest way to do this is to set very specific expectations
when inviting them onto your list, so that you and your
subscribers understand the relationship right from the very
Later on, if you find that your list has grown unfocused,
and unresponsive, you probably want to conduct a survey
to find out why. You can use many tools to do that survey,
and my preferred method is via an SMS text message
survey. The reason that I like that method is that it also lets
me build out my database more completely.
You see, when most of your subscribers joined your list, they
probably only gave you an email address, and a name. Many
of them probably even gave you a set of initials, a made up
name, or if the name field wasn’t required… no name at all.
When they first joined your list, they didn’t know or trust you.
Now that they do, you should ask for more data so that you
can better know WHO your customers are, and how you can
best serve them.
By getting them to complete the SMS text message survey
that I use, you now get them to give you their full name,
email address, niche or interests, phone number, or any
other data that you ask for.
You can build your survey any way that you want to, asking
any question that you want, using the tool that I use
called “Profile Builder.”
You can see the system that I use to survey my subscribers,
and actually take it for a test-drive if you simply send a text
message to: 850-396-0016 (that IS my actual number). Just
make the subject “Hi Willie.”
I use this very same system to identify and actually get to
know potential joint venture partners.
When you are planning a product launch, it’s very tempting
to want to recruit as many jv partners (affiliates) as possible.
That is often just a lot of wasted time and effort.
With joint venture partners or affiliates, the 80/20 rule
applies, just as it does with so many other things in life.
Only 20% of those who agree to become your joint venture
partners or affiliates are going to take action, and of those,
only 20% are going to produce significant results.
What I’ve discover, as someone who has professionally
brokered joint ventures for others since 2004, is that the
top 5% of your joint venture partners often produce
30 – 50% of your total results.
I’ve also discovered that that top 5% will often be people
that you actually KNOW. These will be people that you’ve
taken the time to learn what really makes them tick. You
know their hobbies/interests, favorite foods, favorite
places, what causes they are really passionate about, what
drives them to be in business in the first place!
I get to know people on this level by meeting them at live
seminars and conferences. There, I sit and talk to them
face-to-face, and I make sure that I get all of their
After I get all of their contact details, I make sure that “I”
follow up to continue building the relationship. You see,
95% of people who attend live events, go home, toss the
business cards that they collected into the back of a desk
drawer, and go back to the life they had before the event.
They never follow-up or take any action to continue building
relationships with the nice people that they met and really
liked… and honestly intended to continue building a
I overcame that very natural tendency by automating parts of
building real relationships. You see, what I now do is ask
them to text me at my number 850-396-0016, and when they
do, they are asked to give me their name, interests/niche,
Skype ID, and any other information that I need to actually
follow-up with them and build real, deeper relationships.
I have different information that I request when they text
me using different “codewords.”
When they text me the requested data, it’s stored securely on
my server in a database where I religiously download the data
and add it to my appropriate relationship management system.
Often, I import the .csv file into my account at Send Out Cards,
another relationship building tool that I have been using since
2004. Send Out Cards allows me to send real, physical greeting
cards (and gifts) right over the internet. I use this system to
periodically reach out to contacts AND to make sure that I never
forget a birthday. The SOC system sends me a reminder of
birthdays, anniversaries, etc.
You can see the SOC system at http://TheCardThingy.com
On that site:
1) Click on the link labeled “Join Now”
2) Click on the link labeled “Preferred Customer”
3) Sign up for the $31 per month plan and that will
allow you to send up to 50 greeting cards per month.
Postage is extra… you pay the actual postage based
upon where you live and if you choose to send gifts with
a given card.
If you don’t feel that you will use that many cards, you
can sign up for the $10 per month plan, but if you’re
seriously building your business, you should be following
up like crazy, and will use the $31 worth of cards each month.
They also rollover, so there is no hurry to use them.
If you study the greatest salesman in the world (according
to the Guinness Book of World Records), Joe Girad, who sold
more cars than anyone in history, I’ve just shared his secret
with you. Joe sent his customers greeting cards on a regular
basis, showing them that he actually cared about them, and this
turned them into VERY loyal customers.
It’s really very simple, you build real relationships by showing
people that you actually want to get to know them, and that you
care about them.
They sense that you really do care, and they like you in return,
and when they need what you have to sell, it’s natural for
them to want to buy from a friend.
When you get ready to launch a product, it’s natural for them
to want to help out a real friend that they also assume would
do the same for them.
It’s simple isn’t it?
Using the system that I just showed you, it’s not only
INCREDIBLY effective, it’s also very inexpensive. The SMS
texting that I do costs me $1 per month for the dedicated phone
line, and 1 penny per message sent or received. The data sent
to me via the SMS text messages are actually stored on my site
via a WordPress plug-in that I use.
You can read all about that WordPress plug-in at:
Now you know the secrets of a 7-figure joint venture broker.
I actually care about people and take the time to build real
relationships with them, and to reach out to them from time to
time and SHOW that I care
Willie Crawford has been teaching others to build successful
home-based businesses since 1996. For more tips on how he
builds and runs his seven-figure business, subscribe to his
free newsletter at: http://WillieCrawford.com/
Tags: building a contact list, building an email list, Building Relationships, building your database, CRM, database building, Joint Venture Relationships, Send Out Cards, SendOutCards, SMS text marketing, SMS text Messaging, soc