Business Community vs. Business Relationships

I have always stressed that business is about relationships.

‘It’s not what you know but who you know’
‘People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care’

A big part of my marketing strategies I develop for my clients are about building relationships with prospects and clients.

I have always felt this is key to long term business success.

Now a new buzzword or concept is emerging. It has been around for a while, but has grown tremendously over the last five to ten years with the rise in social media.

Business community – building your own community for your business.

At first I disregarded this as simply an extension of building business relationships.

Does not every good business, or effective sales person grow their network. And is a network simply not a business community.

NO!

There is a key difference between building relationships and creating a business community.

When you grow your business network by building relationships, that is a one to one relationship done many times.

The business community is about a many to many relations done on a one to one basis.

It is about getting your clients and prospects to interact with each other, and allowing them to grow the community as well.

It is also about defining the community, but then releasing the community to become what the people want.

The business community you build can be a great source of business relationships, but you may not in fact do business with all the members of the community.

The community, when built correctly, can have a life and even a purpose of its own.