Sophie Bujold of Cliqueworthy

Sophie Bujold

Founder & Chief Strategist of Cliqueworthy

Sophie Bujold is the founder of Cliqueworthy, a digital community consultancy that helps solopreneurs, startups and mission-driven brands create the business results they need with an online community they love.

She is a firm believer in the power of making meaningful connections and have amassed over eighteen years of experience in online marketing and community growth strategy. During this time, she has shared her knowledge as a featured speaker to thousands of business owners across North America. Her work has also been featured on media outlets such as YFS Magazine, the Female Entrepreneur Association, the BizChix podcast, and PAX Magazine.

Article

How To Make Meaningful Connections For Your Business Online

What I want to talk to you about today may sound like it’s going against the grain of what we’re seeing in online communications these days. I want to talk to you about encouraging meaningful connections in your business online.

Expert session

Tactic that has had the biggest impact on Sophie’s success

Making meaningful connections for business online

Result if you follow the steps in Sophie’s session

Get more meaningful connections in your business which builds a strong community, more loyalty from clients, and increases your word of mouth

Full session with video, notes, audio and discussion inside EHQ Club. Learn more

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Transcript

That’s one of the most critical things, people assume when I say you know, you need to connect meaningfully with people that you need to shake hands with every single person that you meet. And that’s not necessarily it.

What it looks like, in a peer to peer or business connection to business connection setting is, maybe meeting someone at a networking event, following up with them via email and not just saying, let’s stay in touch, but really trying to see how can I deepen that connection? How can I be useful to them, how can we be useful to each other? What are some things that I know about that person that can show that I’ve actually done my homework and that I care in getting to know them?

Everyone responds positively when you show interest in what they have to say and do. And if you can actually use that in the business setting, that can actually create some very valuable relationships for you as you move along.

In the client space, same kind of thing. But I would say it looks a lot more like putting yourself in your clients’ shoes as they’re going through the service or the process or the community that you’re offering them and trying to understand where they might need that extra encouragement, that extra support.

And that extra feeling of Hey, I feel really at home here and valued for my input as much as I am for the questions that I’m bringing to the table. So in a client setting, that can be. If you’re a service based business, taking a look at how you can, you hear a lot about this concept, surprising and delighting.

So what are some points in your service where you can actually reach out to the customer in an unexpected way that shows that you’ve done your homework? Again, I’m repeating myself earlier, but that you’ve actually taken the time to get to know who they are and what they care about. That can look very different for different kinds of business.

So if you’re service based business it could be donating to a cause that their business supports on their behalf, it could be sending them an unexpected gift from something you heard them mentioning in a meeting, it could be sending them a card, just with a thank you for being a client or some kind words, if you know that they’re having a rough time because you picked it up somewhere else. If you’re in a larger community, it could also be like I said, putting yourself in their shoes and understanding where the sticking points might be.

And just automating a process where you send out an email saying, how are you doing with this? Can I help you with any extra resources? And having someone respond to them at that point, so you can see that there’s a little bit of a difference where on the business connection side, it might be more personal outreach to those people.

On the client side, there’s a mix depending on what level of business you’re at, at that point. But the point in each one is to make that person feel valued and supported within whatever community you’re letting them into.

I’m seeing like, your life defining what a meaningful connection is there, which is perfect. You know, being really personal and going there with an actual meaning for that specific direct person individually to make them feel special, I suppose.

Yeah. And I think the things that are really important to that is, you know, if we’re talking about some of the critical things you need when you’re wanting to make that connection is first and foremost, you need to mean what you say. There’s a lot of talk and especially for new business owners, when you’re looking at how do I do things and you’re looking at blueprints and models, you can get lost really quickly on the right words to say, in order to get that person that can become a client, which has its place.

But you should always mean what you’re saying. You shouldn’t be, you know, saying one thing and doing something else on the other side. I think you need to approach it as well from a place of service. So how can I help you? How can we support each other? When you’re a client that looks different, right?

They’re looking for a result in a service. In a business, it might just be if you’re connecting with another business owner, a referral, a resource that might help them, some advice, whatever that is, that’s useful for them at that moment.

I think it’s also important for people to remain curious. And what I mean by that is, there’s a multitude of ways of doing that, but paying attention if you’re connecting with someone, if you’re connecting on social media, for instance, pay attention to their posts, what they’re saying and what they’re doing and what they’re experiencing, really take notes on it if you need to.

If you’re someone who doesn’t naturally remember everything about your network, take notes if you need to. But paying attention to that. If it’s a client, pay attention to the cues they’re giving you. So if they’re telling you they’re confused about something, or that they’re frustrated about something else, actually picking up on that and doing something about it, even if it’s not necessarily solving 100% of the problem.

It goes a long way, when you can actually say, hey, I’ve heard you and here are the steps we’re taking right now to see what we can do to make the situation better. So that’s another really important area and I think caring about the details as well. I see a lot of people right now connecting.

For instance, on Facebook, I’m going through groups and friending everyone in that group and then when you come to ask, and I do this personally, when you come to ask those people, what compelled you to connect with me? The answer is, well, I’m not really sure, what group are you in? Yeah, I connected with you because I just went on a mass friending request.

And the vibe changes. Like just me saying it out loud right now, it changes the vibe completely. Rather than, oh, I saw your post about this. And I was really interested in what you had to say. And I thought we could connect and maybe get to know each other a little bit more. Totally different atmosphere at that point.

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