The Importance of Nurturing

It’s amazing how things come back around, when you least expect them.

Earlier today I talked to John Batelle, the CEO of Federated Media, he spends a lot of time educating clients and helping them learn, moving them from the “Why” to the “What” to the “How” questions. It pays off for him in spades, as he’s able to demonstrate his knowledge, leadership, and get his customers to trust him and his company.

A few years ago, I helped a junior PR person at an agency try to understand social media, I even had a phone call with her to give her some guidance and share what I know –there wasn’t anything in it for me. Two years later, she joins the corporate communications group of one of the world’s largest tech companies, and became my internal champion.

She arranged for some internal client calls where I offer them some advice (called client ‘inquiry’ calls which are no cost to clients) It grew to a scoping call, which spread from department to department to department. It’s now grown into a very large customer research project –that spans nearly the entire enterprise. We deliver the research results in the near future and hundreds of employees will be in attendance and the data will be used to shape how they approach social media for the long run. In fact, if you’re a social media vendor or agency to this brand, it’s likely you’ll eventually see some of the research that we prepared and you can factor into your work with the brand.

Just goes to show, that helping people –even when there’s nothing in it for you– can lead to great rewards in the future. Sadly, times for me have changed, I had 10 meetings alone today, and don’t have enough time to even talk to personal friends during the work day, so I have to rely on this blog to help others –although it’s not as personal as even a phone call.

Be good to others, share with them and nurture them, can’t think of anything more ‘social’ than that.

29 Replies to “The Importance of Nurturing”

  1. Agreed.

    I get regular requests for help and advice on this topic, even though it’s not even close to my day job.

    And, like you, simply taking the time to write it all down in a blog or whitepaper or whatever can be a good form of nurturing — certainly time-effective.

    But, unfortunately, there’s no substitute for 1×1 coaching, and that’s expensive in terms of time and effort.

    I’m still waiting for my payback, though ๐Ÿ™‚

    — Chuck

  2. Wise advice. It’s the third great example in as many days as to why Dale Carnegie had this nailed back in the 1930’s. Genuine altruism has many rewards.

  3. Jeremiah,
    thanks for posting this, it’s a critical thing to consider for a lot of marketers in B2B. The concept of a “leaky funnel” is a common pain point, but really, these are people who will buy eventually, but are not ready yet.

    Nurturing allows us to build a relationship while staying top of mind until a buying event emerges, and at that point, the buyer will be more likely to consider us. Hence the leaky funnel is plugged.

    I wrote more about it at http://digitalbodylanguage.blogspot.com/2009/01/future-likelies-and-leaky-funnel.html if interested.

    Again, thanks for the post, it’s an important topic.

  4. Jeremiah,

    This is a wonderful post and something I have had similar experiences with. Mentoring is the best thing you can do to help others, ultimately you don’t just end up showing others what you know, they end up teaching you!

    I’ve spent hours showing other artists what I know, and they come back years later and their art is way beyond anything I could ever do. It is truly amazing and one of the best ways to make a difference in the world.

    Even if not monetary, the rewards are you are helping shape a life – whether you realize it or not.

  5. Jeremiah,
    It’s the same message we work hard to instill in the ideablob community. There are so many stories of people reaching out randomly to an idea, giving it feedback and then having their selflessness paid back with interest. It’s what I love to see more than anything. Great post.

  6. Knowledge sharing (no matter how small or large) is essence of evolution. Especially in today’s information revolution, the more each person grows, the more society grows as a whole.

    Thanks for sharing, Jeremiah. This is just one example of something we should all be doing more of more often.

    Chad

  7. Stuff like this happens in all facets of life. Thanks for sharing this story – it’s a great example of good karma in business. I know this to be true firsthand – been able to secure new business and a heightened awareness in my community b/c of it. It’s a killer practice to implement in your own business – regardless of the industry.

    Online, I like to call it social media karma – the more you give truly does equal the more you get. Becuase of it, I’m going to be giving a talk about this kinda thing this week…just b/c of the fact that I have been actively involved and engaged in the helping of others…even if it’s just encouragement.

    It all counts and it all matters.

    Because, all in all, regardless of the timing of when you experience the benefits, the sheer fact of helping someone out and paying it forward makes the act(s) completely worthwhile.

  8. This is EXACTLY the type of business ethic that my business partner and I used throughout the life of our business. Being nice to folks is always the best business practice. It paid off every time.

  9. I am a strong believer in investing a portion of my every day in such relationships. I try to mentor as many bright and curious college students I can find and I do the same for beginner entrepreneurs. I know that some day the good Karma points will come back to me. In the meantime I get to enjoy helping others move up in the world.

  10. True. True.

    I’ve seen this pay off years after I’ve helped someone or offered them advice on something, and I become the go-to person. Sadly, just like you, the time to help is getting less and less.

    Thanks Jeremiah.

    And now to add this to my feed reader!

  11. I agree that helping out like this is a great idea… and of course if anyone is looking for a smart college student marketing major at Lehigh University for a Summer intern I happen to know one (my daughter). ๐Ÿ™‚

  12. Thanks for using our conversation as the kick off point. I entirely agree, it’s all about giving your time, your advice, whatever you have. It comes back to you.

  13. Mentoring, nurturing all take different forms. In this economic atmosphere, I think it takes the form of active listening, trying to point people in right direction, whether it is a project, a job, or just advice. I find myself giving more advice now, to people who I would not have thought of giving advice to. It seems that those who can share now, need to do so doubly.

    Thanks Jeremiah for another excellent post.

    Alan W. Silberberg
    CEO, You2Gov
    @You2Gov -twitter

  14. Jeremiah,

    I’ve had several periods in my professional career when I felt “way too busy” to give to others 1:1. At those times, my schedule was 6 a.m. to 11 p.m., 7 days a week. (Sounds like you’re there right now.)

    If you don’t mind a small suggestion: you might want to give yourself a month or two to get your daily schedule more manageable. If it takes longer than that to find 1:1 time for a worthy individual, I’d suggest some analysis of how you spend your waking hours during the work week. (At least that’s what I did…and I delegated some of the perfunctory tasks in favor of the truly meaningful interactions.) Just my 2ยข. Good luck!

  15. Marianne thanks

    It’s 1123pm and I’m still getting things in order. I don’t have anyone working ‘under me’ so some things can’t be handed off. Have thought of outsourcing email however.

  16. Amen, Jeremiah.

    I helped out a recent newcomer into the Social Media world with my knowledge and thoughts that I hoped would help him, personally and at the workplace. I received an email from him a few weeks later and told me how his company bought into his presentation on social media and how it would impact his business and that he could possibly be the lead on it. It was great to hear I helped one person learn and accomplish something.

    Karma definitely finds it way of coming around.

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