I get a daily email from HARO (Help A Reporter Out) — brainchild of Peter Shankman. HARO is a service that provides a venue for reporters and bloggers and sources of news and information to connect. It’s totally free and it’s made Shankman well-known and a hero to many of us who seek quality sources for our content.

Recently, he spoke at a blogging conference on how to build relationships online. He was a smashing success, holding the room spellbound for 90 minutes sharing his views on life as much as business. Here are 4 highlights from his talk:

Own It — whatever you do online with a project, share it.  Things won’t always go as you like.  It happens (or, something like that!).  Do your best to make things right.  To make things work.  And if you don’t or can’t . . . own it.  People will regard and respect you more than if you live in denial and seek to blame others for the situations you may find yourself in.

Be Relevant — building a base of fans requires that you offer what people want.  People don’t care about you.  They care about themselves.  If you honor that by offering what they want, they’ll give you what you seek — support and attention and loyalty.

Learn How To Communicate — people have all the time in the world as well as the attention span of a gnat!  If you want to attract and keep the attention of people, you must learn how to make your content not only relevant but rendered coherently as well.

Keep In Touch — it’s so easy to make connections online but it’s difficult to build them into relationships of substance.  Peter suggests making yourself uncomfortable.  “Call people and say, “Hi, how are you doing?”.  It’s going to be difficult.   But it’s also going to make you stand out.  In a good way.

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