The high learning curve in the world of web development and social media marketing can be overwhelming, compounded by weekly updates and programmatic changes for many of the most popular apps.

For younger generations, learning the various applications isn’t the challenge; the challenge is realizing that there are practical and valuable lessons to be learned by building relationships via these technological advantages.

In order for any marketing plan to be relevant, it must reflect the mission statement, services provided, and long-term goals of each client. Providing a marketing plan without first establishing the relationship can often lead to inconsistent use of the plan and frustration for the client who may feel they are using an application or service that they don’t “get”, that may be too challenging for them to do themselves, or doesn’t meet their marketing needs.

My best friend and mentor owns a software development and marketing agency. Over the years, I’ve been blessed to learn from her by talking through project proposals, writing web content, and for almost a year, serving as her project manager, business operations, and “jack of all trade” while she expanded her business goals and added staff.

One of the most valuable tools I learned involved the deeper understanding that regardless of what style of marketing each client decides to use, the most critical component of any marketing plan must always be building a relationship with the client to gain a better understanding of their needs.

In my world, during my early non-profit days, I was responsible for annual campaigns, donor relations, and marketing opportunities through press releases, television interviews, and fundraising events as a Fund Development specialist. Each one of these roles was absolutely dependent on first building the relationship. Thankfully, as a Social Worker, I know more than the average Joe about building relationships.

Just as each marketing professional has an ideal profile of the perfect client for their agency, every social media app has an ideal market for their programs capabilities. When these two ideals come together and fulfill the needs of the client, pure magic has occurred!

By first developing the relationship, the marketing and social media plan has evolved to allow for each client to fulfill their mission and their long-term goals; but, more importantly, it has solidified the relationship between agency and consumer to allow for continued growth and future marketing collaboration.