Tonight when I picked up my husband Ray at the hospital after he taught an EMT class, he wanted to go by a convenience store. While he was in there, I noticed that the store clerk was smiling big and talking to him animatedly. When Ray came back to the car, I asked what they had been talking about. Basically, chit-chat about Ray’s work.

Ray knew the store clerk’s name: Dave. And vice-versa. Just from the times Ray has stopped into the store and talked with him as he made his purchases. As a paramedic in the local community, Ray said, he likes to be acquainted with people on a first-name basis as much as possible. To get to know them and to make friends.

Isn’t that true for your online business? To get to know your fans, followers, “tribe,” “flock,” whatever name you choose to call them? To become friends with them?

They’re not just a number, or a subscriber, or a follower, or a peep on Twitter. They’re real people with needs, hurts, wants, dreams. Get to know them on a first-name basis.

Make new friends.

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