Friendship is important to purpose-driven people. It’s important for everyone, but for a purpose-driven professional, friendship is about aligning with a shared cause. At Do Good Design Co., we know a lot about this kind of purpose. Our purpose is to help others accomplish theirs, so naturally we work with lots of different clients who all have different purposes. We do a good job of learning all about their cause, their “reasons for being” and their brand essence. Then, we align our relationship around that shared insight. This is the essence of a purpose-driven friendship.
Recently, I was thinking about someone who I un-friended on Facebook. I felt a tinge of guilt for doing it, even though I had pretty good reasons. It made me think about what it means to “un-friend” someone. This person was someone who I was close to before I had kids. When my wife got pregnant and we decided to move, he asked me what he could do to help. My only request was that he be proactive in staying in touch with me. My life was about to change drastically and get really busy, and I needed him to take more of the onus for keeping us connected. Apart from a random “Like” here and there, I didn’t hear from him for years. Our purposes had diverged. He was there on my “friends” list, but in reality, he had un-friended me years ago. Tapping the un-friend button was purely symbolic at this point.
Over the past month, we at Do Good Design Co. have made an effort to be conscious of this reality with our clients as well. I realized that one of our oldest and most valued clients had begun to slip into this unspoken “un-friend zone”. On paper our “friendship” was still there; we were doing work together, but it had become lifeless and transactional, similar to a Facebook Like. We decided to schedule a long meeting to talk about new ideas and get realigned with their purpose. We came away not only with an updated, deeper understanding of how their purpose had evolved but also with a laundry-list of ideas about how we could help them. The outcome was truly reinvigorating.
What is the meaning of this?
There are lots of ways to keep the friendship alive with your audience, be they customers, investors or donors. Cover the basics like regular email newsletters, social media and blog posts, but remember to take the time to ensure that all of your communication works toward and aligns around your shared purpose — your reason for being friends — and don’t forget to add a personal touch.
Want to learn more about how you can deepen a purpose-driven “friendship” with your audience? Hit reply and let us know!