The DTC Business Framework

What Is the Relationship System?

Updated: February 17, 2019

What is the relationship system?

All successful businesses understand that the best way to make money is by getting people that already spend money with you, to spend more money with you.

It can be draining constantly looking for new customers and even though you need to do this, it's much easier retaining the ones you already have.

Think about how many brands you are loyal to. If you aren't loyal to any maybe you aren't thinking about the smaller things you purchase like toothpaste or toilet paper. You probably think you don't stick with them because of their awesome branding or what they stand for, but because they do the job.

And sometimes, that's enough to stay in business.

The relationship isn't necessarily deep, but the product is good enough to earn your trust and get you to spend money on it over and over again.

The relationship system is the big system for any successful business and that's why it gets split into two parts.

You need to start with the relationship system, then move to the acquisition or reward system (depending on your revenue model), then move back to the relationship system and onto the other two systems.

Confusing?

Don't worry, it will all make sense shortly.

Trust

The Relationship System is all about building trust with your audience. The easiest way to earn the trust of someone is by providing them with some value.

Rarely do people want people or things in their lives that don't provide value.

If you're starting your business by writing blog posts, then those blog posts are value (hopefully) to someone.

Me writing this framework guide and making it public is value to you. This guide is a possible way for me to earn your trust so that later on you end up buying some of my products.

Many businesses fail because they don't do a great job of providing value to their audience. It's simple as that.

It's hard for a business that provides great value to the right audience to go out of business.

Notice what I said there.

...a business that provides great value to the right audience...

Just because you write awesome content that doesn't mean you deserve success if it's not being promoted to the right audience.

Selling hot dogs to a vegan isn't going to work well for you no matter how good the hotdog tastes.

Ways to Provide Value

So, as an individual how can you go about providing value?

The best thing you can do is discover the problems of your audience and provide them with solutions. You can do this through many ways:

  • Blog posts
  • Podcasts
  • YouTube videos
  • Emails

You're very capable of doing any of these things. If over time you end up doing all 4 things, then you might have something special on your hands but at the beginning I would just focus on doing one really well.

You might've noticed that only one of these ways requires you to have a website.

You don't need to have your own website for podcasts, YouTube videos, or emails. You could even get away with writing blog posts just on Medium but I would advise against that because you want to own your written content and have a homebase for it.

If you ever wondered how pepole that just run newsletters, podcasts, or YouTube channels make money, this is how.

They provide awesome value to an audience.

I cannot understate how important value is. Some people create things and they believe that just because they created it, they are providing awesome value.

They aren't, they just created something.

So how do you figure out what things can help you provide value?

It's time to revisit your audience's problems again.