Heartfelt Connections: The Power of Relationships in Business Success

This Valentine’s Day, let’s celebrate a different yet essential aspect of our professional lives: networking! Successful businesses thrive on networks of relationships that are built over time, which are crucial for sparking new opportunities, forming partnerships, and driving growth.

We’ve connected with industry experts who have shared their insights and personal takes on how effective networking and relationship-building have been pivotal in their success, and how it can impact yours just the same. Let’s dive in!

1. Deepening Relationships Through Authentic Engagement

Timothy Hughes, CEO & Co-Founder of DLA Ignite, is all about the heart of business being in the connections we make, not just the deals we close. He throws light on something many of us might miss in the hustle: “Many people today have forgotten that there is a difference between a conversation and a sales conversation.” It’s a gentle nudge to remember the value of chatting just to connect, not always with a sale in mind.

He brings this to life with a story from his own experiences, showing just how impactful a bit of genuine online interaction can be.

Recounting a memorable moment, he says, “I placed a comment on a contact on LinkedIn and she responded with: ‘I was thinking about you only today, we need to get in and help us with our social selling, I will set up a meeting’.”

This story serves as a reminder that showing we care can lead to wonderful opportunities.

Hughes is big on getting to know people for who they are, beyond their titles or what they can do for us. He believes in the magic of stories, suggesting, “Everybody has a story and you will become addicted to finding out about other people.” It’s an invitation to be curious, to learn from others, and to find joy in the stories they share.

Connect with Tim:

DLA Ignite 








2. Embracing Digital Warmth

Lynn Abate-Johnson, Business Consultant at LynnAbateJohnson, hits the nail on the head when she says, “Relationships are everything in business.”

Abate-Johnson is all about the power of connections, even as the business world gets tangled up in social media and digital chats. Despite the digital boom, she’s a firm believer that the core of business relationships hasn’t changed a bit.

With her knack for building online communities, Abate-Johnson flags a common struggle: how tough it can be for brands to show warmth and empathy online. Her solution? “Show up as yourself, be genuine, convey that you care, and celebrate the wins of others, every day if possible.”

It’s her daily mantra, a blend of authenticity and celebration that she lives by and encourages others to adopt. She’s convinced that even in our digital age, it’s totally possible to create a warm, personal touch on platforms that often feel a bit cold.

Abate-Johnson urges us to dive deeper than just double-tapping a post. “Go beyond hitting that ‘like’ on a post that resonates with you,” she suggests. It’s about engaging, leaving comments, and making your reactions personal—maybe through an emoji or two.

For her, these little actions are the building blocks of meaningful digital relationships, turning every like, comment, and emoji into a step towards something bigger.

Connect with Lynn:

Check out Lynn’s Book!

LynnAbateJohnson Services 






3. Referrals & Repeat Business


Craig Jamieson, Owner of Adaptive Business Services, understands the importance of referrals and repeat customers, boiling down business success to one thing: relationships.

He says, “My business model has long been based on generating quality referrals and repeat business.” It’s a clear reminder that thriving in business is about more than just transactions; it’s about building bonds that last and constantly bring value.

He’s quick to note that this isn’t something that just happens. “Earned not given,” as Jamieson puts it, reminding us that referrals and repeat business come from putting in the work and showing up for others.

He suggests thinking about what you can offer in return, saying, “What can you give in return? In general … help them to sell more of their stuff!” The basis of a solid business relationship relies on mutual support, whether that’s through promoting each other online, making quality introductions, or sharing resources.

Jamieson also talks about the power of connecting with Power Partners, or as he defines them, “These are relationships that you build with other salespeople who are likely calling on the same types of businesses that you are targeting.”

He shares from his own journey in the electric sign industry how vital these reciprocal relationships are, highlighting a “give and take” strategy for mutual benefit.

Connect with Craig:

Adaptive Business Services 



4. Adapting in a Digital Era

Rob Durant, Founder of Flywheel Results, zeros in on how key relationships are to business success, saying, “I strongly believe that all successful businesses are built on strong professional relationships.”

It’s a reminder that at the heart of any booming business is the knack for fostering connections.

He urges us to look around and see the impact of our networks. “The clients you are working with, the opportunities you are pursuing, even the job you are in right now, how often have these situations come about because of or been bolstered by your professional relationships – your network?” Durant asks, making us ponder the real value of our professional circles.

Durant also tackles the tricky landscape of digital networking, acknowledging its benefits and pitfalls. Despite its challenges, he advises a genuine approach: “Reach out to your connections. Engage with them. Foster the relationship just as you would for someone you meet in person.”

He points out that success hinges not just on our connections, but on being recognized for our expertise and character.

Connect with Rob:


5. Mastering Referral Strategies & Systematic Networking

Ivana Taylor, SMB Marketing Strategist at DIYMarketers, states, “My business is 110% about relationships.”

Taylor reminds us that behind every business decision is a real human being making that choice. Her experience reveals that the path to professional opportunities often winds through the relationships we nurture, whether those connections are sparked by engaging content or interactions on social media.

She’s big on rolling up her sleeves and getting involved, like hosting online events or teaming up with fellow small business experts and brands. These efforts highlight the magic of sharing what you know and linking up the right people, which can sprout into rewarding partnerships for all involved.

When it comes to networking, here is Taylor’s top tip: “My top networking tip is to run a referral strategy and system.” She points out how keeping in touch with your main contacts and influencers can weave a support network that sticks around.

It’s a two-way street—refer others and watch the referrals roll back to you.

Connect with Ivana:





Join the DIYMarketers Private LinkedIn Group!

6. The Impact of Personal Touch

Phil Gerbyshak, Chief Happiness Officer at Happy AF Now, puts it perfectly: “Professional business relationships are the only thing that is important in my business. It’s been the lifeblood of my success.”

He believes in the power of a personal touch in building business connections, viewing every interaction, from referrals to advice from a mentor, as key to growth.

His go-to move for nurturing relationships? “Connection starts with Happy Birthday is my favorite strategy,” Gerbyshak says, highlighting the impact of personal gestures over business dealings. He’s all about celebrating milestones in a way that truly resonates, like a call or a meet-up just to say happy birthday, setting a tone of genuine care and interest.

But for Gerbyshak, it’s not just about birthdays. He keeps in touch through texts, virtual coffee chats, and by sharing relatable content on Instagram. He believes in the power of small, thoughtful actions, pointing out, “Little things add up quickly.”

His approach is about continuously connecting, finding common ground, and turning casual contacts into meaningful relationships with a simple mantra: “Always be connecting.”

Connect with Phil:

Happy AF Now



7. Personal Connection is Key

Ross Keating, Personal Business Relationship Manager & Growth Strategist at Nextree Business Growth, is all about the power of personal connections in business, introducing us to Personal Business Relationship Management (PBRM).

He believes, “Business relationships are the key to my business and to those of my clients,” emphasizing that real success comes from connecting on a personal level. For Keating, it’s about truly getting to know the people we work with, their stories, and what makes them unique.

He reminds us, “Building personal business relationships takes time but maximizes the value of the sum of your connections.” Keating’s advice is to think long-term and value the deep, genuine connections we make, understanding that everyone—whether they’re a client, employee, or supplier—has their own story.

Keating also shares a straightforward but powerful tip: “Be interested in the other person’s story and what they do.” This approach to professional relationships, using social media, email, or personal videos, not only makes our interactions richer but also builds the foundation for lasting, meaningful connections.

Connect with Ross:



Nextree Business Growth Consultancy

8. Building Relationships Through Reciprocity & Presence

Amanda Robinson, Founder & CEO of The Digital Gal Inc., emphasizes that when it comes to success, it’s all about teamwork. She states, “I wouldn’t be where I am without the professional network that surrounds me. It takes a village.” She highlights the crucial role of a supportive network, celebrating each other’s wins and offering support in return.

Robinson believes in the magic of meeting up and creating memories together. “Some of my strongest relationships have come from being at the same events together over and over again,” she says, underscoring that regularly showing up and sharing experiences can strengthen professional ties. It’s about actively cultivating these relationships, making an effort beyond just when you need a favor.

She also suggests standing out in every interaction, maybe with a unique style or memorable value you bring. Remember, personal branding truly counts when you’re working toward building strong business relationships! This approach, Robinson notes, keeps you in people’s thoughts for future opportunities.

Connect with Amanda:


9. Leveraging Genuine Connections

Angus Nelson, Founder of Evolve Leadership, explains that relationships are like our career “rocket-ships” saying, “The power of your network is what opens doors for jobs, partnerships, sales, speaking, podcasts, etc.” He’s lived it, with every major role in his career stemming from connections, proving that a solid network really can make possibilities bloom.

He believes in keeping those connections warm with “Check-ins and catch-up calls… without agenda. Even texts to keep up, then follow up,” showing that genuine interest goes a long way.

Nelson’s standout tip for events? “Show up to an event early, find the host or responsible head, and ask if there’s anything you can do to help?” It’s a smart move that often leads to meaningful intros, showing how lending a hand can leave a lasting impression and build a network based on real respect and helpfulness.

At the end of the day, kindness goes a long way in the advancement of your career.

Connect with Angus:


Evolve Leadership

10. Networking with Intention

Mike Allton, Fractional CMO at The Social Media Hat, attributes his success in digital marketing to his connections. “It’s not an exaggeration to say that relationships have been critical to my success in business,” he reveals, pointing out the pivotal role of social media in building his authority and audience.

For Allton, engaging with people in your field and creating supportive, opportunity-opening relationships is key.

He’s a fan of staying in touch with key people via social media, finding it a game-changer for relationship-minded pros. “Social media has made this relatively easy for the relationship-focused professional,” Allton observes, preferring tools like Nimble for meaningful engagement over just sharing content.

His go-to? Personal check-ins that show you genuinely care about others’ success and challenges.

Allton shares stories of reaching out with empathy, inspired by the idea that “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” He recounts supporting a friend through a big business move, proving that a little understanding and support can go a long way in strengthening work relationships.

Connect with Mike:

The Social Media Hat 








11. Being Genuine Goes A Long Way

Michelle Garrett, Consultant at Garrett Public Relations, shares the following truth: “Relationships are everything.” Her words remind us of the real value in connecting with others, both at work and beyond.

In today’s digital world, where emails fly at lightning speed and virtual meetings blur the lines between work and home, it’s so easy to lose sight of the human element. Yet, as Garrett puts it, it’s these exact connections that help to form the backbone of success.

Recognizing how life can get busy, Garrett offers some down-to-earth advice: “Just remember to be there for others.” Whether it’s through social media or showing up at industry events, she stresses the importance of keeping those connections alive and kicking.

Garrett’s philosophy is simple: “Just be genuinely interested in people.” It’s about really listening and caring, building a bond that goes beyond the professional.

In the end, it’s these heartfelt connections that pave the way for success in business and, for also, in life.

Connect with Michelle:

Garrett Public Relations



Start Building Powerful Relationships with Nimble

As we’ve explored through the insights and advice of industry experts, the importance of building and nurturing professional relationships cannot be overstated. Take your networking efforts to the next level and drive your business ahead with Nimble. Start creating meaningful relationships and broadening your professional network by leveraging our 14-day free trial today.