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The ROI Of Connection In A Social-Media Culture You're not selling products. You are selling experiences. To make that work, connection is everything.

By Sandi Krakowski Edited by Dan Bova

entrepreneur daily

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Business has changed. Period. If you don't like it, believe it, understand it….. it doesn't really matter. It's changed.

Gone are the days of building your big old Rolodex and building a network of trusted colleagues only goes so far. The real value of your company is now related to something far greater than your business connections. It's directly related to your relationship with your customers.

Here's the bottom line for any and all business owners -- CEO's of large companies should pay attention, small business owners should pay attention, SOHO and home based business owners need to listen. It doesn't matter how big your company is or how small, it is all the same. The lines have been removed, the barriers taken down. You can now compete with the big corporations as a small home-based company. Connection is the currency of today's market.

Related: Faith Works at Work. So Why Can't We Talk About It?

Branding no longer holds people to your company. People are no longer loyal to brands or messages. They are loyal to the companies who have relationship with them. Those who connect more, make more. So the question today is, "How are YOU doing?"

To Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos.com, it doesn't really matter what's being sold. He's quoted as saying, "What matters is the experience of selling it -- and, of course, the customer's experience of buying it."

How is your experience as a business owner? Do you provide one to your customers?

This is where far too many internet and direct-response marketers are dropping the ball. And the results are obvious: No experience, no results!

Related: Why a Corporation Without a Soul Is Just a Machine

Here's a lesson to learn from: Mac Cosmetics does not sell makeup. The key in marketing is knowing what we really sell. Check out their website. What do they really sell? They sell an experience that allows any woman to remake herself into anything she wants to become. Using makeup is just the way they get the experience accomplished. It's their tool. But Mac sells an unforgettable experience.

So when you create your company, blog and message, ask yourself this critical question: What experience am I providing my customers? How do I want them to remember me?

If you don't know what kind of experience to create or how you want to serve, start with good old fashioned values. It pays every time. It also pays to keep close attention to your ideal client and what they are already saying. It's like "reading their mind" when you do this. They are online sharing what they want every single day.

The currency of connection is enormous, will create lasting value and help the bottom line, impact more lives, including your own, if you pay attention.

Now…. go create an experience your customers will never forget! That's the new Business 101 so many business schools aren't teaching.

Related: Why Faith Belongs In Your Workplace

Sandi Krakowski

CEO and Founder, A Real Change International

Sandi Krakowski is a Digital Media Marketing Expert noted by Forbes as a Top 20 Women Social Media Influencer and a Top 50 Social Media Power Influencer. Sandi is known in the marketplace for living an outrageous life, giving to many causes, writing, cooking and enjoying her family while serving over 2 million clients. She has a historic trackrecord of building an online social media presence with more than 700,000 clients connected to her in under 19 months. But the core of who Sandi is is revealed in her powerful teaching on faith, belief and the power to #BEMORE in all areas of life. You can find her at: http://www.arealchange.com 

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