I talk a lot about how much I dislike the ‘popularity contest’ when it comes to the online business world; the ‘social climbing’ as it were. You’ve probably seen it yourself – the way you have to be ‘seen’ with the right people to get ahead. ‘Seen’ at the right events, be in the ‘inner circle’ of the right mentors.

This online popularity contest puts so many people off starting their dream businesses because they feel like they can’t compete with those people that we all know who have thousands of followers, who are ‘instagram’ famous, who are ‘friends’ with the big boys (and girls actually).

But I’m here to tell you that it’s all nonsense and you don’t have to do things that way.

There are so many amazing people I have met recently who don’t have a huge social media presence (just a little audience who love them). They don’t have a million instagram followers and they’re not speaking on all the big stages. They’re never pictured with the ‘right people’ and some wouldn’t even know who the ‘right people’ were! It just doesn’t interest them.

And they are earning a LOT of money. Some are earning millions in fact and yet they escape the social media popularity merry-go-round. No vanity metrics needed.

How? Through connection. Good old fashioned relationship building

And it’s made me realise how much of my success has been down to relationship building too – not to all the big shouty names you’ve all heard of. But to brilliant business owners quietly and diligently doing fabulous things. They are the people that have helped me, referred me, opened doors (they just don’t do it loudly).

And if you’re panicking because you feel like a small fish in a big social media pond, I want to tell you not to worry. Those small fish are the ones that develop long term, sustainable businesses that generate high profits and a very loyal customer base. Through very good relationship building, referals, good customer service and connection.

And at the end of the day, relationships are what truly matter in business.


  • Lisa Johnson is a business coach (known as the 'Passive Income Queen') for ambitious entrepreneurs. She's a compassionate helper, straight talker, an insightful thinker and a passionate believer in working smarter, not harder.