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The 5C’s – The Key to Building Genuine Relationships in The Online Space with Jen Sukhan

Meet Jen Sukhan, founder and owner of Sukhan Social Media. Jen’s love for people lead her to a corporate career in Human Resources but her desire to help more people and passion for social media has allowed her to tie the two together by helping local and international business owners connect with their customers, and grow their businesses through social media attraction marketing. Jen believes that when you invest time into your relationships it can not only set you apart in your industry but open up the door for business referrals. Jen’s social media agency specializes in relationship building for business through lead generation, community nurturing, content, and implementing her 5C’s framework. Read on to see how you too can start building genuine relationships in the online space with Jen’s 5C’s.  


The relationships you have on social media are not about you, it’s about those you’re interacting with. It’s a little bit like dating, you need to get to know the person first. If you met up on a first date with someone you matched with on Tinder, and brought up the subject of marriage, that person might run right out of the restaurant and delete their Tinder account. The same goes in the online space, when you lead with business or sales, it’s like throwing marriage on the table at your first date. Instead, you need to show curiosity in them. 

Instagram allows us the opportunity to build relationships very easily through both posts and stories. When you go to someone’s stories, think of it as a topic that they’re already comfortable and open to talking about. Find something that resonates with you and reply back to it. Find something that feels good to you to talk about that they’ve shared and open the conversation that way. 


When you’re relationship building, contribute to the conversation. There is nothing more powerful than sharing something and having the other person understand exactly where you’re coming from or being excited about the same things. 

My community knows that I love wine, cheese and reality tv. I share this fairly often in my stories, because it’s an opportunity for a fellow wine, cheese or reality tv lover to share their love for these things with me. By doing this, I’m bringing out something I love that is easy to connect to, and this results in a lot of people sharing their love for the same things.  

Tie in some personal things on your stories that allows people to also open conversations with you. Think of 3 personal things that you can share and tie into your brand, and see how this changes the number of people you have reaching out to you opening up conversations. 


Once you’ve had a few conversations, and built some rapport, then you can start to bring up business. Think about which business-related questions to ask, as you will want to ask the right questions that demonstrate your genuine interest in the other person and their business. Make sure that these are the kinds of questions that elicit answers leading to more questions. 

I will often ask someone how they’re enjoying the online space before I even think about talking about their business. That gives me the chance to see if they’re new and gauge how they are finding the online space so far. It brings in the human factor to the conversation –inquiring about them and their experience shows that you care, which will set you apart from competitors.  From there you can dive more into what they do. Dig deep, if you’re not a naturally curious person, you need to train yourself to become more inquisitive. 


Now, if you’re having a conversation with someone who gives very short answers, it can be challenging to build rapport with them. This is where gaining clarity is going to come in. I want you to implement something called reflective listening. Reflective listening is a communication strategy that involves 2 key steps; seeking to understand the other person’s notion, and then offering it back to them by tying in some emotion to your response and showing that you understand. You do not need to repeat the whole statement back, just the last few words of a sentence to keep someone talking.

Here’s an example of what to say when you’re talking to someone in business who has stated they are new to business and feeling overwhelmed: ‘I remember feeling the exact way when I started in business, what aspect has you feeling overwhelmed?’

Relating to them allows them to feel you understand where they’re at, and genuinely care about their progress. It also then allows you the opportunity to figure out what specifically they’re struggling with.


You need to show up for your community. Don’t forget about building relationships with all the people who have chosen to spend time hanging out on your profile. What I see a lot of my clients doing in the beginning when we start working together is they either won’t respond to their comments at all, or they will simply do the double tap to like it. That is a missed opportunity. You need to constantly strive to build better relationships with the community you currently have. Let them know you’re there, you care, and can be approached to support them however you can.

By implementing Jen’s 5C’s, we have no doubt you will succeed in utilising social media for your business’ success. If you would like to learn more from Jen, or work with her, click here.


Lewis Schenk is an Australia-based Entrepreneur, Writer & PR Consultant. His work has been seen in Entrepreneur Magazine, International Business Times, Addicted2Success & The Good Men Project. Lewis is passionate about sharing empowering stories from people around the world, particularly those in entrepreneurship & business. He has been privileged to work with over 600 businesses and entrepreneurs, helping them amplify their message and build their brand & online presence.

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