A treat for a dog Relationships begin with a gift. It may be as small as a smile or a suggestion, but something is given so the other can reciprocate and the back and forth of relationship has begun.

It's no different when we go online and it is unreasonable for anyone to expect relationship to emerge without this interpersonal volley. When we retweet someone's post, comment on their article, tag them in a photo, or recommend them for their work, we are giving something of value to them that feeds a relationship and we all know it.

Think of how you feel when you get the message that "Arnold @Schwarzenegger favorited your Tweet". Even if the message comes from someone who works two floors down, that's a small gift that validates your choice to share something and draws you to that person.

Our Small Gifts

In our company we give things away all the time. We use the #learnsocial hashtag on Twitter and Google+, the Learn Social group on Linkedin, our Facebook page, and this blog to share articles, advice, and perspective that we hope our clients and partners will find useful and helpful to learn social business.

And today we are giving away a free intro course on social business:

We know that our learning environment creates a mentorship among a small group that is incredibly helpful for people who want to learn how to do business online. Our courses give the understanding and knowledge of this new medium and culture that tactics and strategy are built on.

And as we grow and develop our platform over the coming months, this free course will gain the new changes and features of the rest of our mentorship platform so visitors can see for themselves, with no risk, if the help of our community and knowledge might help them do business better.

Our free course isn't fancy, but it's got some great insight and knowledge as a sample of what someone will learn if they signup for our full course or one of the new courses that we are now building. This is just a small gift to those who want to get to know us better.

How do you start relationships online?