Oldest friends are often also your best friends. Building up stable and rewarding relationships takes time and effort!

Do not underestimate the time it takes to build a strong relationship. According to Daniel Priestley, it takes a minimum of 7 hours or 11 “touch points” — occasions — to build up trustful relations that translate into an active relationship. He describes the process in three steps.

Three steps model

Building and measurement of the ‘business-relations’ can be done in the following three steps:

  1. Low level of engagement: The initial interest in your project and work can be recognized by the number of newsletter subscriptions and views or downloads of your stories and content. By subscribing to your newsletter, people signal their interest in your stories and work. You are gaining the permission to communicate with the right audience. A fraction of them will engage more actively.
  2. Medium level of engagement: When the interest increases further interactions become more intensive. You will see an increasing number of responses, likes, and comments. People will follow you in the media and continuously read your stories. By continuing to deliver content and stories that matter to that audience, you have the chance to bring more people to a higher level of engagement.
  3. High level of engagement: After maintaining a continuous high-quality communication, engagement will reach a pro-active level. People will start to call you by phone and write emails to request about possibilities to collaborate. Potential customers will turn into clients by donating, investing, purchasing products, but also by introducing you and your project to their network and offering support on various levels.

Take away:

  • Building up trustworthy relationships takes several steps, and time.
  • You have to continuously create content that matters to your audience to build up your following.
  • It takes on average 7 hours or 11 touch points to build up a mutual and proactive relation.

If you want to read the full “Story Guide for Landscape Projects” please download it at the following link.


Founder and CEO, OpenForests. Passioned about finding answers to the burning questions of our time. With our tools, we want to connect people and forests.