Sales and marketing strategies, product development, and the like are essential parts of any business, of course.

But, as many of the speakers at ETR’s Info-Marketing Bootcamp have stressed this week, much of your success as an entrepreneur depends on the relationships you form with fellow business builders. In fact, these partnerships will accelerate your success. You’ll make more money, faster.

They’re not talking about traditional networking — i.e., handing out business cards (that never get looked at again). And they’re not talking about taking advantage of your colleagues through tough negotiation.

It’s about creating value for others. You don’t ask for special deals. You don’t call in favors. You give freely. You become involved in and interested in their success.

You don’t ask for anything in return. But you will get plenty back. Your partners will reciprocate. And just as you have helped them succeed, they will help you in ways large and small to grow your business and prosper.

Clayton Makepeace gave a great example of this yesterday during his Lifetime Achievement Award speech. Four years ago, when his company was struggling with search engine optimization, he asked MaryEllen Tribby for a few pointers. She brought in every ETR staff member who knew about SEO for a half-day meeting. And they helped Clayton bring his site traffic up to speed. (And keep in mind that, at that point, Clayton was one of ETR’s competitors.)