Building a community comes in different shapes and sizes. Some people want to build a community of support, others want to build a community full of customers, but whatever your reason for wanting to build your community the principle is the same. It can be a time suck.
But I do not believe in that. I believe that building a community should be fun, aligned and be as though you are hanging out with your friends. There are many reasons why this is the strategy I like and recommend, but I also believe by using this method you create a community that is not going to suck the time from beneath you! Here is why! More engaged!
You have a smaller community, but that is not always a bad thing. Having a smaller community often means you have people that are more engaged. They are more aligned to you and your values, which in turn often means they will end up being your customers. But with a smaller community come less management!
How many times has someone requested to add you as a friend on social media to then keep adding you to their group that you have absolutely no interest in what so ever? Are you going to watch them, be involved in their conversations? No, you are unlikely to be. So this means they have vanity metrics but extremely unlikely to convert many of the members into customers.
You can make your group automatically accept people into the group based on their answers to questions. This means you get less time having to manually screen everyone. This does, however, mean you need to pay close attention to the copy & questions to make sure you weed people out that are not a good fit. But if you have a good strategy in place for getting the group in front of high-quality people this will work well.
When people join a group they like to know what to expect. So make sure you have a structure in the group. Make sure everyone knows what to do and when. Create sessions for networking so people can meet others that are aligned to them. By doing this you open the group up to be conversational, and members can problem solve amongst themselves rather than the pressure being on you constantly to answer questions. Let’s face it you are not an expert in everything! So make it easy for people to know what other members do and let members contribute to help support.
Know your strategy
People often create a community because they think that’s what they need. They need a group of people to convert. In part, this can be true. But they lack a strategy. Your group needs to form part of your funnel in order to be successful. So what are the benefits of being part of your group? You need to create steps that help them get to the place they need to be in order to become clients of yours.
Make sure you ask! Do not assume. Always be open to suggestions, and appreciate the feedback. You should research what your community like about other groups, what they dislike and make sure you create something that is going to be irresistible to your audience. A community is not something that should just be thrown together.
Know your USP
What is your unique selling proposition (USP)? You need to know this so you can align your community to the right people. Why should they join your community over the hundreds of others out there? What do you have to offer that others don’t? This can even be something simple like the way you launch your product/service!
Planning & Scheduling
Make sure you plan when you are going to be active in the community and stick to it! Make sure that every time you go into the group you have an objective. This means you do not spend time scrolling and getting lost in the feeds. It also means you are more productive! But with planning also comes scheduling. Somedays your schedule goes off track — these things happen. But you need to be consistent in the group. Your members do not want to hear apologies for not showing up, so make sure you schedule things in advance to ensure you do not miss a beat.
So, there you have it. My top tips for building a successful community. Overall, make sure you build your community based on people you want to be friends with and you are on the right track. Treat every member like you would a friend and you will be miles ahead of other groups.
I hope you have found this helpful, do not forget to let me know how your community-building comes along — I love to hear your success stories!