One of the things that people always ask me is “Michele, how do you attract such an amazing community?” As one of my blog readers (and part of my community), you know that people who aren't humble, hard working and good hearted don't last long in my circles. Not that I repel them – they just know they are in the wrong group. While I am always working on creating community, I know that having the right community around me makes my work a pleasure – because I know that what I teach changes the lives of some fabulous people.
Isn't it time to start creating a community around your work? Here are three simple steps to creating community:
Creating Community Tip # 1 – Listen
Spend some time hanging out where your potential customers hang out. Facebook and Linked In groups are great for this. Listen to the conversations. Be helpful, ask questions. Try to get at what is keeping your prospects up at night. Some other ways to listen include creating surveys or having real conversations with people. Meet them for coffee or have a virtual coffee date and do yourself a favor and listen more than you talk.
Creating Community Tip #2 – Solve their Problems
Now that you've spent some time finding out what your community's problems are, you can start giving them information on how to solve those problems. This is the place where you can really start to give value and build a following. Your blog is a good place to start. When you write a post, close your eyes and imagine that you are writing instructions to your ideal client to help them solve their problem.
Creating Community Tip #3 – Strive to Connect Not Impress
It is not enough to just post valuable information. Nobody really likes a know-it-all and writing an encyclopedia on your blog might get you visitors, but it is not enough to build a community. The connection is the glue that binds a community together. As people notice your problem-solving posts and leave comments, connect with them. Become their friend on Facebook and Twitter. Comment on their blogs. Make friends.
Do you want to know what my secret was to creating community as fast as I did?
I realized early on that it was my responsibility to get them into my community and not their responsibility to stumble upon it. So I put myself out there. I did a lot of blogging because that gave me a super simple form of content that could be shared easily. I did a lot of speaking (in the beginning it was mostly online radio shows and webinars). And I created a couple of different free giveaways so that people had a reason to get on my email list so that I could work on building a better relationship with them.
Need help formulating your plan to creating community? Or maybe your plan isn't working. Let's have a conversation.