I have spent over 6 years building my community and without them, I wouldn’t be where I am today. It is something that doesn’t happen overnight and will take time but worth the hard work in the end. Here are 10 ways I built my community for my business.
1. Research your Market
When I knew I had a service that could be successful in my own mind, I had to do my research to make sure it was something my target market also wanted. Once you know your ideal consumer, it makes it a lot easier for you to put you and your business in front of them and start to build your all important community.
2. Find your Niche
I researched my market, found my target audience and the next step was to find my niche. Around 6 years ago I positioned myself as a Social Media Expert and because of this, I was able to bring my services to organisations who have access to my ideal customer through my keynote seminars at various events and trade shows internationally. I found my niche by working with companies like BIRA and GA where I have the opportunity to be a guest contributor on their website.
3. Connect with your community
I then needed to start connecting with my community that wanted to hear what I had to say. The important thing to remember when building and connecting with your community is that you need to know what they want from YOU.
4. Be a Specialist in your Industry
You have found your niche, started to build and connect with your community and its time to really push yourself. I am a guest writer for Social Media Today where I am able to share my knowledge with their community. My most recent post, 5 Examples of Great Social Media Customer Service saw over 850 shares through Twitter in just 5 days. The amount of people I would have reached just through this one blog is very powerful and this was because I positioned myself as a specialist in Social Media.
5. Consistency & Content
Reusing the same content and only sharing information with your community every two weeks is not good enough. You need to be able to respond to your followers (especially in social media) in real time. You also need to be consistent especially when it comes to writing a blog because if people are following your business, they will want to see something new from you.
6. Don’t be afraid to take chances
Social media especially, is a risky game. Trying something new may completely backfire but if you don’t try, you will never know. Your community will appreciate it when you take chances, even if they don’t like what you have to say. Sometimes controversy can help you grow your community even further as we all know, who doesn’t love a good (but friendly) Twitter war?
7. Be Social
As I’ve mentioned above, social media is a great place to really build your community, once you have found your niche. I started with 0 Twitter followers and now have over 13,000. It will take time but once you have a solid ground, your community will start doing all of the social media sharing for you and you can really focus on engaging with them.
8. Create an Online Persona
You may not feel comfortable about sharing personal information about your life to your community so create an online persona. We all know about Superman, Spiderman and Batman. During the day they are relatively normal but by night they are bonafide superheroes. This is an extreme example of course but look at it as a way of creating an online profile which your community will really enjoy engaging with.
9. Track Online Activity
If you are taking risks when it comes to how you connect with your community, you really need to track this activity through analytics. Doing this will allow you to find out the most responsive content so you know what to avoid and what to do more of.
10. Be Patient
As I’ve said from the beginning of this article, building a community doesn’t happen overnight and it will take time. You just need to be patient and read the above 9 ways of building your community and in time, you will be wake up in the morning and look forward to sharing information with those who are interested in what you have to say.
I hope these 10 ways to build a community for your business will help you achieve success and I would love to hear your feedback.