Entrepreneurs and small businesses need communities. Without them, businesses may survive, but they won’t thrive. Communities offer support to small businesses and help them grow virally by word of mouth.
To get your community started on the right foot, you can connect with ideal people on social platforms, create content (posts, tweets, blogs, etc.) that’s meaningful and interesting, and engage with members by establishing ongoing interactions with them.
Once these steps are in place, here are 5 tips that will help you build a community that pays:
- It’s Not About You – to build, engage and retain a thriving community, it’s important to remember that it’s all about them and not about you. What needs, problems, or challenges does your community experience? What inspires or motivates them? Build them up and they’ll support you in turn.
- Be a Good Listener – by intently listening to your community members, you will learn what’s important to them. You’ll learn how best to serve them and in turn, you’ll learn how best to meet their needs. Along with listening, acknowledge that you hear them and that what they say is important to you.
- Remain Humble – when building a community, it’s important to be a participant, not so much a leader. Identify with their struggles and concerns. Seek their opinions and advice. Show that you value them as equals and acknowledge others. Make it a place where people love to gather and your community will flourish.
- Equip vs. Sell – it may be tempting to promote your wares early on as your community grows, but seek first to equip your community members with the information, resources and knowledge they need. Meet their needs first and they will be more apt to utilize your products or services in the future.
- Recognize Them – seek out those in your community who have achieved personal or professional successes and openly praise them. Find those you can help promote and share their story with your community. Be all about giving and your community will thank you in kind.
By proving to your ideal community member that you can empower others, you can form a community that thrives and serves your business well.