building community
I was thrilled with a capital T when Racheal of the Yogipreneur asked me to be part of her Love Your Community Blog Tour and talk about why building community should always be part of your revenue model.

Today I want to talk about some of the most accepted and known ways building a community can actually create results your business. I also want to share some not so common results that I’ve experienced along the way and how my own perception of the value of community has changed.

If you want to read about things that encourage community building during your launch, check out this post over here.

Regardless of whether you’re launching or not – you’ll discover is that most of the time it’s you showing up consistently and giving consistently that lights the spark for building a tribe.

First, let’s talk about the highest impact (and easiest) community building activities that I’ve used and the basics of using them.

Gathering people around useful content.

Blogging allows you to ask questions, inspire people, answer questions, respond to people who leave comments.  Your goals should be focused on the “them” not you.

Make it your mission to find out why people read what you wrote and then give them more. And build trust in the simple ways like sharing resources instead of only selling.

My results: Before 2012 – my blog was focused on…well, it wasn’t focused really on helping anyone, though I thought it was.  Only after I made a choice to help people understand the process of launching did people start paying attention.

Be vanilla – people pass by.  Share what you know in a direct, strong, specific way and they will show up.  Don’t be a generalist even if you DO know a lot about a lot of things.

Create a space where people are concerned about a specific topic.

Magic happens every single time when a group of likeminded, like-goaled people get together. Facing challenge together bonds people. It’s human nature to be in a group with people all struggling to do the same thing and they want to help one another. People ask for help. People solve their problems.

My results: Fearless Launching’s community has become one of the main selling points of the program…and I remember creating it as a simple value add for the program when I first launched it.  Not surprisingly and almost immediately the community became so much more.

Our secret clubhouse became the go to vault where we all (me included) shared launch horror stories and wins alike.  And even today – this is where I go for support, inspiration, and I’ve shifted my whole perception of this group by creating FOR THEM.  When I think of new programs – it’s for them. I want to let them have it first.  When I find out new things about launching, I share it with the group first.

Instead of asking – does my audience want this?  Take out the magnifying glass even closer to the people who are your customers, past clients, and figure out what they want. It’s great to attract new people to your world, but there’s HUGE growth that can happen by finding ways to serve the same people at different stages of their “struggle”.

Increase the ways people can bond with you + others.

Over time, I’ve layered in more content, different channels of free/paid, ways to show up and share with the community.  People find messages about launching on Instagram once in awhile and Twitter or my blog or my podcast.  Sometimes they are around all channels and feel an even tighter bond with me.

Put very simply: it’s this layered effect that really gets things moving in your business.

My results:  Podcast, blogging, interviews, Facebook group, social media…it’s hard to pin it in one area, but the result has been more traffic, people showing up at a nice even pace.  Steady sales.  That’s what I’m looking for in my business, not the crazy spike you can’t deal with.  I like steady, somewhat predictable.

And just good friends you can count on…building a community makes you feel safe as an entrepreneur (when hardly anything feels truly safe building your business alone).

Before you go…I want to leave you with a few questions to think about.

Are you ready to take your own community to the next level?

Are you ready to build something where people feel like they belong?

How can you turn a simple Facebook group into a haven for your a specific group of people facing a specific challenge?

And – if you’re just starting out, how can you involve your audience more so you are truly building something?

 I’d love to hear from you – please leave a comment below sharing your own experience of community or your answers to these questions.

And don’t forget to check out the more community building articles from this month’s blog tour over here