A loyal, enthusiastic & supportive community is the lifeblood of a healthy, wealthy business.
But how do you go from zero to hero when you are just starting out and the only people following what you are doing are your Mum, your best friend and your sister?
Set aside 30 minutes every day to do the following 3 things and you will find your business community and online influence will grow in leaps and bounds:
One of the best ways to build your influence online (and off!) is to help other people be successful. Everyone else out there is working hard to build their business too – and if you can make an effort to help them out you will create a strong community of loyal and engaged supporters.
Sharing isn’t just about retweeting, liking & pinning great stuff (although that is always appreciated – in fact you can click here to tweet this post right now!) …
Write a blog post about your favourite blogs – the ones that inspire, educate or amuse you. Thanks to this post by Danny Brown I discovered some awesome new (to me) bloggers to follow. And on sillygrrl.com Sarah does a regular – and very cool – Blog Love series that always points me in the direction of new, fab websites & blogs.
Give generously. Write great blog posts that share your knowledge, make sure your free opt-in offers are full of your best work, answer questions, help people just starting out in your niche or industry learn the ropes … Generosity does not go unnoticed and is a great way to establish your expertise and to build your tribe.
Share ideas, information, blog posts, books … Know someone who loves Seth Godin’s work and just seen a fab giveaway of his latest book? Tell them about it … Got a contact who is trying to get her head around SEO and just read a great blog post? Send it their way … Had a great idea that just isn’t right for your biz, but know someone who might like to make it happen? Pass it on …
Get out your matchmaking wand & fairy sparkles … and start connecting your people. Referrals are great for business … and we all want more business right?! So if you know a great designer … and someone who’s wanting a new logo created? Hook them up.
People buy from people they know, like and trust. If you don’t engage with your people, then no one will know who you are. If no one knows who you are … they won’t buy your stuff.
Read a blog post/Facebook update/tweet that you love? Take a moment to make a thoughtful comment or reply … Received something in your inbox that was valuable? Hit reply and tell the sender that you appreciate their work. Feedback is great … but make sure you make it count and don’t forget to carry on the conversation!!
Join a group. LinkedIn groups are a great place to connect with your peers (and customers) … There is a proliferation of awesome Facebook groups – both private & public – that are great places to connect with people you can help/learn from/collaborate with … join a networking group to build your influence, find opportunites to connect & collaborate with cool new people & get help to spread the word about your stuff
Groups not your thing? Set up a Skype date to connect with someone you want to get to know better.
What has worked for you in building your online community?