Do you have an online community which is interesting in your business?
What would you prefer: constantly searching for people trying to sell your product/service to everyone or having people who are looking for your business because they know you will serve them?
One of the best ways to build a business is to create and grow up a community and help people instead of cold selling.
The Internet gives you a lot of free and very effective marketing tools. However, it’s not enough to make a website and create a Facebook page. Building an online community includes an active online presence as well as social media marketing.
It involves creating a high-quality content, resources and bringing more value to better serve your audience. Based on relationship and networking (blogging, commenting, interactions, etc.) it creates a solid platform for your business. People follow who they trust and then buy from you.
Community building takes time but gives many advantages to the business marketing and branding. Looking for the powerful strategy, I asked 10 experts, masters in what they do, to give one piece of advice: How to build the online community from the zero point? What would you do if you would start all over, without a name, in a new niche where nobody knows you.
Follow these tips to better market your business in 2016. Get the infographic with the main ideas below and share with your friends.
How to Build an Online Community
Chief evangelist of Canva, author of The Art of Social Media and The Art of the Start 2.0 books.
Provide value to people via curation and creation on social media.
If I had to start all over again, I still would be Ann Tran, but without the underscore. I would secure my name across all of the social media channels right away to ensure brand consistency. I also would have invested more time on Instagram and Facebook, as I truly enjoy photography and the one-on-one conversation with my community.
My advice to other aspiring influencers is to find a great editor who knows your voice and a pitch coach to help you craft and deliver your message. Make sure that your brand retains its authenticity. At the same time, strive to exceed your own expectations. When you push yourself into a zone where you’re not quite comfortable, you will be surprised at your hidden passion and talent.
Finding your own voice allows you to operate from a place of abundance, which is where true success is found. Don’t compete with others, but grow your brand in your individual style.
Share, and share some more. Of course, always keep in mind your own value. Hone in on your gut instinct about when to say no. It will save you time and energy. Always be grateful and humble, and walk away gracefully when needed.
I am grateful that through social media I have met and worked with so many incredibly talented people. I have learned a tremendous amount about the world and myself from engaging across my social channels. Every day I look forward to finding new ways to give back and the new experiences that await me.
Social Marketing Strategist, Keynote Speaker, Brand Evangelist, and Acting CMO Brand Innovators
Building a digital community is the same as building any community… engage, interact, add value and show support for the group and what is important to them. And remember… IT TAKES TIME.
In today’s digital world it’s all too easy for us as brands and individuals to let our relationship-building muscles atrophy. We get caught up in a multitasking whirlwind of emails, social updates and text messages where it’s easy to let a connection or a conversation fall through the cracks.
We’re super-connected, yet somehow disconnected at the same time. This puts us at risk of losing the very relationships that help us prosper as companies and people.
It is time to re-build our one-on-one communication skills and muscles that we’ve forgotten in our rush to new technologies. These skills scale via social because most participate vicariously via the few who interact publicly.
A Network gives you Reach, but a Community gives you Power. That power solidifies Trust, and Loyalty… which leads directly to ROI for any person or organization.
Marji j Sherman
Founder of Sherman Social
Determine what your main industry is, and find influencers in that area and participate in their community.
Being interested in others builds trust and credibility within your industry and helps you gain exposure.
Take time to research what these influencers are doing right, and adopt those strategies in your own social media networks.
Founder of Social Media Examiner, host of Social Media Marketing podcast
You build an online community from nothing by first engaging with any and everyone who reaches out to you, comments on your blog or interacts with you on social media. It’s done one person at a time…
Founder of Content Marketing Institute and Author of Content Inc.
Focus on a niche audience, helping that audience in a content area that has little competition, where you can actually become the leading expert in that area (no matter how small).
Focus on one content type (audio, video, textual), one platform (iTunes, YouTube, blog/website) and consistently deliver content over time. The heavy focus should be on building an audience of subscribers.
Once you know that audience better than anyone else, you’ll begin to see what the revenue opportunities are. This is how we built our business at Content Marketing Institute.
Founder of Razor Social, Award Winning Tech Blogger
You need to start off and figure out how you are different than everyone else because that is important to stand out. Mark Schaefer recently said that he tells companies to finish the sentence beginning with ‘Only we…..’. This is very important.
You then need to create content around your niche that is better than anyone else’s and promote this content.
When you have no audience the influencers are really important. You need to build a relationship with them so that you can ‘borrow’ some of their audience. Involve them in your content as much as possible.
Marketing strategy consultant and professional speaker.
For folks who are starting out in a new niche, content creation is the most important step they can take.
This serves two purposes. The first is that it builds credibility because people can see for themselves that you’re knowledgeable about your subject area.
The second is that it drives reader interest in you, and if you have an interesting giveaway that you promote in the bio section of your articles (in my case, I’ve created a free 42-page workbook based on my book, Stand Out), people will sign up to download it and you can build your email list and base of readers.
This strategy has helped me more than double my email list, to nearly 27K, in the past year.
Best-selling author, keynote speaker, and the Chief Content Officer of MarketingProfs.
Start with identifying who you are talking to (who you are trying to reach), and create content that provides real value to the audience. Always maintain an audience-centric point of view – put their needs first, in other words.
Bestselling Author and Speaker, has been called a “marketing guru” by The Wall Street Journal.
We’ve had many successes as well as failures as we’ve built communities over the years. The number one thing to remember is that we are not entitled to their attention; we have to earn it every day. Check out Tribes by Seth Godin.
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What do you think? Leave a comment below, which of these tips is the most useful for you.
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Marina Barayeva is an international speaker and coach who helps women entrepreneurs become recognized experts and confidently sell their services. She is also a TEDx speaker, has presented to audiences in Asia and North America, and has been featured in such media as ArtPeople, CCTV, China Radio International, and others.